1. Ed Kilgore argues that the conservative campaign to tar George W. Bush as a weak, big-spending apostate may now be backfiring:
Five months into the Obama administration, and after weeks of steady Republican hammering of the president as a big spender, only 6% of Americans primarily blame Obama for the budget situation, while 46% primarily blame George W. Bush. (Another 21% percent blame "Democrats in Congress," while seven percent blame "Republicans in Congress" and 13% blame everybody). We don’t have crosstabs on this poll just yet, but the number is so low that you have to figure that relatively few rank-and-file Republicans blame Obama for the level of deficits, despite the energetic efforts of their leaders in Washington to do just that. That's the "bit of a puzzle." ...
But I have a more plausible theory: the vast torrent of words that Republican politicians and activists have uttered since November attributing their 2008 and 2006 defeats on Bush’s “abandonment” or “betrayal” of “conservative fiscal principles” are having the perverse effect of insulating Barack Obama from blame for big deficits, even among Republicans.
Good point, Ed Kilgore!
2. This story in the Onion had me in tears:
PHOENIX—Saying that it is time for change to come to Arizona, President Barack Obama on Tuesday formally announced that he will run for Senate against John McCain in the 2010 election. ...
The key thing we learned in 2008 is that McCain is beatable," campaign manager David Plouffe said. "And our goal is to continue to exploit that, whether he is running for the Senate, mayor of Phoenix, or board president at an assisted living facility."
Obama has continued to keep pressure on McCain for months, most notably by befriending the senator's closest war compatriots, becoming a frequent commenter on daughter Meghan McCain's blog, writing a best-selling book entitled The One And Only House I Own, and sending flowers to McCain's wife on her birthday and anniversary.
Obama even made history in May by coauthoring the Obama-Feingold Act, a bill the president said "vastly improves" upon previous groundbreaking campaign finance legislation. ...
Using the nearly $30 million in campaign fundraising leftover from his presidential bid, Obama has mobilized a massive grassroots movement on a scale never before seen in a Senate race. More than 400,000 volunteers have flooded Arizona since his announcement, and nearly 350 Obama campaign offices have opened throughout the state.