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GOP blubber tactics

Rocky LXXII
Almost Over

Almost, but unfortunately not yet over. Never count out America's capacity to fondly re-fondle its supremacist fixation. In the final 72 hours of this mudslide of a campaign, here’s what appears to be McPalin’s plan. They’re behind by the sort of national margins that project a landslide (just expanded to 8 or 9 points in the Gallup poll, 4 in Rasmussen, 8 in Washington Post/ABC, and 10 in the New York Times/CBS News poll), They’re behind in all battleground states except Missouri, where they’re tied. They’ve already lost New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. But they claim the race is “tightening.”

 

That’s their new storyline: Not the economy, not Joe the Plumber, not national security, not Bill Ayres or Jeremiah Wright or Rashid Khalidi (who will all be making cameos, of course), but the new fiction of the day: The tightening race and “the greatest comeback” story, as Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, is putting it. The way it works is simple. They invent the story that their internal polling is showing a “dead even” race in Iowa (where, in fact, the average margin of polls gives Obama a double-digit lead, and where he delivered a moving tribute to Iowans today) and almost even in Pennsylvania (almost double-digit average for Obama). They peddle the story to the major media.

The major media, who are dying for some suspense and drama, eat it up and do exactly as the McPalin campaign wants them to do: they plaster the storyline all over their front pages, as The NYTimes, the Post, the LATimes have done. Doing so, they hope to erase the latest downpour of news contradicting the central theme of their campaign—the GDP going negative, Joe the Showman standing up McCain, Palin’s queen-act-drag on the ticket—and finally dominate the day in news. They also manufacture a bit of news out of the allegation that they’ll outspend the Obama campaign by $10 million in the final days, all of which is designed to play into voters’ soft spot for the underdog, the comeback, the old white guy rearing back to slug the big slick black guy. Remember Rocky, anyone?

This is the stuff of political theater gone so absurd that almost begins to be admirable until you realize that it may just work. If people start buying the lie that the polls are tightening, they’ll make themselves believe that there’s reason to doubt Obama’s qualities, if others are suddenly doubting them, and you have the making of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Tuesday can’t come soon enough.

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