I died inside a little today when Vicky showed me a story on the Huffington Post about John McCain doing a little traveling to my old hood, to a part of south Columbus known as German Village, and made an appearance at what was my favorite C-bus restaurant, Schmidts, the best damned sausage haus this side of the Atlantic.
Anyways, it's been posited that McCain took this little trip in response to Obama's recent trek around the world, which included a stop in Germany, where he met with German leaders and was basically welcomed like some conquering hero and drew huge crowds. The fact that this could be an official GOP strategic move just tickles me. As Vicky pointed out, it was great to think that while Obama spoke to crowds of more than 200,000 (!!!) in Berlin, McCain drew a whopping 17 at Schmidts. "Maybe he thought he was in Germany," she added. Priceless.
I was sort of uneasy about Obama's chances at first, but now that everything's starting to play out, I can see that this isn't going to be nearly as close as I would've thought. I'll say it now. This election's going to be a landslide. Like a Bartlett-over-Richie landslide, for all you "West Wing" fans.
Exactly what I predicted in one of my McCain-related posts a few weeks back is already starting to happen. I wrote that he wouldn't be able to handle the rigors of a national presidential campaign, that he wouldn't be able to overcome the massive anti-GOP sentiment that's been built up by Bush these last 8 years, and that he'd just been coasting outside of the Obama-Hillary spotlight for months. He's consistently making blunders while speaking that appear to nearly everyone watching to be the slip-ups of a man whose mind is simply much too old to be voted into office. And more importantly than that, he's losing the pop culture battle to Obama.
The vast majority of people who are deemed "undecided voters" aren't really undecided; they're simply apathetic. They couldn't care less, really, about voting for a candidate because they don't see how their vote will A) matter and B) make an active impact on their lives. So while they may generally follow what's going on in the campaign, they're not really going one way or another towards voting for either man. Most of these apathetic potential voters, sadly, are younger Americans, and have historically had pretty terrible turnouts in elections, but they also encompass large portions of everyday Americans, people who have enough to worry about between going to work and getting the kids to school everyday to be actively involved in politics.
Obama, however, has done everything he can do to put himself in the forefront of the minds of these people. He and Michelle are on the covers of People, GQ, and Rolling Stone magazines, are staples on shows as varied as The View, Meet the Press and The Daily Show. He's polling incredibly high in the young-voter demographic. For a lot of people, he's a household name without them even knowing much of anything about his policies; they know he represents change, and that's enough for just about anybody who's had to endure the bullshit of George W. Bush.
Come November, when all of these things have mixed together to create the perfect voting bloc for Obama, I can see those people who would normally stay home come out and put down their mark for Obama, and I'm not just talking about a resurgence in the youth and black vote. He's drawing huge crowds in other countries for a reason. Whether he's truly something more than most politicians, whether he really is another Robert Kennedy come to bring us hope, remains to be seen. But he's done enough now to make enough people think that he could be, and in these cynical times, that's just about all you need to be a runaway winner in American politics.