October 31, 2004| 9:19 p.m. ET

Chuckles in the Right side of the blogsphere over Kerry endorsements

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The Republican bloggers out there are getting a good chuckle out of endorsements for Kerry.  Here in the U.S., many have endorsed Kerry and a large portion of those in the media who endorsed him have been more about tossing Bush than electing Kerry.  See, for example, Mickey Kaus and the gang at Slate.

What really is getting the right side of the blogosphere laughing today is that, while the media at home is giving Kerry endorsements in cautious language, foreign newspapers are endorsing John Kerry in glowing terms at a time when he is just now getting beyond the "global test" comment.

Red State points out Kerry's endorsement by the left-leaning Guardian in the United Kingdom and Matt Margolis over at Blogs for Bush finds a certain amount of humor by the left-leaning Le Monde endorsing Kerry in France.

—Erick Erickson, Red State.Org ,  ErickErickson.org

October 31, 2004| 1:12 p.m. ET

Who is smelling victory today? (Joe Scarborough)

Just a couple of quick thoughts as the election streaks down the home stretch.

As mentioned yesterday, Republican insiders on the Bush campaign are smelling victory as internal polls in most of the swing states are inching their way. Now we read the same from an Associated Press article posted early this morning--except this time it is Kerry supporters who are sensing the tide may be breaking against them.

This from the AP:

"The men were campaigning Sunday in tightly contested battleground states. Both had appearances scheduled in Florida and Ohio; Kerry was also speaking in New Hampshire.

A new poll showed the president moving ahead of Kerry in the popular vote, and Democrats said their private surveys hinted at momentum for Bush."

Ohio polls also appear to be breaking Bush's way. A victory by the President in Florida and Ohio makes Tuesday an early evening.

On the other side of the equation, a Kerry victory in Florida dooms W's reelection chances. The only reason I bring up a Florida loss for Bush, which I have been dismissing for weeks now, is because the remarkable scenes at the Supervisor of Elections office in my hometown of Pensacola, Florida. Voters waited in line for up to five hours yesterday in a heavily Republican leaning area, and yet it was a decidedly Democratic crowd that was spending their Saturday waiting to vote for John Kerry.

Karl Rove and the Bush White House has known this election was going to be about voter turnout for four years now. We will see if they were prepared for the onslaught of early voters they are now facing.

One final thought. Taking a quick look at the front page of the New York Times this morning was telling. While Bush supporters were holding signs in praise of their candidate, the top Kerry photo showed a father, his young daughter and a baby doll with stickers emblazoned with a lined out "W."

When the election is more about who you hate than who you love, you are less likely to get out and vote. Just ask all those Clinton-haters in the 1990s, who despite seeing the Democratic president as evil personified, never got within striking distance of getting him out of office.

I suspect the hoard of Bush haters will wake up Wednesday morning learning the same bitter lesson.

I'll check back in from Flyover Space in the next few hours. Till then, don't give in to hate.

Peace out.

-Joe

Thoughts?  E-mail me at JScarborough@msnbc.com

October 30, 2004| 6:51 p.m. ET

The makings of an early evening call for George W. Bush (Joe Scarborough)

Pensacola, FL— If you want to know where the campaign stands, just see where the candidates sit today.

George W. Bush is spending the homestretch in states carried by Al Gore in 2000.

This morning, he hammered his war on terror theme to rapturous crowds in Wisconsin and Michigan. Later this afternoon he will be visiting what has long been considered one of the most liberal states in America: Minnesota.

Interestingly enough, John Kerry also finds himself today stuck on the defensive in states carried by Gore, like Wisconsin and Iowa.

By the way, I couldn't help notice how the crowds in Iowa were almost tepid in their response to Kerry's negative message while the President was greeted like a rock star in Wisconsin and Michigan.

As I learned when we Congressional Republicans tried to take on Bill Clinton in the '90s, there's just something about that presidential bully pulpit.

Bush insiders are beginning to believe that internal polls they are viewing point to one unmistakable conclusion: four more years for their man. Bushies are cheered by the fact that with 48 hours left in what was to be a barnburner campaign, the Kerry camp is still sweating out the details in New Jersey and Hawaii— two states that Al Gore won by almost 20 points just four years ago.

Terror is the defining feature in both states, with Hawaiians looking westward where Al Qaeda continues to spread its politics of death, and New Jersey residents remembering the burning New York skyline just to their east across the Hudson River in 2001.

Add to those poll numbers the latest Bin Laden bombshell and you have all the makings of an early evening call for George W. Bush.

You won't hear that on most networks or read about it in the New York Times tomorrow morning because the overwhelming number of reporters passing the news your direction are hoping against hope that enough "Kerry Haters for Kerry" will vote for their candidate before forgetting to vote against him.

Expect the Times and network newstypes to comfort themselves with remarkable tales of early voting projections and Democratic GOTV measures on Tuesday. But there is a big difference this year between how the Democrats and Republicans are planning to pull their most loyal supporters to the voting booths.

Democratic operatives are relying on the same 527 organizations who were responsible for the Howard Dean voter drives in the early primary contests this year. The Bush team have remained maniacally focused on getting Bushies into voting booths early and often, with Karl Rove, Ed Gillespie, and Ken Mehlmen personally sweating out the details in house.

Even though I was the first political commentator to call this race for Bush following the third presidential debate, I do not kid myself. A Kerry victory in Florida, though unlikely, is very possible. If Florida is colored blue for Kerry early in the evening, W should start packing his bags for Crawford.

But I suspect we will instead be surprised by the President's success in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, or Wisconsin. One victory in these states coupled with an expected Bush victory in Iowa makes Kerry the odd man out in the Boston winners' circle that for now looks like it will be inhabited only by players for the Red Sox and Patriots.

That's all for now from flyover space.

By the way, the latest Newsweek and Battleground polls released today have Bush leading Kerry by 5 points. Expect the USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll to produce a similar result sometime Sunday night while CBS/NY Times will continue limiting their polling audience to family members of Dan Rather, Mary Mapes, and Paul Krugman.

What do you think?  Email me at JScarborough@msnbc.com

October 30, 2004| 1:59 p.m. ET

Osama bin Laden made the war on terror the only issue (Joe Scarborough)

EAST HILL, FL—It looks like the Red Sox weren't this year's only October surprise.

Osama bin Laden stuck his face in the middle of the presidential horse race Friday and the downcast looks in Camp Kerry suggest the obvious: OBL's little lecture on the war on terror is, at first blush at least, is dreadful news for John Kerry.

There are those defining moments in presidential politics when candidates find themselves staring into the political abyss and all their campaign team can do is spin like a bunch of drunk jackass consultants who take great pride in spinning the most implausable bucket of donkey dung.

Sometimes it's Republicans doing it for George W. Bush, as they did, when their overmatched selves stood frozen in the snows of New Hampshire looking as if John McCain stuck a charged cattle prod up his ass.

But on Friday, it is Kerry pros like Mike McCurry and Joe Lockhart who know their opponent was dealt a Full House while their team is stuck with a pair of fours.

Never underestimate Republicans' ability to overplay their hand, but when you carry a dealer like Karl Rove into the casino, Bush opponents shouldn't hold their breath. After all, they're the ones who have painted Rove as some sort of political madman who has served as 43's brain over the past four years.

I suspect the murderer of 3,000 American's lecture on the eve of this election wlll be remembered as one of those dreaded defining moments just as George Bush's DUI revelation cost him the popular vote in 2000 and Lawrence Walsh's Iran-Contra indictments on a Friday afternoon late in October of 1992 that helped then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton walk away with a race that had pulled within 2 points on the eve of the Walsh indictments.

Democratic and Republican pollsters have been telling me privately for the past week that the two issues that have prevented John Kerry from closing the deal against an incumbent president with historically low approval ratings are (1) Kerry's obsession with a convoluted Al-QaQaa weapons story, which has made him look more like a state prosecutor this week than a commander-in-chief, and (2)  John Kerry continues to trail George W. Bush by as much as 20 percentage points on the issue of who Americans believe can win the war on terror. 

I've run for political office and I understand that most that Americans go into the voting booth on Election Day focused on no more than one or two big issues on their minds.  I saw it time and time again when I ran for office four times and managed scores of other political efforts.

But you know what?  Even I was too clever by half four years ago when I suggested on this network that George Bush's DUI conviction would be seen as a transparent political hit. 

Stupid wishful thinking on my part. 

Speaking of stupid, laugh off any political operative, TV pundit, or editorial writer who tries
to downplay the significance of Osama bin Laden's bizarre lecture to American voters.

Bin Laden's boneheaded political play has the historical significance of Adolph Hitler addressing Americans struggling through WWII to make his best case for Wendell Wilkie over FDR.

Osama bin Laden made the war on terror the issue— the only issue— in this political campaign. And that means that the candidate who is enjoying a 20-point lead on
that issue will reap great political advantages.  

GWB will continually remind voters in swing states that terrorists will not determine the outcome of American elections. 

We're not Spain.

If you knock down two of our buildings, like you did on 9/11, we take over two of your countries.

But if you are John Kerry, the only thing left for you to do is to tell the American people that if you were President of the United States over the past four years, Osama bin Laden wouldn't be making videotapes.  He would be dead.

Will it work?  Probably not.

But Karl Rove is holding all the cards today. And to paraphrase the words of Vicky Lawrence, "Little brother don't miss when he aim his gun."

Email me at JScarborough@msnbc.com

October 29, 2004| 8:50 p.m. ET

Be a Scarborough Country Citizen Journalist (Joe Scarborough)

Here at Scarborough Country, we read and value your feedback and your e-mails.

This election season, MSNBC and MSNBC.com are trying something new— we're taking it one step further by asking you, our viewers, to become Citizen Journalists.

Write us to tell us about what's happening in your town and cities, and in other parts of Scarborough Country. We know that the liberal media is often getting the story wrong, this is your chance to make a difference.

We'll publish them here, on this blog, and some of your reporting might even make our air.

Click here to read how to become a Citizen Journalist.

October 25, 2004| 7:35 p.m. ET

'The New Yorker' endorses Kerry? I'm shocked! (Joe Scarborough)

Maybe it was the 12 packets of Vitamin C and the Valium buzz I was working off of a few hours ago, but I could have sworn I just read that the official mouthpiece of Manhattan elitism, "The New Yorker," was breaking an 80-year tradition to endorse a presidential candidate.

How could that be? "The New Yorker"? That paragon of balance, even-handedness, and wit would actually whore itself out to a political candidate?

My mind had to be playing tricks on me. It must be the mind-numbing drugs I have been ingesting to battle stabbing back pains brought about by a nasty few months in a Turkish prison back in the 70s. But that's another story.

My faithful assistant, Izzy Walser, just e-mailed me from somewhere in Nepal to confirm that yes, New Yorker Bigs have decided to throw their considerable political weight behind John Forbes Kerry.

Izzy quotes the uber-elitist mag as saying:  "As observers, reporters, and commentators we will hold (Kerry) to the highest standards of honesty and performance. For now, as citizens, we hope for his victory." Boy, I'm sure that will get the blue hairs clucking on the Upper East Side.

There is a reason this left-leaning magazine sells few copies outside of Gotham. They were, after all, the first American publication to run a cover story that attacked New York City firefighters as villainous thugs who were as interested as looting buildings destroyed by 9/11 as they were in recovering the remains of their fallen brethren.

And the magazine spent the following three years blaming George W. Bush for everything from typhoons in Japan to Ashlee Simpson's bouts with acid reflux on "Saturday Night Live."

Izzy dismisses their endorsement as just one more Kerry lapdance. But I suspect their break with tradition has more to do with the New York intelligencia's raging hatred of Mr. Bush's conservative policies and traditional religious outlook.

Just as Pat Buchanan in 1992, New York City liberals see themselves locked in a life-or-death cultural and religious war with Bush conservatives. But alas these poor souls' last great hope against W. is a rudderless politician named John Kerry.

Today's predictions based on legally-prescribed medication, three Pimm's cups, and Madras:

Electoral Vote: George Bush— 305, John Kerry— the rest

On to Pemba,
Joe

P.S. I'm back on the show tonight so hopefully we will not see a replay of Friday night's spitting match when one of our guests bit the leg of another while urinating on the leg of Pat Buchanan. Fortunately, Pat was in spandex.

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