Real Clear Fear

21Aug08

How’s Barack looking to his media fans today, two and a half months after disposing of Hillary? Consider these columns, posted today at Real Clear Politics.

Joan Venocchi in the Boston Globe says:

John McCain used the summer well. The Republican raised enough doubt about
Obama’s judgment and ability to relate to average citizens to keep the two men
close in the polls. One poll even puts McCain ahead by five points with likely
voters. For McCain that is no small victory, given overwhelming voter discontent
with the general direction of the country, and specifically with fellow
Republican George W. Bush.

David Gergen, writing for CNN, says:

Say what you will about Republicans making a muddle of governing, but they
sure know how to campaign. The turn of events that John McCain and his team have
engineered in recent weeks is one of the most significant events of the campaign
and now poses a serious threat of an upset this fall.

In just a few short weeks, they have not only thrown Barack Obama on
the defensive and made him seem smaller but they have also made McCain seem
larger and more commanding. And it has not just been one event but a string of
them that they have tied together to propel McCain upward — from the ads (which
most of us in the media didn’t like) to the way McCain seized upon the drilling
and Russian issues to his winsome performance at Saddleback. The capacity to
create issues and momentum practically out of the ether is the sign of a strong
campaign. Both McCain and his team are impressing voters.

Joe Klein writes in Time Magazine:

One of the great strengths of the Obama candidacy has been the sense that
this is a guy whose blood doesn’t boil, who carefully considers the options
before he reacts—and that his reaction is always measured and rational. But
that’s also a weakness: sometimes the most rational response is to rip your
opponent’s lungs out…

Heading into a crucial moment in this race—his acceptance speech at the
Democratic National Convention—Obama was failing as a candidate in two crucial
areas. He had failed to define his opponent, and he was failing, in all but the
most amorphous ways, to define himself.

And Margery Eagen complains that Hillary may be a requirement now for Barack in the Boston Herald:

I can’t say I have Obama remorse. Yet. But I’m nervous. How did he get so
annoying? I wish he’d save nuance and sanctimony for senior seminars; give
America some straight answers; crack some jokes at his own high-horse expense;
convince me he’s up to this and soothe my furrowed, fretful brow.

And former Clinton aid Leon Panetta reveals, as I warned you would happen, that Barack’s eloquence has become a deficiency:

“Clearly he is a great speaker, thoughtful and with a lot of charisma,” Panetta
said from his policy institute at CSU Monterey Bay. “But it’s time to put some
meat on the bones.”

What once made Barack look new and exciting now seems reminiscent of John Kerry. In other words, he’s starting to smell a great deal like defeat. Not a nice way to enter convention week.

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