It's not what I wanted to see. Nothing would have been more exciting and entertaining than having Obama in the White House, and, while we're at it, Al Franken as Senate Majority Leader. Obama is smart, dynamic, and wants to expunge some of the neo-Con excesses of the past 28 years. If he had a Congress behind it, it would be a revolution.
Alas, this is not to be. Gallup shows a close race, but McCain's numbers, even after two weeks of solid Palin-bashing, including the lead editorial in today's New York Times, have left McCain with his highest poll numbers since Obama emerged as Democratic front runner. If Palin-bashing was an effective tactic for Obama and his supporters, McCain's support would be going down, not up. The more Palin is bashed, the better numbers she pulls. There are good reasons for this, which I'll talk about below.
Anyone would be a better president than George W. Bush. He is now competing with Warren Harding for the top of the 10 Worst Presidents list. I suspect Obama would/will make a pretty good president, possibly even in the top tier, once he develops and/or articulates a good reason for wanting to be president. That's the problem with so many leaders these days, whether we're talking about Chretien, Paul Martin, George Bush and Bill Clinton. As I said at the top, I think Obama wants to undo much of the Reagan-Gingerich-Bush Revolution. Unfortunately, Obama does not say that. He speaks of "hope" and "change" and I've given him a very large benefit of the doubt of what hope and change would mean.
John McCain is a decent man. Anyone who followed the guy's progress through the 2000 primaries, when he was smeared by Karl Rowe with lies about illegitimate kids, and watched him as he developed as the voice of principled, non-intrusive conservatism knows it. The American public know the guy is tough. They're seeing Obama is a bit, well, sucky.
Not only are the polls going south, the Democratic congressional candidates have taken to the lifeboats and left Captain Obama to go down with the ship. Notice in this story the split in the Democrats and the survival of Hillary Clinton's campaign machine.
As I said a couple of weeks ago, Sarah Palin resonates with small-town people, working class and lower-middle class people, even unionized workers. She also has a certain attraction for middle-age men, a pretty large voting group that usually finds its way to the polls. She also racked up big bonus points with anyone who's had a brush with teen pregnancy. Pro-choice people who suggested she probably should have aborted little Trig, the baby with Down's Syndrome, didn't do Obama much good, either. Many, many people see her as "one of us", someone outside the supposedly glamorous and undeservingly rewarded world of Washington, Manhattan and Hollywood.
Knock her as a mom, and every mom who's had a bump in the road feels it. Knock her for being uneducated, and everyone who lacks a BA is onside. Make fun of her kids' names, and all the folks who have named their kids Cody and Willow feel slighted. Trash Wasilla, Alaska, and you trash Castle Rock IA, Watertown NY, Munising MI.
My friend Skippy Stalin is right: Once Obama started running against Palin, he lost.
I gave current events quizes to about 35 students this week and the name-in-the news that was most forgotten was "Joe Biden".
You'll see some interestin comments here that I think strengthen my points a bit.