McCain goes nuclear

John McCain is slipping fast in the polls. As he senses that he has nothing to lose, the gloves are off. Team Obama will now face one mother of a nasty Republican fighting machine. They will give Obama no quarter, not one inch, and each and every moral objection will be thrown aside. And it started today.

A number of McCain campaign aides, close associates and anonymous sources from within the GOP machine have in the past 48 hours confirmed that the war is on. There won’t be any backing down; anything they can find or make up to hurt Obama, will be used. That strategy holds a big risk for the 72 year old.

When he tried the same approach, about three weeks ago, he got chastised for spouting discredited lies by not only the Obama campaign, but also the press. But it worked; Obama’s numbers started going down, McCain’s went up – and then the financial meltdown happened, upsetting the McCain game plan.

So now he’s going to go back on the attack, but with a true vengeance. Palin started today, raking up Obama’s old connections to some people. Except for Jeremiah Wright, no subjects are off-limits. But McCain had better be careful still, because there’s a new risk involved.

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Desparate Johnny’s desparate ploy

Whoa Johnny! John McCain is suspending his campaign, and he wants this Friday’s debate cancelled so that he and Barack Obama can “concentrate on the economy” in “bipartisan fashion”, so that they can “act as Americans, and not as Democrats and Republicans”.

Something happened in McCain’s Campaign HQ, that much is clear. Just 48 hours ago, the first polls that were showing movement by the electorate towards Obama were trickling in. Just 24 hours ago, a steady stream of big polls noted swings of 3 to 5% to Obama. And then, today, a veritable avalanche of local, regional and national tracking polls showed that the swing was now 5 to 7% towards Obama!

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QUICK: Obama’s main gun now silenced?

A hundred to one says that John McCain will immediately voice his support for this emergency reform plan, proposed by the Bush administration. The reason: McCain can hide behind it, while at the same time silencing Barack Obama’s most effective artillery barrage, which had succesfully been aiming at McCain’s biggest vulnerability – the economy.

As said before here: if McCain can disarm Obama on the economy front, it’s back to the subjects of Character, Experience and Leadership. Those three subjects headlined the campaign for almost two weeks, until last Friday, and Obama suffered while McCain gained.

McCain’s turn in the minefield

It’s not often that a big player in the mainstream media turns around and publicly chastises a candidate for the presidency. But that’s just what Associated Press did in this analysis. Mark Halperin of ‘The Page’ titled his take on the analysis as ‘AP Slams McCain-Palin’. I guess that’s about right.

The AP writer thrashes McCain’s mudslinging of the past days. The problem: McCain was a target of mudslinging in 2000, when his then-rival George W. Bush started an outrageous slander campaign against him. So McCain took the moral high ground and said that he’d never engage in such a campaign himself.

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Oh ye of low intelligence…

Every four years in America, somebody takes out a cattle prod and slams it up the bum of approximately half the population. Those are the ones who go out to vote during presidential elections. Suddenly, they wake up, pull their heads from the sand, and in their naivete expect the political campaigns to inform them about the candidates and their positions.

Like I said, every four years. But this year’s voter vintage seems exceptionally stupid.

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Are You Experienced?

A new Wall Street Journal / NBC poll (opens as Acrobat .pdf document) out today shows that a majority of voters questioned is comfortable with the idea of having Sarah Palin in the White House as vice-president, despite a “national debate” on whether she’s experienced enough for the job.

That’s very interesting. Because polls have for months been showing that voters are somewhat concerned over Barack Obama’s lack of experience. It is the very reason why Team McCain has from the start been highlighting Obama’s perceived “lack of experience”.  Obama selected Joe Biden, a Senator with 33 years of experience in foreign affairs, to be his running mate. That’s a lot of experience, but it hardly made a difference in the polls.

So what can we conclude from this? That experience is something that only troubles Obama? Or is experience simply not that important to voters?

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QUICK: As expected, McCain moves past Obama in polls

John McCain got an election ‘bounce’ in the polls. As expected. The reasons why are different: the Republican base is re-energized now that veep-candidate Sarah Palin has taken away many doubts about McCain among right-wing, social extremists who formed the electoral base of George W. Bush. They’re once again rallying to the flag. Others, who were on the fence in previous polls and were leaning McCain, have now jumped off that fence — straight into McCain’s camp.

And now comes the ultimate test, as described in my previous post (and hours before these new Gallup polls came out): who of the two candidates brings change, but not too much change?

My money’s on McCain, for all the wrong reasons. Obama will have to shift into 4th gear and the debates still remain; but there’s not a whole lot in terms of issues Obama can pull from the shelf, and McCain is the better debater.

As I wrote here, McCain gaining on Obama in the polls would give Obama another reason to get worried. “Because then The Media’s big story will be ‘John McCain, The Comeback Grandpa’. And that would constitute Reason 5.” I had previously named 4 reasons why Obama would be losing; number 5 is just around the corner.

Obama’s blunting strategy

There’s a strategy in nuclear war, believe it or not, that’s called Bravo-Romeo-Delta. The B stands for ‘blunting’, R for ‘retardation’, and D for ‘disrupting’. A blunting attack means that you’re trying to blunt the opposition’s capacity to strike you, retardation means you’re trying to take out your opponent’s communication infrastructure, and disruptive means you’re going all-out, in an effort to destroy your opponent’s means to conduct war. The Delta-stage is usually the last, and most destructive phase of nuclear conflict.

Over at RealClearPolitics, the GOP-leaning Tom Bevan looks at Barack Obama’s chances in getting 7 ‘red states’ to come over to his column. Bevan doubts that Obama’s strategy will work. But that’s beside the point. Obama’s campaign team is trying to ‘Bravo-Romeo-Delta’ the McCain team all at once. And the reason is that Obama simply has more money to buy ammunition, and the timeframe to do it.

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Closing the deal

Yesterday, I wrote an article called ‘Deconstructing Obama’. In it, I gave a very short rundown of the only strategy that seems to be left to McCain: go personal. The reason being that Obama has had the initiative since day one, it seems.

But perhaps I was wrong. The tracking polls are starting to show dents in Obama’s armour. Over at Real Clear Politics (I’m always careful with these guys as they’re clearly pro-GOP), the latest rundown of tracking polls shows that although Obama is still leading, the margins seem to be getting smaller, not bigger.

That spells trouble for Obama. Of course, Americans being Americans, I would not be surprised if they once again elect someone who will tear their country even further apart. Because that’s what Republicans do: they pretend to be all Christian morals, but before you know it, they’re out with TV-ads calling people traitors and sodomizing your 3-year-old.

Either way, Obama has not yet been able to close the deal and I’m afraid that that’s because people are still very doubtful of him. Of course, American pigheads being American pigheads, they keep noticing that Obama is black. Perhaps that’s it. It can’t be because of ideological reasons. Because how many average Americans read candidate platforms these days?

I‘ve said from day one, so even before the primaries, that Americans were very capable of electing a carbon copy of George W Bush into office. I also predicted that the election would be very close.

When the new King of Expectation beat the Oracle of Chappaqua, I said I was convinced that any generic Republican would win the election. Now, I’m going back to that position. I’ll be keeping it until Obama truly starts improving his poll numbers and significantly moves away from McCain.

John Nichols, Obama and Afghanistan

John Nichols of thenation.com is getting a bit infatuated with Barack Obama. That’s fine, a lot of journalists are being sucked in. John McCain should stop bitching about it – he was yesterday’s sweetheart for a long time, but that’s what he is. Yesterday’s news, just like Hillary Clinton was.

So it was refreshing to see Nichols criticizing Obama for a change in an article pasted here, but unfortunately, Nichols missed the mark. He was right to criticize Obama, but for the wrong reason.

Both Barack Obama and John McCain are right: more troops are needed in Afghanistan, but with one unifying mandate, not two different ones that cancel each other out. As is currently the case.

So I wrote Mr Nichols an email. To which he didn’t respond, of course.

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