Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

State of the Race: Advantage Obama

How about that Republican Convention bounce?  How about all that friggin’ hand-wringing afterwards?  Given the events of the past few weeks, I think it’s safe to say that, barring a major democratic FUBAR moment, Barack Obama will be our next President.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating complacency here.  Just sayin’:  we’re pulling away, and big time.


McCain’s Palin pick / hail mary pass was a tight spiral, but as the ball nears the end of it’s arc it looks like there’s nobody there to catch it.  At this point, it’ll be a miracle if it comes down inbounds.  Kathleen Parker (a Conservative partisan for cryin’ out loud), from The National Review Online of all places says:

Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.


No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.


Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there’s not much content there.


If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.


McCain can’t repudiate his choice for running mate…..Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.

The McCain campaign’s stonewalling protection of Palin has backfired.  The MSM is clamoring to get her to talk, and when she does, nothing but “teh stupid” dribbles out.  Check out Cafferty on CNN:

Big burp to Beard Blitzer for tryin’ to stick up for the Palinator.  What an asshat.

Anyhoo, I’m of the opinion that the Palin=FAIL meme has crystallized in the general electorate.  She must be doing something right up there in wild Alaska though, what with that oft-bandied 80% approval rating. Okay, so what if that’s not exactly accurate:

A reporter for the Anchorage daily, Gregg Erickson, even did an online chat with the Washington Post, in which he revealed that Palin’s approval rating in the state was not the much-touted 80%, but 65% and sinking — and that among journalists who followed her it might be in the “teens.”

McCain needs droves of Independents to stand a chance.  Palin=FAIL won’t deliver, and even some of the conservative base is cringing (as we’ve seen above and elsewhere).  This, along with the debate tonight, marks the beginning of the end for Johnny Mac.

Scanning through the liberal blogosphere tonight, one would get the impression that the contest tonight ended with a slight edge for McCain, or as an even draw.  That said, we tend to forget what wonks we are.  We’re nerds, pol-junkies, and bloggers.  We’re like pro-football coaches in that we analyze the strategies, we look for holes in the defense, we lament missed offensive opportunities.  While we’re up to our collective progressive noses in the shit, we forget that most folks aren’t poring over depth charts, scrutinizing scouting reports, crunching Yards-After-Catch stats, and staying up half the night watching game film on next week’s opposing place kicker.  Oddly, there’s a shitload of people who tune in on Sunday, watch the game, and tune out until next week.

{ed.  sorry for the ubiquitous sports analogy.  It’s all I’ve got, and I’m running on fumes over here.}  

We’re engaged, and we know (and follow) the issues of the day much more closely than average Joe Lunchbucket. How did tonight’s debate look to them?  On the (w)hole, they think Obama whooped some ass:

A CBS News instant poll finds:

40% of uncommitted voters who watched the debate tonight thought Barack Obama was the winner. 22% thought John McCain won. 38% saw it as a draw.

68% of these voters think Obama would make the right decision

about the economy. 41% think McCain would.

49% of these voters think Obama would make the right decisions about Iraq. 55% think McCain would.

Independents in the MediaCurves focus group “gave the debate to Obama 61-39. They also think he won every individual segment. Republicans gave the debate to McCain 90-10, Democrats to Obama 93-7.”

Not too shabby, eh?  Again, this spells impending DOOM for McCain.  Bob Shrum thinks it’s pretty much over too:

My friend Tim Russert, who didn’t pull his words, famously said on the night of the North Carolina and Indiana primaries: “I think we now know who the Democratic nominee will be.”  Tonight I think we know who the next President will be.

Emphasis mine.  What else, Roberto?

Barack Obama was crisp, reassuring and strong — in short, presidential, as he has been throughout the financial storm of the past two weeks. McCain was not as bad as he has been recently; but much of this debate was fought on what was supposed to be his high ground. As the encounter ended, Obama not only controlled the commanding heights of the economic issue — and he not only held his own on national security — but clearly passed the threshold as a credible commander-in-chief. McCain kept repeating that Obama doesn’t “understand.” But he clearly did. McCain made up no ground. That’s similar to what happened in 1960 when Nixon ran on the slogan “Experience Counts” but found it didn’t count that much when voters decided JFK was up to the job after the side by side comparison they saw in the first debate.


And then there’s the VP debate — which is likely to be seen as the peril of Palin. (Can’t they give her a basic briefing, maybe in a spiral notebook — or is it too much to read and too hard to remember?)

Sorry, I couldn’t resist; back to our program.  What about those “undecideds” that FOX weasel, Frank “Climate Change” Luntz, likes to round up for these things?

Ouch.  So where is the Straight Talk Express, and their tired old bag of distractions headed next?  As Frank Drebbin would say:  

“Please disperse nothing to see here!”

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  1. The Hard Right National ReviewJay Nordlinger sums it up:

    As is my custom, I’m writing my comments without hearing any other commentary – I am unaffected by other opinions. I don’t know whether I will reflect a consensus or what. And, except for Point 1, I will make my points in the order in which I jotted them down, as I watched the debate. Here goes:

    1) Obama is a masterly debater; McCain is a competent one. They both came off as moderates – a center-right moderate, maybe a center-left moderate. Actually, there wasn’t much left in Obama’s comments. McCain is genuinely a moderate, I believe; Obama plays one on TV. You would never know that he rose from ACORN, etc. Never.

    Frankly, they disagreed on relatively little. They disagreed in marginal ways, actually. America probably got the impression that these are two capable candidates who would govern reasonably. I imagine that center types will say, “Gee, America is lucky to have two such good and decent and well-informed candidates running for president.”

    That definitely advantages Obama – the “out” guy, the “change” guy.


    7. McCain began by talking about Senator Kennedy. I’m sure he meant well – but it came off to me – and perhaps only to me – as a little cheesy and contrived.


    16. When I listened to Obama, I thought, “This guy’s not going to make a mistake – of any type.” Sort of depressing.


    31. When McCain made his crack about how Obama can’t reach across the aisle, because he’s too far over to the left, Obama chuckled – which came off very well, I thought (different from the McCain laughs, which seemed strained and programmed).


    33. He (Obama) was good at rebutting the idea that he can’t work with conservatives, citing his cooperation with Tom Coburn.

    34. He was very good at saying what the problem with a spending freeze is – hatchet (I think) versus scalpel. Quite right.

    35. If I were an ordinary American – who didn’t know anything – I’d say, “Hmm, Obama sounds okay – a moderate fellow. And don’t we need a change?” Bodes ill . . .


    39. Amazing to have Obama, a left-wing Democrat, denounce “tremendous spending” and “an orgy of spending.” He’s a very good campaigner, sadly.

    40. McCain should have named Palin, instead of merely alluding to her – I don’t think some caught what he was saying.


    44. I thought McCain was rather condescending when he said that Obama didn’t know the difference between “tactic” and “strategy” – especially because McCain has been going around saying that Obama “chooses his words very carefully.” (Think lipstick and pigs.)


    47. Obama, too, was good on Pakistan – when he said that, if you see our enemies in Pakistan, you go ahead and take ’em out. And “let me know if you disagree, John.” Very, very effective.


    50. McCain talked about his foreign travel over and over – sort of bragged about it. I thought this was unfortunate, particularly in light of Palin.

    51. He kept saying, in the same answer, about different things, “But the important thing is . . .,” leaving one unsure what the important thing really was.


    55. I thought Obama defended himself on the matter of talking to tyrants without precondition pretty well. He was sophistic – but not ineffective.


    63. Obama said, “This is the greatest country on earth” – the Left didn’t used to talk this way. They have learned, they have learned.


    66. He (McCain) lapsed into slogans at the end – maybe a little tired – where Obama was still speaking English: speaking in complete sentences and thoughts.


    70. I think many people will take away the following impression: “They would both make a good president. They’re both solid, centrist, centered, informed, capable. But if I want a change – and Lord knows this country needs a change – I should vote for the Democrat.”

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