Rand gets airtime: Boy did he get airtime. As you know Rand Paul did not make the main debate stage tonight. He was invited to, but declined, the undercard stage. But he hit every other stage according to CNN:
Instead of flying to South Carolina for debate prep, Paul has been on a two-day media tour in New York City, after which he will head to New Hampshire and Iowa. In the last 48 hours, he has done interviews with "The Dr. Oz Show," Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," and Fox News, as well as multiple interviews with CNN and MSNBC, that were all pegged to his decision to skip the debate."
CNN did the math and figured the averages of those shows is around 7 million people, while the last undercard debate had roughly 4.7 million viewers. Not only does he get more people watching him but Mediaite notes he got hammered on bourbon while on the Daily show.
You're wasting our time: Phone pollsters. The scourge of any election season. Well, not to worry as they may be extinct soon. Roll Call has up a piece that is, while not an epitaph, details why the phone method is falling by the wayside. "When pollsters call nowadays, less than 10 percent of their calls reach someone willing to answer their questions. As recently as 20 years ago, they were successful a third of the time. "
"Polling has always been one part information gathering and one part analysis of that information. When people answered their phones, polling was more science (information gathering) than art (analysis). Now it’s the other way around. "
Perhaps if they made them less lengthy. Just ask who we're voting for, maybe a second choice. But, no. They drone on about income, education, home ownership, previous elections, major issues, likability, religion, registered, definite vote or possible vote, eye color, did you stop beating your wife? And they wonder why we don't answer the phones anymore.
Today's Read: It's possible there will be more than just a Republican and a Democrat debating each other once the primaries are done. The presidential debate commission says "they are giving serious thought to the inclusion of a third-party candidate...". Check out this WaPo article and read a few names to give you some pause. Names like Jim Webb, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and those are just one's that are imaginable. This sort of thing hasn't happened in 14 years. But the commission smells something on the wind. Too many candidates have threatened a third party run so the commission may just put up another lectern on stage. By itself it isn't earth shattering, but when coupled with the possibility of a brokered convention on the Republican side, it bolster's the notion that this is a strangely weird year for politics.
Last one out, turn off the lights: Does Ben Carson have any remaining staff? The Carson campaign (yes, there's still a campaign) says Dean Parker, Carson's finance chairman, has stepped down. This comes soon after Politico reported Parker was doing some serious spending, including paying himself $20,000. Parker is only the latest to go. Two were reported leaving here, and then five others were gone here. These four were gone back in June. There's more but the Iowa caucus is in 15 days and we're pressed for time.
Ed! You're Back: Remember how we stayed awake at night wondering what would happen to Ed Shultz once he lost his gig at MSNBC? Turns out he's landed in the lap of RT Network. The network boasts 700 million viewers and bills itself as a "global TV news network that broadcasts 24/7 in English, Arabic and Spanish.." Larry King and Jessie Ventura have shows on the network. If you don't get RT Network here's the wiki telling you all about it. It was originally known as Russia Today, a Russian government-funded network before the Russian government changed to just RT to improve it's image.
Goodbye Alan Rickman: Many may not know the name right off the bat, but they've seen the face. He was Hans Gruber in Die Hard and the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Ok, lets try this. Severus Snape in every Harry Potter movie ever made. And if you don't know that name, I can't help you. Rickman was 69.
There's the watercooler for today: I knew you'd want out of here fast to spend time making hors d'oeuvres for tonight's debate. Unless you're like RedState mods who have their debate viewing events catered. With a staff of waiters. Either way, remember to drop a line below about something you read here or elsewhere that caught your eye. It's always open thread when hanging around the watercooler.
* all emphasis mine