The Democrats are still sucking up all the cyberspace airtime, as speculation continues about who will end up on Barack Obama’s VP shortlist. And while Hillary may be out of the race, people are still talking about the Clintons.

Heading for a GOPocalypse? Apparently the GOP is “massaging expectations” about November 4, with The Huffington Post pointing to a TalkingPointsMemo which says the Senate Republicans have decided that their definition of a successful election year is: only losing eight seats. If the Dems win nine seats they’ll get to the filibuster-proof magic number of 60 — Huffington Post

The Democrats hunt for a VP. MSNBC ran a story saying that Obama might pick former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Retired General James Jones, as his VP. But the Politico blog has called bullsh-t on the story, saying “Jones is an outside adviser to McCain on national security issues and the GOP nominee has made clear that he’d like to appoint his friend to a top post in his administration.” [via Jezebel]

Politico also asks whether potential VP Jim Webb’s “affinity” for Confederate history will prove too much of a touchy subject for him to make it through the vetting process. America is still touchy about its civil war history and Webb “has suggested many times that while the Confederacy is a symbol to many of the racist legacy of slavery and segregation, for others it simply reflects Southern pride”.

Jewish Whispering Campaign. Newsweek has published a piece on Barack Obama — titled “His Jewish Problem: A Myth?” which talks about how Obama is perceived by Jewish voters – and how he’s courting the Jewish lobby as a “friend of Israel”. The National Review Online describes the Newsweek article as “an absolutely Herculean feat of water-carrying for the Illinois senator”, taking particular issue with the article’s take on Obama’s public upbraiding of rogue senator Joe Lieberman.

Why Obama’s beating McCain online. Barack Obama’s website has been a major source of small campaign donors, and it’s racked up some pretty big hits because it features videos like his “Yes we can” music video/campaign speech mash-up. The Newsweek blog spoke to the Obama campaign about their online blog strategy and it’s a very interesting read:

“As our online donations come in, Sam calls up the contributors at random and asks why they chose to give to Barack. Like, right away? Yep, he answered. They’re usually pretty surprised. Then he posts their stories on the blog. Sometimes, they even make their way in Barack’s speeches. The point: “to make sure that whatever we’re doing in new media is totally integrated with whatever else is going on: politics, finance, field operations, communications.” For Rospars, an official campaign blog wasn’t an informal diary of some dude’s views on the news of the day. What was the point of that? Instead, it was a tool for harvesting useful information from supporters–and shaping their perceptions of the race with a steady stream of positive press releases, videos and news articles.

The Huffington Post also looked at why Obama is leading McCain online.

Still talking about the Clintons.

Hillary Clinton may be out of the race, but people are still talking about her – and Bill. NYU’s Pressthink website has a very interesting look at how blogger Mayhill Fowler managed to get Bill Clinton’s “off the cuff” response to the very unfavourable Vanity Fair article about him: “She does not identify herself as a writer for OffTheBus. She does identify herself as someone sympathetic to the target of the Vanity Fair article. She has a digital tape recorder in her left hand but Clinton doesn’t see it. He grips and does not let go of her right hand as he’s talking. “I think we can safely say he thought I was a member of the audience,” she says later.

Harvard Business blogger Barbara Kellerman wasn’t content to let the sleeping Hillary lie, saying “Clinton is no role model for women seeking office”. “Clinton’s campaign was so idiosyncratic, so peculiar to her situation in particular, that to assume she is a role model is to make a mistake. In fact, women intending to run for office or, for that matter, aspiring to a leadership role of any kind, would do well to assess Clinton’s candidacy carefully and cautiously.”

And let’s finish with a trip to la-la land — Slate asks whether Sex and the City is “our culture’s consolution prize to Hillary Clinton’s supporters… We have no words.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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