Barack Obama, once the darling can do no wrong presidential candidate of the media, seems to be on a slippery downward slope since his highly publicized foreign tour to the Mid East, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Europe.
“Barack Obama has long been his party’s presumptive nominee. Now he’s becoming its presumptuous nominee,” wrote Dana Milbank, a columnist for the Washington Post.
“As he marches towards Inauguration Day (Election Day is but a milestone on that path) Obama’s biggest challenger may not be Republican John McCain but his own hubris.”
Obama and his campaign staff are now being charged by media members of being less transparent than the highly secretive Bush Whitehouse staff. While it is normal in a close race for the front runner to fade a bit with several months to go before the general election it is a danger to Obama to lose the support of the media at a critical time when he needs them the most.
Obama’s failure to gain ground on McCain with all of the publicity he received on his tour of the Mid East and Europe is a danger sign and does not bode well for him in coming months. Many voters seems to have been turned off with what they took as a display of arrogance. In addition, his presumptuousness in having meetings usually reserved for a head of state, like meeting with the prime minster of Pakistan upon his return to Washington, did not sit well with many voters, especially the independent voters that he must do well with to win the election.
While it is normal for a campaign to change tactics in the transition from a primary to a general election campaign Obama may have made a fatal flaw in dropping the “change you can believe in” theme that carried Obama to victory in the primary. Voters want change. What they do not want is a man whose actions seem to be those of one who thinks he has already won the election. Voters want to be courted and hugged and kissed a few times, not taken for granted.
If Obama does not make a quick correction to this perception that he is acting like a man who has the election all wrapped up the blow back may well cause him to lose the big prize to a terrible candidate, one Senator John McCain. McCain is boring, a rather stupid opportunist who can’t keep his facts straight, out of touch with reality, seems ready to say and do anything to win, and just plain old. Just what a nation in crisis needs, right?
If Obama should lose the 2008 presidential election the only honorable thing for him to do would be to immediately schedule a press conference and commit suicide in front of the TV cameras. At least that act would be a winner on YouTube. It would be a small step for him to take as Obama and his campaign staff, after winning a hard and smartly fought primary campaign, have already chosen a path of what could quickly become political suicide.
As every politician knows well a stupid political suicide due to faulty tactics is far worse than the real thing.