Republicans are astonished and, in some cases, sickened by the ‘lurch to the left’ that America made by voting for Barack Obama. To them, I say: don’t be silly.
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.
Many a time have I been scolded for assuming publicly that the colour of Barack Obama’s skin would play its part in the upcoming election. Many a times have I been warned that racism in America is on the wane. Many a times have I been scolded for being prejudiced about Americans.
Well, they were right: not all Americans are prejudiced towards black people. Not all, just many.
I don’t believe the guys over at Fivethirtyeight.com, the people who say that they “do polls right”. I also don’t believe the aggregate of the polls at Realclearpolitics.com. Or Pollster.com. I don’t think neither of those companies or websites is correct, due to the Big Black Holes in this particular election.
Two things: Barack Obama is a fast learner, and he’s a man of his word. First, he has learned from people who last week gave him the right advice, and second, he’s sticking by his promise that he would not allow the GOP to do to him what they did to Al Gore and John Kerry.
Obama and his campaign have been dominating the campaign, relentlessly bombarding McCain with everything they’ve got for more than 48 hours. That’s two full news cycles. And Team McCain seems to be getting worried, as they are back to responding to Obama. Two days ago, McCain was confidently saying that “the fundamentals of the US economy are strong”. Today, McCain is acknowledging that, yes, perhaps the economy is indeed in bad shape…
Let’s see if Team Obama can keep it up.
QUICK ADD TO QUICK: But there is a danger. If McCain can somehow manage to neutralize the economy-issue, by turning around and acknowledging the problems and make people believe that he, too, promises real change, then it’s back to square one for Obama.
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?
The pregnancy of Bristol Palin, McCain’s vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s daughter, will not affect the race. If anything, it will remind some independent-minded mothers of their own teen pregnancies (or their daughters’), and will only bond them to soon-to-be grandmother Palin. But it will probably also turn off a comparable number of christian wingnuts, so in the end, no win-no lose.
(The ‘QUICK’ is a new feature, to offer an opinion on a matter in a fast way. You will be seeing more of these. It’s sort of neo-Twitter – which is cool, and why? Because any word with the keyword ‘neo’ in front of it, is hot!)
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.
John McCain is on the offensive, and for all the wrong reasons. He has to find a way to dent Obama’s armor. For all intents and purposes, Obama is able to keep the initiative, constantly forcing his adversary to react and take on a defensive position. He is almost constantly asked by the media to respond to new Obama ploys.
In an effort to break that spell, McCain seems to have started a new offensive, directly attacking Obama’s persona. That puts him right where team Obama wants him. Unless something odd happens: if this continues, Obama will win the election.
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.