City of Roses
|This is not intended as a "neener-neener-neener" post, but rather my perception as to why McCain's campaign failed to gain traction and why Obama's succeeded.
McCain's campaign struggled because their message was inconsistent and seen to most as a negative-toned one, spending much more time attacking his opponent than explaining in detail what he would do to resolve our economic crisis, among other things. In addition, Sarah Palin's lack of qualifications in the eyes of most Americans hindered McCain's campaign, with the polls even suggesting it hurt his campaign more than George W. Bush.
For months before yesterday voters were saying unanimously that they thought McCain was spending too much time attacking his opponent. Yet what did the McCain campaign, the Republican National Committee and their allied 527's do in the final three days? They were playing the Jeremiah Wright card, despite the fact that the public had already been exposed heavily to this issue and it did not sink Obama's campaign. ABC News first broke the story, NOT the Clinton campaign, and more than 3,000 news stories had been published during April on his controversial remarks. For one week in late April Obama dipped slightly in the polls due to the Wright controversy, but by the following week in early May his popularity had returned to its previous level.
There's a reason why, despite his opponents tirelessly pushing that, William Ayers, Tony Rezko, Michael Pfleger, "Bittergate", Rashid Khalidi, his canceled appearance to Landstuhl Army Hospital, Obama's opting out from public financing, ACORN, not wearing lapel pins or crossing his heart during the National Anthem, his birth certificate, about being a Muslim when he's clearly a Christian (even if he was a Muslim, who cares? ), his "lipstick" comment, accusations of him being some rabid socialist, comments he made about charging coal companies for greenhouse gas emissions, falsehoods about him taxing everyone with 401(k)s and complaining about him flying over to Hawaii to visit his now-late grandmother during the final days of the campaign...............Obama's approval rating is higher than it has ever been. Because while his campaign certainly wasn't free of going negative (he had a good share of that as well), regardless of how much you agreed or disagreed with him on the issues or had reservations about his lack of experience and not having enough substance to what he says, the prominent message and demeanor of his campaign was seen as optimistic, uplifting, visionary, forward-looking, cooperative.........qualities that traditionally move electors.
I reluctantly voted Kerry in 2004 and I can certainly see why he lost nonetheless. Because he came across as too elitist, thus unconvincing and unpersuasive, to the populace that he would lift the country and move it forward. I voted for Obama this cycle and while I have some criticisms of him, I nonetheless felt comfortable voting for him and while everything may certainly prove to be wishful thinking in the end, I think there's potential he can be a very successful president. I gauge that perception on how he's able to often keep a cool, disciplined temperament in a tense environment, but at the same time he's unmistakably strong-willed, but in a more pragmatic sense.
Regardless, we'll begin to have an idea about three months or so going into his first term if he more or less lives up to his soaring rhetoric or not. As John Wayne once said: "I didn't vote for him, but he's my president, and I hope he does a good job.", when he learned that John F. Kennedy had edged Richard Nixon in the 1960 presidential election. I certainly offered Bush the chance to prove himself despite my concerns at the time that he had stolen the 2000 election, and at one point, following September 11th, I truly believed his leadership was strong and commendable, speaking from the megaphone at Ground Zero saying that he could hear us, and that we would be hearing from those responsible as soon as possible and, at least from what we knew at the time, continuing to govern this country in a bi-partisan, engaging manner. Sadly he betrayed the trust of most Americans, which is something I'm not going to go through here again, and most will look back and believe he did not do a good job, but the point is I ignored his partisanship after having been elected, I put aside my prejudices, and gave him the chance to prove himself.........and I would hope everyone whose candidate didn't win this election cycle allows this president-elect the chance to prove himself in the first months of his presidency............just as I would have done had John McCain been elected, regardless of the accusations I've tossed at him these past eighteen months............or had Bob Barr had elected, or Ralph Nader, or Cynthia McKinney, or Mickey Mouse, etc.
"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"