As John McCain remains comfortably behind in the race which ends two weeks tomorrow, his thoughts are turning to his inevitable defeat:
Mr McCain, speaking moments after his old friend Colin Powell, the former Republican Secretary of State, had endorsed Mr Obama, said that a loss would not devastate him. He said that he had thought about it, “but I don’t dwell on it”.
The Republican nominee continued: “I’ve had a wonderful life. I have to go back to Arizona and live … with a wonderful family, and daughters and sons that I’m so proud of. I’m the luckiest guy you have ever interviewed and will ever interview. I’m the most fortunate man on Earth, and I thank God for it every single day.”
If he lost, he told Fox News Sunday, “don’t feel sorry for John McCain and John McCain will be concentrating on not feeling sorry for himself”.
Don’t feel sorry for John McCain? As if any rational person would. Not only are his robocalls offending many of even his most ardent supporters, but the lies are getting bigger:
Overnight Friday, the McCain forces ramped it up. I got a recorded message from the Republican National Committee at my Virginia home that said in part:
“Hello, I’m calling for the RNC and John McCain because you ought to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers . . .”
Obama debunked the smear during the debate. It is the worst I ever heard about that one candidate delivered against another.
None of McCain’s, Palin’s or the RNC’s charges are true. Nothing can make them so. Yet McCain & Co. keep piling it on, broadening the lie from “palled around,” to “associate with” and now “worked closely.”
But John McCain’s biggest problem is his campaign’s incompetence. Having flailed wildly from indulging in the candidate’s own erratic, impulsive decision making (which resulted in Sarah Palin), through to trying to play by the Rovian playbook, he’s ignored conditions on the ground, which Obama has used to his greatest advantage:
But beneath the obvious challenges he faces lies a deeper cause of McCain’s troubles in Florida, the swing state which, he acknowledged at the Miami rally, his struggling campaign “must win.” It’s not so much that McCain didn’t tap Crist for his ticket; rather, it’s the widespread feeling that McCain hasn’t tapped into the more civil, issues-driven political style most Floridians have embraced since Crist was elected in 2006.
On top of that, despite the race tightening, a poll shows most Americans don’t believe Bill Ayres is a legitimate campaign issue:
Skepticism about the Ayers issue was one of the factors cited by Colin Powell in his endorsement of Obama yesterday, and in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, likely voters broadly agree: 60 percent say Obama’s relationship with Ayers is not a legitimate issue in the presidential campaign; 37 percent say it is.
And this is starting to get backed up by conservative commentator after conservative commentator:
Obama’s campaign has exploited hindsight to full advantage. Yet he has also emerged as the candidate who will move the country ahead.
Obama better understands the real economic fears gripping the middle class – and his tax and health care policies reflect that.
Obama better understands the kind of regulatory reform required to prevent a repeat of the financial market meltdown.
Obama is better equipped to build a diversified, versatile energy infrastructure, arriving at a strategy something more nuanced than a “drill, baby, drill” mantra.
Obama is better prepared to restore America’s allies abroad, building the coalitions required in a turbulent world.
And even more spectacularly (explanation):
We are faced with a choice between Sen. John McCain, who claims to be an agent of change but promotes the policies of the past, and Sen. Barack Obama, who also wears the change mantle, but offers a vision for the future, even if he has yet to fully explain how he would carry out that vision if elected president in little more than two weeks.
Every 20 or 30 years or so, a leader comes along who understands that change is necessary if the country is to survive and thrive. Teddy Roosevelt at the turn of the 20th century and his cousin Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan — these leaders have inspired us to rise to our better nature, to reach out to be the country we can be and, more important, must be.
Barack Obama is such a leader.
(both via Andrew Sullivan)
When the political narrative coalesces like this there’s only one way which it’ll go.