Falling into a trap
A Sept. 8 Gallup poll had John McCain ahead of Barack Obama “by an astonishing 10 points among likely voters,” Kirsten Powers writes in the New York Post.
“A Washington Post poll had that lead at only two points, but clearly showed a McCain surge — especially among women. This wasn’t what Democrats were expecting when they left Denver — yet they have nobody to blame but themselves,” the columnist said.
“Obama’s toughest challenge has always been to connect with working-class swing voters. So attacking the poster child for small-town values, Sarah Palin, was a bad strategy.
“No, Obama didn’t engage in the mass sneering at Palin — but he did fall into the trap of disrespecting her. When McCain chose her, the Obama campaign’s first response was to ridicule the size of her town. Then the candidate himself began referring to her as a ‘former mayor’ when she is in fact a sitting governor.
“When she retaliated (justifiably) by mocking his stint as a community organizer, the Obama camp was clearly rattled. Obama himself actually began arguing about the importance of community organizing. His supporters amplified this cry — claiming Palin’s attack was a racist slur and passing around e-mails titled ‘Jesus was a community organizer; Pontius Pilate was a governor.’
“Meanwhile, the rest of the country was probably wondering what being a community organizer has to do with being president.”