Monday, September 29, 2008


Hours after I blogged on Thursday, 25 September, McCain dramatically reversed his decision to abandon campaigning in order to save the economy.

Time reported on McCain's remarkable strategy in a piece titled, "Oh the drama! McCain in the Theater of the Absurd"
. . . an amazing week of political theater, starring the frenetic, operatic, borderline erratic McCain, the former fighter pilot who seems to have found his calling as a kamikaze politician. He might not win the election — another thing you missed this week was Barack Obama pulling ahead in the polls — but when it's over he's a shoo-in for a show on TNT. RuPaul doesn't know drama like McCain knows drama.
After much drama, John McCain, indeed, decided to show up at the first Presidential debate after all. Good thing he did because the pundits loved his performance:

Politico's Roger Simon declared, "The Mac is Back."
John McCain was very lucky that he decided to show up for
the first presidential debate in Oxford, Miss., Friday night. Because
he gave one of his strongest debate performances ever.
While the pundits loved McCain, the markets were puking him up. McCain opened with a brutal sell off on Saturday and, by the end of this past weekend, he was down 10% where he found some support at 40. Obama had opened up a
nearly 17 point price gap to below his upper resistance of 58. While McCain had recovered by Sunday evening to above 41, a few investors were actually flirting with Giuliani and Romney.

If McCain breaks through resistance at 40, watch out 30!

Not only had markets decided Obama won the debate, the voter had too. Polling of focus groups showed that the people that vote had declared by a wide margin that Obama had won the night. Even a Fox News focus group of undecided voters in Nevada had decided that McCain had lost the night. Frank Luntz conducted the focus group polling for Fox and the voters in the focus group said that after watching the debates they felt that Obama "... cared
about the average person" and "he seemed to care about everyone in

On the divergence between punditry and voter opinion, the Las Vegas Sun had this to offer:

After one of the worst fortnights in presidential campaign history,
with his oscillations on the bailout and bizarre campaign suspension
(except for all those ads and state organizations purring along), the
fundamentals of McCain's campaign are not sound.

What struck me amid the usual post-debate bloviating by the
punditrocracy and the ridiculous ritual of partisans telling the media
what to write about how wonderfully well their guy did (Lewis Carroll
would have had a field day), the desperation to stop the hemorrhaging
by the McCain campaign was manifest. No one watching that debate could
have believed McCain scored a convincing victory (for the record, this
bloviating pundit thought the Republican nominee had his moments but
Obama was solid enough to achieve a draw).

But the McCain campaign immediately inundated my inbox with e-mail
bursting with snippets of quotes from various journalists, implying
they had declared McCain the victor (even Henry Kissinger sided with
his friend, John McCain!).

Regardless of what the media says, if McCain wants to show his investors some loving, he is going to have to do something very soon to get investors to dip back in. And, according to a report in the Times, "McCain camp prays for Palin wedding," Mac thinks a shot gun wedding between Sarah Palin's daughter and her lover will save his campaign:

In an election campaign notable for its surprises, Sarah Palin, the Republican
vice- presidential candidate, may be about to spring a new one — the wedding
of her pregnant teenage daughter to her ice-hockey-playing fiancé before the
November 4 election.

Inside John McCain's campaign the expectation is growing that there will be apopularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin,17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. "It wouldbe fantastic," said a McCain insider. "You would have every TV camera there.

The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week."

This appears to be a legitimate story in the Times and I suppose in these Jerry Springer meets Pop Idol days, there could be some twisted logic to McCain's prayer of a Palin wedding. But I'm not convinced this will tempt investors back into McCain. Maybe the markets will prove me wrong.

Finally, on the electoral map today, Virginia, Ohio and Florida have gone blue. Obama takes 338 of the electoral vote predictor. Landslide.

Disclosure: I hold none of the securities mentioned.

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