12oct08 Media and US elections analysis

By Justin Peters, Slate Magazine

Everybody reports that the U.S. will remove North Korea from its list of nations that sponsor terrorism. The decision came after North Korea agreed to shutter a disputed plutonium plant and allow inspectors to return to work. In return for allowing inspectors back into its main nuclear facility at Yongbyon, North Korea reserves the right to veto inspections of other sites across the country. Presidential candidate John McCain slammed the deal, as did former Ambassador John Bolton and others. Still, as one nonproliferation expert noted, “Every agreement you ever have with the North Koreans always contains certain ambiguities, and that ends up being the basis for which you have the next round of talks.”

In a somewhat melodramatic letter (“Senator McCain and Governor Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all…”), Rep. John Lewis excoriated the McCain campaign yesterday for “sowing the seeds of hatred and division.” The Post goes below the fold with a story about how, despite the proclaimed wishes of both candidates, race has become an issue in the presidential campaign. But will it be an issue on Nov. 5? “If we don’t win this election, I don’t think it’s going to be because of race. We spend a lot of time talking about a lot of things. That’s not one we spend a lot of time talking about,” said Obama campaign manager David Axelrod.

A NYT Week in Review story examines the so-called “Bradley effect” (named for former L.A. mayor Tom Bradley, who underperformed his polling in an unsuccessful gubernatorial race, an outcome that some attributed to latent racism among voters) before concluding that it is impossible to know whether this will impact Barack Obama’s vote totals. The Post runs a similar story, although a bit more skeptical about whether the Bradley effect is at work in this election. All of the papers continue to remain silent on the Shawn Bradley effect, however.

The NYT fronts a no-kidding story saying that the events of the past week have some Republican leaders feeling concerned about John McCain’s chances. The LAT, for its part, writes that the financial crisis has convinced many longtime Republicans to support Obama.



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