I have to give it to John McCain. He’s really pulling out all the stops to get into the White House.
The first real salvo was the, I believe, unprecedented ad he ran following Barrack Obama‘s speech last night. If you didn’t see it you missed something pretty unique. The speech ended and one of the first commercials you see is John McCain congratulating Obama on a “job well done”. He points out that tomorrow they’ll be back at it but for now he can acknowledge the great stride Obama has made. For a moment I thought I was dreaming or seeing some sort of April Fool’s joke and I kept waiting for the punchline.
I watched Obama’s speech and have to say it was really something. I’ve been waiting for this guy to grow a pair and go to town on McCain and also give us real details about what he’s going to do for us. He did that last night. So here I am thinking, “I can vote for this guy” and then this ad hits. Obama just came off as aggressive and here’s meek, magnanimous John McCain looking like your favorite neighbor in stark contrast to Obama. What a masterful stroke.
The ironic part is that the Dems have been living this sort of approach from day one but McCain gets major points because it sticks out against the rest of the rhetoric we’ve been hearing from him. The Left has gone to great pains to praise McCain at every turn possibly past the point of comfort for many and yet that starts to get lost because of this ad.
And of course the biggest move of all is in picking Alaska’s Governor, Sarah Palin, as his running mate. It’s a totally shocking move with all the right thinking behind it if she has the right stuff. Palin brings every possible benefit to the table with few exceptions. She’s younger than Obama. She’s attractive. She can play the “Change” game well. As a woman so she’s going to appeal to a lot of women voters. She’s from the oil state. She’s going to make Joe Biden look like Methusela. In their debate all eyes will be on her. She also offsets Biden’s “average guy” storyline. She becomes almost as historical a choice as Obama. No matter who wins now a major barrier will be broken.
I have to give it to McCain. They realized that Obama would come out punching at the convention and that he’d have the chance to ride high after it. They had to figure out how best to impact that possible advantage and these two moves could not have possibly been any better.