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EARLYBIRD

Pundits & Editorials

Two female columnists chastise Palin's $150K shopping spree, and Santorum fears a 'radical' shift to the left on Nov. 4. Plus: Who is really 'Pro-America'?

• "With the near certainty of overwhelming Democratic control in both houses of Congress, a vote for Barack Obama will most certainly be a vote for change -- sweeping, dramatic, liberal and even radical change," Rick Santorum projects. John McCain "is no conservative, but a vote for him is, at least, a vote for a check on such excesses -- a moderating, measured, middle-of-the-road, and much-needed check."

• "Is it 'over'? Well, all the indicators -- from polls to money to troops on the ground -- suggest an Obama victory. But it's not quite 'over' yet," explains Morton M. Kondracke (subscription). Looking at various battleground state numbers, however, he concludes that to win, "McCain needs more than good arguments. He needs a miracle."

 

• "Obama, who became rich with his best-selling books, seems to have a problem with wealth creation," Donald Lambro scoffs. "It isn't in his lexicon, it isn't on his agenda, and it isn't in his campaign message."

Rosa Brooks slams the GOP ticket for pushing the message that "some parts of America -- and some Americans -- are just more authentic and 'pro-America' than others."

• Citing a recent experience at an Obama rally in Richmond, Va., where he sensed a great deal of patriotism among the Illinois senator's supporters, Dana Milbank also dismisses Sarah Palin's comments that only Republicans are included among "pro-America" voters .

 

• Meanwhile, Jurek Martin references a book, "None Dare Call It Treason," first published in 1964, to criticize the Republican ticket for its recent attacks on Obama, especially labeling him a socialist.

• "Word comes from Madison, Wis., that a telemarketer named Ted Zoromski quit his job this week over" McCain's "message" about Obama's association with Bill Ayers. Gail Collins quips that "if you can come up with something that would send a telemarketer over the edge, you have really overachieved on the offensiveness front."

• Searching clothing Web sites to see how Palin could possibly spend $150,000 shopping, Ruth Marcus plays off of a joke the Alaska governor made in her convention speech: "What's the difference between Sarah Palin and a pit bull? Lipstick and $150,000 worth of designer clothes."

• Also scrutinizing Palin's wardrobe price tag, Margaret Carlson sarcastically asks: "Who knew it cost this much to dress like a populist? At the very moment Palin was celebrating herself as 'your average hockey mom' in her convention speech, she was wearing a $2,500 silk jacket by Valentino."

 

• "The stoning of" Palin "has exposed enough cultural fissures in American politics to occupy strategists full-time until 2012," Daniel Henninger declares. "We now see there is a left-to-right elite centered in New York, Washington, Hollywood and Silicon Valley who hand down judgments of the nation's mortals from their perch atop the Bell Curve."

• Seeking to answer the question, "Who gets Ohio?" David S. Broder recounts his trip to the both campaigns' offices in Wayne County, where he noticed a stark contrast -- that the size and enthusiasm of McCain's work force paled in comparison to Obama's.

Nicholas D. Kristof, referring to a conversation he had with a friend in Beijing who expressed astonishment that the U.S. may elect a black president, rejoices in the fact that "we're beginning to get a sense of how" Obama's "political success could change global perceptions of the United States, redefining the American 'brand' to be less about Guantánamo and more about equality."

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George F. Will uses Willie Sutton's 1934 answer to a question about why he robbed banks -- "Because that's where the money is" -- to assert that "Washington is having a Willie Sutton Moment. Such moments occur when government, finding its revenue insufficient for its agenda, glimpses some money it does not control but would like to."

• "While we cannot go back and undo the bailout debt that we have laid on Americans, Congress must return to work to at least reduce the precedent we have established and start to labor in earnest on real financial-services-sector reforms," Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., insists in the Washington Times.

Roger Cohen dismally notes that there is an entire "generation of U.S. diplomats who have never set foot in Iran, the rising power of the Middle East."

From The Editorial Boards...

• Referencing Joe Biden's comments on NBC over the weekend regarding Obama's experience being tested by an international crisis, the Washington Times stresses that "the Delaware senator re-emphasized that Mr. Obama is a foreign-affairs novice whose inexperience could invite trouble. But most of the mainstream media could care less."

• "Candidates who poison the water by questioning their opponents' patriotism move the nation backward. Unfortunately, the waning days of the 2008 election campaign have produced no shortage of such candidates," USA Today laments, calling out Palin, and Reps. Bachmann and Robin Hayes, R-N.C.

• Scrutinizing Democrats' proposal for another economic stimulus, which the board claims has been "spurred on" by Obama, the Wall Street Journal fumes: "If Mr. Obama really wants a 'stimulus,' he'll announce that given the condition of the economy he won't raise taxes at all. Meanwhile, all of us are getting a preview of Obamanomics in action."

• "Since few Americans would turn down a government check, the politics behind" another economic stimulus plan "appeal to lawmakers." Obama "has campaigned in support of it, as well. But the economics of the proposal aren't as wise as the politics," the Dallas Morning News maintains.

• "One would think ACORN was the acronym for some subversive Commie organization, given recent attacks on it by the Republican Party and" McCain's "presidential campaign," remarks the Philadelphia Inquirer. "What's the national community organization's crime? It registers people to vote."

• "There is a desperate need for reform of the way voting rolls are kept," the New York Times contends. "Until then, election officials, voting rights advocates and voters must do everything they can to ensure that all eligible voters are allowed to vote."

• The Washington Post expresses concerns over the Nov. 15 meeting of world leaders regarding the financial crisis, contrasting it with the Bretton Woods Summit in 1944.

• The Boston Globe is dismayed by allegations "that the NSA regularly listened in on the calls of US military personnel, aid workers, and journalists in Iraq."

• Pointing to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's recent assurances that he wants to dismantle Israeli settlements on the West Bank, the Los Angeles Times wonders why he, along with the U.S., hasn't taken more action to remove them.

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