Saturday, October 25, 2008

Race for the White House- 10/25/08

10 Days Until Election Day

If last week saw Republicans feeling a glimpse of increase hope about the upcoming Presidential election, this past week has probably been a pretty tough one.

To be brief, John McCain appears hard pressed to stop the general perception that Barack Obama is on the verge of winning the Presidency. It is true that at least a couple of the many Presidental tracking polls show a fairly close race, and in almost all polls, Obama does not get much more of 50 percent support at the time. Several of the key battleground states show a dead heat, but McCain would have to win basically all of them. Still though, there is a sense that the amount of undecided voters may be atypically high and much support for the candidates could be considered soft. People may go into the voting booth and really have an ephihany about who they trust with the Presidency, but also, perception is tough to overcome. A lot of non-political people may just want to go with who they think will be the winner. Plus, early voting is underway throughout the country, and while a Gallup poll shows the voting so far is pretty even, most expect it to heavily favor Obama.

Democrat Vice Presidential nominee Joe Biden gave Republicans a gift this week with a bizarre off-camera statement at a fundraiser in which he "guaranteed" Democrat donors to "gird your loins" because Obama would be tested with a "generated" international crisis during the early stages of his Administration. Furthermore, he told these Democrats they would have to stand by the Administration because their reaction to the crisis may not appear to be correct.

The McCain campaign now has a pretty powerful ad on the air featuring the Biden comments and in my view, this issue of a potential foreign crisis, as well as the risk that would come with Democrats having unchecked power, should be pressed most heavily in the homestretch. It just seems like Republicans are not effectively making the case on this matter, the Joe the Plumber socialist angle, or anything else. John McCain is working hard on the campaign trail, but is increasingly mangling his rhetorical points and is probably coming across oddly on television.

It is really pretty shameful that the media is not offering more coverage on those comments and Obama's lame excuse that it was just one of Biden's "rhetorical flourishes." Had a Republican said them, they would be accused of "fear-mongering or worse, but the media seems more concerned about who paid for Sarah Palin's clothes. The long-expected endorsement of Obama by Colin Powell came on Sunday and received near wall-to wall coverage. Based on the fact that Obama has inched up in national polls by about three points this week, it seems to have been good timing for his campaign however.

Meanwhile, the economy and stock market continue to offer bad news, the media seems determined as never before to proclaim a coming Obama landslide, Democrats laugh off evidence suggesting that left-wing ACORN is up to some mischief, and the Democrat Secretary of State in Ohio makes it appear that she has no concern about the apperance of impartiality, after having been elected after bashing Republican rule of that office during the 2004 campaign.

So, obviously, these are tough times for those of us who want to see Republicans win this year and who are concerned about the future of the country if they do not. Many Republicans though remain optimistic, perhaps having drank some red Kool-Aid, but in politics, it is important to fight to the end, even if it is a bitter one. There will always be future elections of course (if Obama does not declare himself King or something), and 2010 and 2012 could prove to be quite prosperous for the Grand Old Party.

But there are still ten days to go. After it is over, there will be ample time, if our candidate is defeated, to talk about how, as great an American hero as he is, he may have been the wrong caniddate, in the wrong year, who ran a horrible campaign.

To me it seems that the John McCain who is behind and fighting to come back can come across as too frantic and too on edge. This was apparent to me back in the 2000 GOP primaries when he had fallen behind and made some odd statements. I supported another candidate in the primaries of course and this was one of the reasons why. I will obviously be proud to vote for McCain in November, but my worst fears about him as a GOP nominee have really and unfortuantely been confirmed.

The thing about John Sidney McCain III though is that he feels he is at his best when things look the bleakest and he is the underdog. Now is such a time. If McCain can find a way to pull this off, it will be the greatest comeback story in the history of American politics. It will be the thing that Hollywood movies are made of (although Oliver Stone should probably stay away.)

But if things finish up this cycle as the way it looks like they may now, we will have a new era in American government upon us, and the Republican Party will need to pick up the pieces and fight back like it never has before to regain power.

Never Surrender: