It’s a mystery to many: why isn’t Barack Obama farther ahead in the polls? CNN’s poll of polls shows Obama up by 5 points, leading John McCain 45% to 40%. In most polls, he rarely breaks 50%. A new USA Today/Gallup Poll actually shows McCain leading Obama 49% to 45% percent among likely voters. It seems like Obama should be miles ahead of McCain when you consider the political climate.
And what an adulatory climate it was. The Guardian described his “rock star” welcome. “For the man who has brought rock star charisma to electoral politics, yesterday saw the campaign rally as pop festival, a summer gathering of peace, love and loathing of George Bush. Taking what he calls his ‘improbable journey’ to the heart of Europe, Barack Obama succeeded in closing down one of Berlin’s main thoroughfares last night, luring the city’s young in their tens of thousands to stand in the evening sunshine and hear him spin his dreams of hope – not for America this time, but for the whole world.” One story from Bild was filed from a gym where the Candidate was working out.
He goes and picks up a pair of 16 kilo weights and starts curling them with his left and right arms, 30 repetitions on each side. Then, amazingly, he picks up the 32 kilo weights! Very slowly he lifts them, first 10 curls with his right, then 10 with his left. He breathes deeply in and out and takes a sip of water from his 0,5 litre Evian bottle.
Shortly before five o’clock Obama comes over and sits directly next to my cross-trainer on the mat. First he does 10 sit-ups, then stretches. Then he looks at his watch and says to his bodyguard: “It’s time, let’s go.” Quickly I ask: “Mr. Obama, could I take a photo?”. “Of course!” he answers, before asking my name and coming over to stand next to me.
“My name’s Judith” I reply. “I’m Barack Obama, nice to meet you!” he says, and puts his arm across my shoulder. I put my arm around his hip – wow, he didn’t even sweat! WHAT A MAN!
Although it sounds improbable, the press may actually be damaging BHO among the voters. In 2006 a poll found that journalists filled a trust niche somewhere between politicians and used car salesmen. And it might be that journalists sounding like used car salesmen can actually send negative signals to their readers. Maybe if they ease off Obama may actually benefit.