Sunday, October 05, 2008

Palling Around

When I was a young teacher I commuted fifty miles or so to take some graduate classes. I shared the ride with three others. One was a brilliant but off-beat fellow who professed to admire Mao and to believe Communism the best form of government. I remember attending a political event for a fellow teacher who was running for state senator. That guy was there. I also attended a wonderful dinner he and his wife hosted at their house. I played chess with him a time or two.

I have served on the boards of several charity or comminity organizations. I know of several once active members of the John Birch Society - remember I am a former constituent of Congressman Larry McDonald - who have served with me on those boards. Some have attended events at my home.

I regularly hug and express admiration and love for some people who still support George Bush. One of the people I admire most in this world is the national spokesperson for a very conservative political group. Several people I regularly associate with write far right blogs.

Perhaps knowing these people of such diverse views has helped me a little in clarifying my own. I certainly don't share their beliefs however and their views have no real relationship to my abilities, my beliefs, or my political aims.

Barack Obama taught with, served on a charity board with, attended political meetings with, and was acquainted with, a man who was an extrenist many year ago. John McCain has expressed admiration for, and appeared on the radio show of, a man who brags about planning a murder (He did not carry it out.) and who served prison time for participating in the Watergate break-in. Sarah Palin has had a close relationship with Alaskan separatists.

My opposition to Sarah Palin and John McCain is not based on their acquaintances. My support of Barack Obama is not based his acquaintances.

A majority of voters, accouding to Gallup, Rasmussen, ABC, CBS, and other pollsters, currently support Obama. The majority agrees with the proposals of Barack Obama. The only way for McCain to win at this point is to somehow convince a portion of his opponent's current supporters that, however much they agree with him, Obama is not the person they think he is. In other words McCain must drag Obama's reputation down.

This is from the Rasmussen polling site:
Forty-five percent (45%) of voters say they are certain they will vote for Obama and will not change their mind. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say the same about McCain. Thirteen percent (13%) currently have a preference for one of the candidates but might change their mind. Four percent (4%) are either undecided or plan to vote for a third-party candidate.
One way of understanding the difficult challenge now facing McCain is to consider the relatively small group of persuadable voters who could still change their mind. The Republican hopeful would have to win nearly 80% of those votes to pull ahead in the race. That’s especially challenging because most of those voters are currently leaning towards Obama. In other words, while the race is not over, McCain needs a significant--game-changing—event to win the White House. Simply doing what he’s been doing a little better will not be enough.

McCain knows this. He is now running almost exclusively negative ads. As the "Road to 270" gets harder for McCain, he will react by making ever wilder accusations, hoping to stumble upon something "game-changing".

We are in for a rough few weeks.

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