Larry Kudlow

There's no Obama-Biden bounce, according to the latest tracking polls. In fact, as of Wednesday morning, Scott Rasmussen reports a 47-46 one-point lead for John McCain. Gallup has the race even and indicates that conservative Democrats -- including married women -- are peeling away from Obama-Biden.

Has a McCain bounce occurred during the Democratic convention? It's not out of the question.

Sen. Hillary Clinton gave a strong speech Tuesday night, at one point invoking a powerful Reaganesque sense of American optimism and confidence. Good for her. But the early morning line Wednesday didn't show any bump for Barack Obama, despite Hillary's endorsement. Her husband, meanwhile, has virtually endorsed McCain. And he indicated he'd be leaving town following his speech Wednesday night.

But there's more to this Obama-Biden-bounce deficit than the Clinton cold shoulder. Another Gallup poll says 50 percent of Americans expect their taxes to be raised under Obama. And make no mistake about it: There are many doubts about the Illinois senator regarding his experience, his foreign policy, his economics, and his prior political and spiritual relationships. Despite some good moments Monday night, Michelle Obama didn't erase these doubts. In the end, only her husband can do it. And only Obama can unite the badly split Democrats at this late date.

Ronald Reagan united a split GOP in 1980. George W. Bush united the McCain, Malcolm Forbes and cultural-conservative factions in 2000. Barry Goldwater couldn't do it in '64. Nor could Hubert Humphrey in '68, Gerald Ford in '76 or Jimmy Carter in '80. But Bill Clinton succeeded in '92, and now it's Obama's task in '08. That's his job. No one can do it for him.

While the stock market looked warily on the Democratic National Convention this week, a lead story in The Wall Street Journal offered a serious indictment of Obama's economic program. "Sen. Obama," wrote the authors, "is proposing to use the government to remake economic policies in a way that hasn't been seen in Washington in decades." And if it's a three-house Dem sweep in November, it will be Katy bar the door. Big-government spending programs, tax increases, trade restraints, a government health-care plan, cap-and-trade on climate change -- all without any real deficit restraints, which are accorded a low priority by Team Obama.

Incidentally, while the public clamors for drill, drill, drill, Obama wants high-cost, cap-and-trade carbon regulation enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency. Now, McCain also wants cap-and-trade, but not if India and China don't go along. Apparently, Obama will not be constrained by the rest of the world.


Larry Kudlow

Lawrence Kudlow is host of CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report,” which airs nightly from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.


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