August 7, 2008

FROM BOARDING A WAVE TO BORED OF THE WAVE:

I'm so bored with O-B-A-M-A: It's not always a good thing to dominate the news cycle. Is "Obama Fatigue" for real, and is it a danger to the candidate? (Walter Shapiro, Aug. 07, 2008, Salon)

"I was stunned by the numbers, since I didn't expect that we'd get that kind of gap," Andrew Kohut, the director of the Pew Research Center, said in an interview. Kohut, a respected pollster who rarely traffics in hyperbole, added, "I would have taken it far less seriously if we didn't get the exact opposite result with the McCain question." More voters (38 percent) complain that they have been hearing "too little" about John McCain than "too much" (26 percent). [...]

[T]here may be a surfboard analogy here as well -- no one can ride a wave forever. Obama has bestrode the news cycle like a Colossus since he entered the presidential race a year and a half ago. Whenever he hit low points like the Rev. Jeremiah Wright debacle, Obama's instinctive response was to deliver a stirring speech. In Berlin last month, Obama spoke to a crowd far larger than McCain could attract even as a sitting president. But while an earlier Pew survey found that the Berlin speech was followed by an impressive 62 percent of the voters, only 15 percent of the electorate said that they had learned "a great deal" about Obama's foreign policy views.

There may be a political downside to Obama's charisma that has nothing to do with snarky McCain TV spots linking him to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. The issue is not foreign-policy experience, since by any objective standard Obama has made fewer slip-ups during the campaign than McCain. But there comes in politics a moment where what was once exhilarating (a presidential nominee who is the hopeful embodiment of 21st century America) becomes predictable and commonplace.

In the next month, Obama will have twin opportunities to restore a sense of surprise and wonder to his campaign. A pedestrian vice-presidential rollout (especially if it is a make-no-waves selection like Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh) and an eloquent-but-empty convention speech could signal trouble.


We kid you not, just a week ago there were pundits and politicos who truly believed that saturation coverage by an adoring media and being a celebrity were advantages for the Unicorn Rider. You could look it up.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 7, 2008 9:02 AM

"by any objective standard Obama has made fewer slip-ups than McCain"

Nonsense. McCain has his slips of the tongue frothed up by everyone, while Obama utters lies and fabrications, and then the media takes the time to try and paper them over.

Axelrod is going to have to give Obama valium before each debate, because nobody can paper over such preening arrogance, and his lines of BS won't be buried on page 10 once he says it on national TV.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 7, 2008 11:05 AM

It's always interesting to watch a political campaign go through the 5 phases of death. By my reckoning the Obama swarm have hit the third in about one week.

Posted by: pjbbuzz [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 7, 2008 2:22 PM
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