As Obama consolidates his lead in the polls, there a plenty of analyses as to why he is seems to have got the better of Senator McCain. The meme that the Right would have us believe is that McCain has been hamstrung by the economy, and that under normal circumstances he would have been in with a chance.
I tend to a different view, which is that Americans have seen through the obfuscation of the Repbulican Party of George Bush and Dick Cheney, and they recognise McCain as being a continuation of that. Throughout, Obama has chosen calmer tactics than his opponents. When they attack, his “shrug it off” attitude has succeeded with the voters.
As I have said before, his ground game, that is, the growing network of supporters campaigning for him on a local level, provide a sort of chainmail. The tight network, connected via new technologies, can rebutt, or at least soften the impact, of any given attack. I predict that the coming smears – Add the Reverend Wright, Tony Rezko to William Ayers – will fail to penetrate in the way that Republican attackers hope. It is too late for an old scandal or impropriety to change people’s minds.
Looking at the polls, and crucially, looking at how they move in the Democrats favour after an apparently negative news cycle, I think even the dreaded endorsement of Osama Bin Laden, half-expected in the next couple of weeks, will fail to provide the swing McCain needs. If the grainy tape of the old bearded psychopath makes a comeback, watch as the media repeat the clichés that it is a “game changer”. Then watch as the polls prove the pundits wrong.
I’m sure there will be some who stick to the prevalent “don’t over-estimate the stupidity of Americans” view, but I honestly think we’re past the point where that is a credible dismissal. The USA never enthusiatically endorsed the madness of King George Bush. Now the polls show them enthusiatically rejecting him and his shadows, McCain and Palin.
Over at the excellent FiveThirtyEight, Rany Jazayerli predicts Bin Laden’s October surprise. His chilling prediction:
With McCain lagging in the polls, bin Laden might even try a Hail Mary – with Sarah Palin on the ballot, I’d imagine that he’ll throw in some misogynistic comments about how a woman’s place is inside the home and that a nation led by a woman is sure to be cursed by God.