Saturday, November 8, 2008
A few of my friends have pointed out this line from a mid-August entry: "You heard it here first: Obama has lost the election."
The Obama campaign at that time didn't have a message. It wasn't showing Obama as a leader, at least not the same type of leader he was during the primaries. And I saw the campaign going the wishy-washy way of the Kerry and Gore campaigns.
Thank God for John McCain and Sarah Palin! It was their election to lose.
At the same time, Obama found his message and pounded it consistently. He led. He breeds a level of confidence, that whatever gets thrown at him, he'll consider various points of view then act decisively.
McCain couldn't even lead his party beyond its own schizophrenia. He relied on the people who got George II elected twice and who failed to see that America had changed over the past four years. He pandered to the loudest, crudest voices in the Republican party -- the far right wing, religious conservatives -- instead of leading the party to a New Day.
He didn't put country first; he put party first because of his own (and Cindy McCain's) 20-year-old presidential aspirations.
McCain couldn't even lead through the financial crisis, despite "suspending" his campaign to get back to Washington. He couldn't even control a split in his own party.
And then there's Palin, the campaign's attack dog. McCain didn't control her, despite his well-crafted image as a leader, a moderate, a (dare I say it) maverick. He allowed the campaign shapers who pushed him away from the middle to change the minds of many moderates and independents who otherwise were ready to vote for him.
McCain's campaign can be summed up by the final crusader in the third (and what should have been the final) Indiana Jones movie: "He chose ... poorly."
I'm glad McCain was wrong. I'm glad I was wrong. And I'm glad the Obama campaign found its compass.
Now let's get the hard work done.