The more Obama has to explain why being a community organizer - or a state legislator, or a one-term senator with few accomplishments under his belt - is better preparation for the presidency than being a mayor or governor, the more he volunteers his own shortcomings when compared with McCain.
Besides, on paper, Obama doesn't stand up very well against Palin. All of the mythic themes of Obama's political narrative - the ethics reformer, the bipartisan, the new kind of politician - look like press-release material next to Palin's accomplishments. Obama voted the Democratic Party line more often (97 percent) than McCain voted in accord with President Bush (90 percent). In Washington, Obama's supposedly "sweeping" ethics reform - which forces congressmen to eat lobbyist-provided meals standing up instead of sitting down - and his feckless reforms in Illinois make him look the Bambi to Palin's Godzilla.
Obama's idea of ethics reform is to mandate clean sheets in the brothel. Palin's is to tear it down.
The most unsportsmanlike conduct in the days to come will be the search for Palin gaffes, of which there undoubtedly will be many. The media will call fouls on her that they never call on the other candidates. Over the last week, Obama misspoke and referred to his "Muslim faith" on ABC's "This Week" and told a rally how excited he was to be in "New Pennsylvania." Perhaps that's one of the 57 states he once claimed to campaign in?
And let's not forget Biden, whose gaffes are the unavoidable byproduct of his limitless gasbaggery. Biden could shout on "Meet the Press," "Get these squirrels off of me!" and the collective response would be, "There goes Joe again." But if Palin flubs the name of the deputy agriculture minister of Kyrgyzstan, the media will blow their whistles saying she's unprepared for the job.
Fair or not, that's how it works in the pros. But so far, it still looks as if the MVP title is hers to lose.
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