"Democrats are worried. We've been through two very tough elections at the national level, and it's very easy to lose confidence."
-- Tad Devine, a top John Kerry strategist worrying out loud about the Obamessiah's real chances come the November election.
Thursday, August 7, 2008; Page A01
It was a matter of time before liberals realized or at least admitted that they have a fatally flawed candidate in their hands once again. The "change" card has played itself out. Obama can't bluff his way out of the election campaing as he did during the primaries.
Barack Obama released a television advertisement yesterday that questions John McCain's claims to be a "maverick," and he charged in a campaign appearance that the Republican displays independence only when it suits him politically.
Obama aides said Democratic hand-wringing about polls showing that thepresidential race remains tight had nothing to do with the volleys.
"We are not going to base our campaign on the concerns of so-called campaign strategists on cable TV," spokesman Bill Burton said.
But the ad and the Democrat's rhetoric in Indiana appeared to up the ante in a campaign that took a distinct turn toward the negative last week.
"The price [McCain] paid for his party's nomination has been to reverse himself on position after position," Obama told a crowd of more than 1,000 at a high school gym in Elkhart. "That doesn't meet my definition of a maverick. You can't be a maverick when politically it's important for you but not a maverick when it doesn't work for you."
The parries come more than a week after his Republican opponent launched a string of increasingly personal attacks on Obama. McCain has said that his rival would lose a war in order to win a campaign, accused him of going to a gym rather than visiting wounded troops, and, while aides asserted that he had "played the race card," hinted that Obama has a messiah complex and portrayed him as a celebrity comparable to Paris Hilton or Britney Spears. That final line of assault continued yesterday with a new McCain ad, again mocking Obama as "the biggest celebrity in the world."
Such attacks have raised worries among Democratic strategists -- haunted by John F. Kerry's 2004 run and Al Gore's razor-thin loss in 2000 -- that Obama has not responded in kind with a parallel assault on McCain's character. Interviews with nearly a dozen Democratic strategists found those concerns to be widespread, although few wished to be quoted by name while Obama's campaign is demanding unity. (More)
As he plays to a wider audience than the fawning MSM and Kool-aid liberals of every stripe, Obama's act reveals itself stale and lacking in substance. It's about time.