Posted at 7:19 AM on October 11, 2008
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Welcome to a special "try to stuff the genie back in the bottle" edition of the Digest.
What do we mean? After weeks of running negative ads and questioning their opponent's character, Republican presidential candidate John McCain and GOP Sen. Norm Coleman are trying to "stuff the genie back in the bottle."
McCain was put in the unusual position of defending Democratic rival Barack Obama at a campaign event in Lakeville. It's the first time he's challenged angry crowd outbursts after supporters yelled some questionable things toward Obama earlier in the week.
McCain was booed when he called Obama a decent and respectful man in Lakeville. McCain's action comes after he and his running mate questioned Obama's character and leadership in ads, speeches and in teleconferences. MPR, the Pi Press, Forum Communications, AP and the Star Tribune have stories.
Meanwhile, GOP Sen. Norm Coleman says he'll pull down all of his negative ads and will call on his supporters to do the same. This comes after weeks of ads ripping DFLer Al Franken's time as a comedian and for failing to pay taxes in the right place. MPR, the Pi Press, the Star Tribune, Forum Communications and AP have stories.
Coleman's move is smart politics (even though he said that wasn't why he made the decision). It gets him out of the mud at a time when people are looking for inspiration. It puts DFLer Al Franken on the defensive (since his campaign said they won't pull their spots). It also allows him to say "I told my supporters to pull down those negative ads" even if they continue.
Coleman, Franken and I-P candidate Dean Barkley meet in their second debate tonight. MPR will have live coverage.
Marc Ambinder says the seat is a Likely Flip Democratic.
2008 Race for Congress
Republican Erik Paulsen accuses DFL rival Ashwin Madia of coordinating activities with the DCCC (which has been running ads on Madia's behalf). Coordination is illegal and Madia told Paulsen
he better have greater evidence than that. he better show strong proof.
Meanwhile, the NRCC cancels another week of scheduled ad time for Paulsen and a week for GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann.
All three candidates running in the 3rd will give speeches to the U of M's Humphrey Institute next week.
AP profiles the 1st.
1st District Republican Brian Davis is running another ad.
2008 Race for President
An Alaska panel finds Alaska Governor Sarah Palin abused her power in the firing of a trooper.
Obama campaigned in Ohio on Friday. AP says he's playing it safe since he has a lead in the polls.
Posted at 8:37 AM on October 11, 2008
by Tom Scheck
1) Tonight is the 2nd U.S. Senate debate. Watch for the tone coming from the candidates in light of Norm Coleman's decision to yank his negative ads. If it's civil, there may be polling that shows Americans want to see their candidates work together especially in light of the economy.
2) Does Norm Coleman try to distance himself from the GOP brand? His absence from the McCain rally in Lakeville may be a signal. Does he work to distance himself from a party that could have serious trouble in November?
3) Does Al Franken go on the attack? Will Franken continue to criticize Coleman's relationship with President Bush or does he dial it down a notch with the hopes of attracting Independent minded voters? The country is in a rough spot right now. Voters seem to be looking for a leader who will inspire confidence in the markets, in the country and in government.
4) Does I-P member Dean Barkley try to gain traction among disaffected Democrats, Republcans and independents? How he performs in these debates could determine who wins the election.
5) Watch what Gov. Pawlenty says on Fox News Sunday. Does he increase the fiery rhetoric coming from the McCain campaign regarding ACORN, Ayres and Obama's character? Does he face questions about the partisan tone at McCain's Lakeville rally? A shift in Pawlenty's tone could signal a new strategy moving forward for McCain's campaign.
6) Does Erik Paulsen go on the offensive with earned media? Paulsen has been ramping up his news conferences in recent weeks. It's a signal that he needs to get in the headlines since he's being vastly outspent in paid media. He'll need all the attention he can get in the remaining weeks of the campaign since down the ballot races are overlooked by the media.
7) What will happen in the 2nd? GOP Rep. John Kline and DFLer Steve Sarvi meet in their first debate on Monday.
Posted at 8:44 AM on October 11, 2008
by Tom Scheck
MPR will provide live coverage of tonight's Senate debate. It starts at 7 pm.