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7:00 PM ET, October 2, 2008


 Top Items: 
Jonathan Martin / Jonathan Martin's Blogs:
McCain pulling out of Michigan  —  John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.  —  McCain will go off TV in Michigan …
Mike Allen / The Politico:
Palin's new plan: Go after Biden  —  ST. LOUIS — Sarah Palin plans to go on the attack in tonight's debate, hitting Joe Biden for what she will call his foreign policy blunders and penchant for adopting liberal positions on taxes and other issues, according to campaign officials involved in prepping her for tonight's showdown.
Mike Allen / The Politico:
McCain fate hangs on three states  —  ST. LOUIS — Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) now must win Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or Minnesota in order to get enough electoral votes to win the presidency, his campaign says.  —  Those were considered swing states in 2000 and 2004, but George W. Bush lost them both times.
Discussion: The New Republic and Donklephant
Foon Rhee / Boston Globe:
McCain: Life isn't fair  —  Republican John McCain — making the rounds of the morning news shows as polls show him falling behind Democratic rival Barack Obama and his running mate losing the confidence of voters — sounded either bitter or fatalistic, or perhaps was trying some gallows humor.
Ben Smith / Ben Smith's Blogs:
Plouffe protests  —  David Plouffe spoke to reporters just now, my colleague Victoria McGrane reports, previewing the debate.  —  After repeatedly calling Palin first “an extremely good debater,” then a “great” one, at the end he ramped it up to “Gov. Palin is one of the best debaters in American politics …
Discussion: and TPM Election Central
Andrew Malcolm / Top of the Ticket:
McCain's ‘Stop Sarah Palin’ strategy working like a charm, polls show  —  Fresh evidence tonight that the brilliant McCain campaign strategy to lock away the political effervescence of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to stoke overconfidence among the nation's Democrats and set the stage …
Marc Ambinder:
McCain's Now Playing Defense; Obama Bracing For Counterattacks  —  The Politico reports this afternoon that the McCain campaign has canceled their television ads and direct mail program in Michigan, and plans instead to fortify McCain's defensive positions in states won by President Bush in 2004.
McCain: Palin will do ‘fine’ in VP debate
Gallup Daily: Obama Leads McCain by 5 Points
Discussion: MyDD
Nedra Pickler / Associated Press:
McCain giving up on Michigan
Jim Oliphant / The Swamp:
Obama camp: Palin ‘one of the best’
Discussion: Top of the Ticket
Adam Nagourney / The Caucus:
McCain Pulls Out of Michigan
Discussion: The Marathon Blog
Howard Kurtz / Washington Post:
GOP ‘Gotcha Journalism’ Charges Throw Spotlight on Debate  —  For days now, television viewers have watched Sarah Palin unable to explain the significance of her home state's bordering Russia, unable to name a Supreme Court ruling she disagrees with, unable to name a single newspaper she reads.
Ross Douthat:
The Struggles of Sarah Palin  —  What's been interesting - in a watching-from-behind-your-hands sort of way, if you're a conservative who wishes her well - about Palin's interviews with Charlie Gibson and especially Katie Couric is the way they've provided examples of almost every single …
Chris Orr / The New Republic:
Another Reason Palin Will Win Tonight  —  I think Michelle is spot on in her pre-analysis of tonight's Biden-Palin debate, but I'd add one additional dynamic that's likely to operate in Palin's favor: She is much closer to her floor of support right now than her ceiling.
Discussion: The Daily Dish
Victor Davis Hanson / National Review:   Sarah Biden  —  Journalists continue to ask, “What was John …
Natalie Gewargis / Political Punch:
Debate Tip: Look for Palin to Use Biden's Own Words to Attack Obama
Discussion: Hot Air
Byron York / The Corner:   Scenes From the Debate — Palin Prep
Liz Cox Barrett / CJR:
Drudge Raises a Point  —  Gwen Ifill has done solid, important journalism.  She'll likely be a good, tough, and neutral moderator to the vice-presidential debate.  Let's set that aside, for now.  —  Conflict of interest is often about appearances.  There appears, to us …
Ifill Ethics Commission Clears Ifill
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Moonbattery
Cenk Uygur / The Huffington Post:   McCain Campaign Working the Ref in the VP Debate
Jim Tankersley / The Swamp:
Debate pre-game: Biden's gaffe reel  —  So much for the expectations game.  —  John McCain's campaign is all-but daring Democratic VP nominee Joe Biden to commit a, well, Biden-esque flub in tonight's debate with GOP counterpart Sarah Palin.  Hours before the curtain goes up in St. Louis …
Bill Curry / The Huffington Post:   Biden's Big Night
Washington Post:
Judge Could Dismiss Stevens's Indictment or Declare Mistrial  —  Prosecutors Wait Until Last Minute to Disclose Potentially Exculpatory Material  —  A federal judge this morning scolded lawyers prosecuting Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens (R) on ethics charges for waiting until the last minute …
Frank James / The Swamp:
Ted Stevens may escape feds yet
Discussion: The Crypt's Blogs and The Hill
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Photos: Minnesota Left's political tolerance  —  Tonight, as we prepare for our Debate Party tonight at Trocadero's, one of the listeners for our radio station AM 1280 The Patriot has to prepare for some hard work cleaning his work van and personal car.  He made the mistake of thinking …
New Yorker:
THE CHOICE  —  Never in living memory has an election been more critical than the one fast approaching—that's the quadrennial cliché, as expected as the balloons and the bombast.  And yet when has it ever felt so urgently true?  When have so many Americans had so clear a sense that a Presidency has …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs and Wonkette
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Confronting Racism Against Obama  —  A pretty amazing speech by the AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka.  To see a white union man take on racism this way is very moving.  Something truly profound could happen in this election, if we want it to:
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
New Obama Ad In South Stars Bluegrass Legend Saying Obama Is “A Good Man”  —  Now this is a good ad.  A Virginia Democrats sends over a new radio spot that Obama is airing in the southern part of the state — it stars homegrown bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley vouching for Obama's values …
Marc Fisher / Washington Post:
Gilchrest Unloads on Know-Nothing Pols and the Rest of Us  —  Wayne Gilchrest, the nine-term Republican congressman who represents Maryland's Eastern Shore and parts of Anne Arundel County, has had it, and he's ready to talk.  —  He's had it with his own party, which he says “has become more narrow …
Matt / Think Progress:
Hans Von Spakovsky Claims Obama Would Have A ‘Partisan And Politically-Biased’ Justice Department  —  In May, controversial former Justice Department official Hans Von Spakovsky withdrew his name from consideration for the Federal Election Commission, following months of opposition from lawmakers and civil rights groups.
Discussion: Human Events
St. Petersburg Times:
Florida GOP meets in secret as Obama passes McCain in polls  —  TALLAHASSEE — Florida Republican leaders hastily convened a top secret meeting this week to grapple with Sen. John McCain's sagging performance in this must-win state.  —  Their fears were confirmed Wednesday when four …
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 More Items: 
Steven Greenhouse / The Caucus:
Mine Workers Protest Anti-Obama Ad
Discussion: Oliver Willis
National Review:
Bennett: Its a Matter of Temperament
Steven Pearlstein / Washington Post:
No Silver Bullets Here  —  To hear it from critics on the left …
Discussion: The Corner and Econlog
Ryan Grim / The Politico:
Carter-era economist advises bailout opponents
Margaret Newkirk / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Black turnout high in early voting
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs and Donklephant
 Earlier Items: 
The New Republic:
Now That We're Back Where We Were Three Weeks Ago ...
Greg Sargent / TPM Election Central:
McCain Says Bailout Bill He Voted For Is “Putting Us On The Brink …
Ari / Firedoglake:
Bill O'Reilly: I am proof G-d Exists
Discussion: Shakesville
Dareh Gregorian / New York Post:
Nate Silver /
Real Credibility Problems
Discussion: American Street
Stephen Shankland / CNET News:
Obama releases iPhone recruiting, campaign tool
Discussion: Slog and Needlenose