Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

A note on polls: as of the day after the convention I'm told by what I believe to be reliable sources that the internal polls of both campaigns had President Bush up roughly four points on John Kerry.

Getting straight-up info on what each campaigns' own polls are telling them is inherently difficult. And I want to make clear that I have not seen the data with my own eyes. But I have heard this from sources (for each side) which I believe to be reliable. And I'm passing the information on on that caveat-ed basis.

Pretty much everyone in both parties has been discounting the results of the Time poll giving President Bush a ten point lead coming out of the convention -- for various reasons having to do with the methodology of the poll and two other polls giving a different result.

But now, according to pollingreport.com at least, Newsweek has a poll out with almost identical numbers: Bush 54%, Kerry 43%.

Karen gets results!

A little more on the boo-a-rama, <$NoAd$>from a reporter on the scene ...

Karen Hughes went totally apesh-t at the AP when that dispatch hit the wire.

She stormed up the bleachers and starting screaming at the AP writer (who took it in stride). "They didn't boo! Were you and I in the same rally! What is this crap?" or something along those lines (it was loud in there). The AP writer then canvassed his colleagues, who all said they hadn't heard any boos.

Say what you want about McClellan ("dreadful briefer," "talking points only"), I don't think he's ever screamed at a reporter.

The innards of a campaign ...

From a story in Saturday's Washington Post, we now have more evidence that the Larry Franklin investigation goes well beyond Larry Franklin.

According to the Post, FBI investigators are looking at people in Feith's office (Harold Rhode), Cheney's office (David Wurmser) and on the Defense Policy Board (Richard Perle).

I'm swamped at the moment working on another project. But note that the people in question track almost exactly with the list of the most ardent supporters of Ahmed Chalabi in the administration.

Be sure to read this article.

More later.

I take this as a final, definitive word on the back and forth about whether there was booing at the Bush rally.

This comes from a reporter on the scene whose judgment <$NoAd$>and honesty I completely trust ...

They didn't boo. More accurately, the overwhelming number of people didn't boo (I heard maybe one or two, and even those died with "hospitalized.") AP got it wrong.

When Bush said "En route here we just received news that President Clinton has been hospitalized in New York," there was a big intake of breath and some loud "oohs" in the crowd. It was unmistakably shock. No boos.

Bush then followed up, and the official transcript has it right: "He is in our thoughts and prayers. We send him our best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery. (Applause.)"

End of story. I give Bush and the crowd their due.

Time Magazine's poll of likely voters, conducted over the course of the convention: Bush 52%, Kerry 41%, Nader 3%. Zogby, over the same period and also of likely voters, Bush 46%, Kerry 44%. ARG, covering through Wednesday Sept. 1st, also among likely voters, Bush 48%, Kerry 47%.

From the Associated Press, via Atrios and others ...

President Bush on Friday wished Bill Clinton ``best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery.''

``He's is in our thoughts and prayers,'' Bush said at a campaign rally.

Bush's audience of thousands in West Allis, Wis., booed. Bush did nothing to stop them.

A leader ...

Late Update: The AP has now apparently retracted the part of this article about booing. So presumably the reporter didn't hear what she thought she heard. A number of readers tell me they saw video of the event and heard no booing. Kevin Drum has a link to a audio clip that seems to confirm those accounts.

Two perspectives ..<$NoAd$>.

Our strategy is succeeding. Four years ago, Afghanistan was the home base of al-Qaida, Pakistan was a transit point for terrorist groups, Saudi Arabia was fertile ground for terrorist fundraising, Libya was secretly pursuing nuclear weapons, Iraq was a gathering threat, and al-Qaida was largely unchallenged as it planned attacks. Today, the government of a free Afghanistan is fighting terror, Pakistan is capturing terrorist leaders, Saudi Arabia is making raids and arrests, Libya is dismantling its weapons programs, the army of a free Iraq is fighting for freedom, and more than three-quarters of al-Qaida's key members and associates have been detained or killed. We have led, many have joined, and America and the world are safer."

George W. Bush
Convention Acceptance Speech
September 2nd, 2004

"As speakers at the GOP convention trumpet Bush administration successes in the war on terrorism, an NBC News analysis of Islamic terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001, shows that attacks are on the rise worldwide — dramatically.

Of the roughly 2,929 terrorism-related deaths around the world since the attacks on New York and Washington, the NBC News analysis shows 58 percent of them — 1,709 — have occurred this year.

In the past 10 days, in fact, the number of dead has risen by 142 people in places as diverse as Russia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel. On Tuesday, the number of civilians killed by terrorists totaled 38 — 10 at a subway entrance bombing in Moscow, 16 in a bus bombing in Israel and 12 Nepalese executed in Iraq.

Moreover, the level of sophistication is increasing. Terrorism experts point in particular to the attacks apparently carried out by Chechen rebels during that 10-day period. The rebels, whose top military commanders have been Arabs, are operating at a whole different level."
NBC News
September 2nd, 2004