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Monday, August 18, 2008
A punishing month for Obama.

It's hard to know whether we should credit McCain's success or Obama's failures for the current state of the race.

Category 1: Obama's European Vacation

* Going to Europe to speak in front of 100,000 Germans. Dumb.
* Describing yourself as a citizen of the world. Dumber.

I've heard a lot of my Democratic friends say that this election is important because we can finally change the way the world views us. Obama's European tour secured the votes of all the Europhiles who were going to vote for him anyway. Most Americans don't care if Europeans like you and are naturally suspicious if they do.

Obama's strategy is to look presidential as a way to overcome the charge that he is inexperienced. Unfortunately, the campaign is schitso on this - they want him to look presidential one day and like a hipper, blacker version of John Kerry on the beach (without the windsurfer, of course). Every time the Obama campaign tries to make him look more presidential, they lose ground because he looks like he's trying to be presidential (the Barack Obama seal, anyone?).

Credit to McCain - the celebrity angle is perfect.

Category 2: The Warren interview.

Attacking John McCain's honor - wow, turn the dial up to 11 on the dumb scale.
Attacking John McCain's truthfulness - up to 12.
Attacking John McCain's truthfulness about the six or seven years he spent as a POW, allowing the candidate to underscore the narrative and undermining your own "Mr. Clean" persona? Turn it up to 15.

Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.

Give McCain credit for using this stupid controversy as a way to 1) remind people that the old man kicked Obama's ass and 2) send a warning shot across the media that will make them think twice before repeating Obama's talking points and doing the dirty work for him.

Ouch. I can't believe he is still in this. It's like the freakin' Giants (sorry Skip).


Category 3: Dealing the race card from the bottom of the deck.

You can guilt Democrats into voting for you on this, but it's a big loser in the general.

Category 4: Jeremiah Wright

By failing to cut Wright loose immediately and distancing himself from this anti-American fruitcake, Obama let this story linger on and on and on. Sure, he's "put it behind him" but now, the Wright image and the questions it raised about Obama's judgment are seared in the public mind. All this makes it extremely difficult for Obama to make symbolic moves to the center that are in any way believable.

Obama has run a terrible, terrible campaign.

Exit question: What was the pivot point where things started going downhill? I think Hillary's 3 am ad was the high water mark so far.

Please don't liken any candidate I plan to vote for to a New York sports team. Thank you.
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