Monday, November 03, 2008
Contra Ross Douthat
As is sometimes typical for pundits backing a loser, Ross tries to blame the campaign for the failures of the candidate. In this case I think it's exactly backwards. I think the McCain campaign has actually been fairly effective. It has taken substantial disadvantages in money and overall environment, and has still managed to be fairly competitive, even to the point of setting the agenda for a significant part of the campaign. Really, the only thing I fault the campaign for is conceding Michigan, and that's probably a money issue anyway.
If he loses there is one overriding reason why. His response to the economic crisis has been weak. It's been weak in substance, and weak in the perception that Sen McCain has the intelligence and energy to get to the bottom of it all and sort it out for the benefit of the country. Frankly, Obama's substance has been equally weak if not worse, but he has been able to project the aura of a person whose elevator is going all the way to the top floor and McCain hasn't.