Tales from the Trail

Palin gets a little help from a friend, Cindy McCain

WASHINGTON – The polls and pundits may be giving Sarah Palin a bad rap, but the Republican vice presidential candidate from Alaska has one staunch defender.

“I think she’s been treated very poorly in the press,” said Cindy McCain in an interview with CNN’s Larry King.

The wife of Republican presidential hopeful John McCain dismissed any idea that Palin has been a drag on the Republican ticket.

“She has done nothing but help this ticket. The size of the crowds she gets, the inspiration, the ability to get her message out, to get our message out. She is truly a remarkable woman,” McCain said.

As for the flap over the $150,000 the Republican Party spent on new clothes for Palin, how silly can the press be?

Superstitious Biden sure of Pennsylvania, not others

ZANESVILLE, Ohio – Joe Biden would bet his daughter’s graduate tuition on winning the battleground state of Pennsylvania, but he said he was not so sure of Ohio, Indiana or Missouri.

Speaking to reporters en route to a rally, the Democratic vice presidential candidate was upbeat about Tuesday’s election. But he would not say if he expected Barack Obama to win.

“I am superstitious and so I am not going to comment on us winning or losing,” he said.

Punk-rock feud extends beyond the grave to presidential race

Punk rock innovators the Ramones made a joyful racket, but offstage they were rarely in tune.

Band members were known to feud about everything, from their song list to politics. Guitarist Johnny Ramone was a conservative, while singer Joey Ramone was a liberal.

Johnny and Joey are both dead now, but their feud lives on in the presidential race.

McCain’s final stop: Prescott, Arizona

For John McCain, the road to the White House ends in Prescott, Arizona.

The Arizona senator caps a frantic, final day of campaigning on Monday with a midnight rally on the courthouse steps in the old territorial capital, where he has concluded his earlier campaigns for Senate.

The courthouse plaza has hosted other notable rallies. Former Sen. Barry Goldwater, the 1964 presidential candidate who McCain regards as a role model, ended his campaigns there as well, as did members of the state’s Udall dynasty.

“It’s got great historical significance in Arizona,” said McCain adviser Mark Salter.

No Republican tricks at polls: McCain camp

WASHINGTON – A flier warning that Republicans could try to intimidate voters on Tuesday in the battleground state of Pennsylvania drew a sharp rebuke from John McCain’s camp.

The flier circulating in Lancaster County tells voters to be on alert for attempts to challenge their eligibility, according to McCain backer and former Sen. John Danforth.

He said the flier warns students and “people of color” they could be targeted, and some people might be told they cannot vote if they did not cast a ballot in the primaries, are delinquent on child support or have outstanding parking tickets.

Sunny skies on Nov. 4 could help Obama

The gods could be smiling on Barack Obama come Nov. 4.

Weather forecasters AccuWeather.com predict sunny skies across much of the country on Election Day, and good weather has historically helped Democrats at the polls.

A 2005 study found that lousy weather typically helps Republicans, as less-dedicated voters who typically favor Democrats tend to stay home rather than wait in line in the rain and snow.

To be precise, turnout drops by just under 1 percent for every inch of rain, or one-half percent for every quarter inch of snow, according to University of Pittsburgh professor George Krause, who co-authored the study.

Yale economist’s model gives Obama 4-point spread on McCain

DALLAS – Yale Economist Ray Fair’s econometric forecasting model for presidential elections gives an almost 4-point spread to Democrat Barack Obama over Republican John McCain in Tuesday’s White House election.

The model, based on data going back almost a century, has just been updated after Thursday’s release of figures showing U.S. economic output shrank at a 0.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter as the
biggest pullback by consumers since 1980 overwhelmed an increase in government spending.

On his web site, Fair says in a two-party presidential race, the Democratic candidate can expect 51.91 percent of the vote while the candidate for the incumbent White House party — the Republican Party — is seen garnering 48.09 percent.

Colombians keen to vote for Obama, or bet on him

By Freddy Builes

TURBACO, Colombia – A former mayor of this coastal town is such as fan of U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama that he plans to hold a mock election to allow Colombians to vote for the Democrat.

Silvio Carrasquilla plastered the front of his house with pictures of Obama, campaign slogans and U.S. flags.

“We want to show the moral support that Obama has here,” said 28-year-old Carrasquilla, who was mayor from 2004 to 2008. “I got the idea when people who saw the house started asking if there was some way for them to vote.”

I can boogie better than McCain, brags Obama

boogie.jpgMIAMI – One thing Barack Obama does know — he can beat his Republican rival John McCain in a dancing contest.

In an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show via satellite from Miami, Obama stood before a crowd of cheering supporters and showed off his dance moves to James Brown’s big hit “Get Up Offa That Thing”. 

After boogying to the music played from Ellen’s studio, Obama conceded that his wife Michelle is a better dancer.

Michelle Obama brings Republican date to the debate

rtr20fdd.jpgIt’s no surprise that Michelle Obama will be rooting for her husband, Barack Obama, when the Democratic presidential candidate squares off against Republican John McCain in their final debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York tonight.

What is a little startling, however, is that sitting right next to her will be Lilibet Hagel, the wife of Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel.

The Obama campaign said Lilibet Hagel, a Republican who has endorsed the Democratic presidential candidate, will attend the debate as Michelle Obama’s “special guest.”