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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Afternoon news.

* The Rick Davis lobbying revelation is the big campaign story today as the McCain camp struggles to find some way to respond. The indispensable Steve Benen dissects their first attempt here, with this succinct summary of why this matters:

Remember, the McCain campaign walked right into this one, insisting that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were largely responsible for the Wall Street crisis, and any associations between a candidate and officials at the lending companies are necessarily scandalous.

Talk about leading with one's chin....
More at HuffPo and TPM, which notes that Davis "quietly canceled" a scheduled lunch with reporters today.

* A report from the Pew Center says that cell-phone-only voters are not being properly counted in the polls. And Marist's poll of swing states has Obama sweeping the map: IA, NH, OH, PA, and MI, where he has (according to this one poll with a high margin of error) a nine-point lead.

* Kos says the Palin pick is already paying unexpected dividends, as if McCain had been more responsible he probably would have picked Romney.
But think, what if McCain had picked Mitt Romney as his veep choice, like so many of us were fervently hoping?

Sure, the rollout wouldn't have give McCain a fraction of the attention and excitement that Palin generated. The GOP ticket's (now evaporated) post-convention bump would've been smaller, and maybe Romney would've been less effective at revving up the fundy base.

But right now? Romney would be kicking ass. The media would treat him with deference as an economic expert, and let's be honest, he does looks straight out of central casting for the role of "serious businessman who we should defer to on the economy". McCain wouldn't have to hide him. Romney could make the media rounds, being taken seriously no matter what GOP gibberish he spouted. Rather than flail and cower, a McCain/Romney ticket would look sure-footed and confident, projecting gravitas in a time of uncertainty.

What's more, McCain would no longer look like a political opportunist in his VP choice. He'd be lauded for being such a "maverick", picking his greatest primary rival. The GOP and its apologists could say, with a straight face, that McCain put "country first", and actually get away with it since it's obvious McCain personally loathes Romney.

Good thing Mittens was snubbed.
* Also at Kos, Meteor Blades argues that the Congressional Democrats' myriad failures on energy this seession are not as bad as all that.
Hurrah! What a relief. This summer’s rush to remedy 27 years of bad energy policy in just a few weeks had generated a mish-mash of contradictory proposals that couldn’t possibly be fully discussed or vetted. Better to wait, as I've said from the get-go.