Five Things

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1. McCain/ex-Bush advisor Mark McKinnon talks to ex-Bush advisor Matthew Dowd about the 2008 contest with fascinating results. For instance:

McKinnon said McCain would be happy to have Bush campaign with him in the fall — that he had no intention of running from Bush, who, McKinnon pointed out, has a personal (as opposed to job performance) approval rating of better than 50 percent. Dowd disagreed; he expected to see the president at the convention but not many more places on the campaign trail.

UPDATE: As noted in the comments below, public polls have not shown Bush approval above 50 for a while, though the RNC/Rove crowd has a history of claiming higher personal numbers than the public polls, based I would assume on how the private GOP polls ask the question. The interesting thing here, I think, is the bigger contention that the difference between personal and job approval would matter on the campaign trail. Seems like a stretch. But read the rest of the McKinnon/Dowd exchange anyway. I am not defending every statement they make, just saying they give some insight into what Republicans are thinking about the race at this point.

SECOND UPDATE: Commenter jfb has found a recent Republican firm’s poll that says 56 percent of voters “approve of the President personally,” with a pdf link to the memo by Ed Goeas, Rudy Giuliani’s former pollster. Not clear what question Goeas asked.

2. John McCain gives a speech on his plans for mortgage crisis and the economy. The speech is panned for being kinda-vague. So, as The Page points out, John McCain releases another statement on the mortgage crisis and the economy.

3. NBC Polling. The country is divided in rough thirds (good job, bad job, don’t care) about Barack Obama’s explanation of Rev. Wright. Obama and Hillary Clinton are still tied nationally, but Clinton’s favorability is in the gutter

4. Per the NY Times magazine, the GOP is blue.

After the 2004 elections, Karl Rove began to talk with growing conviction about a permanent majority for the Republican Party. That majority lasted two more years. It would have been difficult then to imagine a more stunning reversal.

5. Why, John Hughes? Why did you leave us? For the first time in five years, I just got cable at my home, which led me to watching this dreadful piece of teen-dreck-farce called Epic Movie last night. Is that what we get now? Why not another Breakfast Club, another Ferris Bueller, another Trains, Planes and Automobiles? But Hughes is in hiding. And as the LA Times reports, no one seems to know why.