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Kula's running a marathon this weekend. So I offered to fill in for your Morning Reaction needs both for today and tomorrow. Though I'm a substitute, I hope to hit par for two days as I know Kula's set the bar VERY high. :D

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This morning's news focuses on the two, very contrasting natures in these waning days of the 2008 Election Cycle: The altruism of Democrats as the wave of urgency is cresting; and the panicked narcissism of the GOP who knows the tsunami's coming, but sees only a long, empty beach for shelter.

Also included in today's MR: The defining of the Ashley Todd hoax, Palin's 2007 "pundit luncheon" as a reflection of her opportunism, an overwhelming amount of support for Obama's "Tutu" and all the "Joe" that's fit for printing.

Victory Mugs at the ready!

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Senator Obama returned to the continental U.S. last evening after visiting with his grandmother, "Toot" Dunham, in Hawai'i Thursday and Friday. Speaking yesterday with Robin Roberts on ABC's Good Morning America he mentioned the outpouring tokens of gratitude she'd recently received.

"The nice thing is that ever since people found out that I was leaving the campaign trail for a day, she's been being inundated with phone calls and emails and flowers from total strangers. And so maybe she is getting a sense of, of long-deserved recognition at — towards the end of her life."

I don't know how many here sent "Toot" a card or flowers, but Senator Obama's mentioning of this empathy just continues to show that thinking of others' needs before your own is certainly a characteristic needed in becoming a future President and to inspire the compassion of many.

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Thomas Frank of The Wall Street Journal lays out the Authenticity of the GOP in defining Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher as America's typical Blue-Collar Joe.

"Reality is a terrible impediment when you're reaching out to workers while simultaneously cracking down on unions and scheming to privatize Social Security."

I suppose, "Plumb as I say. Not as I do,"  isn’t a very good working title for his book, eh?

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Pundits are attempting to inflate assess the damage of Senator Obama's 24 hour departure from the campaign but seem to be getting no traction with it. Aside from the fact that Michelle rocked the house in Ohio and that both Joe & Jill Biden held several events (Jill Biden with five in Florida herself!) on Friday, both the New York Times and Washington Post endorsed him en absentee.

Allow me to help the pundits a moment: This wasn't a suspension. It was prioritization and delegation. A very Presidential characteristic.

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The 27 October issue of The New Yorker has a great piece by Jane Mayer. In it she discusses some of the logic behind the Palin pick and questions just how "non-Washington elite" she's actually been to achieve her current level of notoriety.

Highlights include:

  1. Calling-out the goshdarnit, self-promotion of Adam "I wish I was 'Karl-Rove-Good' " Brickley's site to draft the Alaskan Governor as McSame's Veep.
  1. A candid admission of Sarah Palin's ambitious nature by former Jr. High School BFF and fellow co-"band-geek", John Bitney, who became a top political advisor to Palin's 2006 Gubernatorial race, dontcha know?
  1. And the detailed account of a 2007 luncheon held at the Governor's mansion for "enamored" conservative pundits like Kristol, Barnes and Gerson.

BTW: The luncheon included entertainment such as the Governor's $4000 State-leased helicopter trip to an abandoned gold mine (the pundits paid for their own aircraft), a Holland America Line cruise for all, and a menu consisting of halibut cheeks and a lot of folksy gushing. Also.

Seems that this Northern Exposure provided the lede for Barnes' 2007 piece of "The Most Popular Governor"

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Newsweek's Andrew Romano points out that "despicable individuals exist" in describing Ashley Todd and the hoax she propagated.

"The difference is that when... idiots shout "kill him," they only expose their own ugliness. Todd tried to make other people look ugly.

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The Miami Herald echoes what's becoming a national trend: Early voting is abundant, increasingly favoring Democrats and widening a voting-numbers gap between the Dems. and GOP. What's telling are the viewpoints of two spokespeople from the campaigns in Florida.

''South Florida voters have embraced the campaign for change enthusiastically,'' said Alejandro Miyar, a spokesman for Democrat Barack Obama.

Florida Republican spokeswoman, Erin VanSickle, declined to comment on the new early voting numbers.

There's no comment because there's no message. So let's be gallant and give them one: Turn. Florida. Blue.

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The AP Reports that John's brother, Joe "The Hothead" McCain, has jumped the sinking ship, though his leaving is due to more personal reasons.

After unleashing an angry tirade to 9-1-1 on the 21st, to complain about Virginia's gridlocked traffic, he's decided to stop spewing about Communist Virginia (because that was really helping his brother out too, wasn't it now?) and leave the campaign.

Joe McCain said, "I feel terrible about having hurt the campaign over this incident. I won't be doing any more campaigning because of that." He said he's going to write a note of apology to the 911 operator and to the Alexandria police and he hasn't spoken to his brother, the candidate, about the incident.

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There's ten days left and no one's slowing down. The sky is the limit!

The crowd at a Barack Obama rally in Indianapolis is reflected in the teleprompters (Reuters Photo)

No excuses = no regrets. Get active in this campaign because 10 Days is a long time.

GotV! - Donate! - Volunteer! - Phonebank! - Canvass! - VOTE!

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So there's your Saturday Morning Reaction! What are you planning to do as we wrap up this campaign season? Anyone have Halloween plans involving the election? How about great costume ideas? Comment away and I'll be back to write more tomorrow.

- Patch Adam

Originally posted to Patch Adam on Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 02:06 AM PDT.

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