August 21, 2008
He writes on The Corner about how effective John McCain's ads using the Barask-as-celebrity meme have been (emphasis mine):
It has done what is extremely difficult in politics: taking an opponent’s strength – in this case, the excitement and energy Obama created – and turned it into a liability. Obama is seen as hip and cool, but he is also increasingly viewed as strikingly self-centered, presumptuous, and a bit prickly. On a deeper level, and for a combination of reasons, he’s beginning to look somewhat shallow, untested and unready for the presidency, and, on several key issues, quite radical (his unwillingness to support a bill against infanticide being just the most recent example).
The problem for Obama now is that, in “fighting back,” in promising not to be “swift-boated” and in his determination to prove he really, truly is a Tough Guy, Obama is eviscerating whatever was left of the New Politics he once stood for.
The Obama campaign, having seen their lead collapse when everything should have been working in its favor, must now harbor serious concerns about their candidate and his appeal. And often when deep doubts emerge, campaigns and candidates begin to do foolish things. It’s worth recalling that Obama has never faced a serious Republican before. He is now.
This is what I've thought since Obama began to make strides against Hillary Clinton at the end of December 2007. He knows how to fight against Democrats, who will largely keep their gloves on for the sake of party unity. This is a man who represented a deep, deep blue state senate seat on the South Side of Chicago. When running for his U.S. Senate seat in 2004, he just had to knock off incompetent carpetbagger Alan Keyes.
Now he has to fight, and it's not going as he'd hoped it would.
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