38 million

… viewers for Obama’s speech, counting network only. Almost twice Kerry’s number.

That’s how many people watched Obama’s speech on TV.

That doesn’t count cable or C-SPAN.

It doesn’t count people who streamed it on line.

It doesn’t count people who watched the YouTube later.

38 million people.

More than the opening ceremony for the Olympics. More than the Oscars. More than the “American Idol” final.

Kerry had 20 million viewers.

Bush won the Presidency with 62 million votes. (And I doubt McCain can match that.)

I’m glad the Rasmussen tracker is now showing a 4-point Obama edge, and the Gallup tracker an 8-point Obama edge. And I’m going to be nervous until the votes are counted. But 38 million is a fantastic number. And the Obama organization has the capacity to turn out the votes.

So to all the people who have been frantically shouting advice at the candidate and his managers: please calm down, make a donation, and work your butt off. Again and again, these folks have earned our confidence that they know what they’re doing. Right now, the Biden pick is looking inspired, compared to any of the wine-track candidates I would have preferred.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com