…And the World:
We begin today in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced new elections, probably for February. Although the Knesset’s term does not expire until next fall, the government’s inability to reach a budget agreement requires earlier elections. The elections come after an earlier attempt at early polls was cast aside when Opposition Party Kadima briefly joined Netanyahu’s government.
After Labour leader Ed Miliband’s widely praised speech at his party’s conference in Manchester, Prime Minister David Cameron must now face his party in Birmingham. Cameron faces a restive right-wing in his party and a wide electorate unsatisfied with his party and the Liberal Government’s coalition government. Notably, in a bit of meat to his backbenchers, he is promising a vote on European relations. More importantly, Boris Jonhson, the mercurial Mayor of London, is not challenging Cameron, yet.
An interesting bit of policy out of Ireland. The government there promises new reforms to lower payments and stem the tide of foreclosures. The housing bust on the Emerald Isle is largely responsible for the depth of the country’s recession and subsequent bailout by the Eurozone and to a lesser extent Great Britain.
Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, easily won another six year term.
We did not see a strong Romney win last week, but apparently everybody else decided that Romney had left Obama with more holes than Bonnie and Clyde. However, there is a lot of conflicting data coming out of last week. Romney is up nationally, but swing state polls still show slight Obama edges. Strong jobs data has not been priced into the data and the further away from the debate a poll was taken the weaker Romney’s bounce has been. Polling guru Nate Silver says we’re facing too much noise to really know what is going on.
And Romney’s foreign policy speech as not directionless, but all directions, as seen by an Australian correspondent based in America.
In Connecticut, after suffering a battering from Republican Linda McMahon, Cong. Chris Murphy got his groove back in a debate performance that President Barack Obama may want to take some lessons from. Indeed, while we do not hold Rasmussen in much esteem, they found Murphy up after the debate. No slacking, though, Mr. Murphy, though. The president has taught us at least that much.
The State of Things:
Polls remain volatile in the Massachusetts Senate race, but one poll blames Scott Brown for the negativity more than Elizabeth Warren. Also Mother Jones has another secret tape, this one much older and of Brown. The video is just bizarre and has Brown talking of stalking somebody, in jest, of course. WGBY’s Adam Reilly says it won’t move much. It probably will not, but the reality is that Mother Jones’ story about Brown’s dealings over his daughter’s singing career is really more interesting and, to some extent more damning.
David Bernstein looks at what may very well be Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray’s last campaign.
Longmeadow finally gets itself a town manager, albeit on an interim basis on a 3-2 vote of the Select Board.
The casino drama continues in Springfield. The developers that want to bid to build a casino in Springfield face the city’s deadline to submit their proposals. Although the legal controversies surrounding the city’s process and consultant have settled down, there remains some tension between the City Council and the Mayor on the subject.
The Afro-American Point of View, a newspaper that caters principally to Springfield’s African-American community has endorsed Elizabeth Warren for US Senate. The POV is published by Frederick Hurst, of the politically prominent Hurst family, active in city politics.
8 yrs ago today: CNN poll shows Kerry inching past Bush, 49% to 48%, among likely voters. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’
— Steve Benen (@stevebenen) October 9, 2012
If there is any chatter that is going crazy it is the polling data showing Obama below Romney. It is particularly striking since most incumbent presidents lose the first debate and only two polls of any significance has shown Romney ahead that did not do so before. Gallup’s switch to likely voter model is particularly meaningless as many of its trackers had Obama behind long before now. Today we award the tweet prize to Rachel Maddow Produce Steve Benen who pointed out that John Kerry was edging George Bush in 2004 in a CNN poll. As we all know Kerry went on to win…never mind. This race will always be close and for anybody, particularly liberals to be obsessing about the polls is simply counter-productive and for that reason. For these reasons, Benen wins this week’s tweet prize.