Friday, March 21, 2008

Hanging Up the Red Phone

Now that the MI and FL re-primaries (secondaries?) are off the table, it's increasingly clear that Hilldog has no chance to survive and is only making time. And the poll numbers of one Mr. John McCain rise, of course.

Personally, this doesn't bother me so much although I'll agree that there's becoming less and less difference between the Clinton campaign and the Huckabee one that dragged out well past any realistic chance of conceivable victory. It's still months until the general election and there's plenty of time for the eventual nominee to turn things around. Even with the complicit, fingers-stained-ith-BBQ-sauce media we're talking about John "Those jobs are not coming back, my friends" McCain. He's wrong on Iraq, he's clueless bout the economy, and whatever appeal he has is going to fade once people get a chance to actually look at him closely. And the John McCain for More of the Same message can get repeated over and over until it sticks.

And that's, admittedly, hard to do when your nominees are beating up on each other (But the nominees aren't the only forces that can act in the best interest of the party. This is why I'm disappointed that Dean and other national leaders haven't taken more of an initiative to hammer McCain every chance they get.) but, still, I'm not too worried. What we're witnessing, hanky waving and chest clutching aside, is all part of a healthy election process. And one of the chief complaints about Obama is that he hasn't been through the thresher just yet. That he hasn't shown he can handle the sort of attacks and dirty tricks that are going to be arrayed against him. With the Rev. Wright flap and his impressive response, I think he is. More time battling against the Clintonistas and their Republican-lite tactics is only going to season him for the general.

But the important thing to remember is that most of the public isn't even paying attention yet. Forget all the blog posts and shouting back and forth in the comments and the talking heads on TV raising their blood pressure at each other. No one's paying attention to politics. Not outside the insular group of political junkies who think this stuff actually matters. Inside that bubble it's armageddon, it's chaos, cats and dogs are sleeping with each other and the seventh seal is unlocking, it's an unimaginable nightmare of unprecedented proportion. Outside? It's March. There's college basketball on. There's American Idol or Top Chef. And on and on, a hundred, a million other things that the general public is paying attention to. Only the barest amount of the process - the highlights on the evening news or the tidbits around the watercooller - are filtering through.

That'd be nice to control, of course, and in a perfect world Democratic leaders would be doing a better job of it. But it's not the most important thing in the world. Take a deep breath, relax, and remember that in spite it all it's still the Democrats race to lose.

Before I go, though, remember that red phone commercial? The one that supposedly won Ohio, cured cancer, or is the new starting quarterback for the Buckeyes or whatever it was? Well, the little sleeping girl in that video was from some stock footage recorded some years ago. That girl? Now all grown up and an Obama supporter who's just released the following video:

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