What? Me Worry?

I’m not sure about this Obama infomercial last night.

I liked the idea going in — staying on the offensive, presenting your vision, uninterrupted.

Of course, it’s given McCain a perfect opportunity to remind people that Obama went back on his pledge to accept public financing. The front page headline in the Akron Beacon Journal this morning was “Obama Floods Airwaves; McCain mocks half-hour ad he says was paid for with ‘broken promises.'”

I liked the idea of cutting away to the live event at the end of the ad. It injected some excitement. Some sense of the real. And it happened in South Florida. But, as Howard Kurtz writes in the Washington Post’s Media Notes:

The idea of moving from the safety of a videotape to a live event was inspired. But doing it in a cheering Florida stadium with Obama going to the overblown rhetoric and vowing to “change the world,” not so much. The whole idea of the show was to bring Obama down from the clouds and into the street. The big rally came close to canceling out the man-of-the-people image so carefully constructed in the previous 27 minutes.

Moreover, log on to your Yahoo! email account today, and you are greeted with this AP headline: “What Obama’s ad left out.” The AP article begins:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was less than upfront in his half-hour commercial Wednesday night about the costs of his programs and the crushing budget pressures he would face in office.

Obama’s assertion that “I’ve offered spending cuts above and beyond” the expense of his promises is accepted only by his partisans. His vow to save money by “eliminating programs that don’t work” masks his failure throughout the campaign to specify what those programs are — beyond the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

And the thing is — unlike so much of what McCain-Palin has launched at Obama this cycle — in my view, all of this is fair game. Obama invited this critical look at his policies. For 24 hours, he’s turned himself into a bull’s eye. The press would be remiss for not writing articles like the one above.

You know how sometimes, a running back tries to get a few extra yards, late in the game, and, instead of going down on the first hit, pushes forward, grinding, trying to slough off a tackler … only to fumble, and fumble the game away?

I have a sinking feeling this morning. Now, it’s true, I always have a sinking feeling. So it’s nothing new.

But this, quoted in Kurtz’s column, makes me utterly queasy:

Is the race tightening? Well, maybe, says the New Republic’s Noam Scheiber:

“Obama’s lead in the national tracking polls looks to be around five points (I get 5.5 when I average all six of the trackers I mentioned, along with the Hotline and Battleground trackers, which haven’t changed much in the last few days). If that drops two-to-three points, as it easily could in a week, I don’t think it’s crazy to think McCain will have a shot at winning Pennsylvania, Virginia, and/or Colorado. Unlikely, yes, but not crazy. According to sites like Real Clear and Pollster.com, Obama’s lead in those states is currently larger than his 5.5 point national lead (significantly so in Pennsylvania). But, as I argued last week, the relationship between battleground-state numbers and national numbers can change significantly as we approach the finish, and those state averages you see could easily be a week out of date.

“My immediate concern is twofold: That McCain is getting some traction with his liberal/socialist/redistributionist charge–the WaPo tracker shows McCain narrowing the gap on the economy over the last week–and, in light of this, that Obama is striking his high-note a few days too early.”

I take comfort in knowing I’m far from the only neurotic Dem out there. But, with five days to go, it’s cold comfort, indeed.


8 Responses to “What? Me Worry?”

  1. Loyal says:

    Neurotic Democrat, it is fine to worry. get queasy Vomit if you need to. But we shall win, we shall prevail, and before you go to bed, Obabma will have been elected President. the only thing that can change that is outright major fraud widespread and in the new battlegroound states and in PA (where the govna is blue).

    Obama does not have to win Ohio or Florida and that is the genius of his campaign.

    This from the person who knew how to count votes and told you in the face of network declarations fro Bush that the votes were not there to call it. It would take something massive and not this piddling quibling to change the electoral map.


  2. Loyal says:

    The consensus at Politico’s arena http://www.politico.com/arena/ seems to be positive.

    I thought it was great.

  3. Loyal says:

    And from the always insightful digby at Hullabaloo.:

    Top Dogs

    by digby

    If you had a chance to see the infomercial and then the Midnight Rally with Obama and Bill Clinton, then you saw what Democrats look like when they’re winning. It’s been a while since anyone but conservatives have been in this position and it’s nice to see. They are firing on all cylinders right now, making the case with style, looking very confident.

    I’m always hesitant to allow myself to get too excited, but tonight I felt that glow of anticipation when you start to believe the bad guys might really be vanquished and better days might be ahead. It’s heady stuff.

  4. Loyal says:

    And Mitchell Bard at HuffyPo is a neurotic democrat. (From 10/28).


  5. Neurotic Dem says:

    Loyal —
    Love your optimism — and the dose of reality. But then you had to go and send us to that Mitchell Bard story?
    As for the Politico round-up, I take heart in two responses. Dan Schnur points out that to some degree, this isn’t about undecided voters. I hadn’t considered that. Here’s the nut:
    “The real value here is the tremendous motivating effect it had on Obama’s supporters. He’s been warning them for several days to guard against overconfidence: this was a well-timed impetus to keep them going at full speed. The program’s other impact may have been to discourage many McCain supporters. It’s difficult enough to stay inspired in the steady stream of discouraging pol numbers and news stories: watching the opposition overwhelm the airwaves in this fashion could be extremely demorializing.”
    Also, Ross Baker, my former political science professor at Rutgers. (He forever has a place in my heart. One time, after I overslept for his final exam, hauled ass to Scott Hall, slipped and fell in a huge puddle on final approach, and walked down the center aisle dripping wet with mud on my face in front of about 500 test-taking students — he exclaimed, “Good god, man, what happened to you?” And then he let me take the exam, anyway.) Ross, who knows his stuff, had this to say about the ad:
    “The most effective–and affecting–political spot since Charles Guggenheim’s in the 1960s.”

  6. Loyal says:

    Love the Ross Baker story. I wondered if you’s comment on him. He taught the first college course I had ever taken — Intro to Poli Sci, as a senior in HS.

  7. Neurotic Dem says:

    Had no idea you had Ross, too! So cool!

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