Playing President


Now that he’s established a small lead in the presidential election, and VP nominee Sarah Palin has taken the world by storm, is John McCain in the driver’s seat?

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows John McCain with 49% of the vote while Barack Obama attracts support from 46%. That is unchanged from yesterday and a complete reversal over the past week. Last Saturday, before McCain’s convention bounce had its full impact, Obama was up by three.

Nah. A three point lead does not a driver’s seat make.

While I continue to predict with great confidence a McCain victory, the way things should turn out could be easily altered. A mistatement in a debate, a smoking gun from Juneau, a heart murmur… the possibilities are endless.

Barring that, I remain convinced that opinion of Barack will continue to slip lower as people start to learn more about him. I don’t believe there is a single person in America who could get elected president today having had Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Mike Pfleger and Tony Rezko as his closest political allies.

Perhaps the nation has changed? I wrongly predicted that Bill Clinton would lose once the Jennifer Flowers scandal broke during primary season. Yet he was able to go on to the presidency and haunt the nation with his sexual insatiability, just as Flowers had forshadowed. Why didn’t we listen, and what was the nature of my miscalculation?

America had moved beyond sexual impropriety as a disqualifier, perhaps. Or we had moved so much into the TV generation that on-screen appeal had become more important than personal qualities in selecting a leader.

Whatever the explanation, I was wrong – out of touch with the state of mind of the nation at that moment. Could it be that we have we evolved, or devolved, to such a point that voters would chose someone of unproven leadership qualities because of his aura, ignoring threads of anti-American feelings and illicit associations?

It could be. But thus far, polls are proving me to be right. While some – the educated class, the elite, who want desparately to follow their hearts – may be ready to throw the baby out with the bath water, the majority of normal, everyday folk, are not. It is the ones looked down upon by the educated class who are in possession of the wisdom.

In April 2004, Barack Obama told a reporter from the Chicago Sun-Times that he had three spiritual mentors or counselors: Jeremiah Wright, James Meeks, and Father Michael Pfleger—for a change of pace, a white Catholic preacher who has a close personal feeling for the man he calls (as does Obama) Minister Farrakhan.

Now that McCain has leveled the star-power playing field by tapping Palin, leaving the Obama campaign and its worshippers in a disoriented frenzy, it is easier for people to vote for a man proven to be of enormous character and leadership ability rather than the man who has proven himself very good at playing one.

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