If you’re voting on Election Day

Here’s where you can find your polling place. This is important information, as Asheville has a dizzying array of precincts, some of them quite small.

Furthermore, when people move, they often forget to update their address with the Board of Elections, and thus may have to vote in their old location.

Be prepared for long lines — turnout has already been through the roof in early voting this year — I’d set aside at least an hour to go vote, especially if you’re in a heavily populated precinct like downtown, Shiloh or Montford.

Look over the Mountain Xpress’ Voter Guide if you need to know about the local races. If you’re a liberal, Scrutiny Hooligans has a useful guide that goes down the entire ballot, explanations included.

I haven’t been able to find a conservative equivalent yet, but if someone knows of one, let me know and I’ll post a link to it.


King of Spain

In light of today’s news:

Oh September

An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry.
-T.S. Eliot

VP Breakdown

538 has the full story

Long story short: Biden plays well with Dems (though not as well as Clinton), about average for a Dem with Republicans and best of the major VP contenders amongst independents (Clinton played the worst). For us crunchy numbers junkies, it’s an interesting article.

Joe Schmo

I ain’t thrilled about him, but as I’ve looked at the other big options for VP over the last few weeks (Hillary, Kaine, god forbid Bayh), he’s probably the least worst. All the good options (Sebelius) sadly aren’t well known enough yet.

This is a pure tactical decision: Biden plays well with older rust belt voters and for all his many flaws is a capable attack dog when someone else (Obama) is pulling his strings. His Iraq war record is bad, but no worse than any of the other establishment Dems mentioned (remember that among the three Presidential front-runners in the primary only Obama had opposed the war). Also, Biden’s not the sort I can ever see getting anywhere with a run for President after Obama’s term.

If (hopefully when) Obama wins, it will also remove Biden from the Senate, and given that Delaware is a fairly liberal state, get some much-needed fresh blood in there. At the same time, Biden has the decades of connections to help with what would be one of an Obama presidency’s hardest tasks: pulling the establishment Dems into line to get out of Iraq, get health care through, etc. The problems with Biden (his primary era criticisms of Obama, for example) are ones he would have faced with just about any well-known Dem selection (since most of them were either in the race themselves or backed Hillary) and can easily be countered by playing plenty of McCain’s own contradictory statements or his repeated fervent support for Bush over the years.

Again, I don’t like Biden, but I don’t like any of the other establishment Dems either. From the manipulation side it’s a canny play that simultaneously pulls one of the establishment players out of the Senate, puts him in Obama’s corner, boosts his candidacy in some key regions/demographics and gives his campaign the ground-level knife-in-gut political brawler that Barack can’t publicly be due to the approach his campaign is taking and the image he’s built.

I think the office of VP has been given some inflated importance by the role Cheney’s played. Frankly one of the things I look forward to about an Obama Presidency is putting the office back in its relatively insignificant place.