Not so inevitable
“While Democrats have been salivating for more than a year about making the ’08 race a referendum on outgoing Bush and the war in Iraq, McCain’s campaign has succeeded in making the election as much about Obama. And the Republican has brilliantly turned Obama’s celebrity status, big crowds and media infatuation into a synonym for shallowness,” Stuart Rothenberg writes in Roll Call.
“A four-day lovefest in Denver is likely to energize Democrats attending the event and the millions of others who will follow it through the media, convincing all that a Democratic victory is nearly inevitable. That’s what happened in Los Angeles in 2000 and four years later in Boston, when first Al Gore and then Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) accepted their party’s nominations,” Mr. Rothenberg said.
“Given that, it’s very unlikely that even a single Democratic delegate will leave Denver on [Aug. 29] believing that Obama will lose. But the more important question is whether two months from now Democrats will be so certain of victory, or whether they will start to wonder if they selected a nominee who made them feel good about themselves but lacked one or two of the basic qualities that voters are looking for in a commander in chief.
“For many undecided American voters, the question is likely to be a simple one: Do they feel comfortable with Obama sitting in the Oval Office, making decisions that will affect people’s lives, including the nation’s security?
“Only a few months ago, it was Clinton’s campaign raising questions about Obama’s readiness for the presidency. McCain has picked up that message and delivered it repeatedly and with considerable effectiveness. The Illinois Democrat needs to address that problem quickly, and he’ll need more than soaring rhetoric about change and unity to be successful.”