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6:30 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.
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
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
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 …
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
Marc Ambinder:
McCain's Now Playing Defense; Obama Bracing For Counterattacks
Adam Nagourney / The Caucus:
McCain Pulls Out of Michigan
Discussion: The Marathon Blog
CNN:   McCain: Palin will do ‘fine’ in VP debate
Lexie Verdon / Washington Post:
Biden to Speak at Son's Deployment Ceremony
Discussion: Boston Globe
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
Michelle Cottle / The New Republic:
Cue The Comeback  —  Will Palin get pushed into a sinkhole of cringe-inducing incoherence tonight?  Don't bet on it!  —  There's a memorable exchange in the divinely trashy B-movie The Devil's Advocate in which Al Pacino—well-cast as the head of a Manhattan-based legal empire who also happens to be Satan …
Victor Davis Hanson / National Review:   Sarah Biden  —  Journalists continue to ask, “What was John …
Ifill Ethics Commission Clears Ifill  —  By Gwen Ifill  —  PBS Chief Political Correspondent  —  and Gwen Ifill  —  President, Ifill Center for Media Ethics  —  and Gwen Ifill  —  Editor, BarackBeat Fanzine  —  WASHINGTON - As expected, a blue ribbon panel from the Ifill Center …
Discussion: Michelle Malkin and Moonbattery
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
CJR: Yes, Ifill has a conflict of interest
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 …
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
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 …
Margaret Newkirk / Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Black turnout high in early voting  —  A disproportionate number of Georgia's 194,138 early voters are African-American, in what could be an encouraging sign for Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign.  —  As of Wednesday, about 39 percent of those voters — 74,961 — are African-Americans …
Discussion: Ben Smith's Blogs and Donklephant
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 …
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 …
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 …
Discussion: Ed
Ryan Grim / The Politico:
Carter-era economist advises bailout opponents  —  The Republican Party may be deeply fractured over the bailout, but supporters and opponents of the measure agree on one thing: an obscure Carter administration policymaker named Bill Isaac helped kill the bill on Monday.
Mark Niquette / The Columbus Dispatch:
State Supreme Court overrules Brunner on absentee-ballot check-box issue  —  Application forms had been mailed by McCain campaign  —  The Ohio Supreme Court this afternoon ordered Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to direct county elections boards to accept disputed applications …
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 More Items: 
Steven Pearlstein / Washington Post:
No Silver Bullets Here  —  To hear it from critics on the left …
Discussion: The Corner and Econlog
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Video: Comparing Fannie/Freddie to Enron/Worldcom/Tyco
Aaron Smith /
Insurers plunge on Reid's remark
Discussion: The Corner and On Deadline
 Earlier Items: 
Andrew Sullivan / The Daily Dish:
Confronting Racism Against Obama
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:
Alexander Burns / The Politico:
100 percent, absolute truth?
Nate Silver /
Real Credibility Problems
Discussion: American Street
Stephen Shankland / CNET News:
Obama releases iPhone recruiting, campaign tool
Discussion: Slog and Needlenose