Despite this, there are multiple reasons for great optimism for Obama supporters this morning, despite McCain's edge in the national polls.
1.) Obama impressed Bill Oreilly in his "interview". If you can hold your own in a debate where the "interviewer" is not only a contestant but also the moderator and won't let you get a word in edgewise, you have been victorious. I love listening to Bill Oreilly, and despite his core audience being somewhere around 80% McCain supporters, they had no choice but to be impressed with Obama's performance. When they call in with claims that Obama sounds weak, Bill defends Obama. Bill was openly impressed by the Senator. Many of the callers admit they have newfound respect for Obama, and some independents have switched votes after this interview. Taking interviews in the enemy camp is risky, but what it does is instantly dispel all the bullshit the core audience hears day in and day out on right wing radio. They watch and say "Wow, he really isn't the devil incarnate after-all now that I listen to him".
2.) Sarah Palin's interview sucked ass- Judging from internet message board food fights I attend, which seem to be a 50-50 McCain/Obama split, the consensus on the interview looks about 70% negative on her performance. I thought it was a disaster myself. Palin revealed herself, and it will only get worse during the debates. She could not have chosen a worse person to debate than Biden. The territory is unfamiliar to her. Though she is clearly adept at avoiding questions, she was totally over-rehearsed and terrified of actually going into detail.
3.) Obama is now running against Palin- and Palin is revealing herself to be a relative know nothing about world affairs. When the vp nomination is attracting huge crowds that the presidential nominee cannot, something will eventually give. I had no idea until I saw the Gibson interview how she would turn out. But she has proved herself to be just as staggeringly inappropriate for this office at this point in history as I suspected. What with being involved in two wars, tension with Pakistan to drop out of the war on terror (due to our over the border raids), and escalating reminiscences of the cold war stand off with Russia, the desperate irresponsibility of McCain to bring along an inexperienced woman who will attract one issue abortion voters, rapture ready anti-intellectuals, and sexist women who want a vagina in power never mind her politics, is transparent even to his supporters.
4.) McCain is lying- and the press is doing its job to reveal it. It amazes me every election year that the candidate the "biblical values" voters select is by far the most value-less perpetrator of slimy campaign tactics in the race. McCain's outright lies are being called for what they are. It might not phase those who think believing in Jesus is more important than actually having morals, but the independent voters who won't make up their mind until the end are affected. A question was asked on a public forum, can you give me an example where Obama has lied? Nothing. I guess try as they might, they couldn't come up with one. Sure he isn't perfectly clear about everything, but he has never outright lied. And not repeatedly like McCain has.
5.) There is a growing sentiment in the press that Sarah Palin is totally inappropriate for the job. I have seen several major articles this morning addressing this theme. Despite the right wing media's attempts to vouch for her in every way possible and paint her as a poor victim of media assault, the wool can't be pulled that tight for that long. Her next interview is with Sean Hannity- a man who insists that the economy is going strong, and anyone who disagrees is an effete liberal elite that hates America. Hannity- a man who sits around and concocts known lies all day long, stretching the credulity of human imagination. A man whose death I would greet with the same glee I experienced when Falwell died. I can guarantee that Palin has already been given a script of his questions to study. This will be mostly a Jesus values interview, and Sean may help her answer the questions.
6.) Obama is impressive as hell on his toes- He will carry the day in the debates. There won't be any greater challenge than the one he had on Oreilly, and he has a good chance of being like that long distance runner who breaks free and wins easily in the last lap. On the other hand, Palin is a ticking time bomb. I cannot picture her outdoing anyone. The best she can do is tread water. She has clearly been coached to focus on the same small town issues of Jesus and family that the social conservatives want to hear, but everyone else wants to hear more. She won't be able to hide out in this territory forever, and look out when she is forced to swim with the sharks. If Palin is to be the heart of the McCain campaign, it is extremely vulnerable.
WILD CARD- As I began, never underestimate the power of the social conservatives. They put Bush in the white house twice, they know how to rally, they know how to win elections. they turn the other cheek and bury their heads in the sand when their own candidates lie. They will vote with their heart, not with their head. These people truly believe that god will bless America if the president is right with the LORD. All other issues are meaningless in comparison. These sorts of people feel that competence is a form of disrespect to the common man, that knowing what you are talking about means that you are looking down your nose at others. To these people, it is always heads republicans win and tales Democrats lose. If you are quick on your toes, it means you are arrogant. If you trip and stumble it means you are weak. If you love Jesus, then you are always the right one for the job. Thus the Palin phenomenon.
Obama has a better chance to win than Kerry or Gore. And if the Democrats don't win this election, they may never be able to win until Christianity goes away, or until the states shaped like squares secede from the Union.