I Hate To Tell You I Told You So

But for all the worrying, well, I told you so.

As Chris Bowers aptly points out, momentum is shifting back in Obama’s direction.  This apparent momentum shift, according to Bowers, can be attributable to four principal points:

  1. Palinmania is giving in to Palin-fatigue
  2. It turns out that McCain’s surge in the polls was actually a bounce after all.  Gee, who’da thunk it?
  3. The recent developments in the economy put the ball firmly in Obama’s court
  4. As McCain is coming under the restrictions of his acceptance of public financing, he’s being forced to limit the amount of money he can directly spend on his campaign.

There are a few other things that I think I would like to mention.  The first is that the narrative of McCain as a serial liar is just now beginning to take hold, with this morning’s news that McCain invented the Blackberry, cell phones, and wi-fi sure to only inflict more damage on top of what’s already done.

Complicit in this growing narrative is the fact that the media continues to grow increasingly disenchanted with the man they once lauded as a “Maverick.”  These two points alone I don’t think should be underestimated.

As for the whole thing about this just being a bounce, I’m pretty sure I told you so… several times in fact.  McCain got a bounce, and because his convention came directly after Obama’s convention, he enjoyed a double benefit of ending Obama’s bounce prematurely while at the same time having his own bounce prolonged as a result of no significant political events taking place to change the direction of the campaign.

What we have seen in the past week or so, however, has been a miniature collapse of the foundation upon which the McCain campaign built itself on.  McCain’s prominence on his own merits relied upon his status as a Maverick and a straight-talker.  This brand has been significantly challenged, and it will continue to be challenged in the coming weeks.  The other major portion of his foundation has been the surge of popularity and interest generated by Sarah Palin.

The interesting thing about Palin, at least to me, is that I don’t think it’s possible to lower expectations enough for her; something that the media and the liberal blogosphere have inadvertantly done in the opening days of her selection.  The principle isn’t the same as, say, when a politician intentionally lowers expectations for a debate.

When this occurs, there’s already been something of a previous introduction.  People already have some sort of idea on how they feel about the candidate in question, but their impressions prior to a debate can be maleable to a degree.

By contrast, Palin was a complete and total blank slate, meaning that even the bare minimum amount of information regarding who she is and how she may govern were lacking.  This may seem as though this would be the ideal setting in which to lower expectations, however, and I’m only hypothesizing at this point, the utter lack of knowledge regarding the candidate may result in an increased level of scrutiny that would inoculate voters from the practice of expectation setting.

Thus, what happens is that people will immediately develop a first impression of the candidate, as is human nature, however, they are far more open to having that first impression changed based upon their observations of the candidate in action.

I’ll go further on this in a following post, but suffice it to say that I continue to think we are in a perfect storm to see this election flipped on its head as a result of: recent economic developments, a harsher tone employed by the Obama campaign, the build up of the McCain is a liar narrative, and the fall of Sarah Palin.  It will still be a few days for the nationals to fully record this, and the electoral count could take a week or more to catch up, but barring new revelations that could counter the shift in voter opinion, I think we’re going to see Obama firmly back on top come Friday.

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