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Spin Control

Archive for July 2008

Thursday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s videos: Britney is showing up in campaign commercials. Really. (We can’t make this up, it’s too bizarre.)
She has a quick cameo in the latest McCain ad:

And, very quickly, there’s a counter ad that hits back.

Maybe it’s time for a third video, a new version of “Leave Britney Alone!”

Here are the headlines in the presidential campaign from The Associated Press
McCain campaign says Obama played race card; calls move ’divisive and wrong’

Poll: Obama leads McCain in Pennsylvania; McCain tied with Obama in Ohio, Florida

Ron Paul’s followers vow to fight on in West, playing possible spoiler for John McCain

Effort to get Obama to pick Clinton as his No. 2 ends with conclusion she won’t be picked

To read the stories behind these headlines, click here and scroll down.
———
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Barack Obama campaigns in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before heading to a fundraiser in Houston. John McCain meets with voters in Racine, Wis.
———
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We’re in very serious times, and people want serious answers to serious problems. We think they’re going to get that from Barack Obama. We’ll let John McCain and his campaign scoop out footage of Paris Hilton or Britney Spears and whatever other person they want to put on TV.” — Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, speaking on NBC’s “Today” show about a McCain ad.
———
STAT OF THE DAY
In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George Bush won Wisconsin’s 1st District, which contains Racine, with 54 percent of the vote. Democrat John Kerry took Iowa’s 2nd District, where Cedar Rapids is located, with 55 percent of the vote.

Wednesday’s quickie political briefing

Latest poll: In Washington state, it’s Obama 48 percent, McCain 37 percent; Gregoire 47 percent, Rossi 45 percent, in the latest Strategic Vision survey. More on that survey later today.

Here are the headlines in the presidential campaign from The Associated Press

McCain tries balancing act: brags of independence and seeks to reassure conservatives

Obama tells House Democrats he’ll order review of White House executive orders

Doctors say biopsy of skin from McCain’s right cheek shows no evidence of cancer

To read the stories behind these headlines, click here and scroll down.
———
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Barack Obama talks to voters about the economy in Missouri. John McCain visits an equipment company in Aurora, Colo., before traveling to a fundraiser in Kansas City, Mo.
———
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Suppose I’m wrong and there’s no such thing as climate change. All we’ve done is give our kids a cleaner planet. But suppose I’m right and we do nothing? Then what kind of a planet do we hand off to our kids and our grandkids?” — John McCain.
———
STAT OF THE DAY
Democrat Adlai Stevenson narrowly won Missouri in the 1956 presidential election. He beat Republican Dwight Eisenhower by less than 4,000 votes — 918,273 to 914,289.

Tuesday quickie political briefing

Today’s video: What does Sen. Larry Craig have to do with the military’s Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell policy? The Center for Military Readiness’s Elaine Donnelly explains, with a little help from The Daily Show.

Here are today’s headlines in the presidential campaign from The Associated Press:

Economic and international issues draw Obama’s attention amid a day of private meetings

Va. Gov. Tim Kaine won’t discuss whether Obama is considering him for running mate

McCain steps back from ’no new tax’ pledge, gets rebuked by conservative anti-tax group

Obama, DNC look to mobilize Latino voters with $20 million effort, focus on swing states

Obama tries to win over Clinton supporters, increase lead among women

To read the stories behind the headlines, click here and scroll down.
———
DAILY TRACK
Democrat Barack Obama holds a 6-point lead nationally over Republican John McCain — 47 percent to 41 percent — among registered voters in the presidential race, according to the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update.
———
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
John McCain meets with voters in Sparks, Nev.
Barack Obama holds a fundraiser and meetings in Washington before raising more campaign cash in Springfield, Mo.
———
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I’m not saying these women are bitter … but they don’t understand how to take this devotion and energy and put it behind the candidate who took her away from them.” — Susie Tompkins Buell, a prominent fundraiser of Hillary Rodham Clinton with deep reservations about Barack Obama.
———
STAT OF THE DAY
Republican John McCain’s top fundraising states in June were Texas at $1.17 million, California at $1.1 million and Florida at $870,600. Democrat Barack Obama’s top donor states were California at $4.3 million, New York at $2.5 million and Illinois at $1.2 million.

Friday videos: Talk among yourselves on the war

Spin Control 2.0 has a three-day weekend this week. But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to talk about.

Today’s videos are two different takes on the war, and the people who have fought it, and the presidential campaign.

For the sake of discussion, who’s is closer to the truth?

This?

Or this?


Click here to offer a comment.

Thursday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s videos: Two takes on Obama’s international tour

Here’s an MSNBC clip on his Berlin stop

Here’s the Daily Show’s take on his Middle East swing. (We’re guessing this will get more hits.)

Here are today’s headlines in the presidential race from the Associated PressObama tells enormous Berlin crowd there are more walls to be torn down in fighting extremism

With Obama in Berlin, McCain visits German restaurant in Ohio

Hagel calls on candidates to focus on Iraq’s future over past war strategy

Rice not worried by Obama’s foreign policy forays overseas

Poll: Obama builds support among Hispanic voters

Police seek to soften protesters’ disruptions at GOP convention

For the stories behind these headlines, click here and scroll down.———
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Barack Obama spoke at the Victory Column in Berlin. John McCain holds a town-hall meeting on cancer with Lance Armstrong in Columbus, Ohio.

In Washington state: Gov. Chris Gregoire makes campaign stops around the Puget Sound to talk about cleanup
———
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“We are a people of improbable hope. With an eye towards the future, with resolve in our heart, let us remember this history, and answer our destiny, and remake the world once again.” — Democrat Barack Obama, in a speech at Berlin’s Victory Column.
———
STAT OF THE DAY
Liberals are three times likelier than conservatives to be more excited about the presidential campaign than they were last fall, according to an AP-Yahoo News poll conducted in June. The poll has been measuring the political sentiments of the same 2,000 adults since November.

Wednesday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s video: The McCain campaign vid saying the media’s in the tank for Obama

Waddya think? Are they right, or are they whining? Click here to comment.

Here are today’s headlines in the presidential campaign from The Associated Press

Obama praises US ties with Israel, promises to push for Palestinian state if president

McCain credits Bush for drop in oil prices

People Magazine: Obama girls offer irreverence, boundless energy

To read the stories behind the headlines, click here and scroll down.
———
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Barack Obama visits Jerusalem and Ramallah, West Bank. John McCain meets with voters in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., then travels to New Orleans.
———
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I also want to get his recipe for looking as good he does.” — Democrat Barack Obama, in complimenting Israeli President Shimon Peres, who is 84.
———
STAT OF THE DAY
Independents are more bored with the campaign than any other group of people — 28 percent of them say so — according to an AP-Yahoo News survey conducted in June.

On the attack: The latest prez ads

Some of the hardest hitting and most innovative ads in the presidential campaign are being run by outsiders right now.

Here’s one from the Service Employees union that tries to take on McCain by taking advantage of the debut of “Mama Mia” (which, probably to their chagrin, was dwarfed by the new Batman movie this weekend…so fewer people might get it.)

This anti-Obama ad is by a group calling itself Let Freedom Ring. It’s shorter, and hits harder.

League forums on TV

The League of Women Voters held a series of forums recently for congressional, judicial and legislative candidates, and they plan on showing them on cable television.

Over and over.

So if you miss them one day, chances are you’ll have another shot at seeing them before the Aug. 19 primary.

They’re on Cable Channel 5, and if you click here, you can see the schedule.

Help a reader out: Is anyone worth your vote?

A concerned (or maybe angry? perplexed? disgusted?) reader writes:

Can you give any good reason to vote for any of our present congressmen(women). They, not the president have failed the country. just what have they done in congress to solve the problem. After all they make the laws not the President of the United States. My advice is to can them all and let a new bunch have a shot at making progress. Who’s president does not matter it is the congress that matters. Can the bums — donh

Maybe he’s a bit more frustrated than usual. Maybe Congress did something last week — or failed to do something last week — that set him off.

Spin Control 2.0 is not in the habit of defending members of Congress, although we have reported on the noteworthy things that many of them have done over time. And considering this is election season, a kind word might show up as an endorsement in an incumbent’s direct mail ad, and a nasty one could end up in the opponent’s hit piece.

But if you could answer him, what would you say? Can anyone out there make a case for returning any or all members of Congress to their jobs in November? Or do you agree with the “Throw the bums out” sentiment?

Click here to comment.

Clothes maketh the event?

Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke showed up at two different press conferences this week in very different attire.

On Wednesday, he was present when the U.S. attorney, federal and local law enforcement agencies announced a big bust of drugs and guns, the result of an 18-month investigation called Operation Hybris. (If you missed it, read about it here.)

On Thursday, he was there for a press conference to announce the county officially owns a racetrack, with props including race cars that may be using the track. (If you missed it, read about it here.)

The above photos, taken at each press event, show he came to one in a Hawaiian shirt, and to the other in a suit and tie.

Today’s pop quiz: which of the photos is from the drug bust announcement, and which is from the raceway announcement?

Some yapping in the gov campaign

Everyone knows that the governor’s race is getting heated. The two main protagonists don’t much like each other, and their staffs shouldn’t be allowed in the same room without a pass through the metal detector and armed guards to separate them.

But now the campaign may be going to the dogs. Or at least, one dog.

Rossi’s.

More on Michelle Obama in Seattle

Michelle Obama and Chris Gregoire, and about 1,600 of their supporters, raised an estimated $320,000 at the WaMu Theater at Safeco Field, the Associated Press reports.

As would be expected, Michelle Obama complimented Gregoire, who complimented Barack Obama, so everyone was pretty much in sync.

Shortly afterwards, the Gregoire campaign issued a statement denouncing the Republicans for their latest video (as seen here in an earlier Spin Control 2.0 post).

Click to read what the governor thought of the video.

Counterprogramming Michelle Obama

Washington State Republicans our trying to smack Michelle Obama around online as she makes a campaign stop today in Seattle.

They decided to take out after her “really proud of this country” comment from a few months ago — yes, that is a way back in the campaign, so they’d have to consider it an oldie but goodie — and offer their own take on what makes them proud.

They enlisted several Republican women, including King County Chairwoman Lori Sotelo and state Sen. Val Stevens, to talk about what makes the feel great about America.

For good measure, they end with the group doing a medley of the Pledge of Allegiance, and a quote from Ronald Reagan about freedom.

If it doesn’t turn your blood red, white and blue, you must be some kind of commie pinko.

Warning: Deadline approaching

The deadline for registering to vote in Washington the easy way — that is, filling out a form you get at a government office or off the Internet, and mailing it in — is fast approaching.

Those registration forms must be postmarked by Saturday to be valid.

It’s still possible to register for two weeks after that. But you’d have to go down to the Elections Office in person and fill out the forms.

So clearly, Saturday is important for the sake of convenience.

If you want to register, click here for an application on the Secretary of State’s Web site

Congress overrides Medicare veto

When Congress overrode President Bush’s veto of the Medicare reimbursement bill on Tuesday, all members of the Washington delegation gave the veto the heave-ho.

Republicans Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Doc Hastings and Dave Reichert voted with the Democrats in the House, and Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell in the Senate to override.

In Idaho, Republican Bill Sali voted to sustain the veto but Mike Simpson voted to override. Sens. Larry Craig and Mike Crapo also voted against the override, which passed 70-26.

Who’s on first?

The latest bone of contention in the governor’s race is: Poll numbers.

Chris Gregoire’s campaign last week was touting a poll that said she was leading 49 percent to 43 percent. It was conducted by Rasmussen Reports.

Dino Rossi’s campaign has a posting on its Web site this morning that a poll has them tied at 45 percent each. It was conducted by Moore Information.

Which prompted the Gregoire campaign to cast aspersions on the Rossi poll: “All the polls not paid for by Rossi show Gregoire leads the race,” they said.

Not exactly.

Tuesday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s video: Jackson not the only one to forget about the mic (Warning: the language in this may be objectionable to some.)

Here are the headlines in the presidential campaign from the Associated Press:

McCain calls for Afghanistan surge

Obama says policy for war in Iraq not a sound strategy for keeping US safe

DNC chief to embark on Southern bus tour, hoping to register voters to turn Dixie Democratic

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura says he’s not running for Senate, citing family concerns
———
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
John McCain meets with voters in Albuquerque, N.M. Barack Obama gives a speech on foreign policy in Washington. Michelle Obama campaigns with Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire Thursday in Seattle.
———
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Weve alienated ourselves from the world instead of strengthening our alliances.” — Barack Obama criticizing U.S. policy in Iraq.
———
STAT OF THE DAY
More people would prefer having Democrat Barack Obama at their summer cookout than Republican John McCain — 52 percent to 45 percent, according to recent Associated Press-Yahoo News poll.

Friday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s video: An ad that’s fun, but probably not that effective. After all, what’s it really about?

House Democrats reserve nearly $35 million worth of TV ads in hopes of gains in Nov. elections

German govt. says Obama visit being worked out, quiet on possible Brandenburg Gate speech

McCain’s Vietnam cellmate a longtime supporter of GOP candidate — and a foe of Democrats

———
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Barack Obama discusses energy with voters in Dayton, Ohio. John McCain focuses on the economic challenges that women in business faces at a town-hall meeting in Hudson, Wis.
———
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I made it clear to him and everybody else, I never worked for anybody in my life. I got here when I was 29. I never had a boss. I don’t know how I’d handle it.” — Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., on whether Barack Obama or his team had approached him about the No. 2 spot on the Democratic ticket.
———
STAT OF THE DAY
Some 39 percent of voters called themselves Democratic, 29 percent Republican, and 32 percent independent in AP-Yahoo News poll taken last month.

Gov money update

About a week ago, the gubernatorial campaigns jousted a bit over who raised the most money — and how — during the month of June. Seems the advantage goes to Chris Gregoire, thanks to a big assist from the state Democratic Party.

As recounted in Spin Control 2.0 at the time, Dino Rossi’s campaign started it off with a self-congratulatory announcement that they had pulled in at least $683,000 as of June 29, and expected to hit about $700k when they got around to counting the take from the final day. Chris Gregoire’s campaign was only reporting $494,000 for the month.

Big victory for Dino, they suggested.

Wait a minute, the Gregoire campaign countered. We’ve picked up $720,000 in June, “with late-month counting as yet incomplete. Contributions are already beginning to come in for the July 17 fundraiser with Michelle Obama,” spokesman Aaron Toso said.

He also cast aspersions on the Rossi campaign’s ability to keep track of money.

That prompted a retort from Rossi spokeswoman…

Thursday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s video: Religiosity affects presidential preference

Rich Roesler is following the back and forth between the Gregoire and Rossi campaigns over videos, and videotaping, at Eye On Olympia.

Here are the headlines in the presidential campaign from The Associated Press:
Obama stresses equal pay, child care in appeal to women who had backed Hillary Clinton

Obama shrugs off crude remark by Jesse Jackson, accepts apology

Bonus video 1: What did Jackson say?


Bonus video 2: What did he have to say about it later?

AFL-CIO recruiting military veterans in its ranks to work against McCain’s presidential bid

To read the stories behind these headlines, click here and scroll down.
———
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Barack Obama attended a breakfast fundraiser for women with Hillary Rodham Clinton in New York. He then discusses the economy with voters in Fairfax, Va. John McCain meets with workers and undecided voters in Belleville, Mich.
———
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
“I’m grateful for all of you who have come together. I know you’ll be there in November.” — Hillary Rodham Clinton, as she introduced her former presidential primary rival, Barack Obama, at a “Women for Obama” breakfast fundraiser.
———
STAT OF THE DAY
A recent AP-Yahoo News poll shows that 15 percent of the electorate — people who call themselves moderates and aren’t solidly supporting a candidate — make up the persuadable middle.

Tuesday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s video: Word association with McCain & Obama

Bush to Murray: Thanks for the asparagus Read about it here

Wash. Biz leaders for McCain. Read about it here.

Here are today’s headlines in the presidential campaign from The Associated Press:

McCain, Obama offer plans for Hispanic voters to achieve prosperity (Gallup poll says Obama leads among Hispanics. Click here for more details.)

Obama proposes changing bankruptcy laws to help military, others

Obama denies he’s revising liberal views to woo centrist voters

Democrats seek voter input for party platform

Pet owners find McCain more appealing than the petless Obama

For the stories behind these headlines, click here and scroll down.
———
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Barack Obama spoke to voters in Powder Springs, Ga., before he was to address the League of United Latin American Citizens’ convention in Washington. John McCain spoke to the League of United Latin American Citizens’ convention in Washington.
———
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“From an image standpoint, nothing humanizes a candidate more than seeing him lovingly dote on his pet or toss a ball around on the White House lawn.” — American Kennel Club spokeswoman Lisa Peterson.
———
DAILY STATS
Barack Obama is running about even nationally with John McCain — 46 percent to 44 percent — among registered voters in the presidential race, according to the latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update. Fifty percent of those surveyed in a recent AP-Yahoo News poll viewd McCain favorably, while 40 percent saw him unfavorably. Obama was seen favorably by 49 percent and unfavorably by 44 percent.

Biz leaders for McCain

John McCain’s campaign this week announced a new group of supporters it calls Washington Small Business Leaders for McCain.

The group is so big it has 34 chairmen/women. Or maybe that’s just a sign of great leadership…they don’t seem to have any members who aren’t chairmen or chairwomen.

It would be even more impressive hadn’t misspelled the name of one of the two chairwomen from Spokane.

Monday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s video: Obama beating McCain among Hispanics

Bonus Poll: Zogby says Obama way ahead in Electoral College. Click here for details.

Are you a Republican or a Democrat? For those who aren’t sure, take the test by clicking here.

Here are today’s headlines in the presidential campaign from The Associated Press:

Obama’s plane makes safe, unscheduled landing in St. Louis

AP-Yahoo News poll: More than ever, public sees Obama as agent of change, McCain as just old … Obama blames Washington for country’s economic woes

Acknowledging economic woes, McCain touts plan to create jobs, help workers

Obama will hold acceptance speech at Invesco Field at Mile High

For more details on the headlines, click here and scroll down.———
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
John McCain holds town hall meeting in Denver.
Barack Obama has a scheduled stop in North Carolina.
———
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I think it’s important we send the rest of the world a message that we’re taking ourselves in a new direction away from the Bush administration.” — Rachel Ferdaszewski, 26, an independent from Tacoma, Wash., who is leaning toward Democrat Barack Obama.
———
STAT OF THE DAY
John McCain raised $21 million in May and had $31.6 million in the bank. The figures place him virtually on same financial footing as Barack Obama.

Left wing, right wing or middle of the bird?

Many people know whether they’re Republicans or Democrats.

They’ve always been a Republican (or Democrat). They’re father was always a Republican. Their grandfather was always a Republican. Their great-grandfather was a…Whig? Free Soil Nebraskan?

Whatever.

But other people aren’t so sure, or so committed.

For them, we offer a test to help point the way.

Click to take the test.

Registering a concern

Secretary of State Sam Reed asked Washington’s congressional delegation Thursday to make sure veterans will receive any assistance they need registering to vote, but a spokeswoman for the VA Medical Center in Spokane said local veterans get that help.

Reed said he was concerned that a Veterans Affairs Department directive issued in May warns . . .

Thursday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s video: Generic Dems beating Generic Reps

Here are the headlines in the presidential campaign from The Associated Press:
Kind of blue — Obama hopes to flip Republican red states

McCain to meet Mexican president on Thursday at end of Latin American trip

Obama, McCain competing for the center, an elusive, disengaged yet crucial crowd
———
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting with veterans in Fargo, N.D. John McCain meets with Mexican President Felipe Calderon and holds a news conference in Mexico City.
———
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The center of the American electorate — moderates, independents and ticket splitters — is an amalgam of disparate interests with the following commonality: all are a few points from the ideological center of the country, and they tend to be fiscally conservative and socially tolerant.” — Greg Strimple, a Republican pollster in New York
———
STAT OF THE DAY
Democrat Barack Obama reported spending $26.6 million in May. His heaviest spending was on advertising — more than $4 million was spent buying time for television commercials.

Wednesday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s video: Is Bush a help or hurt to McCain?

Bonus videos: Want to see more on the debate over Wesley Clark’s comments on John McCain? Click here


Here are the headlines in the presidential campaign from The Associated Press:
McCain to tour Colombian drug interdiction efforts, says illegal drugs a major challenge

With Obama atop Dem ticket, candidates from Mississippi to Wisconsin use race as wedge issue

GOP Sen. Cochran says McCain roughed up a Sandinista on diplomatic visit to Nicaragua in 1987

AP-Yahoo News poll: More would invite Obama than McCain to barbecue; Public cool to Michelle, doesn’t know Cindy

———
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Barack Obama campaigns in Colorado Springs, Colo.
John McCain holds an informal news conference in Cartagena, Colombia.
———
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Mitt Romney is a great person and he’s done a great job for us and we’re really pleased at the cooperation and help that he’s given us and he won millions of Republican votes so there will be a big place for him in the Republican party in the future, but obviously we’re not talking about specific candidates.” — John McCain on Romney as a potential running mate.
———
STAT OF THE DAY
Hillary Rodham Clinton, who bowed out of the Democratic contest on June 7, had $3.4 million cash on hand left for primary spending, according to her May fundraising reports. She also had more than $23 million for the general election, money her campaign cannot use.

Larry Craig sticking up for marriage

When Sen. Larry Craig said he wasn’t going to resign his seat, he promised to continue working hard for issues he’s championed all these years.

In other words, he wasn’t changing his stance on those things, just because his stance in another setting … or another sitting … caused him some legal grief.

So it’s probably no surprise that last week he signed on to cosponsor a Constitutional Amendment declaring marriage as being between a man and a woman.

Tuesday’s quickie political briefing

Today’s video: The whole clip of Clark on “Face the Nation”

Here are today’s headlines in the presidential campaign from The Associated Press:

Clark: McCain comments were his own

Obama announces support and expansion for Bush’s faith based programs

McCain to visit Colombia, Mexico to show support for free trade


———
THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL
Barack Obama campaigns at Eastside Community Ministry in Zanesville, Ohio. John McCain holds an informal news conference in Cartagena, Colombia.
———
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“John McCain as a young officer demonstrated courage and character. But the service as president is about judgment. And the experience that he had as a fighter pilot isn’t the same as having been at the highest levels of the military and having to make — work with the president and other heads of state and make those kinds of life or death decisions about national, strategic issues.” — Ret. Army Gen. Wesley Clark
———
STAT OF THE DAY
Seventy-six percent of the people contacted in an AP-Ipsos survey in June said the country was on the wrong track. That’s up from 71 percent in April and 66 percent near the end of 2007.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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