But it’s too late.
“[Senator Obama] is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared about as President of the United States,” he said, before adding: “If I didn’t think I would be one heck of a better president I wouldn’t be running.”
The crowd groaned with disapproval.
McCain’s former strategist John Weaver agrees with the move:
“People need to understand, for moral reasons and the protection of our civil society, the differences with Sen. Obama are ideological, based on clear differences on policy and a lack of experience compared to Sen. McCain,” Weaver said. “And from a purely practical political vantage point, please find me a swing voter, an undecided independent, or a torn female voter that finds an angry mob mentality attractive.”
“Sen. Obama is a classic liberal with an outdated economic agenda. We should take that agenda on in a robust manner. As a party we should not and must not stand by as the small amount of haters in our society question whether he is as American as the rest of us. Shame on them and shame on us if we allow this to take hold.”
Indeed (to the last bit). In the meantime Obama is rocketing ahead in the opinion polls – can McCain reverse them completely in a matter of weeks? Jay Cost thinks it’s unlikely:
So long as the newspapers and the televisions are full of stories about contraction, which as you can see dominated every day this week here in Pittsburgh, John McCain’s poll position will be weak. That’s all there is to it. Conservatives can criticize McCain for not doing this, that or the other; liberals can praise Obama for doing this, that, or the other. But the fact remains that, as of today, the state of the race is pretty simple: this was an even-steven contest until the markets started to sputter and people started really worrying about the economy. Now Obama’s up 6 points.
It’s already more than six:
The global financial meltdown has caused a dramatic shift in the 2008 presidential race, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. With four weeks left in the presidential campaign, Barack Obama now leads John McCain by double digits, 52 percent to 41 percent among registered voters—a marked shift from the last NEWSWEEK poll, conducted one month ago, when the two candidates were tied at 46 percent.
Although Newsweek also notes:
Still, the poll suggests that despite his lead and the extremely favorable conditions for a Democratic candidate, Obama has not yet established himself as the firm choice of swing voters. In fact, McCain, who has banked on a large and deep reservoir of goodwill from middle-of-the-road voters, still leads Obama among independents, albeit by only two points (45 percent to 43 percent). That’s actually a slightly better showing for McCain than in the September NEWSWEEK poll, when Obama led McCain 44 percent to 43 percent among voters who described themselves as Independent.