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FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Some of John McCain's advisers are not happy that his running mate, Governor Sarah Palin, is making a habit of going off-script and off-message with some of her comments... Most recently this weekend when she discussed her wardrobe at a rally in Florida.
So let's play "what if?"
What if John McCain had not picked Sarah Palin to be his running mate?
For one thing, the Republicans probably wouldn't have had to spend $150,000 buying clothes for the candidate.
Seriously. What if McCain had picked Mitt Romney. A self-made man with plenty of clothes and a knowledge of the economy that the current ticket is sorely lacking. And while he probably can't see Russia from his state, he could probably name at least one newspaper that he reads every day. And if he won, he probably wouldn't go to Washington in January thinking he was "in charge of the Senate."
Or what about Tom Ridge. The former Pennsylvania governor and Secretary of Homeland Security? The key to victory for McCain or Obama may well be Pennsylvania, where Obama holds a double-digit lead heading into next Tuesday. Think Tom Ridge might have helped McCain with his "Pennsylvania" problem? Besides, it would have been fun if McCain wins watching Ridge wrap the White House in clear plastic sheeting and duct tape.
Watch: Cafferty: Palin a mistake?
But McCain chose Sarah Palin who immediately became a national joke to everyone except the conservative base of the Republican party. Even some Republicans are convinced the Palin selection showed a total lack of judgment on McCain's part.
Or what about Florida governor Charlie Crist? Would winning Florida help McCain? You get the idea.
Here’s my question to you: Was it a mistake for John McCain to pick Sarah Palin as his running mate?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
With just a little more than a week to go, most Americans have made up their mind who they're going to vote for on November 4th. According to the latest CNN Poll of Polls, 51 percent say they're voting for Obama. And 43 percent say they're voting for McCain. Six percent of voters say they're still not sure.
In battleground states like Florida, Colorado, Missouri and Pennsylvania, anywhere from 92 to 94 percent of the voters say they've already made up their minds for either Obama or McCain.
But a lot can happen in a week's time. Especially in this campaign that has been dragged out longer than any other in history and cost much, much more.
And it's gotten to be a pretty ugly campaign too, especially on the part of the McCain ticket. ACORN, William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright…The negative attacks didn't win McCain a lot of friends. Most people said they didn't like the nasty stuff. But maybe you never say never.
Here’s my question to you: What would change your mind about your vote for President?
Barack Obama says America is finally getting some straight talk from John McCain. Obama has long sought to tie Senator McCain to President Bush, and yesterday on NBC's Meet the Press, McCain made it easy for him when he said this about President Bush:
"Do we share a common philosophy of the Republican Party? Of course. But I've stood up against my party-not just President Bush, but others- and I've got the scars to prove it."
Admitting anything "in common" with our current Commander-in-Chief is probably not such a good thing for McCain. President Bush has just a 27 percent approval rating, according to a CNN/Opinion Research poll out last week. Seventy-five percent of Americans say they feel bad about how things are going in the country. And over the past eight years, John McCain has supported President Bush 90 percent of the time.
Here’s my question to you: What does John McCain mean when he says he and George W. Bush share a common philosophy of the Republican Party?
It's entirely possible the New Year will find the White House and the Congress controlled by the Democrats.
Virtually all the polls indicate it could be a big year for the Democrats. Some fearless forecasters are predicting Democrats could even wind up with the all-important 60 vote majority in the Senate. That would render Republicans virtually powerless to stop legislation there. Right now– the Democrats barely have the upper hand in the Senate– 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans and 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats.
Watch: Cafferty: One party Federal Government?
In the House, Democrats hold a 235 to 199 majority with one vacancy. A 270-seat majority this election is probably out of reach but the Democrats are expected to pick up some seats. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi predicts Democrats will control 250 seats when all the votes are counted.
And Barack Obama, another Democrat, is the current favorite to be the next president. So what would that mean for the rest of us? It means the Democrats would suddenly have the power to push about any agenda they want to–from raising taxes on the wealthy and cutting them for the middle class to steering more federal benefits to low-income families to expanding health care coverage to anything else they might decide suits their fancy.
Here’s my question to you: What's the risk of one party controlling Congress and the White House?
(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
U.S. stock markets followed overseas markets as the global equities meltdown continues with another sharp decline. Overnight last night stocks fell almost 10% in Tokyo and more than 8% in Hong Kong. European markets didn't fare much better.
Investors around the world are becoming more and more convinced that a long, deep recession is beginning.
They're probably right.
The U.S. economy has lost jobs for nine straight months with no end in sight– more than 760,000 slashed from payrolls so far this year. Another devastating jobs report is likely on November 7, three days after we elect our next president.
The housing crisis isn't letting up either. More than 81,000 homes were lost to foreclosure in September alone. There are no signs things are about to get better any time soon…regardless of what happens on Election Night.
Here’s my question to you: How much will troubling economic news influence what happens on Election Day?
Early voting is under way in more than thirty states. According to some predictions, one-third of the electorate may cast their votes before the polls even open on November 4th. That should ease the burden on Election Day as record turnouts are expected across the country. But not everybody is convinced it will be enough to prevent possible problems.
Questions are already surfacing about the accuracy of the vote in Florida and West Virginia and there is an ongoing battle over voter registration fraud in Ohio. There are concerns we may still not have overcome the voting problems that plagued both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. A new CNN poll shows that only 58 percent of Americans are confident that votes will be accurately cast and counted this year. And that's worse than the 72 percent who were confident in 2004.
Watch: Cafferty: Voter Confidence?
And we are the shining example of democracy to the rest of the world. Plus we have been doing this for more than 230 years.
Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when the public’s confidence in the integrity of the election continues to decline?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
A recent CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll found 60 percent think McCain has unfairly attacked Obama. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
John McCain said this on February 3, 2008, when talking about his run for the White House: "We will run an honorable campaign."
McCain made that statement in response to a question about whether his campaign would resemble George Bush's run for the White House in 2000, one of the nastier campaigns on record.
With less than 2 weeks before Election Day, it's very much an open question whether John McCain has kept his word.
In fact, in the last few weeks John McCain has become downright nasty. It started around the time one of his advisers said that if McCain campaigned on the economy, he would lose. And the ugly personal attacks began. Barack Obama's past acquaintance with William Ayers, Barack Obama's economic plan is socialism, Barack Obama will say anything to get elected.
His running mate, Sarah Palin, has chimed in with such gutter-level rhetoric as Obama pals around with terrorists.
The sudden negative tone for the man who vowed to run an honorable campaign is not going unnoticed by the voters. A recent CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll found 60 percent think McCain has unfairly attacked Obama, up from 42 percent in September.
It's sad that an honorable man like John McCain in a desperate struggle to avoid being embarrassed on November 4th has resorted to campaign tactics typically associated with people who can make no legitimate claim to being honorable.
Here’s my question to you: John McCain promised to run an "honorable" campaign. Has he?
After the longest and most expensive presidential campaign in history, 7% of likely voters are still not sure who they're going to vote for. And the election is now less than two weeks away. These are the findings in the latest CNN Poll of Polls. So what's the problem? Maybe if you haven't figured it out by now you should not be allowed to vote.
Maybe it's the issues. We've had three presidential debates, one vice presidential debate, one economic meltdown, a $700 billion financial bailout package, a couple of wars and countless arguments about under whose plan you and I would pay more in taxes and for health care.
Watch: Cafferty: Undecided voters?
Or maybe it's the mud-slinging…a CNN-Opinion Research Poll found that 3 out of 5 Americans feel the McCain campaign has gone too negative. Another survey by the Associated Press and Knowledge Networks found that negative ads from both candidates aren't convincing the uncommitted–about 60% of undecided voters say the ads make them no more or less likely to vote for John McCain or for Barack Obama. And one-third say they're less likely to vote for either candidate after seeing these negative ads.
Here’s my question to you: Why are so many voters undecided so late in the race?
The Associated Press reports Sarah Palin charged the state of Alaska for some of her children's travel expenses since she became governor. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
We're learning more and more about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin... You know the Republican Vice Presidential candidate who is running on a platform of reform.
First there's the investigation into whether Governor Palin abused the power of her office in order to fire the former Public Safety Commissioner of Alaska.
Now we learn the Republican National Committee spent $150,000 on Governor Palin's wardrobe, hair and makeup shortly after John McCain named her to be his running mate. This included a 75-thousand dollar shopping spree in Minneapolis and more than $4,000 on hair and make-up in September alone.
But here's the topper. The Associated Press reports Sarah Palin charged the state of Alaska for some of her children's travel expenses since she became governor. More than $21,000 worth of airfares and hotels all on the Alaska taxpayers' dime. The AP reports Palin altered the expense reports to indicate her children were on "official business."
The kids weren't even invited to some of these events they were flown too.
How do you present yourself as any kind of candidate of reform when the sleazy practices you employ put you in the same category as every other sleazy, opportunistic politician that has preceded you?
Here’s my question to you: Should Sarah Palin reimburse Alaska taxpayers for her kids’ travel and entertainment expenses?
This billboard in Belgrade, Serbia states, 'Change that we can believe in' posted by a group called 'Europe has no alternative' and depicts an image of John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP PHOTO)
Senator John McCain says when it comes to foreign policy he's light years ahead of Barack Obama. Over and over again, McCain has insisted Obama lacks the necessary experience to conduct business with foreign countries on behalf of the United States.
So how do you explain this?
Citizens of dozens of foreign countries prefer Barack Obama over John McCain as our next president by a margin of almost 4 to 1, according to a massive poll conducted by the Gallup Organization. About 30 percent of those surveyed prefer Obama, while just 8 percent favor McCain.
Watch: Cafferty: Obama favored abroad?
This was no daily tracking poll either. Gallup polled people in 70 countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and North and South America, representing nearly half the world's population, between May and September of this year.
Citizens of the Philippines and Georgia were the only ones who preferred McCain to Obama. Not exactly the super-powers we're looking to mend fences with.
Here’s my question to you: Why do citizens in 70 foreign countries prefer Barack Obama to John McCain by a margin of nearly 4-1?
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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