A new CNN poll says that Barack Obama leads John McCain by just one point, 49-48. However, a CBS poll puts Senator Obama ahead by eight points. So who the heck knows?
But to underestimate Senator Obama would be foolish for the Republicans. There's no question that millions of new voters will turn out for him. Many of those voters can't be polled. They're simply not available for one reason or another.
So here in St. Paul this week, Senator McCain must do a couple of things. He must distinguish himself from Obama on two big issues: the economy/gas prices and the War on Terror. That's what people will vote on in two months.
Also, he must put together a power team. Governor Palin is inexperienced, there's no question. So in order to reassure Americans, McCain should announce that political veterans like Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, maybe even General David Petraeus will all be part of his administration. If McCain surrounds himself with high profile savvy advisers, the experience factor regarding Governor Palin will diminish.
There's no question Barack Obama has a lot going for him. He's a charismatic man, he'll win among minority voters, and his entitlement message is powerful. Also, many in the media are actively campaigning for him, which is unprecedented. And the popular culture vultures like Oprah Winfrey and Jon Stewart are on his team as well.
But "Talking Points" believes most Americans are not impressed with the media. They want their family safe and someone who will get control of the economy. Again, that is what will win the election.
So here in St. Paul this week, Senator McCain and his staff should keep it simple, keep bloviating to a minimum, and be as specific as possible. If they do that, they'll get a bounce.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
I think everybody would agree that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal did an excellent job evacuating New Orleans and preparing his state for the hurricane. At age 37, Governor Jindal seems to really have it together, and he has been a patriot in this situation.
On the pinhead front, where have you been, Michael Moore?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MOORE, FILMMAKER: Gustav is proof that there is a God in heaven. That it would actually be on its way to New Orleans for day one of the Republican Convention up in the Twin Cities at the top of the Mississippi River.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Pinhead doesn't even begin to cover this guy.