How grudging and testy is Bob Wright's acceptance of the surge's relative success? (And he wasn't even against it.) ... 1:58 P.M.
Undernews Underanalysis: Still impressive, near-total lack of MSM pickup of the National Enquirer's Edwards scandal allegations.** My guess regarding MSM thinking is 1) Nobody wants to hurt Elizabeth Edwards and 2) Everybody figures that if John Edwards loses in Iowa, there's no reason to mention the story. It will go away and nobody will have to cover it. ... If Edwards wins Iowa, however, that calculus would presumably change.
P.S..: Were the story to break out in the MSM before Iowa, the Edwards camp might react by allowing his popular wife make an impassioned plea for her husband, against sleaze, etc., which would generate considerable sympathy. His support in the caucuses could well go up in the short run. If you don't want Edwards to win--as I don't--it may be best at this point if the story stays undernews until January 4. Which puts me in the same page as the MSM, I think.
In other words, under this theory the worst outcome for Edwards is if the Enquirer account slowly seeps into voter consciousness, but doesn't become known enough for Edwards to be able to profit by making a big deal of it in public (which would have the downside of bringing it to more or less every voter's attention). ... That assumes Edwards remains in contention. Should he fall significantly behind in the polls, then making a big deal out of it becomes a plausible Hail Mary gambit. ...
P.P.S.--Mickey's Assignment Desk: Are the issues of the Enquirer making it to the supermarket stands in Iowa? If anyone's there and can check, I'd love to know. ...
AARGH! Cardinal "Mike" Richelieu casts aspersions on an ARG Iowa poll ("looks off because it near-certainly is"). ... Barack Obama better hope that this more recent ARG poll is off. It has him plunging into third place in the caucuses. ...
Update: Mystery Pollster on ARG--