Saturday, September 20, 2008

Curiously, the General Election still promises to be a near-run thing

I keep remembering, when one side or the other tries to tell me, "It's over," that neither Senator John McCain nor Senator Barack Obama was supposed to be his party's nominee this year.

Now, it's the economy and the expected collapse of the Palin bubble that's going to sink McCain.

Except that I don't think--as momentous as the economic news is--that the election is going to turn on the bailout.

Why?

Three reasons:

1) Most Americans don't understand what's happening, and the tax bill for all this will not hit until well after November.

2) Both candidates are now living on borrowed time, because both of them know that the major decisions will be made by Dubya before either gets into office, but that the resulting recession is going to tar the President who is actually in office when it really hits. So within the next two weeks you are going to see both McCain and Obama looking to bring other issues back to the forefront--because neither of them can make a meaningful promise about fixing this situation after January. McCain will bring back the culture wars as hard as he can; Obama will concentrate on his middle-class tax cut agenda. How either of these issues plays nationwide is far less important than how they play in 8 key battleground states.

3) The debates are not going to allow either campaign to score a knock-out, not McCain-Obama or Biden-Palin. Joe Biden will hit her, but he will overtalk himself right back out of it. Obama is simply not a good debater, and the millions tuning in will be primarily those people just now starting to pay serious attention. Both candidates will lie their asses off and get called on it.

Here are the things I look to see in the next six weeks:

1) The Democrats rolling over regarding the Libertarian ballot challenge in Texas, because the Dems weren't going to win the Lone Star State under any conditions (20% chance).

2) McCain moves in to try and make the typical useless GOP play to put California in play by sending Palin there to unite with the anti-gay marriage folks (20% chance).

3) Obama announcing cabinet level appointments, to include Bill Clinton as UN Ambassador, and Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State (40% chance).

4) McCain making a similar move to shore up his libertarian and fiscal conservative base by suggesting he'd make Ron Paul Secretary of the Treasury (30% chance).

My point: you haven't seen the last surprise in this campaign by a long shot.

And nobody knows just how many people will actually go into a voting booth and, when nobody's watching, not find it within themselves to vote for an African-American.

For awhile I thought we were ready for a post-racial election. Now I'm no longer sure.

4 comments:

Delaware Watch said...

My prediction (my recommendation would be to the Obama camp: one week before the debates relentlessly goad the hell out of McCain just like they did last week but only doubly so. Then count on the freewheeling nature of the debate to give opportunity for him to manifest his explosive anger. The more he explodes, the better. In fact, pray that he becomes physically menacing on the stage. Then the race will be over. The campaign commercial TOO ANGRY TO LEAD will be icing on the cake.

Brian Miller said...

Or McCain asks Obama a serious policy question that he has not received a canned, carefully rehearsed answer over, and Obama does his famous "uhhhh ummm uhhhhhh uhhhhh ahhh uhhhhhhh."

Make no mistakes, the debate dangers are manifest for both the Demopublicans and the Republicrats in this election.

The only certain thing is that both parties are advocating largely the same policies, so it really doesn't matter which one of them "wins." All of us still lose.

Bowly said...

"And nobody knows just how many people will actually go into a voting booth and, when nobody's watching, not find it within themselves to vote for an African-American."

I think a percentage larger than the current polling's margin of error, which doesn't bode well for Obama.

Shirley Vandever said...

The only certain thing is that both parties are advocating largely the same policies, so it really doesn't matter which one of them "wins." All of us still lose.

I hear that, Brian.

Delaware Watch seems to take a voyeristic glee in an R meltdown. He's just itching for it..much like the Don Henley song (and many circle-jerk DailyKosr's):

"Just give me something...something I can use...people love it when you lose...they love dirty laundry."

"I just have to look good, I don't have to be clear...come whisper in my ear...give me dirty laundry"

"She can tell you about the plane crash, with a gleam in her eye".


Name that tune.