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When the Clinton campaign tried to point this out, however, they were met with accusations of racism. Hillary supporter Paul Begala was skewered when, in May, he declared that Democrats “cannot win with eggheads and African-Americans.”
Despite these omens and warnings, many in the media have seemed shocked to discover the weaknesses Obama displayed in the primaries being replicated in the general election campaign.
Gallup shows John McCain with a 22-point advantage among white male voters, and the only educational subgroup of whites in which Obama leads is those with postgraduate degrees. Gallup even shows the Republican candidate supported by 14 percent of white Democrats.
Obama’s poor showing in Saturday’s forum at Saddleback Church, rather than reminding media observers of his dismal April 22 performance in Philadelphia, instead prompted accusations that McCain had somehow cheated.
While David Gergen reluctantly admitted that, at Saddleback, “McCain showed that he can be a much more formidable and effective campaigner in a joint appearance than hardly anyone imagined,” he ignored the possibility that Obama has been overrated.
IF OBAMA IS OVERRATED, that’s another residue of the primary campaign, when the promise of Hope and Change persuaded 17 million Democrats (and 463 super-delegates) that a candidate with only three years in the Senate was the man who could break the Republican hold on the White House.
Once Hillary bowed out in June, Team Obama worked to keep those expectations high. Plouffe gave a Power Point briefing for reporters in which he talked of a “50 state strategy” and named 18 “battleground” states. That list included such Republican bastions as North Carolina and Georgia (McCain now leads in both), but at the time, Eleanor Clift raved that Plouffe had mapped an Obama victory with “surgical precision.”
The hubris at Hope HQ inspired a nine-day overseas trip during which Obama declared himself a “citizen of the world” to a Berlin audience, but canceled a trip to visit wounded U.S. troops, and saw a nine-point Gallup lead evaporate in four days.
When the McCain campaign — now managed by Karl Rove protege Steve Schmidt — unleashed its first series of attack ads, Team Obama responded with accusations of racism much like those leveled against Clinton during the primaries. But while Clinton’s advisers hesitated to “go negative,” the Republican stayed on the attack, repeating the mocking message that Obama is a lightweight “celebrity.”
Now, two months after an L.A. Times poll showed Obama leading by 12 points, the same poll shows him in a statistical dead heat with McCain. But none of the press wizards who gushed about the “surgical precision” of Team Obama’s strategy seem to have started wondering if Axelrod and Plouffe actually know what they’re doing.
Instead, with just 75 days until the election, the media is immersed in speculation about whom the Democrat will choose as his running mate. Perhaps Team Obama should consult Frank Mankiewicz, who knows a thing or two about that.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?