Stateside

McCain won’t win it, Obama will lose it?

For a variety of reasons, not least the one focused on here by Christopher Hitchens [HT DSTFW], I would prefer Obama to win the US election. However, is his campaign in trouble?

The Sunday Telegraph had some comments from a senior Democratic strategist who has been involved in previous campaigns.

First, there’s his failure to listen to advice:

“They think they know best. They don’t return calls. There are governors and senators calling them up with ideas. They don’t get back to them.

“These are senior people from the border states and the South who know how to beat Republicans, and they’re being ignored. They ignored everyone during the primaries and they came through it, so they think they can do the same again.”

Mr Obama has never won an electoral contest against a strong Republican candidate. David Axelrod, his chief strategist has been hailed as a political genius for beating the Clinton machine, but Democrats now point out that he has never run a successful campaign in the heartland states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Virginia, which will decide the election. His expertise is in mobilising young, educated and black voters in urban areas.

Mark Cunningham of the New York Post summed up the private views of many: “If it suddenly seems like the Obama campaign doesn’t have any idea what it’s doing, maybe that’s because it doesn’t.”

Then there’s a refusal to deal with uncomfortable realities:

“I’ve seen memos where they’ve been told to factor in four to six points for the Bradley effect, but they’re in denial about it.

They say the polls also underestimate the enthusiasm of young voters and African Americans and they believe that balances things out. But that’s a wing and a prayer stuff. There’s previous evidence for the Bradley effect.”

Lastly, there is a point made about the left which rings true, regardless of its author:

Peggy Noonan, the former Reagan speechwriter, blamed the defection of women voters from Mr Obama on the atom bomb of ritual abuse by left-wing bloggers and Democratic officials, painting Mrs Palin as a bad mother and religious weirdo.

Ms Noonan wrote: “The snobbery of it, the meanness of it, reminded the entire country, for the first time in a decade, what it is they don’t like about the Left.”

There are some things about Palin that are worth examining, there are some that we might enjoy examining because it might engender righteousness, and there are things best left unexamined if you want to win the election. There’s a certain level of patronising arrogance [technically correct, snobby and mean: certainly] in Democrat-leaning blogs. You might find that a pathetic criticism, but your views don’t matter. What matters are the voters, and characterizing Palin as a simpleton George Bush in a dress is not going to win the election.

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