Ballot Box

A guide to the best political buzz from around the web

It's one week until the election and political observers continue to pen McCain's obit. Can the maverick turn this one around? It looks as though he may have run out of miracles. Today's buzz:

  • McCain's message to Americans is that they should be afraid of Obama because of high taxes, terror threats and unchecked liberalism -- and it's not working, wrote John Dickerson in Slate. Take-away: "One reason his attacks are not effective is that Obama's remarks are simply not very subversive."
  • McCain has significant diminished his chances of winning by not grasping that voters want substance, wrote Bob Herbert in the NYT.  Take-away: "John McCain didn't get it. He seemed as baffled by the new politics as an Al Jolson aficionado trying to make sense of the Beatles."
  • The free pass pundits gave Sarah Palin because they found her ideologically sound is not just regrettable, it's embarrassing, wrote Richard Cohen in the WaPo. Take-away: "Palin is a down-the-line rightie, so her inexperience, her lack of interest in foreign affairs, her numbing provincialism and her girls for fabrication (Can we go over that 'bridge to nowhere' routine again?) do not trouble her ideological handlers."
  • McCain's problems are not technical -- they are institutional, wrote Anne Applebaum in the WaPo. Take-away: "It's not his  campaign, disjointed though that has been, that finally repulses me: It's his rapidly deteriorating, increasingly anti-intellectual, no longer even recognizably conservative Republican Party."
  • McCain, venerated leader he is, was not suited to run a presidential campaign and should be to blame for its failure, wrote Rich Lowry in the National Review online. Take-away: "Now, his general-election campaign is rife with former Bush staffers leaking to the press to save their post-McCain campaign reputations. Ah, the agony of the gadfly."
  • Palin has been pushing back against the GOP lately and it has some wondering what she will do with her political future, wrote Mike Madden in Salon. Take-away: "The Republican base still loves Palin, and if the media and the polls try to tell them other people disagree, well, that just makes them love her more."
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