Sunday, September 21, 2008

The wheels come off the Straight Talk Express.

It's so nice to see the figures at finally reflect the kind of outcome which the world is waiting for.

I took great faith over the past couple of months in the fact that they were always predicting an Obama victory even as other pollsters spoke of how close the race was. It was therefore a great worry when, in recent weeks, even 538 started to indicate a victory for McCain.

However, it's fair to say that a lot of McCain's bounce came from his decision to choose Palin as his VP and, as expected, her star has started to dim as people, and especially women, learn of just how extreme her views actually are.

But this morning's Observer carries a story which indicates that the wheel's are really starting to come off McCain's Straight Talk Express. (Doesn't that name now ring as the most hollow gag ever?)

The opening was superbly choreographed. To the sound of thundering rock music blaring from speakers, several thousand people watched as John McCain's campaign plane swooped out of the sparkling blue Iowa skies.

The plane taxied to a halt only 100 metres away from the crowd gathered at an airport outside the city of Cedar Rapids. They cheered wildly as McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, descended from the aircraft and trooped through the throng, smiling and shaking hands.

Then things started to go wrong. 'Thank you so much, Iowa. It's great to be here in Grand Rapids,' Palin said as she took the stage, naming a completely different city in the far-off state of Michigan. 'CEDAR Rapids!' came shouts from the crowd. Palin ignored her gaffe and ploughed on with a speech that was quickly interrupted by anti-war protesters. For several minutes the hangar was filled with shouts and chants, drowning out the Alaska governor's words. Then McCain took the stage, and the same thing happened to him, forcing him off his script to address an unruly scrimmage as security hauled out the shouting demonstrators. 'The one thing Americans want us to do is stop yelling at each other,' McCain said in exasperation.

Now this could simply be the reporter at the Observer kicking the pair of them as they go down, but one nevertheless gets this distinct feeling that McCain's campaign is becoming is gaffe ridden.

His "the economy is fundamentally strong" comment started the rot, especially as his defence of this comment, "I was talking about the American worker", was such a blatant lie that it was impossible to take his claim remotely seriously.

And this comment came at the precise moment that the press were finally finding the courage to say what many of us on the blogs had been shouting for weeks, that McCain's campaign was telling repeated and discredited lies, and it was telling them even after it had been pointed out to them that what they were saying was false.

The campaign was behaving in a way which was unique in electoral politics. It was continuously lying and it knew it was lying.

The combination of McCain's stupid comments regarding the economy and the press finally pointing out that what he was saying was actually untruthful produced a perfect political tsunami, and it is that tsunami which has resulted in the figures shown in's chart.

But McCain still has fight in him and this thing is not over yet. There is one thing though that I wish journalists would point out next. I have a problem when McCain says things like this:
'Right now you are hurting and it is not your fault,' he told the crowd of several thousand packed into an aircraft hangar. 'It started at the top. It started in Washington. It started on Wall Street and we are going to fix it.'
McCain talks as if Washington is something which is he is somehow separate from. He talks as if he has not been a champion of the very deregulation which led to this mess. Indeed, he talks as if his party has not been in power for the last eight years. Someone needs to point out that McCain appears to be running against the Republican party itself whilst, simultaneously, running on the Republican ticket.

He really is saying, "Don't drive that old blue car, buy this old blue car instead."

Someone really needs to point this out. Because, of all of the lies which McCain has told during this campaign - and there have been many - this is actually the biggest lie of them all.

Click title for full article.

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