Barack Obama's "closing argument," as delivered today in Raleigh, covered all the bases: Unity & Change; McCain's so Bush-like; no more "trickle-down"; it won't be easy; and on policies: tax cuts for 95%-jobs-health care-renewable energy-education-end Iraq war/put Al-Qaeda out of business. Oh, and Hope.
So what single line is making headlines? If you were there, you know this --
Dole's polls must show her in deep trouble, because her new ad -- which ends with Hagan's picture over someone else's voice saying "there is no god" -- is pretty desperate. A "Hail Mary," that is, that sure isn't full of grace. The Greensboro News & Record is on the story.
For the complete blow-by-blow, this DailyKos diary by a Hagan partisan has the offending ad itself and Hagan's letter to the Dole campaign threating to go to court if Dole doesn't pull it down.
(Update: News & Record has audio of Hagan's press conference: "fabricated ... pathetic" to attack her faith; she quotes the Bible and brings on her minister: "Kay has been faithful." Hagan: "I certainly don't support anything" the Godless PAC stands for ... I don't ask what church my supporters attend.)
Raleigh's Public Policy Polling has Obama up by 17 points in Wake County. (Bush won it by 2.) Hagan and Perdue also lead, though by less. It's all here.
And in the Wake commissioners campaign, their polling puts Democrat Stan Norwalk ahead of incumbent Republican Kenn Gardner by 9 points. The Realtors' attacks aren't working, apparently. Democrat incumbents lead the other two commissioners races by even more. That's all here.
Sen. Elizabeth Dole, criticized for spending little time in North Carolina since we elected her, is burning up Tobacco Road this week in her ElizaBus.
The ElizaBus, however, is -- wait for it -- from Tennessee. (h/t Daily Kos, reading the Hagan campaign stuff)
Peter Holsapple of dBs fame posts on The New York Times' blog, Measure for Measure, a new song, "All Talk." In addition, he muses on his current band, Luego, his recent forays into songwriting collaboration and his inspiration from Dylan to revive old material in a refreshing way. He writes:
"This old plow horse plans to use those cues to make my new tunes more adaptable (if no less personal) and broad. Thank you, Bob, thank you Drew and Patrick, and thanks to everyone who’s been reading my blogs. You all inspire me to do better and do more, which is all any songwriter could hope."
City of Raleigh is closing streets at 9:30 am in preparation for the noontime rally ("pre-program" set to start at 11:15) and parking-deck space nearby is limited. The city's forewarning is copied below. Our thought: Take a bus to the Moore Square transfer station downton and walk over to the mall.
The NC Department of Commerce did not account for as much as $181.6 million in taxpayer costs for the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility, opponents of the lab said today. The department had originally predicted a $1.6 billion benefit to the state from the lab.
The original calculations did not include several essential figures, including those from the Department of Homeland Security's site cost analysis, which had been heavily redacted, said the Granville Non-Violent Action Team, which obtained additional details from N.C. Biotechnology Center documents (pdfs, Adobe Reader required):
A full picture of who is backing the political action committees supporting and opposing the prepared meals tax won't be available until after the third quarter filing reports are released later today, but the News and Observer has a preliminary breakdown of how the two groups have generated their financial support thus far.
Durham Citizens Against the Food Tax has received $26,000 in in-kind gifts, the bulk of that sum coming from Americans for Prosperity, a national low-tax lobbying group.
On the other side, the Durham Prepared Meals Tax Committee has managed to raise $19, 150, its largest donations coming from Triangle based companies, Capital Broadcasting Corp and Teer Associates of Durham.
Veep candidate Sen. Joe Biden, appearing briefly on G105's Showgram, passed the hosts' pivotal grocery quiz, closely estimating prices of several common grocery items without going over.
In the five-minute segment, Biden came within 50 to 60 cents of pegging the cost of a 14-ounce box of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, a three-pack of Dial soap and a loaf of wheat bread. He overestimated the price of one pound of ground beef ($3.49), saying it was around $4.50.
Bob Dumas and Co. commented that Biden "did a really good job," to which Biden replied "They don't call me the second poorest guy in the Senate for nothing."
However, Biden's command of the cereal aisle did not convince co-hostess Kristin. "Just because a guy knows the price of Frosted Flakes doesn't mean I'm going to friggin' vote for his ass."
This begs the question: If Biden's grocery awareness is so meaningless, then why did you ask such stupid, non-essential questions?
North Carolina's a cliff-hanger, obviously. Put the polls together, they say up for grabs between Obama and McCain with a week left.
The Obama event on Wendnesday is billed as an "Early Vote for Change" rally as the campaign seeks to maximize its one-stop registration/voting turnout by the Saturday deadline. It's on the State Government Mall; 11:15 am "pre-program" start; no tickets required, but they'd like to have your name anyway. The campaign's invitation is reprinted below.