Saturday, November 15, 2008

Hooky The sculpture "Fruits of Paradise - Pear" by Chinese artist couple Wu Shaoxiang and Jian Shuo is exhibited Thursday, Nov. 13, 2008 in Zurich, Switzerland. The art fair "Kunst08" will open Friday, Nov. 14 and last for three days.

Off for an unplugged weekend, back Sunday night.

Daily Inspiration

yahoo: A visitor passes by Vitaly Pushnitsky's sculpture 'Son' displayed at an exhibition during an independent national Russian award in contemporary art Kandinsky Prize at the Central House of Artists in Moscow, November 6, 2008.
(Denis Sinyakov/Reuters)

Hamster On a Piano

Friday, November 14, 2008

More Inspiration

A clay man sports an elaborate headdress at the Museum of Archaeology in Campeche, Mexico, which features various such depictions of ancient Maya in traditional dress.
(Paul Ross)

Experts describe the terra-cotta statuettes as the finest figurine art of ancient America. The museum in Campeche houses one of the most complete collections of Maya art in Mexico.
(Paul Ross)

Archaeologists say the Maya figures were buried with each deceased person on the island of Jaina, as many as 10,000 in all.
(Paul Ross)

Less politics, more art. From this Los Angeles Times travel section article.

Begich Lead Now 1022

The numbers for Begich keep rising.

Bye bye Senator Toobz.

Third Graders Debate Iraq War

An excerpt from a presidential debate in Mr. Faustmann's third grade class, Alma Michigan.

Friday Afternoon News Dump Boston City Hall tops the list of the "World's Top 10 Ugliest Buildings and Monuments" compiled by

I love this headline: Summers may be off of Treasury short list. A guy who thinks I am biologically unqualified to understand math and science has no business in high government office. Neanderthals need not apply. We've all got the necessaries, Larry.

Vermont Senator Pat Leahy sez Traitor Joe Lieberman should lose his chairmanship. So does his colleague Bernie Sanders. They're right. Lieberman is frantically trying to save his plum, but when he tried to call Obama to talk about it, he got pawned off on Biden. Reap what you sowed, you sanctimonious gasbag. Connecticut voters overwhelmingly disapprove of the job their senior Senator is doing. 2012 can't come fast enough for the Nutmeg State.

The assistant US Attorneys trying Alabama governor Don Siegelman passed notes to the deliberating jury through the U.S. Marshals. All of those people should be fired, and the lawyers should all be disbarred. It's a shocking breach of ethics. Par for the course for the Bush Crime Family. Those AUSAs were only taking their cue from the U.S. Attorney Leura Canary, who was writing emails to them long after she had supposedly recused herself from the case because of a conflict of interest.

Ann Dunwoody is now the nation's first ever female four-star general.

Panda Video

Guaranteed to make you smile.

Guardian (uk): Meet the pandas: Meihin and Eihin
Twin cubs Meihin and Eihin were born to giant panda Rauhin at the Adventure World amusement park in Wakayama zoo, Japan

7-Year-Old Blogger For Obama

The blog: Report from Planet Stas'

When Obama heard about 7-year-old blogger Stas' Gunkel, he sent him a letter.

Senator Obama’s advice to me:

“Dear Stas, Thank you for your kind words and for your support. I am impressed with your interest in politics, especially at your young age. I encourage you to visit my website to learn more about everything we’re doing to make your family’s future even brighter.

I leave you with three bits of advice that will make your life more fulfilling: Look out for other people, even when it does not directly benefit you; strive to make a difference everywhere you go; and get back up every time you are knocked down.

Thanks again for writing to me. Seeing young people like you who care about making things better inspires me and gives me great hope about the future of our country and our world. Sincerely, Barack Obama”

Here's a report from a Chicago TV station:

Here's one of his posts, from September 27th:

Here is why I'm asking grown-ups to vote for Barack Obama. I am 7 years old so I can't vote......

My mom told me that I shouldn't base my election analysis on "feelings" (I like him/her) or "beliefs" (I share his/her beliefs) but on logical arguments. She asked me to create my own rational explanations for my support of Obama. Here is one of my arguments:

McCain and Palin are not be qualified to be President / Vice President of the U.S. The President's job is to do good for the country and the world. To do good for the country, the President must make smart decisions on important situations.

Governor Palin believes the world is 6000 years old. This is absurd. This is not a rational belief. This is a mistake. Scientists, experiments and evidence have shown this to be completely false. Therefore, she is not rational. If she is not rational, she should not be allowed to be President or Vice President.

Please vote for Barack Obama.

I'm with Stas' on Palin. He nailed it.

I saw this at Brilliant at Breakfast, who found it at Mudflats

I Read The News Today, Oh Boy: November 14, 2008

BBC: A visitor runs by a painting of US President-elect Barack Obama dressed as Uncle Sam by Russian artist Farid Bogdalov at a gallery in Moscow.

Much gnashing of teeth over the number of former Clinton staffers being hired by Obama. I am perplexed. Who else should he hire? Former Bush administration staffers? Or naifs to Washington who would have a huge learning curve? The best source of experienced Democratic operatives for the White House are obviously the vets of the Clinton Administration. It's not like there a lot of people around from the Jimmy Carter (1976-1980) Administration to tap.

To infinity, and beyond! Obama will YouTube his weekly radio address, starting this weekend. This makes total sense. Not a lot of people listen to the radio anymore, compared to the audience getting their news online. I only ever heard the weekly radio address if I happened to be driving somewhere on a Saturday. Now I'll post it on this blog weekly. I bet the audience multiplies by more than 100-fold.

George W. Bush is such an international joke that world leaders are using him as a punch line. Sarkozy capped an argument with Putin during the Georgia crisis in August: "But do you want to end up like Bush?" Putin's response "Ah - you have scored a point there."

Republican governors not to happy with the Palin press conference yesterday. Governors trashed her anonymously to CNN: "One called it awkward: 'I’m sure you could see it on some of our faces.' Another Republican governor eyeing a presidential run in 2012 told CNN the event was 'odd' and 'weird,' and said it 'unfortunately sent a message that she was the de facto leader of the party.'"

The Catholic Church continues to drift towards religious extremism. A Catholic priest in Columbia, South Carolina has advised his parishioners that no Catholic who voted for Obama should receive communion. If he wants to empty the pews, he should ban parishioners who practice birth control. That would get rid of 80% of the faithful.

Daily Inspiration

A dog with a steel grip: Another hubcap design

DailyMail: One man's treasure: The artist who turns abandoned hubcaps into animal sculptures worth £3,000

I love the artist's name: Ptolemy Elrington.

Ptolemy created this dragon, using 200 hub caps, measured 10m long, and took over a month to build. It sold for £3,000

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hillary for State?

Politico: Hillary Clinton could be named secretary of State and Clinton is among those being strongly considered.
Photo: AP

This would be a great appointment. Hillary would have been wasted as Veep, and she should be in a powerful position. I've been hoping that she would overthrow Harry Reid to lead the Senate, but the State Department might be even more influential. Appointing her Secretary of State might even win back the hardcore PUMAs.

Politico: Hillary Clinton could be Sec. of State

Why Palin's Word Salad Matters

Our current President can't speak English, either, and look where that got us.

Palin Press Conference

Sarah Palin did her first press conference since being named McCain's running mate. You can see why the campaign didn't allow the press to have at her. She doesn't actually know anything if it's not on notes or the teleprompter. The best-candidate-handlers-can-script can only manage her sad word salad answers. Not a whit of substance. The press conference is cut off after four questions.

Begich Lead Now 814

The next Senator from Alaska

Another 10,000 votes counted in Alaska and Mark Begich's lead over Ted Stevens has increased from 3 to 814 votes (.29%).

The rest of the votes to be counted are from Begich-friendly districts.

Bye bye Sen. Toobz.

Pure Poetry

blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

Sarah Palin answers a question in her own inimitable language:


Nothing specific right now.
Sitting here in these chairs
that I’m going to be proposing


in working with these governors who
again on the front lines
are forced to
and it’s our privileged obligation
to find solutions
to the challenges facing our own states
every day
being held accountable,
not being just one of many
just casting votes
or voting present every once
in a while, we don’t
get away with that.

We have to balance budgets
and we’re dealing with multibillion dollar budgets
and tens of thousands of employees
in our organizations.

Just one of her blithering answers in her national media death-by-a-thousand-interviews tour. Yes, these were her exact words.

Tossed word salad, with dressing ($150,000 worth!) on the side.

We Love Lists

Telegraph (uk): Barack Obama: The 50 facts you might not know

Rachel Maddow, Blogger

ThinkProgress: Maddow wears pajamas on air in solidarity with bloggers, says she sees herself as ‘a blogger on TV.’

Last night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow showed a clip of Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) complaining about being criticized by “some blogger” sitting “in their parents’ basement.” Maddow — who later said she saw herself as “a blogger on TV” — did the show in her pajamas to show solidarity with bloggers.

In honor of Rachel Maddow, today I will blog wearing black jeans and black Chuck Taylor lowtops. Too bad I don't own any black-framed glasses.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Traitor Joe In His Own Words

He has lied and lied and lied repeatedly. He is no longer to be trusted. Sure he says he'll caucus with the Democrats, but he's made so many promises he's broken.

And as Jane Hamsher points out, he's abused the position of committee chairman:

While it's one thing for Obama to personally forgive Lieberman for the race baiting and other gutter tactics that he engaged in on McCain's behalf during the campaign, it's quite another to let the chairmanship of such an important committee, which Lieberman has used for years to prevent Senatorial investigation into no-bid contracts and contractor abuse within the Department of Homeland Security, to serve as an olive branch.


Lieberman, many will recall, was responsible for holding hearings into the government's response to Hurricane Katrina. But after winning his 2006 election with the help of the GOP, he decided it would be too "divisive" and refused to do so.

Good governance is going to be about more than passing new legislation, it's going to be about cleaning up the mess that has been made over the past 8 years. It's going to be about weeding out the graft and greed and corruption that has caused American taxpayers to foot the bill for outrageous deficits. The military industrial complex has been bilking the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security with no-bid contracts for things nobody needs that we're not allowed to know about for years now. The only way we're going to find out about these abuses, and right then, is if our elected officials accept that responsibility.

Not only is Joe Lieberman not doing that job, as Chairman of the Department of Homeland Security Committee he's keeping anyone else from doing it. He happily allowed a seat on the Homeland Security Advisory Council to be doled out as political patronage to a corrupt Bush Pioneer. He has no interest in cleaning up the mess he helped to make.

Is his continued happiness worth the cost of healthcare? Of the environment? Of putting Americans back to work? Of reducing our dependence on oil and getting the economy back on its feet?

Allowing Lieberman to retain control of a committee where he has done nothing but suppress meaningful oversight is going to be an awfully bitter pill to swallow when we're told that the price of "change" we all thought we were voting for is going to be too high.

Whisker Thin

After the counting of about 43,000 absentee votes in Alaska, Mark Begich leads Sen. Toobz Ted Stevens by 3 votes.

That's 3, count 'em, three votes.


There are still more than 10,000 absentee and questioned ballots left to be counted.

Dynamic Stretching

Interesting article from the New York Times about the new scientific consensus on stretching before exercise. The old static stretching is out, and dynamic stretching, or moving stretching, is in. Stop touching your toes and start crabwalking! There's a video embedded on the left side of the article demonstrating the new stretches.

NYTimes: Phys Ed
Stretching: The Truth

Comment of the Day

From this New York Times article quoting Sarah Word Salad:

One reader's comment:

"But not me personally were those cheers for."

Who is this - Yoda in lipstick?

Unacceptable is she.

— Olivia, Rhinebeck, NY


Alternet: Raped in the Military? You May Have to Pay for Your Own Forensic Exam Kit
This outrage gives "supporting the troops" a whole new meaning.

TRICARE, the United States Department of Defense Military Health System that covers active duty members, will only pay for rape kits if the victim is seen in a military or a VA facility.

But the Pentagon acknowledges that 80 percent of military rapes are never reported. And that 80 percent who go off-base to protect their anonymity (and/or their careers) are on their own. If a soldier is on leave, or is five-hours from the nearest VA, or if a soldier is simply delivered to the nearest hospital by the local ambulance driver, their rape kits are not covered under TRICARE. Neither are other forensic exams that might be used in domestic violence situations.

Front-line treatment shouldn't be conditional on where a rape occurs or where the nearest treatment is available. This is not only a parity issue, but a further obstacle to treatment and justice.

Women in the military are twice as likely to be raped as their civilian counterparts. In fact, "women serving in the U.S. military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq," Congresswoman Jane Harman, D-Calif., told the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs in May.

McCain on Leno - Excerpts

McCain expects to turn his back on his deceitful campaign and be the nice guy everyone liked before. I will forgive -- but I won't forget.

Veteran's Day

President-Elect Obama marked Veteran's Day yesterday in a quiet ceremony with Iraq war veteran and Illinois Veteran's Affairs Department Director Tammy Duckworth.

yahoo: U.S. President-elect Barack Obama and double-amputee Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth place a wreath at a veterans memorial in Chicago November 11, 2008. Duckworth is director of the department of veteran affairs for Illinois.

I always think of this poem on Veteran's Day. In my hometown this was always read at the cemetery on Memorial Day.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Front Page News

The Anniston Star
Anniston, Alabama

See front pages from around the country and the world the day after the election:

Newseum: Today's Front Pages > Wednesday, November 05, 2008. 730 front pages from 66 countries.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

She Can't Shut Up

Keith Olbermann reviews Sarah Palin's interviews since the campaign ended and her many, many stories. Word salad!

Traitor Joe Must Go

New video from Brave New Films:

Joe Lieberman has launched consistent, deeply partisan attacks on President-elect Barack Obama, questioning his patriotism and fitness to lead. While Lieberman campaigned for John McCain and spoke on his behalf at the Republican National Convention, he spread some of the GOP's nastiest smears. Think Progress has provided thorough evidence of Lieberman's partisan politics. Lieberman should not be allowed to have subpoena power to investigate the Obama administration as chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. In fact, he should not be allowed to remain chairman of this or any other committee.

Lieberman has proven he cannot be trusted to hold a high rank within the Democratic caucus. That is why we launched Lieberman Must Go last summer, a campaign that caught Congress' attention when we delivered a petition with over 43,000 signatures. Now, we ask you to help us escalate the pressure by contacting members of the Senate Democratic Steering Committee. Tell them to strip Lieberman of his chairmanship in the Democratic caucus.

We have included a sample script and phone numbers below for you to use, and we ask that you be polite when you explain why Lieberman Must Go.


Don't Let the Door

Telegraph (uk): George W Bush in pictures (Photo gallery)


Mark Newman: Election Maps

More than 66,000,000 Americans voted for Barack Obama.


A squirrel pauses at attention as it tries to take some of the material from a U.S. flag Thursday Nov 6, 2008 in Omaha, Neb.
(AP Photo/Dave Weaver)

Hitting the Ground Running

President Bush walks with President-elect Barack Obama during a visit to the White House, November 10, 2008.
(Jim Young/Reuters)

Obama went to the White House on a mission to fix the economy. Will Bush act?

MSNBC First Read: The details on today's meeting

A source familiar with today's White House meeting tells NBC News that President-elect Obama focused on three economic issues during his conversations with President Bush this afternoon. The top topics: a stimulus package in the lame duck session, aid to the auto industry, and help for homeowners with adjustible-rate mortgages in order to prevent more foreclosures.

According to the source, Obama told Bush that action is needed on a stimulus package now - in a lame duck session - and cannot wait until after the inauguration.

Obama also urged help for automakers and encouraged the acceleration of the disbursement of $25 billion dollars for the industry.

On his third focus - housing - Obama voiced his concern that homeowners whose mortgage rates are about to go up will need aid to prevent more Americans from defaulting on home loans.

Comings and Goings

Howard Dean is stepping down as chair of the DNC. Howard Dean was the Best Democratic Party Chair Ever, IMHO. Two possibilities to replace Dean have been floated: David Plouffe (Plouffe has already said no); or a pairing of Claire McCaskill and someone else. All I care about is appointing another grass roots/fifty-state strategy Democrat to the position.

Former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe files papers to run for governor of Virginia. Ugh. Besides his corporate trough issues, how will that Syracuse accent play in Virginia?

Barack Obama has put out word that he favors appointing his close adviser Valerie Jarrett to his Senate seat, where she would be the only black woman in the Senate, and only the second black woman ever in the Senate, following Carol Moseley Brown. That would make the total of women senators 17, the highest ever. Good rundown on who Valerie Jarrett is, from Deoliver47 at dailykos.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Shepard Fairey Spoofs

Guardian (uk): Spoofing Shepard Fairey's Obama poster (10 pictures)

The original: will send you a free "Yes We Did" sticker designed by Shepard Fairey, or more if you make a donation.

I Read The News Today, Oh Boy: November 10, 2008

DailyMail: Megaleledone setebos: A relative of octopuses

The Bush Administration secretly issued an order in 2004 that allows our government to attack Al Qaeda in many countries. I want to know why they released this secret now. Getting ready for pardon week, perhaps?

In another secret move in late September, while Congress and the country agonized over the bailout bill, Hank Paulson's Treasury Department and the Bush Administration secretly changed a 22-year-old bank regulation to give banks a $140 billion dollar tax break. Bush is going to break the bank before he leaves office, just to leave Obama in as big a hole as humanly possible. Pigs at the trough.

The Bushies are also planning to throw more billions to AIG. Who's palling around with socialists now? Jerome a Paris at dailykos asks, can Obama stop the looting? Before it's too late?

In more bad economic news, Circuit City filed for bankruptcy (can't believe that their genius plan of firing the experienced salespeople and hiring no-knowledge newbies didn't work!) and DHL is laying off thousands.

Obama meets President Clusterfuck in the White House today. Here's Obama's account of his first meeting with Shrub. What a weirdo.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Musical Interlude

It's a New Day, from


The New Yorker: The Fall
John McCain’s choices.

John McCain sold his soul to the Republican devil. Funniest line is this, about Sarah Barracuda:

“She’s like the plant in ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ ” McCain’s friend Bob Kerrey said. “She’s devouring him.” (emphasis in original)


The New Yorker: Battle Plans
How Obama won.

I'm With The Spaceman

Bill "Spaceman" Lee holds court at the Red Sox Hall of Fame Induction Gala. (Brita Meng Outzen/ 'Spaceman' lands in Sox Hall of Fame
Lee offers plenty of opinions during induction Friday night

The July 31 trade that sent Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers? That is a highly sore subject for Lee.

Perhaps it takes a free spirit like Lee to completely understand a free spirit like Ramirez.

"Manny was well loved, and then he'd have his little fits, and then we'd patch things up and we'd win a world championship," said Lee. "This year, I think Boston just kind of got fed up with winning. That's too bad."

The way Lee sees it, the Red Sox would have repeated as World Series champions if they had ignored all of Ramirez's off-field antics and just kept him around.

"We could have been world champions again," roared Lee. "And then he wouldn't have hit those 6-irons into the wind against the Cubs; he would have hit them against Tampa Bay. And we wouldn't be having this conversation right now. A prophet in his own time is not well received in this town. I was, for nine years and 142 days. And I told everybody on [sports radio station WEEI] and everything that they would not win it without Manny Ramirez. They told me to shut up. I told them, 'You guys don't like to win, do you?'

"He's the greatest hitter I ever saw. I loved the guy. He's a prima donna, and he pushed down the traveling secretary. Well, you pick the traveling secretary up, and you dust him off, and you apologize and you go back to work. He's the greatest I ever saw. I like Jason Bay. I'm not saying anything disparaging against Canadians, because I've married two of them."

Even Ramirez taking games off with injuries that didn't seem to be more than routine nags was no offense to Lee.

"He always took August off," said Lee. "In France, they give you a month vacation and give you two hours for lunch."

Even more entertaining -- or outlandish -- was Lee's take on what the Red Sox should do this offseason.

"Sign Manny Ramirez," Lee said. "We just had that conversation. He's already saved L.A. Sure, they should patch it up with Manny. You're going to have to see his number on the wall sooner or later here, aren't you? He's going to be standing right where I'm standing. Mark my words. Because if he doesn't go in the Red Sox Hall of Fame, [it's not right]."

Hitting the Ground Running

WaPo: Obama Positioned to Quickly Reverse Bush Actions
Stem Cell, Climate Rules Among Targets of President-Elect's Team

Transition advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have compiled a list of about 200 Bush administration actions and executive orders that could be swiftly undone to reverse White House policies on climate change, stem cell research, reproductive rights and other issues, according to congressional Democrats, campaign aides and experts working with the transition team.

How Obama Won Florida

Miami Herald: Inside story: How Obama won Florida
It took passion, precision and a little bit a luck for the Obama team to turn Florida from red to blue

[T]he campaign registered 200,000 new voters in Florida, opened 50 state field offices, recruited 600,000 volunteers and allocated $40 million to fight John McCain....


Obama's Florida strategy was thorough and simple: ask every supporter to help, give every volunteer a job, register every eligible voter, get ''sporadic'' voters to the polls, and bring the campaign to every pocket of the state.

The campaign did it by dividing the state into five regions, or ''pods,'' each with its own staff and message geared to regional concerns. It harnessed social networking on the Internet and cell phones to allow grassroots organizers set up their own voter registration drives, home-grown phone banks and text messaging chains.


in 2004, 1.6 million Democrats didn't vote, including 600,000 African American voters.......


''We don't stop when we ask you to vote. We ask you to talk to your neighbors, or start a phone bank, or knock on doors or donate food,'' says Botticella, 25 and a California native.

''It's about turning conversations into relationships,'' she says.

In Florida, that means 1,414 ''Neighbor to Neighbor'' teams with a total of 22,000 volunteers.

Community organizing, baby.

Still Some Races To Be Decided

Norm Coleman only leads Al Franken by 221 votes in the Minnesota Senate race. That .01 margin triggers an automatic recount. The recount will be by hand, and an analysis of the undervotes (ballots where a Presidential vote was counted, but no Senate vote was recorded) shows that most come from counties where Obama won. And you know Franken is likely to win a recount as Coleman has already sued to stop votes from being counted; and lost.

Alaska is another state where the Senate race is in doubt. Convicted felon Ted Stevens is leading by about 3200 votes, but the website (which had the most accurate prediction of Obama's win) says counting the early and absentee ballots may put Democratic challenger Mark Begich over the top.

In New York's 29th Congressional District, Eric Massa leads Randy Kuhl by 4400 votes with approximately 11,500 absentee and military votes yet to be counted. Kuhl would have to win those votes by a 2 to 1 margin to overtake Massa. The vote count won't take place until November 17th as that is the date military votes must be received by.

I Personally Am Bereft

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

Reading List

Flickr: Election Night 11-04-08

From firedoglake, why Joe Lieberman really wants to keep his Homeland Security Committee gavel: So he can investigate Obama to death by a thousand "...gates".

Ta-Nehisi Coates, WaPo: The Man of Tomorrow
King trusted whites to stand up. Obama showed me he was right.

Frank Rich, NYTimes: It Still Felt Good the Morning After

The Newsweek series (embargoed news, stuff they've known for weeks but did not deign to tell us until after we voted) is a must read:

Hackers and Spending Sprees
Highlights from NEWSWEEK's special election project.

Chapter One: How He Did It
A team of NEWSWEEK reporters reveals the secret battles and private fears behind an epic election.

Chapter Two: Back From the Dead
By late spring of 2007, John McCain's campaign was adrift, if not sinking. Then the candidate found a new narrative: the comeback.

Chapter Three: The Long Siege
The fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama turned into a grinding stasis that played out until the very last primary day.

Chapter Four: Going Into Battle
McCain's inner circle altered the style, feel and direction of the campaign. The candidate's best hope was to bring down Obama.

Chapter Five: Center Stage
Obama's aides worried the Clintons might steal the show. McCain revved up his campaign with an impulsive choice—Sarah Palin.

Chapter Six: The Great Debates
McCain bridled at reducing his opinions to sound bites. Obama prepped as if he were taking the bar exam—nothing was left to chance.

Chapter Seven: The Final Days
Obama was leading in the polls, even in red states like Virginia. But McCain almost seemed to glory in being the underdog.