Even the liberal media have picked up on the fact that McCain seems to have held steady or even improved his poll standing in the last week or so (though Gallup has Obama with a 49-40 lead today it appears to be an outlier). This is especially impressive given Obama’s massive spending and his overseas trip, which appeared to be a big success for Obama, as even The Washington Times admits.
Obama did look presidential, which may also help him put to rest lingering doubts that some voters harbor. So why hasn’t Obama’s spending and overseas trip produced a bounce in the polls? It’s simple–McCain has been in full attack mode, and these attacks have been blunting the impact of Obama’s spending and successful trip.
My blog www.notwrightforamerica.com has often urged McCain to sharpen his attacks on Obama as the only real path to victory in a year that promises to be a bad one for Republicans. Obama has a very low burden of proof given his tailwind–he simply has to make himself marginally acceptable to the electorate, and he will likely win, as the public simply is not in the mood to elect another Republican president after Bush’s two terms.
That means McCain must attack constantly. McCain has given us a taste of what the rest of his campaign should look like, and it’s working. McCain blasted away on Obama’s opposition to The Surge, which Obama actually predicted would increase violence, and which even Obama now admits has had a positive impact. Obama is actually very much in a pickle here with seemingly contradictory positions on an imporant issue, and for a change, the media are not giving him a lot of breaks on this one.
McCain also made the valid point that Obama and a lot of other defeatists seem almost giddy about American defeat, and it’s fair to speculate that these defeatists’ previously improving electoral prospects were driving the giddiness. And McCain bashed Obama on his change of plans on visiting Landstahl military hospital in Germany, and quickly produced an ad for swing state consumption.
McCain can’t worry about the media backlash that his attacks are already generating from the Obama media. And thanks to the media’s fawning over Obama, McCain has a ready response to media attacks that are sure to escalate if this race tightens, which it will if he stays on the attack. That is, the media assault is just another part of the media’s love affair with Obama and their efforts to get him elected.
Swing voters must see Obama as extreme, risky and inexperienced for McCain to have a chance to win. That won’t happen unless McCain and his allies make that case to the voters directly by bashing Obama from now to November 4.