Panic, ctd.

September 11, 2008

So.  McCain enjoys a postconvention bounce.  The deep thinkers, who when Palin was chosen said she would crest early but soon crash, have already forgotten their own opinions.  Even a post or two of Ambinder’s have a faint whiff of dismay.  Republicans revel, nervously.  Left wing pundits accuse McCain of special wicknedness and cynicism, then sigh and mutter that they wish their candidate was like that, too.   A little more vocally they urge him to urgency, to do more, say more, be different than he is now.

But David Axelrod is much better at this than the pundits, which is why he is a highly paid political strategist while they are hoping against hope that webvertisements for home laser depilatories will pay the bills.  And Obama is much better, too, which is why he is the first insurgent candidate to win a major party nomination since Carter.  They have consistently taken the long view, repeatedly sacrificing short term tactical advantage for long term strategic gain.  It has so far worked.  They did not waver from this strategy during similar rough periods of the primary, and they will not waver now.  So those who think the prudent course is to say that McCain sleeps with goats will be disappointed.

Instead, they will let McCain develop a reputation for dishonesty.  It is already happening.  The McCain gamble here is that his reputation for candor will survive the beating he subjects it to, at least until November.  On the other hand, the Obama camp thinks they have enough time to wait this out.

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One Response to “Panic, ctd.”


  1. […] September 11, 2008 A quick aside to my colleague here: for the most part, I agree with this post, though I plan to write something on the latest polling myself the next time I’m not busy […]


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