Quote of the Day I
"Obama will have a significant advantage in terms of money and organization, and McCain's campaign field operation is significantly less formidable than both President Bush's four years ago and Obama's today, in every single state. Finally, recent polls show voters preferring a Democrat winning the White House over a Republican by anywhere between 7 and 10 percentage points. All of this suggests a high probability of Democrats winning the White House, but there is something else. Obama seems to hit a resistance point, a ceiling, around 48 or 49 percent, only once grazing 50 percent in the Gallup tracking, performing well with enough groups to get up to the verge of a majority but not yet able to go beyond. Whether one focuses on white voters over 50 or over 65 years of age, or white working class or non-college-educated whites over 50, Obama is underperforming pretty consistently, though his strength among black and younger college-educated white voters partially offsets the problem"
-- political handicapper Charlie Cook, writing in the National Journal.
Quote of the Day II
"[A] posse of Democratic lawyers, mainstream reporters, lefty bloggers and various other Obamaphiles are scouring the vast tundra of Alaska for something, anything, to bring down Sarah Palin. . . . Palin is not just a problem for Obama. She is also a symptom of what ails him. Before Palin, Obama was the ultimate celebrity candidate. For no presidential nominee in living memory had the gap between adulation and achievement been so great. Which is why McCain's Paris Hilton ads struck such a nerve. Obama's meteoric rise was based not on issues -- there was not a dime's worth of difference between him and Hillary on issues -- but on narrative, on eloquence, on charisma. The unease at the Denver convention, the feeling of buyer's remorse, was the Democrats' realization that the arc of Obama's celebrity had peaked -- and had now entered a period of its steepest decline. That Palin could so instantly steal the celebrity spotlight is a reflection of that decline"
-- Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer.
The Sun King
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican, thinks he has a partial solution to America's dependence on high-priced foreign oil. But he says liberals and environmentalists are rejecting it. Mr. Rohrabacher -- who notes 130 pending applications for solar power projects on federal land administered by the Bureau of Land Management -- has introduced a bill to allow the building of such plants without environmental-impact studies. He tells me that though the BLM has lifted a moratorium on new solar projects on public land that it imposed in 2005, applications are still being clogged up in a bureaucratic pipeline and no new permits have been issued to date. "We need solutions on many levels, and freeing up solar power bottlenecks is one of them," he says.Debbie Cook, Democratic mayor of Huntington Beach and Mr. Rohrabacher's opponent in this fall's election, opposes his bill as an "extreme position." Environmental groups also oppose it, saying large swaths of vegetation could be disrupted because a sizeable solar power facility requires up to two square miles of land. "If not properly scrutinized, the solar plants have the potential to destroy wildlife habitat, affect water resources, limit outdoor recreation opportunities and prove to be eyesores," is how the Daily Pilot, a local newspaper in Mr. Rohrabacher's Orange County district, summarized the objections of local environmentalists.Mr. Rohrabacher is amused by the controversy. "Once again the environmental community has demonstrated that they care more about animals than about people," he told me. "I rest my case."
-- John Fund
[The Wall Street Journal Political Diary Online]