Sunday, June 08, 2008

Why I'm not worried about November, vol. MXVIII

John McCain has not faced a competitive election (defined as one where the margin of victory was less than 10%) since 1982. (I was born in 1981.) The closest example since then would be the GOP primaries of 2000, which he lost to the current President. Simply put, there's no reason to think of the man as a competent campaigner. (Being the Republican Senator from Arizona has job security that would make Teamsters cry foul.) Meanwhile, Barack Obama just pulled off one of the biggest campaign upsets in modern history, dethroning the closest thing the Democrats have to an incumbent Vice-President.

The candidate with the better military record hasn't won an election since... What, Bush 1988? Before that, Kennedy?

More than that, Barack Obama's campaign machine is good. Putting aside for the moment Obama's inspiration and ability to recruit new supporters (though I think these are crucial to the victory in November) his team is simply one of the best-run campaigns the Democrats have seen in decades. They'd have to be to accomplish what they have.

Not a single iota of the above is cause for complacency. It is, however, cause for hope. There's that word again.

You can watch Sen. Obama address his campaign staff in Chicago.

I especially like this quote from about 9:30:
If I'd lost Iowa, it would have been okay. One of the other Democrats would have emerged, and they would have carried the banner, and we would have joined their campaign, and we would have moved forward. And the country would move in a better direction. But now that we've won, we now have no choice. We have to win.
And then there's simply the fact that John McCain seems to be suffering from some of the same personality... attributes that caused so much pain for the Clinton camp.
Yet some McCain sympathizers are concerned about how their candidate is presenting himself.

"It lacked graciousness, lacked civility and it was small," one friend of McCain said in describing the candidate's attacks on Obama on the night the Democrat made history by becoming the first African-American to run as a major party's nominee.

McCain and his campaign are unhappy, this source suggested, at where they find themselves heading into the general election.

"They're mad at the situation and at a candidate who they correctly feel hasn't earned his place in history, much less the right to run for president."
Uh-huh. Sen. McCain, the last 6 months are on the phone. They wonder if you've learned anything. No? Take a message? You'll get back to them?

Okay then.

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