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McCain’s Shaky Performance

For the past few days, I have suffered from presidential election writer’s block. Actually, it’s not that I couldn’t think of anything to write, but there was nothing that interesting or novel to say that warranted a post. Nevertheless, today I finally decided to get my act together and write a few lines about some of the more interesting things we learned this week about the candidates and the election:

  • Sarah Palin, though I do not believe she is directly to blame for the $150,000 wardrobe, the expensive stylist, and professional acting/speech coach, has not given a credible explanation. Rather, she has proven herself to be, as Maureen Dowd has repeated, nothing more than a My Fair Lady remake.
  • The feeling of inevitable defeat has already begun to plague the Republican Party, and there is tension around the handling of Sarah Palin. While everyone panics and tries to save their own skin, Palin has gone from maverick to renegade, concentrating on her own political future.
  • A valid worry is that the McCain Palin campaign’s mismanagement will infect many of the other state and federal races, giving the Democrats majorities nationwide and ousting Republican incumbents. McCain’s best argument, now much too late in the game to be successfully articulated, should have been about divided government and the perils of Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and a Democrat in the White House.
  • As I wrote previously, the Obamas have become more representative of “America” than Mcain Palin’s small town “only served here” sign. Forget about whether or not a black man can become president, McCain’s own campaign has already conceded that Obama is the  “mainstream” candidate with the mainstream media favoring him. As Frank Rich writes, white Americans already support Obama in higher numbers than they did Bill Clinton, Al Gore, or John Kerry. Would a fringe, angry, radical African American break all campaign finance records by rasing $150 million in a single month? I don’t know how Palin thinks Obama sees America, but a lot of Americans sure see Obama as worthy of their campaign donations.

While I was preparing to elaborate on the above, I took a short break to watch McCain on Meet the Press. I was stunned. While I have criticized McCain for his overly military-centeric and extreme shift to the right (including his choice of Sarah Palin), I have consistently avoided disqualifying him due to age. But on Meet the Press, McCain looked exhausted. His voice was shaky, his hands trembled, his tone was offbeat, and at one point he seemed to lose his bearing — giving him that forgetful senior moment that everyone has been hoping would not happen. Continue reading

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