Filed under politics… Mid-October

Jake Grovum

A conglomeration of national news from the campaign trail, Alaska to Washington and, yes, even Wall Street to Main Street, “Filed under politics…” will aim to aggregate and contextualize national news for the political junkie in you. Less than a month to go and McCain is down and out… but we’ve seen this before. The polls are shifting en masse, pundits and strategists are counting him out and party leadership is questioning everything from campaign tactics to John McCain’s candidacy itself. But this isn’t October 2008, it’s actually much earlier, more like January 2008 in Iowa, where McCain has just finished a mere three points ahead of presidential long-shot Ron Paul and the polls reflect reflect the same — McCain is all but finished. But he would come back, winning New Hampshire, South Carolina followed by California, Connecticut and Delaware on Super Tuesday which would all pave the way to his nomination at the RNC. Could we see a repeat of McCain’s resurgence in the last three weeks or so of the general election? Well, it depends on who you ask… William Kristol at the New York Times — a staunch McCain backer — literally called for the Arizona Senator to fire his entire campaign today. “If the race continues over the next three weeks to be a conventional one, McCain is doomed,” he wrote. But he stayed optimistic. The same paper ran a Sunday story complete with party faithful waxing pessimistic about the state of the campaign. Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, when asked by the Times whether he was happy with McCain’s campaign replied:”’No,’ and he added, ‘I don’t know who is.’” Conservatives are lining up to say McCain is alienating the Republican base. Yes, again. Still, ”It’s not over ‘til it’s over” even as polls and public opinion appear to be swinging toward Obama. And of course, McCain himself is plugging away today in Virginia Beach, as only he knows how:

“Let me give you the state of the race today. We have 22 days to go. We’re 6 points down. The national media has written us off. Senator Obama is measuring the drapes, and planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes, increase spending, take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections, and concede defeat in Iraq. But they forgot to let you decide. My friends, we’ve got them just where we want them. What America needs in this hour is a fighter; someone who puts all his cards on the table and trusts the judgment of the American people. I come from a long line of McCains who believed that to love America is to fight for her. I have fought for you most of my life. There are other ways to love this country, but I’ve never been the kind to do it from the sidelines.”

So, will we see another October surprise before the general election Nov. 4 or, as the Times’ Adam Nagourney writes: “With 23 days, one presidential debate, and countless advertisements, speeches and attacks and counterattacks left to go, could this hugely anticipated race for the White House really be over?” Jake Grovum Projects Editor