Reviewing some of the 2004 election coverage, I am struck by how different 08 is shaping up to be. A few things jumped out at me:
1. There is no longer a debate about the “meaning of patriotism.” Perhaps the Left is ceding that territory.
2. John Kerry’s essential “gravitas” is no longer relevant for the senator from Illinois.
3. There is no discussion at all about “values voters” or “evangelicals”.
4. The patriotism (i.e., war experience) that was so critical for the Kerry campaign in 08 is not relevant at all for the senator from Illinois.
5. I have heard neither candidate actually say the word “Al-Qaeda” in this campaign.
Have these five issues been finally resolved?
I think McCain is simply so focused on the bland, gushy middle – the yeast of America, as it were – that he can’t be bothered to court actual conservatives who (for better or worse) also account for most of the values voters. McCain assists Obama every time he says “Wall Street greed” or promises to reach across the aisle.
This in turn creates a situation in which Obama is not on the defensive. He may finally be feeling some heat for his terrorist ties, but he is simply refusing to engage on the subject because though McCain is mentioning it, he’s doing it as if he respects Obama’s choice to court the terror vote.
Merely four days away from the polls, any effort for John McCain to veer right will be too little too late. However, he can continue to hammer out the truth of Obama’s tax policies. I guess at this point, it’s the only bullet in the chamber.
That being said, I think that McCain has a better chance at the presidency than is being represented by the media. He’s not a great candidate – he brings nothing to the presidency but his stubborn desire to be president. Even so, I think most people in this country understand that even being as neutral and lefty-friendly as McCain is, he is vastly better suited to be president than the socialist, terrorist-connected senator with 300 days in office.