The Phoenix Rises: McCain Surges Past Obama

John McCain has surged past Obama in the most recent USA/Today Poll, opening a massive lead of 54-44. It marks the first time either of the two candidates have garnered so much support nationwide. Though the results of the poll are probably a bit extreme, the conclusion is not. Taking into account the Poll of Polls, which shows McCain with a lead over Obama, the analysis is indisputable; as of today, John McCain is winning.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. The One’s coronation should have been guaranteed. He was the one we’d been waiting for; he had parted the seas, restored hope, and was going to bring change. November was going to bring a sea of blue; even the bitter people of North Dakota, Alaska, and Georgia would see the light and vote for their Messiah. The opposition, an angry old man who couldn’t remember how many houses he owned, would be reduced to a servile awe of the New Kennedy, who could move thousands with a wave of his hand. The pundits declared McCain dead and, like a phoenix from the ashes, John McCain has risen… again.

McCain’s competitive edge in the race should send the Obama campaign a clear message. The central premise of their campaign, that Obama is a transformational once-in-a-generation leader whose candidacy transcends categories and will unite the country, is flawed. The American people aren’t buying it. Not only is Obama not fulfilling the wild expectations of his followers, he is failing to fulfill the most mediocre expectations of the most generic Democratic candidate possible.

This election shouldn’t be close. The generic Democratic candidate beats the generic Republican candidate by 10 points on average. That means Obama is running 20 points behind his party, according to the latest poll. Yes, you read that right -20 points. 80% of voters think the country is on the wrong track. Bush’s approval ratings are slightly higher than Osama Bin Laden’s. And, on top of it all, Obama has garnered the most favorable press coverage of any candidate in recent memory for two whole years.

But there is something that has thrown off the careful calculations of the pundits in Washington and chattering classes in the media. Something that has stood up for real change, real reform. And that something is the American people. The American people have been exposed to Obama for two years. And the verdict is in. They’re not convinced.

Obama may turn around his election and win anyway, but the fact that it has even reached the point that McCain’s odds seem slightly better than his is a testament to the failure of his candidacy to achieve its stated purpose -a transformation of our politics.

But McCain’s surge is not just Obama’s failure -credit also goes to Sen. McCain who has shown a supernatural ability to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. If conventional wisdom were correct, John McCain should not be here. If conventional wisdom were correct, John McCain should have died in the fire aboard the U.S.S. Forestal, or in the crash landing of his plane, or in the prison camps of North Vietnam, or during his three bouts with cancer. If convention wisdom were correct, John McCain’s career should’ve ended when he challenged Reagan on Lebanon, or with the Keating 5 Scandal, or with the McCain-Feingold Bill, or with his defeat in the Republican primaries in 2000, or with his opposition to torture, or with his support for immigration amnesty, or with the meltdown of his campaign during the summer of 2007, or with its second meltdown in the spring of 2008. But it didn’t.

The American people today are sending a resounding message to the media elites and Washington beltway gang and to the presumptuous campaign of Sen. Obama: Screw you.

God bless John McCain and God bless America.