The title of this post essentially summarizes how I handicap the upcoming Presidential elections. It explains why I think that there’s 50/50 chance that this election will be won by Obama in a landslide. In other words, if this were a football game, I’d put the spread at McCain + 8 or 9, and I’d give the points.
Admittedly, I spend most of my time on the coasts – either in the Mid Atlantic or on the West Coast. That’s not exactly Red America. But even when I contact my Republican in-laws in
Strike that. I do know one guy – around here, of all places – who has been championing a McCain candidacy for at least a couple of years. His dream ticket has been McCain/Lieberman, and he even has suggested a motto: “Give War a Chance.” That’s no joke. This is a dyed-in-the-wool Republican who is nonetheless enamored with Mr. Lieberman because he fervently supports the Iraq War, and he loves McCain for the same reason. So I consider him a big fan of the Republican nominee.
But seriously, how many Americans really adore the Iraq War? Or rhetoric aside, how many Americans agree with McCain that we should continue to fight that war for the next five years? I don’t even think the majority of Hoosiers fall into that category. It’s no wonder that Obama thinks he can win in places like
McCain has had an almost impossible task of maintaining his appeal to independents as a maverick, without losing any semblance of enthusiasm on the part of the Republican base. How has he done? Difficult to say. His candidacy has bored the country to such an extent that the media has virtually ignored him during the last few months. Virtually all the attention has been devoted to Barack and Hillary. Hell, even Bill Clinton has garnered more attention than McCain – admittedly, though, I’d rather read about alleged trysts with Gina Gershon (who defines “sexy, in a sleazy sort of way”) than with some stinkin’ lobbyist.
Given that he has been ignored, McCain hasn’t really pissed off anybody. He still has the opportunity to try to style himself a maverick in appealing to Independents, or a solid conservative in appealing to Republicans. But there’s only one problem – he can’t do both! The guy isn’t exactly the most nimble-minded statesman in
When then can McCain do? He can point to his experience. He’s been a war hero and an extremely productive legislator. And in that latter capacity, McCain served as an exemplar of an independent maverick. That’s precisely why folks like me were so enamored of the guy when he ran for President in 2000. But then a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. The Republican establishment crushed
That’s your one shot. And against some of the Democrats’ previous nominees, it might well have been enough. You could have had a shot against Michael Dukakis, a man who rode around in a tank looking like the “Great Gazoo” from the Flintstones and couldn’t even bring himself to verbalize that it would piss him off if someone raped and murdered his wife. Or perhaps you’d have done well against
But you’re not running against any of those guys. You’re running against an extremely attractive, extremely brilliant, extremely poised, extremely classy, charismatic speaker, who comes across as an agent of change at a time when Americans desperately want change, and offers Americans the historic opportunity to show the world that they are willing to put a black man in the highest office of the land. You’re running against a man who comes across as an antidote for so many things that have gone wrong in