Many people, especially liberals, have been puzzled by Barack Obama’s inability to pull ahead of John McCain. We’re less than 100 days out from the election and yet, if the vote were today, it would be anybody’s ball game.
That’s despite the fact that George Bush is unpopular, Democrats seem to be more motivated than Republicans, Obama is raking in record amounts of money, and the country seems ready to give a Democrat a turn in the White House. So, how can Obama be deadlocked with McCain?
Of course, liberals, being liberals, have blamed racism for Barack’s problems. While there certainly will be some Democrats and independents who won’t vote for Barack because he’s black, his race is primarily an asset to his campaign. If Barack were a white guy, he wouldn’t even be thought of as a good candidate for a cabinet appointment in a Democratic administration, much less the Democratic nominee for president. Why is that the case? That brings us to Barack’s first problem:
He doesn’t have enough experience to be president: The McCain campaign has been unmercifully pounding Obama on this point and rightfully so. Obama has never served in the military, never run a business, and never been a governor or congressman.
As a Democratic delegate said to CNN on the floor of the Democratic convention, “Experience counts. I don’t care what anybody tells you and his resume is just … ” (Like many American voters, she was apparently too choked up at the thought of having Obama as president to continue.)
Obama isn’t scoring on McCain with his attacks: The Obama campaign has been trying to convince people that McCain is another Bush, that he’s an out-of-touch snob who doesn’t even know how many homes he owns, and that he’ll keep us in Iraq for 100 years. None of those lines of attack will work very well against McCain.
The press has spent the last eight years telling everyone who’ll listen that McCain is a maverick who’s not like other Republicans. So, turning him into another cookie-cutter Republican? It’s a very tough sell.
Next up, the “houses” attack isn’t gaining a lot of traction either because it’s hard to convince people that a bomber pilot — who spent years in a prison camp and faced torture rather than leave before people who had been there longer — is really a silver spoon elitist, who probably couldn’t figure out how to pump his own gas or work a grocery scanner.
Also, McCain will keep us in Iraq for 100 years? So, he’s going to be in office 100 years and we’ll be fighting that whole time? It almost refutes itself.
Hubris: Obama’s paper-thin resume doesn’t seem to match up well with his incredibly inflated sense of importance. He did a speech in front of Berlin’s Victory Column in Europe, created his own presidential seal, and did a speech in front of a faux Greek temple — but, what has he actually achieved that would merit all these high honors? Very, very, very — and, yeah, that’s a lot of verys — little.
Obama’s Chicago connections: Two names have dogged Barack Obama throughout this election: Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers. When the public found out Obama had attended Wright’s anti-American racist church for more than a decade, it completely destroyed Obama’s carefully cultivated reputation for “post-racial” politics.
Ayers has also been significant because if Obama associated with a known terrorist (and he did), then lied about it (and he did), then tried to cover it up with a bizarre, fascistic attempt to actually have his political opponents prosecuted by the DOJ (and he did), it says a lot about his character — none of it good.
Lack of patriotism: Unsurprisingly — well, except perhaps to liberals — most Americans believe that a president should actually have a lot of love and appreciation for the country he’s being asked to lead. Barack Obama falls short on this count.
Rather famously, Obama chose not to hold his hand over his heart during the national anthem and made a big deal out of refusing to wear a flag pin. Then there were his spiritual mentor Jeremiah Wright’s “Godd*mn America” comments and his wife saying, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country.”
How can you lead a country you don’t love?
Obama is too scripted: Obama is great at reading speeches written by other people off of a teleprompter, but he’s gaffe-prone and not particularly impressive when speaking off the cuff. This has caused him to make a lot of mistakes and run from town halls with McCain; it has also significantly increased the questions about his readiness to be president. Are you getting a candidate who believes what he says or just another empty suit who’s good at reading what’s put in front of him by his handlers?
Republican voters seem willing to vote for the lesser of two evils one more time: Even though conservatives are very frustrated with the Republican Party and many of us are not particularly fond of John McCain, “more Republicans support McCain than Democrats support Obama.” If McCain can keep conservatives on board and can use his unique appeal to independents and moderates to bring them on the “Straight Talk Express,” then he has a great shot at victory.
The long primary fight: Rush Limbaugh and John McCain have never been pals and probably never will be, but McCain owes Limbaugh an enormous debt of gratitude for Operation Chaos. The long brawl between Hillary and Obama drained Obama’s coffers, created lasting hard feelings in the Democratic Party, and led to lots of sound bites McCain has been able to use. It also started an Obama/Clinton feud that was still roiling just beneath the happy, cheery surface of what was supposed to be “Lake Unity” at the Democratic National Convention.
McCain is running a very aggressive campaign: After starting out with a slow, positive approach that wasn’t drawing flies, much less press attention, the McCain team started pounding Obama like a railroad spike in a sledgehammer factory. They launched aggressive, funny, effective ads, bought spots during the Democratic convention, and hit him in all the weak spots that the press and the Clinton campaign has avoided. We’re in September and the Obama campaign still doesn’t seem to have a clue how to adequately deal with those attacks.