Thursday, October 2, 2008

Klein: Obama's temperament superior!

Joe Klein contrasts the temperaments of the two candidates. His conclusion: Obama has shown steely resolve, and McCain is hotheaded and impulsive. Surprise! Still, his article here is well worth reading.

One of the most bizarre things about this cycle has been the meltdown of John McCain's relations with the press (e.g. Klein), which he used to call his base. But maintaining relationships with people who are, definitionally, high information types was incompatible with running the Rove-on-steroids plan that Steve Schmidt cooked up--a plan that created a campaign predicated on deceit: McCain will, for example, deny he's said things on the public record; he will talk out of both sides of his mouth; and he will do whatever he can to distract the public from the issues or his running mate's obvious inadequacies. Plus, there are all the flip flops. Informed people scoffed at all this, but McCain shrugged it off, saying that Obama rejected his town hall debates offer and then actually claimed that the media was biased against McCain himself! An incredible statement, considering that the media was largely responsible for his prestige and popularity, that he received more favorable press coverage than any other politician, that they still took him seriously after his campaign imploded as a result of immigration and they were largely responsible for McCain's being able to win New Hampshire, which turned his campaign around.

One wonders if the Obama campaign could use this to its advantage: that high-profile media elites who follow this stuff for a living have been turning their backs on McCain. That message might not exactly resonate with Middle America--poor fussy elites, right?--but the fact still remains that one of McCain's core groups of support has largely turned against him (Tom Brokaw excepted), and that McCain's reaction to this wasn't to take stock of this pretty significant development but rather to play the predictable "the press hates me" card that conservatives always play. And McCain, win or lose, will never have those relationships again. He's destroyed his reputation for nothing. Congrats, Senator Dumbass.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.