As most people here are probably aware, The McCain campaign has now decided that with Obama’s lead ballooning ever more in the polls and McCain, getting no traction from either his fake campaign supension or from Palin anymore,* has decided to “take the gloves off” and go after Obama on personal character.
Palin is out there accusing Obama of “Palling around with terrorists”.
The McCain campaign is tacitly admitting that this is a desperation move, motivated by the fact that McCain is losing miserably on the economic crisis. From the WaPo article:
There aren’t any new revelations in any of this. McCain is just going to the same dry well of Ayers and Rezko, but his campaign is telegraphing that it will go hard to the hole with the personal attacks basically as a last ditch effort to try to drive up Obama’s negatives in some battleground states.
Will it work? I have my doubts. For one thing (like I said) there isn’t anything new here. People already know about Ayers and Rezko and Wright and already decided to what degree they care about them. Kicking the same dead horse is not likely to make any more difference at this point. There’s also the fact that the economy is still in desperate straits even after the bailout. The Dow is falling again today with no end in sight. People are losing money by the shoveful, and I don’t think they want to hear yet again about how Obama served on a couple of charity boards with a college prof who used to be a 60’s radical. They’re more concerned with watching their portfolios and retirement funds evaporate (I’ve lost 25% of my own IRA this year. I can imagine how distressing that would be to someone who’s close to retirement).
I suppose McCain could try to regain some ground in the polls by attemptng to make an argument that his recovery plan would be better than Obama’s, but by climbing aboard the swift boat, he’s giving an impression that he isn’t even paying attention to the economic crisis or that he doesn’t think it’s important.
So what kind of net effect will this strategy have? Will it backfire? Will McCain try to go personal at the debate tomorrow night? I would think he’d want to be careful with that. He lost the last debate because people thought he came off like an asshole in his demeanor towards Obama. If he starts in with “pallin’ around with terrorists” while people want to hear about how and when their IRA’s are going to go back up, I think he could screw himself even worse.
On the other hand, I’m enough of a pessimist to believe that an all out sleaze attack could work. It wouldn’t be the first time. How much should I worry?
*The VP debate did not stop the slide. Despite the giddiness of McCain supporters and Fox News’ all night party after the debate, all the polls showed Biden as the winner by a comfortable margin, Obama has slightly widened his lead since the day of the debate and Tina Fey still wrecked her on SNL.