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Between the Lines

October 06, 2004

Spin cycle

I passed on last night's debate in favor of going with my wife and daughter to see the women who are trying to bring a national sports championship to our deprived burg for the first time since the Sonics in 1979 (unless you count the University of Washington football team's tie with Miami over a decade ago for the mythical college football title). So I don't have a firm conviction about who "won" this debate, just some impressions:

-- Vice President Dick Cheney did well on foreign policy and in seeking to define the Senators John (Kerry and Edwards) as weak and irresolute on critical national security questions.

-- Edwards thoroughly chewed up the vice president on domestic policy, especially the lackluster jobs "recovery," the "outsourcing" of the hunt for Osama bin Laden to Afghan warlords and Cheney's potential conflict of interest with his former employer and bigtime Iraq contractor, Halliburton.

Thus, it seems like pretty much a coin-flip. But as we all know, draws are unsatisfying outcomes. Kissing your sister and all that. So for those of you who need a conclusion, here are a couple:

Cheney won:Jonathan Goldberg at National Review Online:

If I inhale some asbestos, Edwards is my guy. If I want someone to "stand up" democratic regimes in the Middle East and obliterate jihadist terrorist groups, I'll go with Cheney.

Edwards won:William Saletan at Slate:

It's like a ninth-inning rally. Kerry got the lead-off hit. Edwards singled him to third. How will it end? Pass the popcorn.

Mine's in the microwave.

Posted by tbrown at 12:23 PM


Whoppers and whoppettes

Even when he's ahead, Cheney can't tell a straight story. It's just beyond him. And he acts like it's impossible for anyone to document it within, say, the following hour or two. Duh.

Edwards did his share of lawyerly corner-cutting and fact-whacking, too.

Check it out for yourself:

FactCheck.org

Facts sometimes suffered in Edwards-Cheney face-off

Posted by tbrown at 12:18 PM


The stock market's vote

Tired of see-sawing polls? Watch the Dow Jones Industrial Average instead. It certainly does its share of see-sawing as well. But James Stack, one of our best stock market analysts and historians, says in the Sept. 24 issue of his InvesTech Research Market Analyst that the performance of the stock market (as measured by the Dow Jones Industrial Average) in the two months preceding a presidential election "has displayed an almost uncanny ability to forecast who will win the White House."

Since 1900, there have been 26 presidential elections. In 16 of them, the DJIA climbed during the two months preceding election day. The incumbent president or party won in 15 of those 16 instances. However, in 9 of the 10 elections where the DJIA fell in those two months preceding election, the incumbent party lost.

So this indicator is 92.3 percent accurate. This year's magic number is Dow 10,298.28. A close above that on the Monday before election day would provide a gain for the critical two months and indicate a Bush victory; below would produce a loss and predict a Kerry win. As I write, the Dow is a little less than 1 percent into Kerry territory at 10,197, but is rallying modestly.

More popcorn, please.

The InvesTech Web site, which has subscription information and some free data and opinion, is here.

Posted by tbrown at 12:15 PM




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