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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Why isn't John McCain ahead?

I rarely read David Brooks' column, mainly because I can't stand intellectual dishonesty even when it appears in the New York Times. But a friend pointed out Brooks' latest contribution to the literature of obfuscation, a piece entitled "Where's the Landslide?" Brooks wonders why Obama is not further ahead in the polls despite all he has going for him, and answers his own question (one that so many reporters are parroting lately) with a series of musings about Obama that more closely reflect his own muddled thinking than what Americans may or may not be thinking at the moment.

My question is, given all that McCain has going for him, why isn't he ahead? He's white, he's a war "hero," he's more "experienced," he has a long reputation as a "maverick," he's got Karl Rove's operatives working for him, he has an "attractive" wife, the surge is "working," and so forth. Yet a closer look at the polls shows that he is losing bigtime in the all-important race for electoral college votes.

This does not mean, of course, that Obama supporters should be complacent or confident of victory--a lot can change between now and November. But it does mean that a black, politically liberal, first-term Senator with a feisty wife, relatively little national experience and limited qualifications to be "Commander-in-Chief" is somehow ahead. Why is that, David Brooks?

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