Monday, June 9, 2008

McCain's manager sizes up his guy's chances

I like the "Strategy Briefing" video that John McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, has put up on the McCain site. It's well produced, and Davis offers some good, honest analysis of his candidate's strengths and weaknesses compared to Obama's. It is a stretch, though, to say say that California should be watched "closely." According to Clear Politics's survey of five California polls, McCain is behind Obama 50.8 to 38.2. And, as the Los Angeles Times noted -- thank you, Mickey Kaus -- Obama is beating McCain 62 to 29 among registered Latinos in California, based on a new Gallup Poll summary of surveys. Davis is also reaching when he says Connecticut shows a "strong potential to become an upset state." With three polls between February and May giving Obama a 51.3 to 37.7 lead, where's the potential? Yes, Democrat-turned-independent Sen. Joe Lieberman has endorsed McCain, but it's fanciful to think that Lieberman, who soundly beat a Democrat in 2006, can produce a halo effect in this year's presidential race.

While we're talking about the McCain site, it's trying to make hay out of Obama's appointment of Jim Johnson, former CEO of Fannie Mae, to lead his vice presidential search committee, suggesting Johnson is tied up in the subprime mortgage mess through connections with poster-boy bad lender Countrywide. But Mark Halperin, in his The Page on the Time magazine site, knocks that suggestion down as "overblown."

Come to think of it, not so long ago Rick Davis was being tar-brushed for, according to a Washington Post story, helping to "arrange an introduction in 2006 between McCain and a Russian billionaire whose suspected links to anti-democratic and organized-crime figures are so controversial that the U.S. government revoked his visa."

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