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September 11, 2008
Why Obama’s In Big
Without getting carried away over a momentary post-convention swing in
the polls, it’s worth considering why the latest indications are
suddenly so troubling for Barack Obama.
John McCain has surged into the lead in most national polls – actually
pulling ahead by 10 points in a Gallup poll of likely voters taken after
both conventions were over – let’s note that Obama doesn’t get to go
back and hold another convention to counter McCain’s bounce.
He’s going to have to do it with an effective campaign in the final two
months. Here’s one pundit’s take on why Obama is in real trouble:
Obviously, Palin has been the most dramatic factor in changing the
campaign’s dynamics. But it’s not just that she’s so appealing. It’s
also the way Obama supporters – both within the campaign and across the
Internet – have misplayed their attempts to shoot her down.
When McCain first chose her, the left thought they were getting another
Dan Quayle. Liberal columnist Eleanor Clift guffawed that the reaction
in newsrooms around the country was laughter. Story after wacky story
came out about Palin and her faults – pretty much all of them bogus and
quickly demonstrated as such.
People can see what this is. When Palin is attacked – when her
daughter is attacked, for God’s sakes – it amounts to one side in a
campaign going too far and demonstrating that they’re panicking. It
hasn’t reflected well on Obama or his supporters, and he doesn’t seem to
know what to do to stop it. Obama is making himself look small by
attacking his opponent’s running mate, and not doing so all that
There is also this: Remember when Obama went to Europe? Of course you
do. The media covered little else for days on end. Remember when McCain
went to South America? Of course you don’t. The media paid no attention.
Obama’s erstwhile lead in the polls had a lot do with the fact that his
campaign got far more coverage that McCain’s did. Palin has changed that
dynamic in a big way, and people are figuring out that they actually
have two options in this race.
McCain Equals Bush?
Don’t Think So.
People are not buying the notion that McCain is a clone of George W.
Bush, and that’s a big problem for Obama because he hasn’t had much else
to say of late. Ad after ad shows the two Republicans side-by-side,
arm-in-arm, and the man who vows not to insult our intelligence expects
us to believe this makes them identical. What’s more, the left is
misreading Bush’s poor approval rating. They think it means the
electorate disagrees with Bush on everything. Well then, why is Obama
hinting that he might not rescind Bush’s tax cuts? (Because they
worked.) Why is he no longer claiming the surge was a failure and Iraq
is a disaster? (Because it was a spectacular success and we’re winning.)
Now, trying to beat McCain by running against Bush? That’s a
Two Conventions, Two
The Democratic National Convention featured speaker after speaker
bemoaning the pain and suffering that is life in America. The Republican
National Convention featured an energetic crowd, effective speakers and
a positive outlook on the nation’s future – even while both McCain and
Palin urged that government needs to change the way it does things. The
Sour Pusses vs. the Can-Do Mavericks. Which one do you think was more
No More Speeches.
When someone writes words for Obama, puts him in front of a massive
crowd and erects a fake Greek temple behind him, he delivers with
aplomb. When Obama has to speak extemporaneously, as we learned during
the forum at Saddleback Church, he is awful. He often ends up having to
come back and explain why he didn’t really mean this or that bizarre
thing that he said. Obama has had his last nationally televised speech.
Up next are three debates where he doesn’t get to work from a script.
McCain excels in such forums. He wanted to have 10 of them. Obama
balked. It’s easy to see why. Having to do three will be bad enough for
The Experience Thing is
The message that Obama’s track record is paper thin is getting through
to voters. There’s a reason for that. It’s the truth. The selection of
Palin merely highlighted Obama’s lack of achievement all the more.
People are looking beyond Obama’s stirring speeches and are becoming
troubled by the fact that he has few legislative accomplishments –
either at the state or federal level – but nonetheless judged himself
worthy of the presidency almost the day he arrived in Washington.
It’s not as if McCain has pulled away decisively. The race is still
close and Obama could certainly still win. But there were always a lot
of inherent weaknesses to his candidacy, and they’re coming into play
now. A very smart, effective candidate could mitigate the factors listed
above and emerge victorious.
I’m not so sure Obama is all that smart. With every day that goes by, he
looks more like he’s in over his head – which given his track record, or
lack thereof, is really no surprise.
© 2008 North Star
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