Political Animal


October 12, 2012 1:39 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

So shortly after I decided to “adopt” the Bay Area teams in the MLB post-season, the Giants made the cut but the A’s didn’t. And while I’m not an obsessive Yankee-hater like so many folk out there, I was an Orioles fan in the Earl Weaver era, so hope the Birds can prevail later today.

Here’s some mid-day news morsels:

* So you thought Biden was “aggressive” last night? Check out video from Sherman-Berman debate in California. And both these guys are Democrats. Thanks a lot, Top Two system!

* Salon’s Irin Carmon notes that last night’s discussion of abortion policy was light on references to women and their rights.

* RCP’s Sean Trende runs numbers and suggests a one-in-three chance of a divergence between the popular vote and electoral vote winner if the margin is under one percent. At this point, Obama more likely to be the beneficiary.

* But—Jon Chait reminds us that Republicans have enormous built-in advantages in congressional elections, at least for next eight years.

* Latest Gallup daily tracking has Obama approval rating back down to 50%, with Romney holding two-point lead in 7-day-rolling average w/ LVs.

And in non-political news:

* Microsoft said to be moving into hardware business, impatient with partners’ handling of post-PC environment.

Back after I appear on KCRW’s “To the Point,” with Karen Tumulty and others.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • FriscoSF on October 12, 2012 1:43 PM:

    WHAT is the Romney-Ryan SECRET PLAN to Cut the Deficit ?
    WHAT is the Romeny-Ryan SECRET PLAN to Balance the Budget ?
    WHAT is the Romeny-Ryan SECRET PLAN to 'Reform' the Tax Code ?
    WHAT is the Romney-Ryan SECRET PLAN to secure the Libyan embassy ??

    And WHY are ALL the Romney-Ryan plans SECRET ???????

    It's kind of like trying to find Bush's WMDs

  • mb on October 12, 2012 1:57 PM:

    Personally, I'd almost like to see Obama win the EC but lose the popular vote. I think it'd be the surest way to get rid of the EC. It'll also be interesting to watch the right react. I say "almost" because I'm afraid for what that means down ballot. I'd still rather see a huge popular victory for Obama since that would bode well down ballot.

    But I sure would like to see the EC done away with.

    The Friday before the 2000 election, there was some speculation that Bush would win the pop vote but lose the EC. Limbaugh assured his listeners (I was one, though hardly a 'dittohead') that "we've got a strategy for dealing with that." Of course, the exact opposite happened and the guy everybody wanted to have a beer with turned out to lose the actual popularity contest, but I have always wondered what the rightwing response would be to losing in the EC while winning the pop vote. Somehow, I don't think they are going to go quietly.

  • punaise on October 12, 2012 2:06 PM:

    Lifelong Giants fan here. What an epic comeback that was!

    Tough to see the A's come up short in the end (against a very formidable Verlander), but props to the lads for their incredible run.

  • T2 on October 12, 2012 2:17 PM:

    looking at Poll Tracker at TPM, and other polls, if Obama doesn't get a bounce out of the next two debates, he'll be set up to lose both popular and EC votes. I'm beginning to wonder if a lot of white people voted for Obama to "prove" they weren't racists, and given the second chance, go back to white guy presidents. I'll be glad to hear other reasons why such a chunk jumped at the chance to dump Obama just because he had a bad debate (while promoting the right policies).

  • Paula Fitzgerald on October 12, 2012 3:06 PM:

    Hi there -

    Baseball, not politics.

    I lived in Baltimore from 1972 to 1977. My last two years there I lived directly across the street from Memorial Stadium. Sitting down to dinner in the evening, you could hear batting practice across the street, and decide to dump dinner and race across to street to the game if you wanted to.

    Seeing the O's back in the race again after so many fallow years is such a delight. They haven't made it look easy, but at least they are still hanging in there. But another overtime is going to try my heart.

    How nice to learn that a political voice I've come to admire is also a Bird's fan.


  • TCinLA on October 12, 2012 3:39 PM:

    Thanks a lot, Top Two system!

    Anything that gets Past-His-Sell-By-Date Howard Berman out of office is a Good Thing.

    I've been around California politics a bit longer than you, Ed (maybe even before you were born), and yes, Democrats owe Howard Berman a Lifetime Thank You for his herculean efforts in working to create the Watts-Westside-Labor coalition that finally kicked the Los Angeles Republicans in the teeth 40 years ago and turned Los Angeles blue. But sadly, Berman has become the guy he campaigned against when he first ran for Congress: a creature of the Beltway whose primary allegiance is to Israel Uber Alles and AIPAC and to whatever corporation trolls a $100 bill in front of him and offers him a ride in a corporate jet. That shit may still play over on the West Side, and maybe even in pockets of Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Tarzan and Woodland Hills, in the neighborhoods "South of The Boulevard" (Ventura Blvd.) but he isn't in the West Side anymore and it doesn't play North of the Boulevard in the rest of the district. Howard has forgotten his roots and gone as stale as month-old matzoh.

    Brad Sherman, who got his start working for Berman, works damn hard to represent the interests of all his ethnically-diverse district. As someone who worked in professional politics and knows what "constituent services" is supposed to mean, he does that pretty much better than any other California congresscritter.

    Berman's campaign is so morally bankrupt that this past weekend they had gangs out driving through the district tearing up Sherman yard signs. That's a sure sign of the panther sweat of defeat foretold.

    So if it took "Top Two" to get rid of this over-the-hill Washington Troll, so be it. One less "DLC Democrat" to have to retire "with extreme prejudice."

    And yes, we all owe him a debt of gratitude for kicking Sam Yorty in the balls and then stomping him when he was down, but he's as out of touch as Tom Bradley was at the end of his run.

  • CharlieM on October 12, 2012 3:40 PM:


    MSFT has tried to enter hardware market in the past. Still have sitting on the shelf next to me an original MSFT CPM Card and OS disk for AppleII+ (vintage circa 1981).
    They're like Intel with video controllers. They know how to make the stuff. It's just that other people do it better. And cheaper.
    Expertise in SW doesn't qualify as expertise in HW. Anymore than expertise in CPUs equals expertise in video controllers. Intel has to keep learning that over and over. Guess it's MSFTs turn atm.

  • Linkmeister on October 12, 2012 4:34 PM:

    The ostensible link to Chait goes to RealClearPolitics. Is that what you had in mind?

  • OKDem on October 12, 2012 10:59 PM:

    " Republicans have enormous built-in advantages in congressional elections, at least for next eight years."

    Texas showed that no reapportionment is fixed for ten years. The states are simply required that the congressional districts must be reapportioned in the year of a census. They are free to reapportion every year.

    Just because a scum sucking bunch of Republican radicals found the loophole does not mean only they can use the loop hole.