The Daily Digest: 10-11-08

Welcome to a special “try to stuff the genie back in the bottle” edition of the Digest.

What do we mean? After weeks of running negative ads and questioning their opponent’s character, Republican presidential candidate John McCain and GOP Sen. Norm Coleman are trying to “stuff the genie back in the bottle.”

McCain was put in the unusual position of defending Democratic rival Barack Obama at a campaign event in Lakeville. It’s the first time he’s challenged angry crowd outbursts after supporters yelled some questionable things toward Obama earlier in the week.

McCain was booed when he called Obama a decent and respectful man in Lakeville. McCain’s action comes after he and his running mate questioned Obama’s character and leadership in ads, speeches and in teleconferences. MPR, the Pi Press, Forum Communications, AP and the Star Tribune have stories.

Meanwhile, GOP Sen. Norm Coleman says he’ll pull down all of his negative ads and will call on his supporters to do the same. This comes after weeks of ads ripping DFLer Al Franken’s time as a comedian and for failing to pay taxes in the right place. MPR, the Pi Press, the Star Tribune, Forum Communications and AP have stories.

Coleman’s move is smart politics (even though he said that wasn’t why he made the decision). It gets him out of the mud at a time when people are looking for inspiration. It puts DFLer Al Franken on the defensive (since his campaign said they won’t pull their spots). It also allows him to say “I told my supporters to pull down those negative ads” even if they continue.

Coleman, Franken and I-P candidate Dean Barkley meet in their second debate tonight. MPR will have live coverage.

Marc Ambinder says the seat is a Likely Flip Democratic.

2008 Race for Congress

Republican Erik Paulsen accuses DFL rival Ashwin Madia of coordinating activities with the DCCC (which has been running ads on Madia’s behalf). Coordination is illegal and Madia told Paulsen he better have greater evidence than that. he better show strong proof.

Meanwhile, the NRCC cancels another week of scheduled ad time for Paulsen and a week for GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann.

All three candidates running in the 3rd will give speeches to the U of M’s Humphrey Institute next week.

AP profiles the 1st.

1st District Republican Brian Davis is running another ad.

State Government

State revenues are up in the last quarter but no one expects it to stay that way. The Revenue Commissioner says he’s bracing for a perfect storm.

2008 Race for President

An Alaska panel finds Alaska Governor Sarah Palin abused her power in the firing of a trooper.

Obama campaigned in Ohio on Friday. AP says he’s playing it safe since he has a lead in the polls.

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