Thursday, August 21, 2008

Polls Tighten

So McCain and Obama are statistically tied ... or at least that's what the polls suggest.

Oh well, it was bound to happen as summer wore on.

McCain's attack strategy works, and it's time for Obama to come out swinging. The election is not a sure bet, and his acting presidential was a bit premature, might I say? The campaign has entered the trench phase - close combat and little ground gained or given.

Like Kerry, Obama suffers from lack of precision. I have no doubt he'd make the better president, but Americans love sound-bytes. McCain delivers, but Obama plods. His stump speeches early on had energy; I think now the energy needs to be found again, with stories and slogans.

Let Obama tell us about himself, and coin some new phrases. I know how hard this is, because I preach most every Sunday, and have done so for 40 years.

The Republicans generally have a rhetorical edge - they speak directly and simply, a plus for TV. That most of what they say is dead-wrong escapes the electorate, however.

Once again, we confront the American boogieman - our lack of intelligence, if you will. We're not a nation of thinkers, but status-, pleasure- and comfort-seekers; we want to to feel good about ourselves, we want to feel powerful and in charge of the world, and above all, we want to be "innocent" - we went into Iraq, of course, for democracy, not oil. Yeah, sure, you betcha!

Yesterday, there was some chatter about Obama inviting Hillary to be VP. She carries weight with working-class voters, she has a great track record on key issues - though the wild card here seems to be Bill. But then, McCain has his Cindy.

When Kerry ran, I kept waiting for him to put on the boxing gloves and come out swinging. He never did. Can someone of intellect and depth do this? Time will tell.