With the financial crisis hitting seven weeks before the general election, it is amazing John McCain, the presidential nominee of the party in power, is still standing.Â He may not win tomorrow, but, as Gerard Baker notes, “the presidential election still looks like being a closer contest than it has any right to be.”
Just look at the factors which work against the Arizona Senator:
- He has struggled until the last weeks of the campaign to articulate a message on the chief issue of this campaign:Â the economy.
- Economic concerns always favor the party out of power.
- The media have been in the tank for his opponent.
- That opponent has outspent him by a considerable sum.
If this were a football [British for soccer] game, it would be one played on a field tilted at an angle of about 20 degrees, in which the teams did not change sides at half-time, and in which the one playing downhill had twice as many players on the field as its opponents, who, to make things a little bit more interesting, have bound their goalkeeper hand and foot to one of the goalposts. The final score? 3-2, after extra time.
Or put it another way: it has taken a mismanaged foreign policy that almost lost a war, a botched emergency response that almost lost a city, a Republican Party that almost lost its soul and an economic crisis that almost lost the country’s financial system to break the Republican stranglehold on the White House.
That a number of polls show this race tightening in the final days is either a tribute to John McCain’s strength of character or to concerns about his opponent’s associations and absence of experience. Or maybe people are finally recognizing that Obama’s attempts to style himself a moderate are just that. Attempts to cover up a partisan record. Nothing more than window-dressing.
That Obama continues to enjoy a lead in the polls suggests he has succeeded in redefining himself.Â Despite his liberal record, he has sounded quite moderate on the hustings.
That the GOP still shows strength suggestsour ideas still resonate with the American people.Â Had our leaders stayed truer to our principles, our fellow Americans might see the Democratic disarray and recognize how far their agenda is from our own.Â Would it that that happen in the next twenty-four hours.