This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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October 2008
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The Moment

From 0:42 to about 1:34. Especially around 1:21.

(via Talking Points Memo)

There is a couple seconds of delay where people seem to not know what to think when Biden chokes up, but watch the response lines of both men and women right after that. Women basically pegged the meter. And the men were not far behind.

Bailout Passed

Gavel just came down. Now it just needs W’s signature.

Electoral College: FL Stops Swinging, It Is Over, Obama Wins, We Can All Go Home Now

I am of course kidding with the title. I would honestly be surprised if the situation today lasts through election day without the race tightening again somewhat. However, today’s update is a very significant milestone for Barack Obama.

First, canceling each other out exactly, Wisconsin (10 ev) moves from Lean Obama to Weak Obama, and Minnesota (10 ev) moves from Weak Obama to Lean Obama. If Wisconsin had moved and Minnesota had not, this would contribute even more strongly to the result today, but because of Minnesota, it is a wash.

However… today the five poll average in Florida, for the very first time, shows an Obama lead of more than 5%. This makes Florida a “Weak Obama” state, and pulls it out of swing state status. So winning Florida is no longer considered in my “Best Case Scenario” for John McCain. And where does that leave us?

New Summary:

McCain Best Case – Obama 277, McCain 261
Obama Best Case – Obama 375, McCain 163

If everybody gets their leans – 353 Obama, 185 McCain

That’s right. You saw it correctly.

As of right now, John McCain’s best case scenario is TO LOSE. He could win EVERY SINGLE SWING STATE… and he would STILL LOSE.

Let me just let that sink in.

As of right now, John McCain’s best case scenario is TO LOSE. He could win EVERY SINGLE SWING STATE… and he would STILL LOSE.

OK. Now perhaps a little reality. I fully expect some of the “Weak Obama” states may end up becoming swing states again before this is done. (Like Minnesota did today for instance.) So this situation will PROBABLY not last. Probably. Assuming that McCain is able to reverse some of his recent fortunes and is really near his bottom and can’t go much lower.

On the other hand, if the McCain campaign continues to collapse, we may be on the way to a landslide.

Just over one month to go. Time is running out. If McCain managed to reverse this and win it would be an amazing comeback. We’ll see if he can manage it.

First Veep Debate Reax

OK, we just finished watching the debate on Tivo delay… including hitting pause many times in the middle to spend some time reacting. I was spoiler free, and have not yet watched any commentary at all.

My thoughts:

Gwen Ifill was OK. She stumbled over some of her questions, and they were not always the best questions in the world, but they were OK.

Biden was basically Biden. He behaved exactly how I expected him to behave. You could tell at some points though that he was holding himself back a bit. He was a little annoying at times, and sometimes he just recited talking points, but for the most part he gave thoughtful answers that seemed sincere and showed his knowledge and expertise.

Palin… her basic mode of operation was one I saw recommended online somewhere earlier in the week. Give a quick one sentence answer to the actual question (if that) and then immediately pivot into standard talking points and prepared speeches. (To be fair, that is standard debate strategy for this kind of thing.) She would then start her talking points, and then circle around and around them, going in circles but not actually going anywhere for a minute or two until time was up. I would challenge anybody to try to diagram some of those sentences. There was often just a long stream of semi-related words and concepts, thrown together into things that could only loosely be called sentences. And more often than not, whatever she was babbling about had absolutely nothing to do with the question. I did not find it painful, but at times we had to pause because we were laughing too hard. It was indeed a mess.

Of course, expectations were so incredibly low for her appearance here that the mere fact that she did not spend the whole 90 minutes drooling on herself probably means that folks will say that she had an amazing success today. And indeed, while she once again showed herself to be pretty vapid to anyone who actually DOES follow the issues closely and knows some of the details of the policy questions at hand, will she come off as “sincere” and “likable” and such to the right people such that this performance does not actually hurt the ticket? Maybe. I don’t know. I suspect that many of the people who would be seriously concerned by Palin have already jumped ship. I mean, her press can’t get much worse than the last week, can it?

One more thing… for me there was only one moment of the entire debate that was actually memorable. That is when Joe Biden started speaking about how he knew what it was like to not know if a child would survive… and he choked up with emotion for a second… undoubtedly because of what happened to his wife and daughter back in 1972. That was striking.

Anyway, end results… the only reason I think this will not be an absolute disaster for the McCain campaign at this moment in time is that most of the reaction to Palin has already happened. The people who will be disturbed by her have already been disturbed and already made up their minds before tonight. The people who don’t mind, well, this won’t change anything.

At least I think so right now. If however all of a sudden even MORE people start abandoning McCain than before… then he is completely and totally done here.