- As noted, McCain is getting a bump from Palin and probably from the recognition, as people start paying attention, that he's been right on Iraq.
- Obama, apparently reading SWNID, has suddenly tacked back to the center, grudgingly admitting the success of the surge, offering support for charter schools, pledging to delay his tax hikes until after the economy recovers so that they don't damage the economy during the current downturn. Why one would want economy-damaging tax hikes at any point in the economic cycle remains an open question, but the moves are nevertheless away from the deadly left and toward the lively center. Whether he can keep his union/leftist base energized and credibly appeal to independents on the issues will take time to tell.
- Obama has laid some Dubya-like verbal eggs: "my Muslim faith" and "lipstick on a pig." McCainiacs seem ready to pounce on these, but to what effect we can't possibly imagine. Still, the Great Communicator is stammering a bit.
- Rumors swirl around Palin: that she had an affair, that she runs Alaska like Don Corleone ran the olive oil importation business, that she was for earmarks before she was against them, that she thinks American Soldiers are on a Mission from God, that she will bring about the End of Days if given half a chance. But these rumors seem to enhance public support, admittedly narrow but nonetheless electorally significant. We think that the Voting Public has been reading SWNID on these points as well.
None of this bodes well for the Junior Senator from Illinois, for whom there has been little good news of late.
So Obama's response appears to be a panicked one: he is meeting with the Godfather of the Democratic Party, William Jefferson Clinton, in the esteemed former POTUS's Harlem office. We label this an act of desperation for obvious reasons:
- Clinton's electoral success, largely a function of his larger-than-life personality, did not translate into success for his party. He lost control of Congress two years after winning the presidency and did not see himself succeeded in office by a member of his own party.
- Clinton's obvious self-interest lies with his (privately estranged) wife, whose ambitions are at best delayed by Obama's ascendancy.
- Clinton is famous for destroying his political enemies.
For Obama to be asking Slick for advice has about it a whiff of desperation. Can such advice be trusted, given all that we know of the Man from Hot Springs? Can he expect that his requests will be honored? After all, Clinton is not Sicilian, and it is not the day of his daughter's wedding, so even if Obama calls him "Godfather" and honors him with a pledge to do him some small service in the future (e.g. send Delta Force to capture Ken Starr), will the Godfather do him honest bidding?