Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

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I linked below to Ivo Daalder's post about the Bush administration's transition from GWOT (Global War on Terror) to GSAVE (Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism. Ivo thinks this is both a very big change and a very good change.

I'm inclined to agree. But first a few thoughts.

First of all, let's hope that the administration is as proficient in combating terrorism as it is in coming up with new buzzwords and acronyms.

Secondly, on the political front, isn't it necessary for the president to -- how else to put it? -- 'fess up? This is a complete repudiation of roughly four years of counter-terrorism policy out of the White House.

The core of the Bush Doctrine was that the threat of terrorism is still one tied to states rather than non-state-actors. As Doug Feith said some three years ago, the reliance of terrorists on state sponsors has been the "principal strategic thought underlying our strategy in the war on terrorism."

If we take their words at face value, they've now abandoned that cornerstone of their strategy. Shouldn't that prompt some questions?

What are we to make of the change from GWOT (Global War on Terror) to GSAVE (Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism)? Ivo Daalder says it's a big deal. And that it's being driven by the Pentagon, which is the institution experiencing the failure of the Bush-GWOT firsthand.

Brewing Dobson-Frist Smackdown? Who heard today's Focus on the Family segment with Dr. James?

Dobson says he can't bear being "stabbed in the back by somebody that I thought was a friend … [And] that is what I think has happened here. This is not personal ... Sen. Frist has not put the knife in my back. But it’s essentially placed in the backs of all pro-life and pro-family people around the country."

Final results are in. And it's Schmidt over Hackett, 52%-48% -- a spread of about 3500 votes. The key was that Schmidt's home turf was late reporting.

This is a solid Republican district, though. And Hackett made them really work for it.

It'll be interesting to see what lessons and signs can be gleaned from the results.

As of 10:20 the last I've heard is still a 50%-50% race, with Schmidt up over Hackett by just under a thousand votes and 662 of 753 precincts reporting.

Hackett started with a slim lead, lost it after about half the votes had been counted and then pushed the margin back to the result above. But the outstanding votes, as far as I can tell, come from Schmidt's home turf.

We're discussing the results in this thread.

We'll post updates as we hear them.

If you're looking for informed play-by-play on the congressional race tonight in Ohio's 2nd district you'll probably want to head over to either Swing State Project or MyDD.

But just for my part, even now, this is looking like it could be a pretty exciting evening. According to Chris Bowers latest numbers it's Hackett (D) 51.99-48.01 over Schimdt (R) with 250 of 753 precincts reporting.

That's close enough that you really can't interpret those numbers without knowing precisely which precincts have come and the precise contours of the district.

But remember: this is a heavily Republican district. And with a third of the vote in, Hackett is managing to hold on to a razor thin lead. At worst, Hackett is giving Schmidt one hell of a run for her money. And at best ... well, let's wait and see.

Late Update: Schmidt pulling ahead in the stretch ... with 508 precincts reporting, 52% for Schmidt, 48% for Hackett.

Later Update: 660 precincts out of 753 reporting, Schmidt up by less than a thousand votes. 50%-50% by percentage. -- 9:51 PM

(We'll be watching the numbers at this thread at TPMCafe.)

Over his site, Ed Kilgore's got a partial answer to the Ralph Reed mystery. That is, how Reed is still managing to run for state-wide office in Georgia even though he's been centrally implicated in the Abramoff Indian gambling shakedown scandal. Ed says, just be patient. Lots of people in the state seem to realize Reed's goose is cooked. The question, says Ed, is just when between now and election day it all catches up with him.

Here's something I'm not clear on.

Jack Abramoff has totally clammed up about his starring role in his own eponymous scandal. But what about Ralph Reed, who's certainly up for supporting actor billing in the Abramoff debacle?

Reed was the rousting agent in the Abramoff gambling protection racket. With Abramoff's direction and financial support, Reed would whip up local opposition to gambling. Then Abramoff et al. would swoop in to offer their lobbying services to protect the casino owners from Reed.

As I said, Abramoff isn't answering questions, as is his right. But what about Reed?

Reed is actually running for something: Lt. Governor of Georgia.

Reed's dealings with Abramoff suggest not only that he is corrupt but that his morality issue grandstanding is utterly cynical. But as near as I can tell he's yet to take much of a hit for any of this back in Georgia.

What gives?