Thursday, August 07, 2008

Obama gave McCain the advantage

Excellent analysis by a friend of Hugh's: Clark Judge at Hugh Hewitt In the Reagan speechwriting shop, we had a rule about what today is called the mainstream media: The media does not just get things wrong; they get it EXACTLY wrong. Barak Obama’s recent overseas trip is an example. Widely reported as a triumph, the tour in fact marked the worst week in the Democratic candidate’s long campaign. Despite saturation coverage unlike any presidential aspirant has ever received, much of it close to worshipful, by the end of this past week, Obama’s lead in the Real Clear Politics average of polls was the lowest it had been since early June. And for the first time ever, the Gallup tracking poll, which had previously given Obama a consistent edge, showed the candidates tied as of Friday. Why? The first and most obvious reason was a string of gaffes. Despite reports like Hendrik Herzberg’s in The New Yorker that Obama came off as a deft navigator of global waters, the excursion was filled with missteps. For example, in saying that he remained against the surge, even after General Petraus had explained to him its remarkable effectiveness, he showed what many saw as a reckless disregard for national security. In canceling a visit to troops after being told that cameras couldn’t follow him, he reenforced a widely shared suspicion that all he was up to was political posturing. [Be sure to read the rest] ... In other words, in venturing overseas, Obama abandoned his agenda and embraced Senator McCain’s. He did this without prompting and apparently without realizing how foolish an errand he was on. Many in the media have held that the 2008 election will be most like the election of 1980. In 1980 the public knew they didn’t like Carter but took until a week before the election to decide they trusted Reagan. Just as Reagan was the issue in 1980, some suggest, Obama is today. If the public trusts him, they will make him president. But with so much coverage, not just on this trip but for months before, who in America cannot have formed a firm opinion of Senator Obama by now? Senator McCain is the one the public is still assessing. It is he, not Obama, who the American people must now decide to trust or not. Once again the media has not just been wrong. It has been exactly wrong.

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