It's an interesting moment in this campaign. The McCain-PALIN convention bump is likely at its height, and analysts going inside the numbers see that it may not have been much. One might infer the McCain campaign senses this because they are still acting like they're desperately behind, recycling discredited Alan Keyes gambits.
On their distortions of Obama and their own lies about themselves, they're starting to see a lot of media push-back. At this moment the Huffington Post is headlining at least 20 examples, from the leftish American Prospect and Glenn Greenwald, to the Old McCain centrists Joe Klein and Mark Halperin (both of TIME) to the conservative Jake Tapper (ABC.)
Meanwhile, VP candidate Palin has gone back to Alaska, where a world of pain awaits her, and John McCain has to figure out how to get crowds by doing more than standing woodenly beside Palin.
Obama struck just the right notes in his response to the latest McCainiac antics (in the video below), mixing humor, passion and poise : "The McCain campaign would much rather have the story [be]about a phony and foolish diversion than about the future. Enough! I don't care what they say about me. But I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies, phony outrage and swiftboat politics. Enough is enough! These are serious times and they call for a serious debate about where we need to take the nation."
Besides media pushback (NBC's Brian Williams pretty much echoed Obama's sentiments, which is pretty brave considering the hot water NBC is in with the McCainiacs) and Obama's pinpoint statement, an Obama surrogate and a woman--Stephanie Cutter, aide to VP candidate Biden--took the offensive:
I have to wonder why John McCain would want to raise something like this. And maybe [former Massachusetts Gov.] Jane Swift [who appeared earlier on MSNBC] doesn't know his record but I wonder where her outrage was when John McCain said he was going to beat Hillary Clinton like a drum. Or participated in an event where one of his participants called Hillary Clinton a bitch. Those are direct comments targeted at somebody's gender. And I didn't hear any outrage then... They are having a false offense on putting lipstick on a pig, when John McCain doesn't even stand for equal pay for women, doesn't stand for children's health insurance, thinks the economy is just going fine when millions of children are going without health care. I mean where is the offense at that?"
But at the moment my favorite analysis of where the race is was provided in a Kos diary by icebergslim. His advice: follow the money. McCain has just gone on the clock with his federal handout of $84M, and has yet to do much in organizing a ground game. The Obama campaign hasn't announced its August take, but they have said it is their largest to date, which means more than $55 million. And they've invested heavily in voter registration and get out the vote. There are more Obama offices in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, PA--how bout them STEELERS!) than McCain has in some key states. Icebergslim:
Watch the movement. Not Barack's but McCain's. Watch what he will defend or what he will let go dark. Pennsylvania will be dropped. It cost a lot of money to defend the keystone state, along with advertising in the Philadelphia market. Keep an eye on Florida. This state has not been given much McCain love, the Florida market is expensive and you need MASSIVE offices open for GOTV. McCain will attempt to defend Virginia, but watch the ad buy for the expensive DC market. McCain will continue to campaign in Michigan, which the Detroit market is not cheap, but watch the state polling numbers. If McCain cannot pull that one from Barack, he will abandon it by mid October. McCain must defend Ohio. Ohio is the wildcard. Yes, they have a huge "fundy" base, but there are more non-fundy's who are hurting economically right now and McCain may not be their cup of tea. I look for New Mexico and Colorado to move to Barack. Yes, Colorado Springs got a lot of "fundys" but they are not the whole state, remember that. I am not sure about Montana, but a friend told me last night that Montana loves their guns, but hate the Patriot Act. This state could be Barack's.
This is what is going on. See what McCain must do? Again, folks this will be won on the GROUND."
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