October 8, 2008

Don't Count the Turtle Out of the Race, Yet

Justin Katz

As Anthony pointed out at the tail-end of our debate blog, a new Zogby poll shows Obama's margin shrinking. Of particular note is that his lead went entirely into the "Others/Not sure" column. That's why I'm not buying the spin that McCain had to do very well last night (even though the poll was conducted before the debate).

In all political races, and to an exponential degree with Obama, the storyline is the thing. Obama's storyline is the lightning flash of The New, and in these debates, he sounds like nothing so much as a run-of-the-mill candidate. His negativity and egregious anti-Bush partisanship won't help.

John McCain, on the other hand, is the steady hand (albeit connected with an often wrongheaded mind). Nobody expects him to do well in these debates. His image is entirely consistent with a bit of awkwardness at the nuts and bolts of campaigning.

Put slightly differently, if the broadest mood of the electorate is fatigue with Washington, smooth campaigning could prove to be a detriment during the general election's slide toward the middle.

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Justin wrote:

"John McCain, on the other hand, is the steady hand (albeit connected with an often wrongheaded mind). Nobody expects him to do well in these debates. His image is entirely consistent with a bit of awkwardness at the nuts and bolts of campaigning."

After twenty six years a Senator and two runs at the Presidency I don't think you can with any degree of seriousness suggest that John McCain is unfamiliar with political campaigns. Maybe the awkwardness you notice is his personal sense that he is not his own man in this race. The movement conservatives were behind the Vice Presidential pick after all. Now all McCain seems capable of doing is reminding voters of his military past and his Senate past. Many of his answers in the last debate were about some bill he either voted for or against in the past. On that stage that we had been told he had requested as one of the debate formats because he done a hundred town hall meetings and was comfortable, McCain's beseeching seemed tired and old.

Posted by: phil at October 9, 2008 6:35 AM

Obama's egregious anti-Bush partisanship won't help him? What planet are you on? Bush: LOWEST approval ratings NOW than any President in 70 years of polling. No one can win the Presidency without attacking Bush. Senator McCain, muddled though he is has thoroughly tried to repudiate Bush.

Gov. Palin is a sad example of hate speech and fear mongering. There's a ton of vicious hatemongering on both sides-- perpetrated mostly by people OUTSIDE bothe McCain and Obama camps. (Both camps are being negative, but the harshest stuff on right & left is OUTSIDE the candidates reach & control!) (eg Talk Radio). Poor McCain defends Obama to his town hall audience in Minnesota on Friday & gets booed-- but points for McCain for trying to stop viciousness there!
I support Obama and I grew up in Chicago 1962-1975... before Obama and Farrakhan. I oppose Farrakhan and Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers-- and Barack Obama does too. He hates being endorsed by Farrakhan. Farrakhan is a RACIST just like the KKK and Obama knows this. Just because someone endorses YOU doesn't mean that you accept their support or that you are like them. David Duke is probably voting for McCain- what can Mccain do?! Obama is an anti-Farrakhan leader. Obama's faith is deeply Christian and non-Marxist. Bill Ayers as an academic (urban policy and education - 40 years past blowing things up.) Obama was on two nonprofit anti-poverty boards with Ayers years ago- not because he loves Ayers, but because the boards helped people. One was Waler Annenberg's board (Republican conservative Annenberg). We are on UN Committees with dictators & we tolerate their fascism to advance our agenda. Obama tolerated Ayers. To smear Obama with Ayers is rank McCarthyism - "guilt by association".
Hey, it is just the McCain camp deciding to try to change the conversation from how we are going to save out investments, pension & mortgages to crazyyy talk about irrelevant radicals from 40 years ago and crazy Muslim hate-preachers. I hate HATE. You guys hear it 24/7 on Talk Radio- irrational fear and hate of "socialism". Remember "The Paranoid Style of American Politics" (R. Hofstadter). Paranoia fueled by fear. It makes voters do stupid things, like boo their candidate in Minnesota. Foprcing McCain to lash out negatively. .
President Obama and Senator McCain after January 20 will work together to straighten out the mess. McCain is good for help in the Senate & bipartisan leadership there! Obama will talk to him & call on him. After Jan 20th as a Senate leader will be McCain's finest hour!

Posted by: BlueRayState at October 11, 2008 3:26 PM
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