Is Obama’s life in danger or is it just another media beat-up?

With only eight days left until the election, that’s the question that faces political pundits, as the possibility that the US will have its first African-American president becomes an increasing reality. Crikey keeps you up-to-date with the news as it unravels, plus the latest polls, reports, analysis and videos from the campaign trail, at our Campaign Crikey live news page and blog.

Our daily pick of the best commentary and analysis, as featured on our website:

Officials skeptical about Obama assassination plot. Senior federal officials tell NBC News that the Feds are skeptical about whether there ever was a well-conceived plan to attack Sen. Barack Obama by two alleged neo-Nazi extremists in Tennessee. The officials say that there is no evidence at this early stage of the investigation that the two men, Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman, had ever taken the plan beyond the talking stage. — Deep Background, MSNBC

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Why Obama has to stay above 50 per cent. There’s an old rule in politics that an incumbent candidate is always in danger when he dips under 50 percent, even if he is leading his opponent in the polls. It’s all about the undecideds. In a race with an incumbent candidate and a challenger, on Election Day the undecideds tend to break for the challenger, at rates as high as 4 to 1. If an incumbent is polling at, say, 47 to 45 percent with 8 percent undecided, there’s a good chance he’s going to wind up losing 49 to 51. — Salon

McCain’s chance. The McCain campaign intends, I gather, to return to the commander in chief theme with an event in Florida Wednesday showcasing former secretaries of state and retired senior military officers. But why not showcase young Iraq vets instead? These young soldiers and marines can testify eloquently to the success of the surge that John McCain championed, and to the disaster and dishonor that would have followed Barack Obama’s preferred path of withdrawal. — William Kristol, New York Times

In defence of Sarah Palin. Palin asks questions, and probes linkages and logic that bring to mind a quirky law professor I once had. Palin is more than a “quick study”; I’d heard rumors around the campaign of her photographic memory and, frankly, I watched it in action. She sees. She processes. She questions, and only then, she acts. What is often called her “confidence” is actually a rarity in national politics: I saw a woman who knows exactly who she is. — The Daily Beast

How Palin became a laughing-stock amongst scientists. Sarah Palin’s comments display an attitude that is blatantly anti-science. Worse, it’s lazy, ignorant and gleefully so. Somewhere along the line, the Republicans have endorsed a candidate who is so short-sighted and glib that she inadvertently mocks an indescribably important field of which she might have a personal knowledge. — Guardian

Obama’s no Robin Hood. This distinction is what separates the just goals of Robin and his band of “Merry Men” from the dehumanizing economic theory of “redistribution of wealth” — a hallmark of socialism — as explained and supported by Senator Barack Obama in his 2001 interview with Chicago Public Radio, just recently rediscovered by the media. — Father Jonathan, Fox News

The latest election coverage on the Crikey blogs:

Presidential polls stable, Palin and McCain’s brother a little less so — Trevor Cook, Corporate Engagement

Refried CalCon at LAX — Chong Weng Ho, US election blog

The best clips from our US election video wrap — posted daily on the Crikey US election blog:

Joe Biden faces a fifth-grade interviewer

Sarah Palin talks about not wanting to talk about her clothes