Barack Obama certainly has a genius for picking political opponents. First, Hillary Clinton chose “experience” over “change” as a theme and sat atop the most dysfunctional presidential campaign ever seen. She didn’t hone in on Reverend Wright nor plan for post-February 5 primaries. She didn’t organize caucus states. When she finally got her act together and a theme — fighting for the little guy with a robust economic plan — it was too late.
Then along comes John McCain. For awhile he runs on biography. Then he comes up with some clever ads to debunk Obama’s popularity and fixes on energy policy. But he doesn’t hone in on Reverend Wright and lets the summer and all of September pass before Bill Ayers, ACORN and the rest of the Obama three-ring Leftist circus make an appearance. Like Clinton, he waits political eons to come up with an overarching economic message ( we are promised one this week). In the meantime he goes to war with the media (Steve Schmidt sounds eerily like Howard Wolfson yelling at the media to do their job), but not personally with his opponent.
Is there some political stun-gun which Obama uses to numb his opponents? It is hard to fathom how not just one, but two opponents could be so haphazard in their approach. Maybe both Hillary and McCain couldn’t in their heart of hearts believe the American people in their infinite wisdom would take seriously an inexperienced, far-Left neophyte with an aversion to specific policy recommendations for very serious problems. But if so, they severely underestimated voters and their willingness to extend him the benefit of the doubt and to accept the most minimal descriptions of both his past affiliations and future plans.
In the case of McCain, we are told over and over again that no matter what McCain did it was an impossible year for a Republican, made more impossible by the financial meltdown. That might be the case. But regardless of the poll numbers no one can look at the McCain effort and say “You can’t fault them for lack of a creative vision!” Or, “They sure set out a viable game plan and executed it with gusto!” Certainly, you can fault the “campaign” — a group of advisors, consultants and staff people. But ultimately the blame — just as it did with Hillary Clinton — rests with the candidate.