Filed under politics… The Last Hurrah

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. Tonight’s the night. The last hurrah. One last go-round. You get the idea. Based on the polls, John McCain has one last shot tonight to “surge” back into relevancy in the race for the White House. But what will it take? The momentum is completely against him right now… Update: Minnpost’s Jay Weiner has a pre-debate look at strategies for the sport buffs out there here. Barack Obama has opened up a stunning 14-point lead over McCain vis-à-vis the latter’s latest round of attack ads. Meanwhile, the blogosphere — Politico and the Huffington Post in this instance — is documenting the latest round of malcontents to take their message to the media. Off the record, of course. According to Politico, pretty much everyone besides McCain himself is looking for more attacks on Obama, particularly over the Rev. Wright issue. “There’s a slippery slope in politics on the racial divide, and Senator McCain made it very clear early on that he did not want to get into that area,” a top Republican official said. “I don’t want to be known as a racist, and McCain doesn’t want to be known as a racist candidate.” According to Politico, even Repub No. 2 Sarah Palin is pushing for increasing attacks. Interestingly enough, the sources told Politico they’ll essentially shop around attack ads for outside groups to finance them. Watch for “Swift Boat” Part Deux as we make our way toward Election Day. Speaking of Palin, aside from the love affair pretty much everyone had with the Alaska Gov. following her RNC speech, one critique has been that she’s just too polarizing, too conservative, or rather, too Republican. According to the Times, that’s come full circle: “Voters who said that their views of Mr. McCain had changed were three times more likely to say that they had worsened than to say they had improved. The top reasons cited by those who said they thought less of Mr. McCain were his recent attacks and his choice of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate.” As I said in yesterday’s blog post, Palin has played attack dog starting with her speech at the X — so, is voter discontent with Palin connected to the attacks as the polls appear to show? Probably. Another interesting note is that a Bush strategist has actually gone on the record with the Huffington Post saying “they” didn’t allow McCain to pick who he wanted as VP. Check it out here. “They didn’t let John McCain pick the person he wanted to pick as VP,” Dowd declared during the Time Warner Summit panel. “When Sarah Palin got picked instead of Joe Lieberman, which I fundamentally believed would have given John McCain the best opportunity in this race… as soon as he picked Palin, that whole ready versus not ready argument was not credible.” Anyway, back to the debate. With the race slipping away, it’s no secret McCain needs to pull one out of you know where to make himself relevant again. But the question is, what does he need? More attacks? More policy? A new running mate? A different opponent? How about a new campaign? What will it take to get this back under control, because if I’m in the McCain camp I’m watching it slip away before my very eyes… Jake Grovum Projects Editor