TRAIL MIX: Lots Vote Early Today, Palin Gets Doctor’s Note, and ‘Hussein’ Who?

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By: Suzanne Rosenberg

In today’s final installment of news from newspaper campaign blogs: Gov. Palin releases a medical letter, not records, at the last possible minute and is cleared by an independent commission of Troopergate. And more. See links at bottom.

Palin releases note from her doctor and is cleared in second ‘Troopergate’ probe
The Swamp
The Chicago Tribune
By Jason George

A two-page letter from Gov. Palin?s physician was released late on the eve of the election stating that the Alaska governor ?has no major medical problems? and is ?physically fit.? Although the letter has no supporting documents accompanying it, it stated that Palin has good blood pressure and pulse and glows about Palin?s health. One has to wonder therefore, according to Jason George of The Swamp, why it is that it took Palin until now to release anything and why she hesitated when asked by Brian Williams some weeks ago if she would release them.

George also reports that the Alaska personal board concluded on Monday that the Republican vice presidential nominee did not abuse her power by firing the state?s public safety commissioner. This exoneration clears Palin and conflicts with an earlier and separate inquiry done by Alaska?s Legislative Council which concluded that Palin did abuse her office in allowing her staffers and her husband to pressure the commissioner to fire Ms. Palin?s former brother-in-law. Either way, Gov. Palin must return to a volatile political atmosphere swirling around her position as governor, should her ticket not succeed in the presidential contest.

Lots of you voted early
The Caucus
The New York Times
By Michael Luo

Early voting in states across the country has been breaking records, whether by absentee ballots or individuals going to voting centers and even waiting in long lines to cast their votes. Michael Luo of The Caucus points out that about 37% of registered voters in the strategic swing state of Florida have already cast their ballots, setting the stage for a possible record-setting turnout. He points out that in Colorado too, 56% of registered voters cast their ballots early in person or by absentee ballot. If the race concludes closer than most of the polls predict, the McCain campaign has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Virginia demanding that the State Board of Elections accept absentee ballots from members of the military received by Nov. 14, as opposed to the usual Nov. 4.

Ohioans are voting early too
The Caucus
The New York Times
By Michael Powell

According to Michael Powell of the Caucus, at least 200,000 people voted early in Ohio, either in person or by mail as of Nov. 2. On Nov. 3, however, voters were still waiting in long lines to vote in Ohio — setting records for the number of early votes cast in Columbus, Ohio?s capital. The margin of Democrats voting early versus Republicans appears to be more than 2-1; if these numbers are indicators of similar trends in the other states which have allowed voters to cast their ballots early, Obama?s margin of victory may be more significant than anticipated.

John ‘Hussein’ Hancock
The Top of the Ticket
Los Angeles Times
By Kate Linthicum

A few Obama supporters I have been in touch with during the last few months have shown their solidarity with the candidate by signing their names with ?Hussein? as their middle name, among them a Dr. Justin ?Hussein? Frank, who is a practicing psychoanalyst in Washington D.C. and author of the book “Bush on the Couch.” When Kate Linthicum of The Top of the Ticket reported last evening that hundreds of Obama supporters across the country have taken to signing their names on Facebook and elsewhere with ?Hussein? as their middle name, I was more than a little amused. A number of Facebook groups have sprouted up encouraging the use of the ?Hussein? middle moniker to fight against what they consider rampant misconceptions and misrepresentations regarding Barack Obama?s background during the campaign.

Bush to return to Texas with values intact
On Politics
USA Today
By Mark Memmott

White House press secretary Dana Perino was asked yesterday about today?s election and whether or not President Bush takes the mounting evidence that Barack Obama may be elected by a large margin as a personal rebuke. She was also asked why the President has been out of sight and not campaigning for the Republican candidate, and if he hadn?t become a liability for the McCain?s campaign. Ms. Perino responded by saying that the President recognizes ?that there are people out there who want change? and believe that their ?tough? decisions regarding the economy have been ?very controversial and unpopular.? Mark Memmott also reported her comment that, ?What keeps him going is knowing that he?s done the right thing. When it comes to protecting this country, since the September 11th attacks he?s been able to do that. Iraq is in a totally different place than it was a year ago today ? and when he goes home to Texas, President Bush will be able to look in the mirror and know that he was true to his values and his principles. And that?s what keeps him going.?

Trail Mix’s Featured Blogs:

Chicago Tribune: The Swamp

Los Angeles Times: Top of the Ticket

The Boston Globe: Political Intelligence

The Denver Post: Politics West

The New York Times: The Caucus

The Wall Street Journal: The Washington Wire

The Washington Post: The Trail and The Fix

USA Today: On Politics

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