Saturday, October 04, 2008

One Month to Go

With one month to go, Obama is looking stronger by the day, and pundits are no longer asking why he can't close the deal. Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer contrasts McCain's erratic campaigning with Obama's steady cool:
You can't blame McCain. In an election in which all the fundamentals are working for the opposition, he feels he has to keep throwing long in order to keep hope alive. Nonetheless, his frenetic improvisation has perversely (for him) framed the rookie challenger favorably as calm, steady and cool.
Obama has focused on getting people comfortable with him since the beginning of his improbable campaign. There have been times in the campaign when anxious supporters have reached for the panic button, but Obama has charted a steady course:
When after the Republican convention Obama's poll numbers momentarily slipped behind McCain's, panicked Democrats urged him to get mad. He did precisely the opposite. He got calm.
While critics derided his reserved demeanor, Obama knew all along what he needed to do:
His one goal: Pass the Reagan '80 threshold. Be acceptable, be cool, be reassuring.
Barack Obama has broken the 50 percent barrier in recent polls by doing just that. The McCain campaign hopes to break into that cool by going all negative, all the time:
Sen. John McCain and his Republican allies are readying a newly aggressive assault on Sen. Barack Obama's character, believing that to win in November they must shift the conversation back to questions about the Democrat's judgment, honesty and personal associations, several top Republicans said.
With just a month to go until Election Day, McCain's team has decided that its emphasis on the senator's biography as a war hero, experienced lawmaker and straight-talking maverick is insufficient to close a growing gap with Obama. The Arizonan's campaign is also eager to move the conversation away from the economy, an issue that strongly favors Obama and has helped him to a lead in many recent polls.
Can a relentlessly negative campaign work? First McCain has to divert people's attention away from the economic news as problems in the financial system have spread to automakers, students seeking college loans, issuers of municipal bonds, and now the State of California.
Second, it's hard to bring for McCain to bring opponent down a few notches while restoring the luster to his already tarnished reputation as a bipartisan maverick. It's hard to do both in the short time left.
Third, while the McCain campaign is trying to shift attention to Obama's character, voters increasingly like what they see. Obama and Biden enjoy strong net favorable ratings in the polls, while McCain and Palin's net favorables have slipped into negative territory. The McCain campaign will have a lot of scorched earth to cover in the next month if they want to turn this around.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:22 PM, October 06, 2008  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

I have deleted the previous comment, which blamed most of America's past and future problems on a particular ethnic group.

6:58 PM, October 06, 2008  

Post a Comment

<< Home