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The Risk Of Blowback

The New York Times remarks on the risk John McCain runs painting Barack Obama as a lightweight:
What’s worse, by continually attacking Mr. Obama’s understanding of policy issues, John McCain runs the risk of actually helping the Democrat neutralize the experience issue. In 1980, supporters of President Jimmy Carter regularly intimated that Ronald Reagan was an intellectual lightweight not to mention a warmonger and a racist. But when the two men debated, and Americans saw that Reagan wasn’t the caricature that he was being presented as, poll numbers showed a huge shift toward the Republican. A similar phenomenon occurred in 2000 when skeptical Democrats set the bar so low for George W. Bush.
Jun 25, 2008 7:36 AM

Candidate Wishes The Media Would Help Him Raise Money

While the mainstream media out in the First Congressional District covers a contested Republican primary, blogger Joe Powell sits down with the Democratic candidate in the race:
Probably the biggest effect this non-coverage has had on my campaign has been in the fundraising department. I'm not an experienced fundraiser or campaigner: I love to speak with people about the issues, but I hate to ask anyone for money, especially in these hard economic times – the people who I hope will support me are the very same people who can't afford to give much, financially, to a candidate. In contrast, Davis and Roe have large war chests and campaign staffs, as well as some built-in advantages: Davis can send out promotional material at tax-payer expense and Roe has a built-in soapbox as Mayor of Johnson City. I'm a state university employee with two small children, a working wife and a moderate income who just happens to be the only viable Democratic candidate – so I can't really expect to compete on promotional front at the level of Davis and Roe. I don't have their resources, their staffs, or their fundraising machinery. I'm hoping this will change somewhat after the primary.
Jun 25, 2008 7:32 AM

Thank You, Captain Obvious

A consulting firm hired to improve the Metro public school advises cutting down on the flight of the middle class from the system:
Bill Attea of HYA told Board of Education members this afternoon that community members identified many positive practices present in Metro schools that deserve to be celebrated. These strengths will be worth little, however, if middle class students and families continue to exit MNPS.
Read the full report.
Jun 25, 2008 7:28 AM

Find The Oil And Use Less Of It

Senate Republican Conferance chair Lamar ALexander on the energy crisis in a closed-door meeting of his colleagues:
Energy policy has become a flashpoint this campaign season, and both sides are jockeying over who has the best plan to handle gas prices that top $4 per gallon. “Republicans will do BOTH — find more oil, use less — Democrats won’t,” according to a presentation, obtained by The Hill, that Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) gave at a closed-door lunch on Tuesday.
Jun 25, 2008 7:23 AM

All The Pieces Matter

Joe Lance encourages us all to remember one important thing:
A key point somewhat offsetting this theoretical discussion is the very real fact that every single vote matters. All of the talk -- about whether Barr is the new Nader, or Nader is still the Nader and then we have Barr as well, and don't forget Baldwin and Paul; about 50-state strategies and four-state gambits and split electoral outcomes; about Americans of different ethnicities and how excited or not they'll be to cast their votes this year -- can distract us. Don't let it.
Jun 25, 2008 7:21 AM

Money And Manpower In The School Board Races

Amy Griffith posts the school board endorsements of an influential union:
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has announced its school board endorsements. The SEIU provides a hefty amount of volunteer campaign manpower in support of the union’s chosen candidates, as well as a small sum of money. Most notably, the SEIU has endorsed Lee Limbird in Bellevue’s crowded District 9 race. With five candidates vying for the seat, and no run-off, District 9 remains anybody’s race.
Jun 25, 2008 7:16 AM

The Purcell Legacy

As he leaves the arena, possibly for good, Emily Evans reflects on the legacy of former Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell:
But ask yourself this: if you had only to concern yourself with whether your tax dollars were being spent in the most transparent way possible with the greatest level of accountability would you not agree that Purcell left the Metro government better off than he found it? Did we have community based, consensus driven land use plans before Purcell brought Rick Bernhardt to Metro Planning? Did we have a plan for sidewalks and bike paths? Did we have a master plan for our parks system that rocked the Kasbah?
SEE ALSO: Purcell's new fellows
Jun 25, 2008 6:55 AM

Six Weeks

Sharon Cobb believes Tennesseans need to see a debate between the three candidates for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate:
We're just 6 weeks away from the primaries on August 7, and I don't think the majority of Tennesseans know much of anything about any of the three major candidates.
Jun 25, 2008 6:55 AM

The Polled Say The Darnedest Things

Brendan Loy is flabbergasted by some recent polling results:
More specifically, when the two-way race becomes a four-way race, 5% of McCain voters switch to Barr, and 6% switch to Nader, while 2% say they "don't know" how they'd vote. By contrast, just 2% of Obama supporters switch to Nader, 0% switch to Barr, 2% "don't know," and -- just to prove that you can always find a tiny segment of poll respondents who'll say things that don't make any sense whatsoever -- 1% switch to McCain! (Remember, he's an option in both scenarios; why anyone would vote for Obama in a two-way race, but McCain in a four-way race, is beyond me.)
Jun 25, 2008 6:47 AM

Ralph Nader Calls Out Barack Obama For "Talking White"

Oh, no he didn't:
"There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He's half African-American. Whether that will make any difference, I don't know. I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards."
Jun 25, 2008 6:43 AM