Gallup Finds (No Surprise) That Both Edwards and Palin Are Polling Poorly

Gallup is apparently desperate to drive traffic to their site to read about a rather trivial poll with the headline. The popularity of a politician right now, as opposed to when they are actually campaigning for office, is of some but not tremendous interest. Gallup reports that “John Edwards, Sarah Palin Both See Favorable Ratings Slide.”

It is somewhat of interest that Sarah Palin’s approval numbers are so low, but she has barely begun to do whatever she planned to do when she resigned as Governor. Such numbers will be far more significant once she is actually running for something. Besides, the poll shows that, despite a low approval, she remains competitive with Romney and Huckabee in the virtually meaningless polling on the 2012 nomination.

It is no surprise that Edwards’ popularity has dropped tremendously, and it is doubtful he will ever be elected to any office again.

Besides dropping in popularity, the two have little in common. Sure both are former vice presidential candidates and both are partially known for their hair, but otherwise their careers at this point have little in common. John Edwards’ popularity has dropped because he was caught cheating on his wife who is fighting cancer. Sarah Palin’s popularity has dropped because every time she opens her mouth, or posts about “death panels” on Facebook, she shows that she is unfit for national office. Most likely Edwards has given up on running for office while Palin is probably looking towards running in 2012. It makes little sense to include the two in the same poll. I’m just not sure which of the two should feel more insulted by being lumped with the other.

How The Pentagon Met Their Recruiting Targets While Recruiting Less People

Earlier in the week the Pentagon bragged about meeting their recruitment goals for the year. I thought this was a little strange considering, no matter how much people feel about the world with Obama as opposed to Bush being in the White House, the same negative incentives to recruitment (i.e. Iraq and Afghanistan) are still present. I thought maybe it was a sign of desperation due to lack of jobs.  Fred Kaplan (via Andrew Sullivan) found the answer–they reduced their goals allowing them to meet their target despite a decrease in recruits:

According to the Pentagon’s report, the Army’s goal for fiscal year 2009 was to sign 65,000 new recruits. It actually signed 70,045—amounting to 8 percent more than the target.

But the picture is less bright than it seems. Though the Pentagon’s report doesn’t mention this fact, in each of the previous two years, the Army’s recruitment goal was 80,000—much higher than this year’s. The Army met those targets, but only by drastically lowering its standards—accepting more applicants who’d dropped out of high school or flunked the military’s aptitude test.

This year, the recruiters restored the old standards—a very good thing for troops’ morale and military effectiveness—but they signed up 10,000 fewer new soldiers.

It is, in other words, not the case that high unemployment or a new public spirit is leading more young men and women into the Army. It’s not the case that more young men and women are going into the Army at all.

In addition to reducing their recruiting goals they also reduced their retention goals.

I guess it is somewhat like reducing the goal of universal health care to less than one hundred percent coverage.

Jon Stewart Offers To Help The Republicans

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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Jon Stewart looks at the problems the Republican Party is having with their new web site and attempt at rebranding.