A Referendum on Who?

Throughout the period leading into each party's convention the election was described as a referendum on Obama. It was thought that John McCain's only hope for victory was to prove that Obama was not up to the job. John McCain went about this in two ways. John's first premise was to paint Obama as a political newbie with no "real" experience. McCain's other tactic focused on premeditated disinformation of the "he's a Muslim" variety [Obama is NOT a Muslim, not that it should matter]. These tactics did not pay off; throughout the entire summer Obama maintained roughly a two point lead.

McCain had to make a move, he needed a game changer; Sarah Palin was his answer. With this decision the entire focus shifted away from "is Obama qualified" to "who is Sarah Palin." If Sarah Palin was able to answer that question the focus could shift back to Obama's qualifications, or apparent lack thereof. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your position, Palin has not stepped up to the plate. The McCain campaign did the political equivalent of pinch hitting a right handed hitter for a lefty batter against a southpaw. McCain's decision simply didn't make sense. Something behind the scenes must have occurred to force his hand, the question remains, what?

I wrote in an earlier article that Obama should select Joe Biden as his VP because it would alter the electoral landscape and in turn McCain's choice. Obama took my advice. The aftermath of each VP changed the field of play, but also the rules. Since the conventions Obama and Biden have quietly slipped into the incumbent position as the McCain campaign desperately tries to trash their credibility.

The McCain campaign is still operating under the preconvention mindset that people actually care whether Obama is qualified or not; the polls have clearly shown that the qualification card is not affecting voters. If the attacks on Obama's qualifications were working to begin with, the Sarah Palin selection would not have been needed. As such McCain's strategy changed to reflect their desire for the race to be a referendum on Sarah Palin in the hopes that she would emerge. Sarah Palin has not emerged . Until she emerges the election will be a referendum on McCain and his decision to select Sarah Palin. The longer it takes for this to happen, the poorer McCain's outlook becomes. If all is not well by the Vice Presidential debate on October 2nd, McCain is done, Biden can put on his Droopy face and nothing will go wrong.

McCain may have altered the complexion of the race, but not in his favor, at least so far. Obama has become impervious to criticism; nothing can happen that will overshadow the Plain situation, at least until Palin actually does something. Until then the election is not a referendum on Obama's experience, but rather the subliminal comparison between each candidate's VP decision process.

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1 Response(s) to A Referendum on Who?

9/14/2008 2:44:02 PM CT

If Sarah Palin is such a big oil person drill drill drill why isn't she sending some of their gas to texas that is without. Personally and nothing against the people of Texas but you are a red state and I have a difficult time donating to the exact people who want to put four more years of bush in the whitehouse. Between the McCain money and sarah's earmarks you would think they could be helping in someway to get gas to these people instead of just talking about drilling all the time. Cindy should use some of her 100 million and buy gas for texas.

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