Peggy Noonan writes like a dream. There have been periods through the years where I agree with nearly everything she has to say. For the last few years I have only agreed with her half the time. However, even when she writes a column I disagree with, I can't help appreciating her craft. Today she gets her brain around the subtle shift going on in the campaign. I believe she's right that there is a small (so far) move away from Obama that could boost McCain to the Presidency. Certainly McCain isn't doing much for himself as far as gaining support in his base. But there is a growing sense about his competitor that he is, as many of us have thought all along, full of it. Even people who might not go that far are thinking he's full of himself. And, a nagging question about him is here, from Noonan:
Does (Obama) have real greatness in him? Or is he, say, a product of the self-esteem campaign, that movement within the schools and homes of our country the past 25 years that says the way to get a winner is to tell the kid he's a winner every day? You can get some true people of achievement that way, because some people need a lot of reinforcement to rise. But you can also get, not to put too fine a point of it, empty suits that take on a normal shape only because they're so puffed up with ego.
Perhaps, when the history of this interminable campaign is written, the summer world tour by Obama will be viewed as a big mistake and the Berlin speech will be the biggest pratfall in modern election history. The simple fact is this, the fawning coverage by an in-the-tank media is not helping the young Senator from Illinois. Generally speaking, the electorate wants to pick their President and they don't like to be told who it will be months before they go to the polls.
Around our conference room the lament goes like this, "Obama is so beatable. I wish there was a Conservative running against him."