Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Reports of McCain's death premature

OK, I admit it. I might have to take back the post I wrote when I declared McCain to be, ahem, toast.

He's not toast. He's still very much in it. In fact, he might be (gulp) our next President with Sarah Palin at his side. (Double-gulp. She is one of those people with the rare gift -- George W. Bush is another -- of making me hate them more and more every time they speak. I never thought I would think fondly of Joe Lieberman, but I think I hate Sarah Palin even more.)

All that being said, I would like to calm all my liberal friends down a little. (And maybe I'm writing this post to calm myself down, too. I admit that I had a mini-meltdown yesterday. But reading Thomas Friedman today felt like the man must be really, really freaking out. Which kinda put my own personal freakout yesterday in perspective.)

The New Republic's John Judis (who is usually a very skeptical writer) has a really smart post about why everybody needs to chill out.

Yes, Obama must show in the next two months that he has the chops to do battle with McCain-Palin. But I think he will. The Obama people are very, very smart. They have seriously studied the electoral map, the last few elections and the popular mood.

Let's not forget that Obama was well behind Hillary Clinton before his Iowa triumph. At the end of 2007 (when Clinton was inevitable) many of Obama's backers were panicking and begging him to change strategy.

Obama was disciplined enough not to listen to them. (David Plouffe, Obama's savant political guru, had to calm everybody down.)

Granted, I'm just speculating here, but I can't imagine that the Obama people (who are exceptionally careful and prepared -- despite what my NY Post pal Mark Cunningham thinks) didn't take into account the final push of the election -- and what they'd do if Obama was behind. (And, by the way, he isn't behind. I've seen it go both ways, but at this point it looks pretty much like a statistical dead heat.)

I think that Obama will start saying the things that are in every liberal's heart and will gain back momentum:

Namely, McCain and Palin are running a completely bullshit campaign.

And the McCain campaign can only dominate so many news cycles before they come off looking like people who have a real problem with the truth.

Do they really think that repeating that Palin fib, "Thanks -- but no thanks" on the bridge to nowhere, will be any more true if they keep saying it? Chris Matthews had the right idea: Start counting how many times she keeps perpetuating this utter lie!

This "lipstick on a pig" thing is even more ridiculous. (I'm not sure I'd go as far as Josh Marshall, who says Obama should own it.) It is among the more bogus controversies I've ever heard. Especially given the fact that there's plenty of youtube footage of McCain using the exact same expression!

And while there's always the danger of people only hearing the sound-bite and not paying attention to what Obama said (he never compared Palin to a pig! Jesus!) I think that when most people realize that Obama never used the words, "Sarah" or "Palin" they'll realize just how ludicrous this is.

Finally, there's something really shocking about the way McCain has thrown caution (and principle) to the wind and decided to air truly disgusting ads claiming that Obama wanted sex education in kindergarten that are utterly spurious. (I never thought I'd say this, but good for Katie Couric for demanding they drop this ad.)

I think Andrew Sullivan said it best. The old McCain that the press once adored (and with some good reason) is dead. But a new McCain has emerged and he's not at all dead.

I just hope that Obama knows how to defeat him. Here's hoping...