The tipping point for John McCain
I almost feel sorry for John McCain. His campaign, behind in the polls and eager to take the focus off of the economy, changed strategy this week and attempted to get Obama firmly in their crosshairs. The arteries targeted: Character. Trustworthiness. Judgment. Honesty. A lot of people I know got really angry about this; to that, I say: Character is always on the table, kids. To me, though, these new attacks seemed sad.
Call me naÃ¯ve, but I dont think this road is the one McCain wanted to travel down. I think he knows whats really being said when his supporters use Obamas middle name. He knows whats really being said when Palin accuses Obama of palling around with terrorists. He knows the subtext of the question Who is the real Barack Obama? and, to me, he sure didnt look comfortable when he was asking that question.The tension that had been building at McCain rallies all week Terrorist!; Off with his head! peaked on Friday when things got so ugly at a town hall meeting that McCain was actually forced to defend Obamas citizenship. And defend he did, asking the audience to show respect. Finally, the John McCain we were promised.
Then, just as Friday didnt seem like it could get any worse, the news from Alaska: Sarah Palin was found by an independent investigator to have abused the power of her office. Whether Palin did or did not abuse her power is irrelevant; frankly, I dont see much about this case that I find shameful.
What is relevant, though, is that the findings of this investigation have eliminated her ability to ask us to question Obamas character, judgment and truthfulness. Where on earth does the McCain/Palin campaign go from here?
I dont know when this will be posted but, regardless, I think it worth mentioning that I am writing this very late on Friday night. Its worth mentioning because it is today, I think, that will be looked back on as the tipping point of John McCains campaign, the day that helped get him back into the game (by forcing the campaign to change strategy yet again and perhaps stumbling upon a strategy that works) or that sent him irrevocably into freefall. Things may go up or down, but things cannot stay the same.