Last night on Saturday Night Live, John McCain was hysterically funny. Standing next to Tina Fey’s mock Sarah Palin, they did a QVC channel routine (“all we can afford” to respond to Obama’s 30-minute network gig) in which the writing was very good and the delivery even better. McCain looked relaxed, likable, engaging, witty, and fun. This was the guy — as I said in a post yesterday about how good his Virginia campaign appearance was yesterday, an assessment shared by Phil — who barnstormed the country for Bob Dole in the summer and fall of 1996, charming people everywhere he went. It’s as if he found his Inner Happy Warrior — somebody McCain seemed to have lost in South Carolina in 2000 and never recovered until these past four days or so. If this McCain had been on the campaign trail all year, he would be leading every poll. Anyway, particularly priceless during the opening skit was when McCain started hawking “McCain Fine Gold” (say those last two words together!), with Cindy standing behind the display of gold necklaces and other jewelry showing it off like she was Carol Merrell from Let’s Make a Deal. My wife and I were laughing not just out loud, but loudly.
Later in the show, McCain returned for the “Weekend Update.” It wasn’t written as well, but his delivery was still good enough to make the absolute most of the opportunity. If anybody out there can find a replay of both skits to watch, you really ought to do so. Where was this guy all year?
I literally think that for every five undecided voters out there who watched last night, McCain might have picked up a net gain of two votes just by virtue of finally coming across as extremely likable.
Finally, simultaneously, I think the RNC’s commercials on McCain’s behalf — various ones warning about Obama’s inexperience — are the first good set of commercials I have seen all year for McCain. I have hated almost every official McCain campaign commercial all fall, but these RNC ones are effective. Combine those with the Saturday Night Live success and the continuing flow of big-government statements from Obama in the last week, and I do see reason to think McCain is the one with momentum. It’s a long way to go, though, in a short time. And the Obama GOTV organization might be the best in the history of mankind. Let’s hope McCain finds something to add to his momentum and not just ride it.