Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to All

In what has been a difficult and historic year I was given some great advice today on my Facebook page to take some time off of politics and enjoy some turkey.

So while I am recovering from a handful of boring football games, a couple pounds of turkey, and my mom's incredible stuffing, 17people wants to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving,, with what else?

A West Wing clip that will never grow old for me. Linked it in last year and will probably have it up next year too.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mortgage Story of the Year

Tom Friedman's article today tells a story from a brilliant and stunning article by Michael Lewis, author of one of my favorite books ever Moneyball.

We all have heard stories about how we got into this mess, the following story will do that rare thing of making you laugh and then get angry when you think about it.

Long Beach Financial (then part of now bankrupt WaMu) was moving money out the door as fast as it could, few questions asked, in loans built to self-destruct. It specialized in asking homeowners with bad credit and no proof of income to put no money down and defer interest payments for as long as possible.

In Bakersfield, Calif., a Mexican strawberry picker with an income of $14,000 and no English was lent every penny he needed to buy a house for $720,000.”

Monday, November 24, 2008


There has been a lot in recent weeks that I have not written about but today there is something that really irked me.

Read this morning that the US Treasury is infusing $20billion to Citigroup. This is on top of $25billion that the government has already given to Citigroup. So Citigroup has received $45billion worth of welfare from the US taxpayer. Read the 1st line of the article above and you will see what is even worse is that we the people have insured $300billion worth of Citigroups assets.

What really, really makes me mad is that Citigroup got this additional money after they announced last week that they would cut 52,000 jobs.

Thats right, after Citigroup announced that they would fire 52,000 people, the Treasury Department decided to reward them with $20billion.

This disgusts me.

Where is the congressional hearing and oversight?

Where is the Citigroup CEO to rake over the coals the way Congress did to the Big 3 automakers last week?

I implore Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd who told us that the 'Bailout' had 'oversight' in it, to do their job and excercise some damn oversight.

The double standard in our country right now really worries me. The Big 3 Automakers employ a lot more people directly and indirectly than Citigroup does.

But we have limited outrage that when looking at the number the Big 3 have asked for 55% of what Citigroup alone has received thus far in the last 8 weeks. They flew into Washington on Friday and left with $20billion.

Must be nice.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Democrats Lose Their Way

For the past week I have taken a bit of a sabbatical from my writing to run a whip operation to push House Democrats to make a smart decision. My whip operation did not yield the result I worked for though.

Today is a low point for 17people and the US House of Representatives. The House Democrats replaced the Great John Dingell as the Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee with Henry Waxman.

17People has been emailing and calling Congressional Democrats for the past week urging them to support Dingell. My efforts and that of many but it turned out this was not enough as Dingell lost 137-122 in the Democratic Caucus.

This is the kind of move that has to give pragmatic Democrats pause. The entire leadership of the House of Representatives has been taken over by the far left of the caucus. The entire leadership now owes their position to the Speaker of the House and it is worrisome that those who have questioned her have all been removed from power.

I am a liberal and actually to the left of Mr. Dingell on many issues. But that doesn't distort the fact that he is the best man for this job and has been for the past 28 years. No chairman of any committee has passed and written more meaningful legislation than John Dingell and his reward for that was being outflanked by the left wing.

There is no member of Congress I respect more or think would write and manage the best possible legislation that appeals to the widest range of Americans. The Energy and Commerce Committee will be working on with the Obama administration on Health Care, Energy Policy, the 'Green Economy'.

I have learned in my life to try and say as little as possible when I am mad. This will mean I won't have to apologize for more than I need to later. Once I calm down I will write more, but this is it for now,,, this is a bad day for Democrats.

Here's the story from Politico.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kudos to Goldman Sachs?

Every once in a while there is a story where a company or individual does something really good and they deserve credit for it.

Yes, you read the title correctly. Liberal 17People is giving Goldman Sachs some positive recognition.

Today on the front page of The Wall Street Journal is that rare story where 17People says something nice about Wall Street. That news is that Goldman Sachs, one of the largest investment banks in the world announced that it's top executive will be forgoing their bonuses for 2008.

Now these bonuses aren't like most of us who if we are lucky get an extra paycheck or a few hundred dollars. The CEO of Goldman Sachs got a $70million bonus last year! The next two guys around $68million each. While these numbers are huge you have to credit them for giving up real sacrifice here.

This news comes on the heals of the sickening news that Citi Group is going to layoff
50,000 people in the near future. I wonder if Citi's executives are making the same sacrifice that the Goldman executives are by forgoing their bonuses.

The Journal said around $312billion was paid out in 2007 in Wall Street executive bonuses. So by taking a year to invest that money into their companies,,, would be a way to save jobs and show the public they are serious about change.

If the leadership of more companies take responsible steps like this I think we will be able to bounce out of this economic mess faster than by having executives continue to put their own self interests ahead of their employees.

Despite the fact that I view Goldman as one of the companies who had responsibility in getting us into this financial mess, 17People gives them our highest compliments for this decision.

Their decision does two important things, it shows the public that someone on Wall Street can do something to be responsible and more importantly puts the pressure on other banks to do the same.

How can other investment banks take huge bonuses upon the heals of this stunning example of corporate responsibility? Hopefully it means they can't.

17People One Year Anniversary

A year ago I started this blog after watching a Democratic Debate with 9 Presidential Candidates on stage. The direction of 17people has changed based on my moods, interests, and tolerance for the politics.

There have been a dorkish number of references to the West Wing, a handful of movie reviews, a small number of personal stories, a brief arc on my fitness/weight loss regimen, and about five episodes of writers bloc or as I like to refer to it 'writers self loathing' (the most recent bout which ended last week).

17people is no question a left leaning blog and will continue to push progressive ideas and battle conservative stances and candidates I disagree with. As a result of this we have lost some Republican readers over the year. 17People has tried its best to also call out the left and show respect to the right and will make this a big goal of our second year.

This first year was a learning year and hopefully as time goes on some of those Republican readers will come back and argue their points here.

It's ironic that some Republicans have stopped reading my blog considering that in my personal life, most of my friends are,,, strong Republicans. 17People has learned the hard way that it is harder to show understanding and respect for other viewpoints when I write about politics than when I discuss politics.

A smile, a wink, voice inflection are not as easy to decipher in a blog post than in a conversation.

As happy as I am that Democrats control the government this blog will give them no free pass in the year to come. 17People will be a watchdog and if President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, or Leader Reid fail to deliver for the American people, this blog will call them out.

Most importantly,,, 17People wants to thank the loyal readers of this blog for pushing, reminding, and inspire me to keep writing even when I don't want to. Without their support and encouragement 17People could have ended long ago.

Finally, a give away to the sometimes readers of 17People. There are two little known facts about this blog that I get asked all the time which I will attempt to answer here.

Because of a lack of personal confidence,, I have done almost nothing to promote 17People. Think I emailed it out to about 10 people when I started and have not let many more people know since then. So when people ask how many readers I have,,, the answer is I don't know, but maybe as I believe in my writing a bit more I will push 17People to more outlets.

The second and more often asked question is '17People'? What the heck does that mean?

As stated earlier this blog derives a lot of content from my all time favorite television show The West Wing. Went through a lot of ideas and possibilities and came across a clip on YouTube I thought dealt with telling the truth, and more appropriately,,, telling truth to power.

The West Wing was an amazing show which did more than entertain, it educated. It made complex issues a little easier to understand. While 17People the blog will never be as smart as the writing of Aaron Sorkin, that is what I strive to give to my readers.

17People will alert readers to stories and opinions that you may not hear everywhere and to try and explain some issues in terms that are a little easier to understand.

17People, The West Wing episode, was to me about accountability and the pains of telling the truth and why I chose it as the episode to base the title of my blog.

The clip is below, the words are Aaron Sorkins, and they are brilliantly performed by President Bartlet (Martin Sheen), Communications Director Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff), and Chief of Staff Leo McGarry (the great John Spencer).

President Bartlet has just told Toby that he concealed the fact that he has Multiple Sclerosis from the country and his staff.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Stop Talking

Yesterday, 17people essentially pleaded with Sarah Palin to not overdo her interview schedule before she was able to have a clear and coherent message.

Then last night, Jon Stewart showed what I was trying to accomplish in the brilliant Daily Show clip above.

First of all, if she is trying to connect to 'regular Joe Six Pack Americans' how many of them where high heels and a suit coat while they are cooking chili dogs (check around the 2:36-3:48 mark).

Then at the 4:00 mark of the above piece, Stewart illustrated what I was warning about when it comes to a consistent message. These interviews have absolutely no consistency and when looking at them together, they just get even more ridiculous,, something that given the beating her reputation took, she can ill afford.

The worse part for Palin is that in the interviews thus far have been all about Palin.

I don't blame Palin for this, I blame the interviewers who are obsessed with the 'soap opera' that has become Palin's political existence. They only ask her about clothes, her daughters pregnancy, and moose chili dogs. All 'fluff' topics that do nothing to make people think she is a more serious person who has a political future.

17people hates to say 'I told you so' but this is exactly what I warned about yesterday. Many have to be like me who have been feeling bad for Palin about the awful leaks that have come out against her. She had an opportunity to hit back and make herself look good or even play the 'victim card'.

Instead she came out swinging wildly and today instead of Sarah Palin beginning a comeback in the eyes of the country she is making herself more of a national punchline, as opposed to establishing herself as a respected national figure.

The below clip is from an obvious liberal partisan, but it again illustrates the problems that Palin is creating for herself with this whirlwind of an undisciplined media tour. While often Olbermann stretches things to go after Republicans,, Palin made his job very easy as you can see.

3 Votes

Today the lead on the Alaska Senate race has spread to an 814 vote lead for Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich over incumbent Ted Stevens.

But maybe the coolest story of the election year was reported last night.

After 41,000 absentee and early votes were counted yesterday Begich took the lead over Stevens through the first 250,000 votes.

That lead,, was 3 votes!!

Not 300, 3000, but 3 votes.

We often think that our votes don't matter, but for one news cycle, until the 814 vote spread hit this morning,, we saw how much our votes really do count.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

17People Predictions Breakdown

After an awful year of misreading polls and making predictions that did not come true in primary after primary,,, 17people redeemed itself by nailing the Presidential election only missing two states and 6 electoral votes. 17people said Obama would get 370 electoral votes (he ended up with 364) and 53% of the vote (he ended up with 52.6%), and said he would win by 6 million votes (ok I underestimated, he won by 8.3million).

If not for overestimating the impact of the Obama ad buys in North Dakota and Montana,,, I'd be the blog being talked about instead of Nate Silvers awesome

In 17people's Senate predictions it is too early to tell on my call of 60 which remains a possibility. I stupidly forgot to put the Mississippi Senate race on my battleground list, but would have given it to incumbent Republican Roger Wicker, though I would have said that it would be closer than it was.

17people correctly called easy races in Virginia, New Mexico, and Colorado. Called tougher races in North Carolina, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Oregon, and for a Republican in Kentucky. Also correctly called the runoff in Georgia which will get plenty of coverage over the next month.

As for the two other undecided races in Alaska and Minnesota.

Am genuinely surprised that Alaska is still leaning for convicted felon Ted Stevens. The polls at the end were between 10 and 22 points against Stevens, so something doesn't feel quite right in Alaska. But with 90,000 absentee and provisional ballots to be counted, maybe Alaska can redeem itself and fire Ted Stevens before the US Senate does.

As for Minnesota I wrote last Tuesday it was "the toughest race of the year in Minnesota" and the 200 vote spread with a recount coming,,, proved that out. Minnesota proved to be a state that baffles. Jesse Ventura was an eccentric, if not very bad Governor, Paul Wellstone was one of the most progressive Senators, and this year they reelected the crazy Michelle Bachman.

Perhaps only in Minnesota could Al Franken, unapologetic liberal with a career of politically damaging statements is still a possibility to become that states Senator.

Now I predicted a 33 seat gain for Democrats in the House and missed the boat on that as more endangered Republicans survived than I thought.

The Dems have picked up 20 seats in the House so far with a chance for maybe 4 more which is a big gain, just two years after winning 20+ seats. The Democrats have more than a 75 vote advantage meaning they have much more power than either party has had in some time.

After picking like Mush from "A Bronx Tale" for most of the year, 17people is relieved to have come back with a vengeance this General Election.

Sarah Palin?

I think that the leaks coming from the McCain campaign about Sarah Palin are disgraceful. The finger pointing and attempts by the 'senior aides' and 'unnamed sources' to tear down Sarah Palin has been baffling to me for the past three weeks, since before the election.

When I worked in politics I heard stories about many high profile people in the Democratic party,,, but to send an anonymous email to Drudge or go 'off the record' to a reporter was something you don't do. Even tell all books like All Too Human by George Stephanopoulos about the Clinton years are looks at as betrayals of your code.

This flood of attacks has to be behind the decision by Palin and her team to overdo the talk show circuit this week.

  • Monday Night she had an interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News
  • Tuesday Morning she was on the Today Show with Matt Lauer in Alaska
  • Today she'll be in The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer
  • Tonight she will be on Larry King.
It's fair for Palin to take advantage of her new found celebrity, especially if you have future political ambitions like she does. Yet she is not going on with a plan or a specific message, she's going in with just her thoughts.

When Bill Clinton was on Larry King, Letterman, The Daily Show, etc, he was on to talk about his Global Initiative. If you turned on any of them you would have heard almost the same thing and he got his message across clearly. Palin in her first two interviews has been all over the place in her answers to questions, which leads me to believe she's winging it and that means she has no recipe for success.

Let's be honest if we saw one thing in the campaign,,, Sarah Palin is at her weakest when she is on the spot talking a wide arrange issues with a tough interviewer.

While Van Susteren is a friendly lead off, the follow up interviewers are not going to be cupcakes. Even Larry King has been hard on Palin. Watch her past interviews,,, she has a hard time delivering a consistent message, and the more she talks on issues that she doesn't know, the more trouble she gets herself into.

Her best impromptu performance was at the debate which was still tough to watch, but she didn't have follow up questions like she will this week.

Instead of taking some time to develop a clear message or game plan to roll herself out post campaign, Palin is heading out blind. Watch this clip and ignore the guy mocking Sarah Palin afterwards.

The one question that Palin will be asked in every interview is if she will run for President in 2012. The answer she gave in the answer above showed she wasn't even ready to answer that question which is unbelievable to me.

There are many mistakes that we make in our professional lives. Celebrities have a tendency to fall into the trap of overexposure, Politicians often suffer when they lack a consistent message, and in everyday jobs or in school we all know how awful it is to be unprepared is.

Sarah Palin can answer D to the mistakes above,, as in 'all of the above' in her post election roll out.

She may come out of this week with better numbers than she had before, but her early interviews are going to do what her Gibson and Couric interviews did during the campaign. Inspire the Right Wing to like her and the rest of the country to roll their eyes at her.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One Week Later

So after attending the historic Obama Election Night Rally in Grant Park I went into a bit of a writing and personal funk. I started article after article and then one of two things happened. I read something that was exactly as I was writing, or more to the point I hated my writing.
I also asked that awful question.... what if I still worked in politics?

The three regular readers of this blog know these funks come upon me every eight weeks or so and this one could not have come at a worse time for a political blog. To hit a spell of writers depression right after an election that you have been obsessing about for over a year?

Awful timing.

That said 17people will be coming back with a new style of shorter and more frequent links and posts to follow the transition of power and the stories of the Congress.

Yet I can't go forward without writing about the experience and feelings at Grant Park and in Chicago last Tuesday night.

How many ways can you say something was amazing or historic? The rally on Tuesday was a high that is almost impossible to quantify in any appropriate way.

Grant Park and the streams of people flooding the streets of Chicago afterwards was like nothing I have ever seen or can imagine ever seeing again.

The moments and experiences were many for me:
  • Taking pictures with strangers in the L station because of wearing a 'Yes We Can' shirt
  • The explosion of cheering in Bar Louie when MSNBC projected Pennsylvania for Obama
  • The buzz in line to get in the rally when news of Ohio hit
  • The eruption of the crowd when Virginia was called for Obama once we were in the rally
  • The boos when states were called for McCain (Like people expected Louisiana to go to Obama? lol)
  • The sheer joy and jubilation of men and women of so many backgrounds with tears coming down their faces (myself included) upon hearing CNN project Barack Obama President
  • The respect shown and continued tears during the incredibly gracious and 'Patriotic' speech of John McCain
  • Then the image of our next President delivering yet another amazing piece of oratory.
  • The incredible pride and feeling of walking down the middle of the Magnificent Mile in Chicago seeing the vast array of people celebrating a political victory.

There were two things that really hit me.

First, this wasn't a city celebrating a Super Bowl or an NBA Championship. This was people celebrating a political victory. What was more amazing was that it was not just Chicago,, it was many places all over the country. We looked like a country celebrating a revolution or freedom, more than a new President.

The second thing is more personal to me and I would guess many others who have been battled on the ground across the country for the past 8+ years.

A sense of vindication.

Not just because of Obama won, but because the country reaffirmed its vote in the midterm elections two years ago. The voters rather convincingly denounced the eight years of President Bush, neo-conservatism, and most importantly did it at the voting booth and not just in 'opinion polls'.

Too many forget that questioning President Bush wasn't always easy and certainly not as popular as it has been the past 3 years.

For many of us, for quite a few years, dissent from this President on things like tax cuts, the Patriot Act, out of control spending, the Iraq War, etc. was denounced as 'Anti-American' and in some circles labeled even worse.

It felt as though in 2000, 2002, and 2004 no matter how 'right' we may have been or thought we were on issues,,, the Bush-Rove operation kicked our ass in elections.

Having good candidates, or a vision for the country doesn't work if you don't control any aspects of the government. At some point,,, you have to win,, and as a Democrat and Cubs fan,, it was a nice feeling to finally win one.

It started in 2006 when the country saw through the myth that was 'Compassionate Conservatism' and the evidence we have today is a 57+ seats in the Senate, 258+ seats in the House of Representatives, and a progressive Northerner from Chicago in the White House.
Democracy in this country works and if the Democrats can't lead the country in the years to come,, then democracy will fire them in the near future.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

17People Election Night

17People had planned to live blog this evening throughout the night.

However thanks to the best sister around I will be attending the rally in Grant Park for Barack Obama this evening. When she first asked me to go I declined because I thought it would be better to watch the coverage at home.

But I received some great advice this weekend from one of my best friends in politics who said,


(If he reads this,,,,, ok, it wasn't in capital letters but for an understated person it came off that way,, lol)

So for those of you that know me, keep an eye out for me in Grant Park, and for those of you who read this blog,,, I will have a full report for you tomorrow.

And a last second plea, if you read this blog or just came across it for the 1st time today, please get out and vote before the polls close.

17People Congressional Predictions


There has been a lot of talk this year about the Democrats getting to 60 Senate Seats after this election. Here is what to watch for this evening.

First the Democrats should pick up four very easy Senate seats in Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, and Alaska. While these should be easy wins, Alaska due to Ted Stevens conviction, three of the Senators being replaced are legendary Republicans. John Warner (VA), Ted Stevens (AK), and Pete Domenici (NM) were easy wins every six years for Republicans so losing these seats is a major power shift.

Those four seats take the Dems to 55 seats and are pretty much locked in my humble opinion unless something crazy happens in Alaska because of Palin being on the ticket,,, who said Stevens should resign.

The next three seats I think favor Dems and feel strongly that they will win against three incumbent Republicans.

- Jeanne Shaheen is up nearly 10 points on the RCP average against Senator John Sununu. I think Sununu is a good Senator but is stuck in the wrong election cycle and Shaheen is a former Governor and very good candidate.
- In Oregon, State House Speaker Jeff Merckley is up 5.3 points according to RCP averages against Gordon Smith. This is a seat Dems didn't think they had a good chance at and Merckley was not their first choice to run, but he should pull this one out on the coattails of Barack Obama who is up 15+ points in Oregon.
- The tightest of these three is in North Carolina where Elizabeth Dole is very surprisingly in trouble. Up until the past week I thought Dole would pull this race out, but with the Obama campaign Get Out the Vote Operation being so strong and a controversial TV ad that backfired it would be surprising if challenger Kay Hagan doesn't pull this one out.

So if these 7 seats go Democratic they will be at 58 seats and have there will be four races left to determine the outcome.

The Democrats have one seat that isn't locked down and that is in Louisiana where Senator Mary Landrieu is in a usual competitive race. The past 4 polls there have Landrieu up 17, 13, 10, and 19 and above 50% in all of them. Being above 50% is key because if she wins with 49% then she will have to compete in a runoff. But Landrieu should hold her seat for another term keeping a red southern Senate seat in the Democrat column.

So that leaves three races to really watch this evening. Two are in very red states that few thought would be in play.

- First though is the toughest race of the year in Minnesota with Al Franken and incumbent Norm Coleman. The parties and Senate Committees have poured more resources into this race that any other. I have long been a fan of Frankens humor, but never thought he had much of a chance to really win this seat. But with Obama looking very strong in Minnesota this should help Franken. This which has an independent third candidate polling over 15% will be a very close race decided late into this evening.
- Georgia. Six years ago Saxby Chambliss beat Max Cleland in a race most Democrats still are angry about. This year Democrats never thought they had a chance in as Georgia has skewed more red in the past 20 years. Chambliss has caught a lot of heat for supporting the bailout and challenger Jim Martin is within the margin of error in many polls. If the Atlanta turnout, particularly in the African American districts is 80-90% for Obama then Martin may be able to do one of two things. Either he could upset Chambliss, or force a runoff if Chambliss doesn't get to 50%.
- Kentucky. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is in serious trouble as I wrote last month. The Democrats followed my advice and Bill and Hillary Clinton made multiple trips to support challenger Bruce Lunsford who is within a couple points of the very powerful McConnell. Just as in Georgia the African American turnout could flip this seat. If in the West End of Louisville the turnout is huge Lunsford could shrink the lead of McConnell and win the race.

So how do I think it's going to go? I think Franken wins in Minnesota, Chambliss loses in Georgia, and that McConnell barely hangs onto his seat. I almost see a sweep, but since Obama had a very limited Kentucky effort I think that will save McConnell.

So that means the Dems will be at 60 seats and have to decide if they go to 59 by how they handle Joe Lieberman.


This is where surprises happen. The Dems will surely pick up seats in the area of 15-42 and have benefited from a slew of Republican retirements and stupidity from people like Michelle Bachman and Robin Hayes.

I think that John Murtha will survive in Pennsylvania for the Democrats and that overall they will pick up 33 seats. The one thing that can happen in the house unlike the Senate is a blindside and with an 80% turnout expected in some places there will be a few safe incumbents who are voted out of office tonight.

I can't name them, but I expect it will happen to both parties, but to a few more Republicans than Democrats.

While many people only get interested in Presidential politics I am a geek about the Congress and will be very interested to watch these returns come in to see how they effect both the Senate and Presidential campaign.

Come tomorrow sure I will look stupid once again!

At Long Last- Presidential Predictions

Well at long last the election is here....

As much as I love this stuff like most of America,,,, I am ready for it to end.

Not sure if this is good or not, but for the 1st time in a while I had a good night of sleep and feel pretty confident for Barack Obama.

While 17people has been just awful with political predictions this year,, here is how I think the Presidential election will play out. Have been playing around with the electoral map and while anything is possible see the path to 270 for John McCain as requiring a 'perfect storm' of 11 states or so breaking for him.

That 'perfect storm' has already taken a hit for a simple reason. There aren't a lot of storms as the weather around the country seems to look really nice. Four cities important to Obama vote totals in two states appear to have good weather. Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio both have 60 degree plus weather for all day as does Pittsburgh. The only bump in the weather is some rain in Philadelphia later this evening.

For McCain to win he has to win both Pennsylvania and Ohio. Big turnouts in those four cities make it harder for McCain to win them and he has an uphill climb in Pennsylvania, but I can't call it for Obama because McCain and Palin have worked the state very hard.

Going into this evening 17people has 11 states in the toss up category that count for 141 Electoral Vote. I see Obama with 265 solid electoral votes and McCain with 132 solid electoral votes.

These numbers give Obama Iowa, Colorado, Virginia, and New Mexico but keeps Pennsylvania in the Toss Up Category.

McCain's fringe states in the 132 number include Arkansas and West Virginia, but has Arizona in the Toss Up category.

So the 11 states to watch according to 17people are.

  1. Pennsylvania
  2. Ohio
  3. Florida
  4. North Carolina
  5. Georgia
  6. Indiana
  7. Missouri
  8. North Dakota
  9. Montana
  10. Nevada
  11. Arizona

Of these 11 states McCain leads in the RealClearPolitics Average of polls in 6 states all within the margin of error, and Obama in 4 states (North Dakota has no average I can find). Obama's average in Pennsylvania is up 7.3 which is the biggest of any of these states and up 6.8 in Nevada.

So while not going out on a limb,,,

17people is predicting that Barack Obama will win tonite.

But I do predict a bigger electoral vote total than many others. Last night I almost brought myself to say he would top 400 Electoral votes, but I think that Obama will come up just short in Georgia, Arizona, and either Indiana or Missouri.

So after some contemplation I think that Obama will get 53% of the popular vote and get 370 Electoral votes. I predict a sweep of the big three Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. Also think that of the 11 on the list above he will sneak out wins in Montana (thanks to Ron Paul) and North Dakota, think he will squeeze out a win in Indiana, and will win Nevada.

That gets him to 370 on the dot.

The reason that Democrats have lost the past two elections to George W. Bush is that they were playing on a very small Electoral battlefield. Gore had no room for error, Kerry had no room for error, and this year the candidate with no room for error, is John McCain.

Call it financial resources, the economy, an unpopular war, or an even more unpopular President, but the Democrats played across the a wider range of the country in this election. They put more states in play.

Many criticized the underappreciated Howard Dean 4 years ago for talking about a '50 state strategy' for the DNC. Even more questioned the Obama campaign for going after Indiana, Virginia and North Carolina so hard from the beginning of the race.

In the end the should the Democrats have a big night,,, it will be because for the first time in years they gambled to expand the electoral map.

Again, 17people says 370-168 this evening and Obama will win the popular vote by 6million votes.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Endorsement Politics

Have read some things over the past eight years or so that John McCain and Dick Cheney do not get along so well. Think that Dick Cheney's endorsement of John McCain on this final weekend of the election,,,,, proves it.

Odd Decision by ABC/ESPN

During Monday Night Football tonight on ESPN TV Barack Obama and John McCain will be interviewed at halftime.

This could well be the last national interview before the election tomorrow and Monday Night Football gets a pretty big audience and having Obama and McCain on the night before the election. The interview is taped, but still, it's a pretty big deal.

Probably the last major national audience that either will get so you think that they would give it to a fairly reputable sportscaster.

I thought that they may have the very reputable Bob Ley or Monday Night Football play by play man Mike Tirico.

Who did ESPN/ABC give this interview to?

Chris Berman.

Berman has been with ESPN since it was founded, is a very recognizable sportscaster and probably the most famous on their network. He's a smart guy educated at Brown University, but to say Berman is a clown would be an understatement.

I don't care if the whole interview is about sports or football, but think that putting the potential next President of the United States on TV with Chris Berman when you have so many reputable and serious sports journalists,,, lessens this great opportunity that ESPN had.

The Problem With Voting

Wrote last week that I voted early and waited around two hours to do so.

One thing that piece failed to mention is that while standing in line to vote,, at number of people had to leave because they just couldn't wait. Some had to get to work that night, others had to pick up their kids, and some just probably got frustrated.

Last evening I was reminded of this in a piece by Rachel Maddow. She called the very lengthy lines at polling locations which she called the equivalent of a "New Poll Tax".

What I liked about what she said was that it was a non-partisan comment. Instead of blaming Republicans she used her show to highlight an issue that we don't talk a lot about.

The video below isn't long but it is worth your time.