Some insight from the great Mark Steyn on the second McCain-Obama debate, with some genuinely rich imagery! The Corner at NR…
Keep your sunny side up [Mark Steyn]
Republicans have cause to be disappointed by last night: As everyone says, Obama wins by not losing. He looks more and more as if he’s already the president, while McCain prowling the stage seeking to “connect” looks more and more like Yosemite Sam after the dynamite* failed to go off.
Before everyone succumbs to a terminal case of inevitabilititis, it’s worth remembering we’ve been here before. In the last months of the primary campaign, the press kept assuring Hillary fans that Obama’s victory was inevitable and the shriller the media Obamaboppers got, the more bluecollar Dems sat on their hands. In the end all the King’s horses and all the King’s men had to drag the guy across the finish line. You couldn’t replay his spectacular victory in slow-motion because it was already slower than any slo-mo technology ever invented.
So we already know there’s a huge disconnect between the unstoppable Messianic force promoted by the media and the cooler appraisal by actual voters. What’s happened since primary season? The Iraq surge (McCain’s unique selling point) is a victim of its own success and has dwindled away to an irrelevant footnote, and the front pages are full of a supposed economic catastrophe which the crude rules of politics suggest any fool should be able to hang on the incumbent.
Yet Obama still can’t open up a solid lead. After all, why would record numbers of viewers watch the vice-presidential debate if the election’s already over?
Meanwhile, the supposedly damaged Republican brand is proving suprisingly resilient. I see one of the two New Hampshire seats that flipped blue in ’06 may return to the red fold next month. Where’s the blowout?
(*A lot of the dynamite is well past its sell-by date: Two references last night to Ronald Reagan negotiating with Tip O’Neill. No one remembers who Tip O’Neill is. McCain might as well have been evoking misty watercolor mem’ries of Talleyrand at the Congress of Vienna. Obama, by contrast, is all future – which is understandable, given his past.)
[UPDATE: A reader responds:
Listen, Mark, sunny side up is fine but this one is over easy.]