Thursday, October 30, 2008

Follow ups: Obama an American after all -- and beginning the analysis of what went wrong for John McCain

In this October 14 post, I first mentioned the case of Berg v. Obama, a suit actually filed in Federal Court in Pennsylvania (I looked) challenging Obama's ability to serve as President because, the suit alleged, he was not born an American citizen, as our Constitution requires.

The suit was shortly thereafter dismissed (on standing grounds, not because I wrote about it). Today comes this article by James Janega in the Chicago Tribune which purports to put the birth certificate rumor to rest once and for all.

It won't, of course.

But I promise you: If there really was something to it, Hillary Clinton would have dug it out and exploded Senator Obama's candidacy long ago. Her 'opposition research' was so thorough, you may remember, that she dug up papers that Obama had written in kindergarten and third grade.

(How much of a paper can one really "write" in kindergarten anyway?)

See, the idea was that Obama would be exposed as an eternally ambitious creature and his followers would melt away.

Yes, it was just as lame then as it sounds now.

The "Kenyan birth" rumor would have been much, much better. But -- obviously -- there was nothing to it because Hillary didn't run with it.

Meanwhile, the vultures are circling over John McCain's campaign. I know that, in the last couple of elections, the race wasn't over until the last chad in Florida had been hanged... but my suspicion is that the Electoral College will this time perform its assigned constitutional task of margin multiplication. The popular vote may be reasonably close, but Obama will win easily in terms of electoral votes.

I don't think this outcome was always as certain as it now seems: I wrote back in August, when McCain's commercials were trying to paint Obama as just a celebrity without substance, comparing him to Paris Hilton, that the McCain people were using footage of the wrong woman.

Yes, you may remember, I said the McCain campaign should have used all that footage of Hillary Clinton decrying Obama's inexperience. Instead, some genius in McCain's camp thought they'd get their own woman and thereby attract all the disaffected Hillary voters.

I do not think Sarah Palin should shoulder the blame for McCain's pending defeat. I believe that vice-presidential nominees are generally irrelevant. But McCain's handlers grossly underestimated the negative reaction -- even within his own party -- to the selection. (Gosh, I guess he really was an outsider, wasn't he?) Then McCain's handlers compounded the error by trying to control access to the Alaskan governor in the first critical days after her nomination.

This was just exactly the same mistake Obama's handlers have made in trying to control access to his birth certificate: Limit access and allow your opponents to crowd the stage. But it hurt McCain more.

Even if McCain felt he needed to select Gov. Palin in order to energize his base, he still could have run Hillary in all his commercials.

Oh, she'd denounce it of course: But what could she say? I was wrong then but now I'm right? Would this have been credible?

But let's start, now, to think about the future -- and thankful for the past. Specifically, could we all pause for a moment and thank our Founding Fathers for the wisdom to create the Electoral College? When the Electoral College works as designed, and a close winner becomes a clear winner, it helps heal the country after a divisive campaign.

And this one has surely been divisive. I hope the former Gore and Kerry supporters will be ashamed, on November 5, that they campaigned openly to abolish the Electoral College. I doubt they will, though.

1 comment:

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

curmy i am disheartened by this. obama has no experience for this huge job. how can so many be so blind? is it because they want him to give them something for nothing? that's what i think. he is charismatic. he COULD be a great leader someday. but as long as he is SO FAR to the left it will never happen. he might be the leader but we will be back in the carter years. and i remember those well. we had to buy a home and the mortgage rate was 16%. think about the auto industry. with those interest rates who will buy a car? let the unions swallow their tongues. well, whatever will be will be. i am of an age where it will not affect me too much. my assets are protected pretty good and income not too great as we reinvest and don't take out dividends. but capital gains will hurt a lot. guess i've written enough now. sorry. god save us!

smiles, bee