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IAC’s ELC 2008 — Sunday night: political analyst Charlie Cook

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I have mentioned that I’m down at ACT/IAC’s Executive Leadership Conference 2008 through Tuesday. The lead-off speaker tonight was Charlie Cook, a political analyst and the name behind the Cook Political Report.

In general, Cook said that the election was close — until September’s financial crash. The October surprise ended up being a September surprise — and it completely altered the nature of the campaign. At this point, he said, the campaign is 100 percent about the economy.

Cook

Cook

Some interesting points and/or quotes.

  • The presidential race is over, save a huge event, Cook predicted. “Put a fork in it. This is done,” he said.
  • Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was having a difficult time anyway — an unpopular president, an almostunprecedented desire for change, an unpopular war, and then… the economy.
  • After September and the economy became the issue, national security — McCain’s cornerstone issue — almost evaporated.
  • Going in to September, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) had the lead, but there were still questions — was the lead enough. After the financial mess, that questions has been largely answered… it will be enough.
  • This will be a “train wreck” election for Republicans. That happens — to both parties. But this is the second train wreck election in a row for the Republican party. The GOP could lose anywhere from 7-10 Senate seats… and as high as 30 House seats.
  • Regarding Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, the nomination gave a “short of B-12 for the old guy,” but in the end, the question being asked is whether the section was a “stroke of genius, or just a stroke.” The Palin appointment also undercut McCain’s “experience” argument.
  • All of that being said, the two candidates face very difficult issues come Jan. 20. “Does the winner win? Or does the loser win?” Cook asked.

Cook had other good stories, including one about McCain’s mother, Roberta, who is well in her 90s. When she was 93, she traveled to Paris. Unfortunately they wouldn’t let her rent a car — so she bought a Mercedes so she could tour Europe. She eventually had it shipped to the United States and she picked it up on the East Coast and was driving back to Arizona and, on the trip back, she got a ticket for driving 100-miles-per-hour. That is a strong constitution.

More on the official ELC agenda tomorrow. In addition to sessions, there are keynotes from David Walker, the former comptroller general, and from CNN political analyst Amy Holmes.

I’ll live blog here… and try and post to my Twitter feed too. And I’ll be reporting what has been happening on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris on Monday afternoon. (I’m rushing to get back to be on Tuesday’s show.)

Written by cdorobek

October 27, 2008 at 1:12 AM

Posted in 2008 Vote, Circuit

Tagged with ,

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