Two days ago, I emailed Rayne with notice of yet another capaign appearance from the Obama campaign–two rallies with Michelle. These events were in addition to two Obama appearances already scheduled for today, and a huge rally in Detroit last Sunday with both Obamas and Bidens.

Given the gradual increase in Obama’s lead in MI, I wondered what was up. Why had the Obama campaign virtually moved into MI? Were Obama’s internals worse than the public polls? Rayne noted that some of the later events–Michelle’s two and Obama’s rally today in Grand Rapids–weren’t exactly in Democratic strongholds (for example, Grand Rapids is where all the GOP billionaires hang out in the state). I wondered, though, what the tactical thinking was, particularly since–until a few days ago–Obama’s numbers in MI were stronger than they were in PA.

And then I read this, from the Politico:

John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.

McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states.

Now, the Politico didn’t get a quote from the McCain campaign (frankly, admitting they were pulling out of a state that McCain won in the 2000 primary would be really telling), so maybe this isn’t finalized. 

But I wonder whether Obama didn’t see this week as his tactical closure of the Kerry states (trading IA for NH), just as he turns for a big move on offense. Already, we’re seeing Obama up the campaign stops in MO and NC, both states that–if they’re even competitive–could mark a blow-out. In any case, it seems like Obama and McCain are both responding to a dramatic shift in the shape of the campaign in the last few days, with Obama turning heavily to playing offense.

Darn. We really could have used the money that comes from ongoing, close attention. 

Update: Ambinder has this:

A McCain adviser confirmed the news but noted that the Republican National Committee’s independent expenditure arm is still running ads there, and that McCain will keep most of his staff in-state.

This may mean that McCain has decided–in the interest of going really negative, as widely reported–to do nothing but racist ads here. 

MI is one of the swing states where racism will be most effective. The RNC and 527s are already running ads insinuating non-existent ties between Kwame Kilpatrick and Obama, I’d expect a bunch of Reverend Wright ads.

So maybe this means we’ll still get the money–just that it’ll be big, ugly racist money.

  1. DefendOurConstitution says:

    We should expect a barrage of these, such as Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, PA, MN. Oops, before you know it McCain is only playing in states that can at best give him 269 EVs! (Kerry minus NH plus NM, CO and IA solid for Obama)

    OMG!!! What will GOP say when they realize Dems control more states to decide a tie?

  2. FormerFed says:

    I am very impressed with the way the Obama campaign has been carried out.

    Good God, won’t it be wonderful to have some competent people running our Government again?

    EW, sorry about the loss of revenue for Michigan, but in a few years the auto industry will be back in the black.

  3. Leen says:

    Obama closing in on the deal. Last night on Hardball Matthews said that Obama and Biden should make more appearances together.

    Ew spent many a summer at family cottage on Ottawa Beach in Holland MI. Lots of folks from Grand Rapids with their cottages on same boardwalk.

    • Leen says:

      I just keep repeating crooks and liars Pissed off Patricias line about Palin “every time Palin opens her mouth, she makes me feel smarter” I think POP hit the nail on the head. Palin makes Joe six pack and me feel like we may know more than she does (heaven help us it may be true). But would I vote for someone because of that …fuck no.

      I think many Joe six packs are questioning Sarah too.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      If McCain had picked Romney, I think the Republican party would really be imploding now. McCain’s best pick would have been Huckabee. All the strengths of Palin without the stupid interviews and all his dirty laundry had already been aired.

    • emptywheel says:

      I think Romney could have put McCain in play here. Not just because he’s a native son, though that would help. But because Mitt would give him a credible (kind of) voice on economic issues.

      I suspect one of the reasons McCain pulled out of MI is that, between the meltdown and the abysmal numbers for GM and Ford last month, things are going to go from being all economy most of the time to a deep obsession with it. McCain can’t compete where the economy is the number 1 issue, and there is no place that’s more true than MI.

        • emptywheel says:

          Not really.

          I mean Jeebus, when I run for Precint Delegate, I always get about 30% more votes than I should bc I have the same last name as a popular (African-American) Ann Arbor mayor from the 70s. I think it’s mostly subliminal, that people know I have the same last name as a local park, and so I must be qualified.

          With Romney, of course, that’s true at a state level, with buildings and freeways named after his dad–who, unlike Mayor Wheeler–he really is related to.

  4. Citizen92 says:

    GR is also the location of the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum. I saw exactly two pictures of VP Cheney in the whole place.

  5. BoxTurtle says:

    Lovely. That will give him more money to spend in Ohio and I’m already so sick of his ads that I can’t watch local news.

    Ignoring EW’s and my whines, this is a really good thing. MI was almost required for McBush to win, now he’s going to HAVE to take OH and I don’t know that he can. The Trojan Moose is fading and the Rolling Stone story is certainly making the rounds of the vets here in town, so I assume elsewhere as well. I am SO glad he didn’t select Holy Joe.

    Boxturtle (Expecting Biden to destroy whatever remains of said Moose tonight)

    • Leen says:

      I seriously think Ohio is in the bag for Obama (have been out on the streets and college campuses for two and a half weeks, not the last three days) The young folks on the campuses I visited are fired and I do mean fired up.

      I am convince that the only way McCain can win Ohio is if they shave off votes like they did in 2004

      • BoxTurtle says:

        I love good news, but I still worry. I live in a farming area, quite Red, with a couple of Blue enclaves. The farmers largely believe in the Bible AND the Constitution, they’re NOT wingnuts. These are the the kind of folks who are going to decide the election.

        And they generally haven’t decided. They WANT to vote for McBush, but they value common sense. And every farmer is a small businessman, so they tend to vote GOP…but they also know (as businessmen) that things are really horked and it’s the GOP’s fault. Obama CAN win them, but he hasn’t yet. McBush’s “tax and spend” ads hit home with these folks.

        If Obama isn’t here, then Biden or Hillary or such should be. If they do that, they’ll win Ohio. And McBush can’t win without winning Ohio.

        Boxturtle (I think I’m detecting the beginnings of a move to Obama, but I may be seeing what I want to see)

        • emptywheel says:

          When I was in CO for the convention, someone (Perlmutter?) made a really good pitch for Obama as the pro-Ag candidate, which is very plausible. Maybe we could find that language for rural OH.

          • BoxTurtle says:

            Wise man say “Obama just has to milk a few cows”. Seriously. Nobody is going to believe that man is a farmer, but the farmers could be convinced he’ll understand them if he walks a mile or two in their shoes. A dose of common sense right when the crops are coming in would really resonate.

            I’m looking for that speech, no luck yet. Perlmutters speech makes no mention.

            Boxturtle (First time I’ve attempted a linky. Hope it works)

        • Leen says:

          I have been terrified by those members of our electorate. Especially when McCain announced Palin in Dayton Ohio (grew up in those parts) and also knowing that she would appeal to the gun, god, gay, race voters in this neck of the woods (southeastern Ohio). Now this could still take the race but as Bmaz and William Ockham have often pointed out focus on the thinking voters not the bubbas (leave the bubbas behind LTBB). Don’t spend so much time trying to convince these voters (and I have) So many folks across the nation have been focused on increasing registrations the last two elections and have been successful.

          The last month we have been pushing hard on college campuses along with Move on and several other organizations (and the young people are out in droves have not seen this since the 70’s). Registrations have gone way up. If the young people show up the student youth vote could easily trump the Bubba vote.

          • BoxTurtle says:

            The Bubba vote is never going to leave McBush. I’ve heard a number of variations, but the bottom line is there is significant minority that is simply not mentally ready for a black presdient. Can’t win those.

            Can’t win the wingnuts or the Biblethumpers, either. But I’m pretty confident what you’re doing on campus will be enough to counter that.

            But the middle is very much up for grabs here in Ohio.

            Boxturtle (Here in Greene County, the GOP is worried because Greene should be Red…and it ain’t)

            • Leen says:

              When a pack of WWII Vets, Teamsters like my Dad (Dayton) and his 80 something year old pals are all about Obama (many were for Hillary but easily got on the Obama bus) even before Biden was on the ticket the scale has tipped. Obama has a damn good lead we just need to keep piling on the registrations and keep pushing and make sure people either vote early or show up on election day.

              Folks need to think about working the senior, assisted living centers too, these folks want to vote and many in my dad’s place are on Obama’s bus.

              I really believe the only way they can win at this point is if they cheat and shave off the votes. (Is Rove in prison yet)

              Later… going out to collect more registrations before the debate.

    • scribe says:

      Hey! When you call her the Trojan Moose, you’re subliminally pushing contraception. You know she’d be against that (look homeward, Bristol…), so find a new name.

      • BoxTurtle says:

        I’ll try to get over the Trojan Moose being angry with me. Big hollow wooden Moose filled with wingnuts to sneak out and take over the White House when McBush kicks off.

        My deepest sympathy goes to Bristol and her boyfriend. To have to make the kind of choices decisions they must under the glare of a presidential campaign shouldn’t happen to anybody. They’re both going to have to be as tough as Alask’s reputation to get through this.

        Boxturtle (A pox on parents who put their childrens welfare behind their own ambitions)

        • scribe says:

          For whatever reason, the toobz balked when I put in a symbol indicating my prior comment was supposed to be snark, and the symbol didn’t show up.
          No one should use Bristol or her knucklehead BF for political advantage, but Palin trotted her and him out (used her as a convenient baby-sitting service, too). Republicans are not bound by conventional moralities or manners.

    • Raven says:

      I think this very very questionable

      There is much discussion on the web about the veracity of this meme, e.g. here. And here is what a Google search on “Ana Dubey OR Anasuya Dubey” will reveal. In summary, it seems too farfetched to believe, but just barely. As my friend Julia, who originally forwarded the email to me, observed, we’ve all had conversations with idiots like the man McCain is made out to be here. I’m saddened by this; McCain will hoist himself by his own petard easily enough without such scurrilousness.

  6. Leen says:

    Another good sign
    WV Coalminers Shut Down Mine In Protest Over Anti-Obama NRA Visit
    By: Logan Murphy on Wednesday, October 1st, 2008 at 4:00 PM – PDT

    Coal production at a mine in Monongalia County came to a halt today when every union miner stayed home, as part of a political protest.

    It was an idle day Monday at the Blacksville #2 Mine.

    More than 440 workers who are members of the United Mine Workers of America took what’s called a Memorial Day instead of going to work.

    Union officials say they took the day to protest after a film crew from the National Rifle Association showed up at the Consol mine last week to interview union workers.

    They say the crew tried to get union coal miners to speak out against Barack Obama. Read on…

    The NRA didn’t just show up at the coal mine, this was apparently an unprecedented move by mine management, who allowed them in and supported the manipulation and exploitation of their employees. Consol just learned a big lesson – don’t f*#k with your union workers.

    “Consol doesn’t let anybody on their property – never,” said Safety Committee Member Mark Dorsey, “And for them to let the NRA come on the property and solicit our membership was totally uncalled for. We made our endorsement to our political process and we didn’t bother them and they shouldn’t be harassing our membership over this.”

    • cbl2 says:

      ah seen it earlier – woot !

      in your putrid face Wayne !

      ♫don’t tell me . . .♪I’ll take it to the Union ♫!!!. . . ♪I’ll take it to the Union ♫!!!

  7. foothillsmike says:

    Tonights debate could hurt the McShame candidacy but there is a report due out later this month from Alaska that should bury Palin and hence McShame.
    There are all of the Palin flip flops and the E-mails but the flipping of the testimony from the co. owner that managed the comp claims will put the last nail in that coffin.

  8. Leen says:

    Obama campaign pushing voter registration in Michigan as deadline nears
    by Kathy Barks Hoffman | The Associated Press
    Thursday October 02, 2008, 7:43 AM
    Leisa Thompson | The Ann Arbor NewsEastern Michigan University freshman Aris Yancey performs during the NAACP EMU Chapter’s “Rock the Vote” concert at the EMU Student Center on Wednesday. There were nine performers and six speakers, including EMU President Sue Martin. The Washtenaw County clerk’s office and other organizations were there to register voters at the nonpartisan event.

    LANSING – With just five days left to register voters, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is traveling to Michigan Thursday and sending in his wife and a top hip-hop artist to push the registration message.

    The campaign also has created a video playing on the Obama Web site and YouTube that features Obama, running mate Joe Biden and a host of Michigan Democrats and popular entertainers who have hosted voter registration rallies and events in the state.

    “This is the biggest election of our lifetime,” Obama says in the video. “If you are already registered to vote, get your friends and family to register to vote. If you need more information about where to go, get on our Web site. … Remember, we need to do it by October 6th.”

  9. Redshift says:

    Apparently some of the defense is moving to Virginia. McCain is opening twelve new offices here (which still leaves him outnumbered nearly two to one.)

    I look forward to making him spread his resources so thin that it doesn’t work anywhere!

  10. bmaz says:

    This may mean that McCain has decided–in the interest of going really negative, as widely reported–to do nothing but racist ads here.

    MI is one of the swing states where racism will be most effective. The RNC and 527s are already running ads insinuating non-existent ties between Kwame Kilpatrick and Obama, I’d expect a bunch of Reverend Wright ads.

    Sound bet here. Apparently he has been being urged to go very negative. This would fit in with that. The wild flailing has begun. It will get worse; McCain will go down ugly.

    • MarkH says:

      McCain will go down ugly.

      Do ya remember the death scene in Blade Runner where the robot Pris is killed? Darryl Hannah played the role and it was amazing. Put some raccoon eyeshadow on McCain and watch him thrash around.

  11. zAmboni says:

    I was commenting last night to the wife that the MI McCain ads on TV were really quite bad. There was no theme that pulled things together. They were really a bunch of non sequiturs followed by Obama will raise your taxes/increase gvt spending/not ready to lead/sell your children into slavery (pick two of the above).

    I really have no clue about the effectiveness of such ads, but I really don’t think they helped (guess the MI pullout says they weren’t). If they use the money saved in MI to spend in other close states, it can only help Obama. The ads will constantly show how confused and nonsensical the McCain is.

    • emptywheel says:

      Did you see the REALLY bad one with Schumer, Reid, and Leahy, saying “Obama and his liberal allies …” (I forget the rest). Me and mr. emptywheel have been fighting ever since about how effective they were. He thought just the “liberal allies” would drive negatives. Me, I think those Senators will be absolute strangers to 90% of voters, so it’s not like that’ going to drive fear.

      I think he used to have some decent ones, but his recent ones are really really shitty. (And he has had less, that I’ve seen).

      • zAmboni says:

        EW, Yea, that one was bad also. Like I said to the wife, they cannot come up with substantiative push back against Obama, so they are resulting to tried and true GOP bromides against the Dems: liberal/raise taxes/increase spending. I would argue that the ads arent effective because of two reasons: 1) they are shoddily produced and 2) seem to be targeted at the people who are going to vote for McCain already.

        If you are trying to persuade people, come up with a good argument, not several ideas that look like they were thrown up against a storyboard to see which one of them stuck, and say “that will work”. I know I am not the registered voter that they are targeting, but my first thought when watching these commercials was “WTF???” and I basically miss the rest of the commercial because I’m trying to figure out what they are saying. I feel they aren’t effective because of this, and that anyone who isnt a total wingnut (and half a brain) would react the same.

        I get the same feeling watching those horrible Prop 2 commercials that have been playing. If you listen to those Prop 2 commercials…immediately after the “WTF???” comes “that cant be right, they must be lying”….and a cursory look at what Prop 2 says shows they are lying. I do want to say that the pro-Prop 2 rebuttal commercial is forceful and effective: They’re lying, here is the proof, and on top of that, the anti-Prop 2 guys admit they are lying.

  12. cbl2 says:

    along with the economy tanking McStunt has also been hurt by

    over a million AFL-CIO anti-McCrazy mailers hitting the region and I said it downstairs . . .

    someone like Bowers was pointing out months ago that BO would campaign in states normally in the McStunt column, not to just for GOTV, but to make McPoor spend money and how that would effect campaigning decisions in other states

    ps – I fully expect Labor to continue their serious pushback on racism

    • wobblybits says:

      no way, she has to prove that when she opens her mouth dumb shit doesn’t fall out. Voters don’t have an issue with her ability to walk, rather her ability to convey a coherent message

      • dosido says:

        all her surrogates are touting Palin’s ability to connect with people. she does great with a script.

        we need radio scramblers since they don’t allow color coded index cards at the podium.

        • wobblybits says:

          this isn’t scripted. She only has a cursory idea of what willbe asked. They said the debate will focus on some ecnomic issues so her rambling on about healthcare and job crreation in one sentence is not going to ease the mind of a panicked electorate. That cheesy home town stuff worked when the country was in better economic and social condition. We’re in the shitter now so she has to come correct or don’t come at all.

  13. Raven says:

    ”Howdy, friends. This is Ralph Stanley, and I think I know a little something about the families around here,’’ Stanley says in the ad with banjos picking in the background. ”and after the last eight years – I know we all need a change. Now, nobody’s looking for a handout, but we could use a leader that’s on our side. That leader is Barack Obama.”

    Stanley, 81, of Coeburn, received the National Medal of Arts in 2006, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence. In 2008, the Virginia General Assembly designated him the Outstanding Virginian. He endorsed Obama last month.

  14. MsAnnaNOLA says:

    It think Romney declined because he didn’t want to be on the losing ticket in 2008 when he has plenty of time to run again. He can then say if I had been on the ticket we would have won.

  15. cbl2 says:

    so why is he cutting and running ? thought he’d stay in Michigan if it took a 100 years . . .why this Appeasement to Labor ?!?!?

    • Badwater says:

      Perhaps he’s going to be busy following bin Laden to the gates of hell.
      I’ve heard that the Bush Wing of Hell is conveniently located near the gates.

  16. plunger says:

    My whole family lives there.

    Grew up in GR, taught skiing at Cannonsburg, summered along Lake MI from Grand Haven & Holland up to Pentwater.

    Born and raised with Republican blood (before I escaped).

    When you lose GR, IT IS SOOOOOOO OVER!

  17. wobblybits says:

    as someone else posted on another thread. biden should just keep asking her to elaborate when she shoots off a zinger

  18. hs3144 says:

    Still seeing some commercials here in Michigan, but definately less already. Now we just have to make sure everyone that is responsible for pushing McPalin out of the race her gets out and VOTES.

  19. justbetty says:

    This may be EPUed, but I have to add that I just spoke with someone who is doing phone calls for the Obama campaign, and I was blown away at how sophisticated the operation is. My friend says it’s actually fun to make the calls. The process is interactive and the callers are free to make suggestions for improvements. It would be so great to have such competent people in charge. We need them, we need them bad!

  20. Elliott says:

    Can we all have a National Celebration Day November 6th so we can recover from the celebration the night before?

  21. stryder says:

    Still, all in all,it’s almost a disgrace that this is even a contest at all.
    I mean what do they have to do come right out and call themselves “The American Fascist Society” or something before everybody gets it

  22. PJEvans says:

    TPM has this up:
    Voter suppression guru and US Attorney firing scandal luminary Hans Von Spakovsky says Obama will make the DOJ “partisan and politically-biased.”

    (link to http://thinkprogress.org/2008/…..sky-obama/ )

    It’s either comedy, or the GOP has no self-awareness. (They’re also, while McCain is complaining that Obama isn’t bipartisan enough, running ads attacking Obama for supporting bills where one of the authors is Lugar. One of those bills is trying to prevent the smuggling of WMDs. Does this mean the RNC is in favor of smuggling WMDs?)

  23. Boston1775 says:

    OT –
    She held that baby, hanging there as she walked down the stairs of the plane.

    “He should’ve been in one of those things,” my husband said, “one of those things with a handle. He was just hanging there.”

    Was she wearing heals?

  24. prostratedragon says:

    So maybe this means we’ll still get the money–just that it’ll be big, ugly racist money.

    Yeah, my interpretation of the news headline was that MI would be getting all the dirty stuff, the stay-behinds, etc. Get out your hip waders.

    • Rayne says:

      Oh, we’re getting on the flotation devices and the lifeboats. It’s going to be deep. This state has lots of haters, something like 25 identified groups here. Some of my African American friends call this “Northern Mississippi” because it’s as racist as MS.

      But there is a schism in the MIGOP here, between the fundies and the old school Repubs; McCain’s campaign was held hostage by the fundies here who said they were not going to vote for McCain if he didn’t give Huckabee a bigger role in the RNC Convention or make him veep. Palin is the bone they threw them to keep the fundies on board without caving into them entirely. I wonder whether there is a remaining undertow here from the fundies, who may have been partially placated by Palin, but are still very unhappy because of some other policy positions or on the economic crisis.

      I’ll point to a sermon that a mega-church pastor and Republican operative gave this past week in which he said both Obama and McCain were damned and not to bother voting for them. That’s completely out of sync with fundie activities in other states…

  25. oldtree says:

    of some concern would be trusting the McImpalin camp of saying anything truthful. They have not yet done so, and believing that they are doing something they say they are doing would put the believer in the realm of fantasy. If they can’t get the votes, wouldn’t they want to quietly disenfranchise the voters that appear to not like their candidate?
    look in the background. the “team” that went to Alaska is going to run out of work shortly. Or is there already a “team” in Michigan? “pack” or “wolfpack” might be more appropriate for the type of collection of beings looking to steal an unalienable right from another.