Before the conventions Barak Obama held a slight lead in tracking polls. Although is VP pick was a total dud, he did manage to get a slight bounce out of the convention, but it was very short lived. With McCain''s surprise pick of Sarah Palin for VP and a television audience for his own speech that surpassed Obama's, the McCain Palin ticket is now leading by an average of 2.5% according to the RealClearPolitics.com average of major polls.
The next two months is a total uphill battle for Obama. His pick of Biden for VP disclosed a "run the clock out" strategy that depended on gaining and holding a lead after the convention. The big speech at Invesco was the crescendo. That's his wheelhouse; giving a well prepared speech to an enthusiastic crowd. Now the only major public events left are the debates, a forum he doesn't do nearly as well in.
If McCain had chosen Romney or Huckabee, I think Barak would have been in like Flynn. Biden could have played the pit bull at his debate and I think he would have come across looking stronger than either of those guys. Regardless of where you stand on the issues, Romney and Huckabee are not good sluggers in a debate format. With Palin, Biden's in a no-win situation. She's a fighter, the crowd adores her. He's in a box. The VP debate will be a non-event.
So it all comes down to the Presidential debates. Unless McCain makes a major gaffe, I've got to give him the advantage here for one simple reason: He has a sense of humor, Barak doesn't. This is a format McCain is very comfortable in after decades in Congress, and he knows how to take and throw verbal punches without losing his cool. He's also got a lot less to lose. Barak is trying to create a great story. McCain already has one, win or lose. If Barak looks desperate, he's through.
It doesn't help that clowns like, until recently unknown comic, Russell Brand (evidently the spokesperson for the Global Community) are out there making total asses of themselves in the name of Obama. The host of the MTV video music awards implored America to "elect Barak Obama for the sake of the world." before going on to make some very nasty, crude comments about Bush, Palin and Palin's daughter. Expect a lot more of that kind of thing. The Democrats made a strategic decision many years ago to embrace any loud and obnoxious group or individual and bring them into the fold. They represented votes the other side wasn't going after. Now they're stuck with them. If they sense this thing slipping away they will come out in droves. It should be very entertaining.
It all adds up to another case of the Democrats snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. All they had to do was not come across as radical loons and they blew it. They invested heavily in losing the Iraq war and somehow thought the sluggish economy would give them cover to raise taxes and implement new, massive government spending initiatives. As if that wasn't enough, they came out square against new oil exploration while gas was peaking at $4/gallon. Now they're rubbing more salt into their own wounds by viscously attacking one of the most popular political figures to come on the scene in my lifetime. They could have just said "good for her" and went after McCain. But, emptier heads prevailed, and the rest is history.
I always worry, at each election cycle that this country may take a hard turn toward socialism. After watching the events of the past couple of weeks unfold, I've been sleeping pretty well lately.