Liberals dismiss the fawning saturation media coverage of Obama by saying the media gave the same coverage to McCain — in 2000. But that year McCain was the media’s favorite Republican “maverick,” who happened to oppose the dread conservative George Bush. There were hints McCain might be even a closet Democrat — even a liberal. Once McCain made clear his own conservatism, the media dropped him liked yesterday’s donuts.
Obama struts and preens on the foreign stage, his handlers having wangled for him a speech at Germany’s Brandenburg Gate: After all, it’s what Kennedyesque, Reaganesque, presidents do. The media let him present as the moderate he manifestly is not, knowing his attainment of the White House depends on clouding over his leftism. (Watch closely as, from the Middle East, he deals with Israel and — perhaps the electoral issue more important than any other — Iran.)
Yet during this hour when candidates customarily clarify themselves in the public mind, Obama risks becoming an enigma — The Man Nobody Knows. As columnist David Broder notes, “Voters don’t elect enigmas to the Oval Office.”
So we might have reached a major transitional moment. Last summer, with the Petraeus surge so broadly disparaged by Obama and leftist Democrats, the Iraq war began to turn. This summer, with media types drooling all over an Obama demonstrating no inclination to grow toward the maturity that derives from admission of past mistakes, an exasperated, had-it-up-to-here electorate may begin to turn toward McCain.
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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