"As it turns out, Joe the Plumber...may work in the plumbing business, but he is not a licensed plumber....His full name is Samuel J. Wurzelbacher. And he owes back taxes, too, public records show." - Reporter Larry Rohter in his investigation of Joe Wurzelbacher, who challenged Barack Obama on taxes at a campaign stop in Toledo, Ohio, October 17.
Domestic Terrorist Bill Ayers, Shady Financier Charles Keating: Same Thing
"With Mr. McCain and Republicans slipping in the polls as the economic crisis spreads, they have begun to attack Mr. Obama's character in the hope of, as one McCain adviser put it, 'turning the page on the financial crisis.' But such a tactic carries its own risks because Mr. McCain is not without his own questionable associations. As a member of the Keating Five in the 1980s, he was rebuked by the Senate for 'poor judgment' after he met with regulators investigating one of his major political donors, Charles H. Keating Jr., who later went to prison after his savings and loan collapsed, at great cost to taxpayers. There is also the risk that such attacks will be seen as petty at a time of a national economic crisis." - Reporter Michael Cooper, October 11.
The GOP as Nazis? That's Not Getting Old
"...what has pumped up the Weimar-like rage at McCain-Palin rallies, is the violent escalation in rhetoric, especially (though not exclusively) by Palin." - Frank Rich, October 12.
McCain's "Strange" Debate Performance
"Mr. McCain, after starting off comfortably, seemed increasingly inconsistent and testy as the debate wore on....His voice turned edgy at times, as when talking about Obama campaign attack advertisements, and his frozen smile and wide eyes - which blinked frequently and distractingly at times - seemed a little strange." - Patrick Healy reviewing McCain's performance in the third and final presidential debate, October 16.
Palin Should Be Attacking Her Own Party
"Ms. Palin's speeches do not acknowledge that looking at past mistakes is one way to avoid making those mistakes again. And her addresses gloss over some uncomfortable details, like that the most recent big spender in the White House is the Republican now there....If there are holes in logic or a lack of specifics in Ms. Palin's speeches, her audiences tend to fill the absence with gushing affection." - Patrick Healy, October 14.
"Conservative and Almost All-White Crowds" Cheer Out-of-Touch McCain
"Senator John McCain devoted most of two campaign appearances on Wednesday to lusty attacks on Senator Barack Obama and gave less attention, and offered very few specifics, to the growing economic woes of American voters....Mr. McCain and his advisers have made the calculation that negative attacks will move at least some voters. Certainly those attacks pump up crowds on the campaign trail, where it is the sharp criticism of Mr. Obama, rather than Mr. McCain's once-over comments on the economy, that draw the biggest, loudest response from the conservative and almost all-white crowds that come to see Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin." - Elisabeth Bumiller, October 9.
Obama's Problem: He's Too Reaganesque
"Back in 1980, Ronald Reagan asked the electorate if you were better off than you were four years ago," Mr. Obama told a grandstand full of voters in the swing state of Indiana. "At the pace things are going, you're going to have to ask if you were better off than you were four weeks ago. Then, suddenly, a cardinal rule of politics seemed to kick in: People vote for optimists, not pessimists, even if that means obscuring hard truths in the short term. And so Mr. Obama veered rather sharply into his version of Reaganesque confidence, taking a page from a leader who talked a great deal about sunny days but very little about the budget deficits and debt that flowed from his policies." - Patrick Healy, October 9.
How Dare McCain Talk About Winning In Iraq!
"It was disturbing to see that Mr. McCain seems to have learned nothing from the disastrous war in Iraq. He talked about recent progress there, which is indisputable, and his support for the troop surge that has brought down violence. But Mr. McCain still was talking about winning, rather than how he was going to plan a necessary and responsible exit. And he steadfastly refused to acknowledge that the decision to invade Iraq was an enormous mistake." - From the lead editorial of September 27, written after the first presidential debate between McCain and Obama.
Guess We Won't Be Selling Ads to Rolex This Year
"True joy, my friends, is the feeling that comes from knowing that the right people are sad....And let me tell you that anybody who wears a $30,000 watch can afford to lose $30,000." - Reporter John Schwartz in a story in the paper's special Mutual Funds Report section, October 12.
Steny Hoyer, Centrist? Since When?
"A coalition of centrist Democrats led by Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader, had refused to back the tax benefits unless they were deficit neutral - offset by tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere." - Carl Hulse, October 2. The American Conservative Union setsthe lifetime political rating of the veteran lawmaker at 8 out of a possible 100 (4 in both 2006 and 2007).
More of Goodman's Gloating Over Capitalism's Failures
"Over the years, Mr. Greenspan helped enable an ambitious American experiment in letting market forces run free. Now, the nation is confronting the consequences." - Economics reporter Peter Goodman, from his October 9 front-page story on the derivative market.
So That's Why He Did It
"Scrambling to repair his image on economic issues, Senator John McCain proposed during Tuesday night's debate a $300 billion plan authorizing the treasury secretary to buy the mortgages of homeowners in financial trouble and replace them with more affordable loans." - Lead sentence to Jackie Calmes' October 8 story.
Joke of the Day
"By my count, The Times has published more tough articles on Obama, 20, than on McCain, 13, since the beginning of last year." - Public Editor Clark Hoyt defending his paper's political coverage against charges of anti-McCain bias, October 5.
From the New York Times, Always a Reliable Democratic Cheerleader...
"American business, typically a reliable Republican cheerleader, is decidedly lukewarm about Senator John McCain's proposal to overhaul the health care system by revamping the tax treatment of health benefits, officials with leading trade groups say." - The lead to health reporter Kevin Sack's October 7 story.
"Angry, Raucous," "Hostile" Crowd at McCain Rallies Attacking News Media
"Senator John McCain joined in the attacks on Thursday on Senator Barack Obama for his ties to the 1960s radical William Ayers, telling an angry, raucous crowd in Wisconsin that 'we need to know the full extent of the relationship' to judge whether Mr. Obama 'is telling the truth to the American people or not.'....But what has been most striking about the last 48 hours on the campaign trail is the increasingly hostile atmosphere at Mr. McCain's rallies, where voters furiously booed any mention of Mr. Obama and lashed out at the Democrats, Wall Street and the news media." - Patrick Healy and Elisabeth Bumiller, October 10.
Smarties for Obama, Heckling Hicks for Palin
"Debate watchers at Dos Rios - the sort of crowd that can cite chapter and verse of Medicaid waivers without notes - watched intensely, taking their eyes off the television only to grab a Corona." - Jennifer Steinhauer among a crowd of Obama supporters in Des Moines, October 8.
"From Jacksonville in the northeast to Pensacola in the Panhandle, the fiery crowds gathered to jeer at any hint of liberalism, boo loudly at the mere mention of Senator Barack Obama's name and heckle the traveling press corps (at a rally in Clearwater, one man hurled a racial epithet at a television cameraman). " - Julie Bosman on the trail with Sarah Palin, October 8.
Still Fighting Tax Cuts
"Mr. McCain's economic policy centers on extending President Bush's deficit-swelling tax cuts and on cutting even more corporate taxes. But at the same time, Mr. McCain has vowed to balance the federal budget by the end of his term, a pledge he has reiterated even with the fiscal crisis threatening to throw the budget even deeper into the red." - Reporter Michael Cooper, October 12.
"Is Era of Dominance Over For Conservatives?" - Headline over John Harwood's "Caucus" article, October 6.
Couldn't Have Said It Better Ourselves
"If I were watching Fox News, I wouldn't vote for me, right? Because the way I'm portrayed 24/7 is as a freak! I am the latte-sipping, New York Times-reading, Volvo-driving, no-gun-owning, effete, politically correct, arrogant liberal." - Barack Obama, talking to Matt Bai for the October 19 edition of the New York Times Magazine.