When the histories of the 2008 presidential race are written, last week may be seen as the turning point.
No, the polls won’t show it yet. They may look more like 1980, which was a dead heat between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter until everything broke Reagan’s way the final weekend.
Then, as now, voters held back because they weren’t sure the challenger was up to being President.
Plus, this year there is the factor of race. Voters want change, but they aren’t sure how much change.
I think Obama reached critical mass last week as a potential President. But I’m not prepared to print Inaugural tickets yet. Because last week could turn the wrong way.
Americans might have seen Obama being adored overseas and thought: Hold on a minute. I’m not sure I want a President who is so beloved by the Germans and the French and the Arabs.
McCain and his campaign might have seized an opportunity – if they focused more on what voters were thinking and less on what reporters were saying.
McCain might have planted himself in gas stations, at grocery stores and around kitchen tables. He might have hammered at a simple message: While Obama is taking victory laps overseas, I’m taking to heart how average Americans are hurting. And I’ve got a plan to do something about it.
McCain’s lobbyist-heavy campaign lacks that agility.
So I’m 80 percent sure the campaign turned Obama’s way. But there is still that nagging 20 percent.
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