With a few days left to go, polls overwhelmingly point to an Obama-Biden victory. While we may justifiably quote Yogi Berra about it “not being over until it’s over,” the current political context and the conduct of the McCain-Palin campaign go a long way to justify the optimism in the Obama camp.
It may still be too early for post-mortems, but the Republican campaign has been among the most erratic and inept I have seen. Much of the blame is directed at the unpopularity of the Bush administration and the failure of Republican policies. All this is true, but McCain cannot escape his fair share. His impetuous style, his tolerance of character attacks on his opponent, and his abysmal choice of a running mate have complicated an already challenging task. The sad irony is that, should McCain lose, he will look back on having not been the man so many have come to admire. He can defend the Palin choice all he wants, but it was a huge mistake because she is just not qualified and it was made for the wrong reasons. The consequence of this selection has brought to the forefront his judgement and his advanced age. We should all shudder to think what a Palin presidency could mean. All this will make the day after the election much more painful for such a proud man.
The constant name-calling and the acceptance of half truths about his opponent have turned voters off. The Republican ticket is constantly shifting messages and has failed to reassure voters who are quite literally afraid for their economic welfare. Who cares about Bill Ayers? And the socialist and the wealth spreader label? These attacks are going nowhere.
Big-name conservatives are moving Obama’s way. Obama himself has conducted an inspiring and more unifying campaign. The only way McCain can win now is a messy one: Either the racial factor is greater than anticipated or a national security tragedy will occurs. Otherwise, the campaign has failed to inspire and to mobilize. It has been divisive and has offered little to deal with the real problems Americans are facing. On that basis alone,this camapaign deserves to lose.