Comeback Story

by digby

Malevolent right wing hack Alex Castellanos has written an epic article today explaining why everyone suddenly has "doubts about Obama" (as this headline declares, linking to two Republicans.) I think Castellanos fancies himself something of a writer. Unfortunately, his rather florid style obscures the point he's trying to make.

However, there is one nugget in the article that made me realize that we may be in the midst of a turn in the narrative:

Barack Obama should not have to hit a three-pointer to win this election. It should be a lay-up. Yet if Senator Obama is doing so well, why is he doing so poorly? And if John McCain is doing so poorly, why is he doing so well?

The Rasmussen Reports Daily Tracking has McCain down only 1%, 43% to Obama's 44%. Real Clear Politics National Average of surveys pegs McCain less than 3% behind, with Gallup showing it tied, and USA Today actually placing McCain ahead of Obama, 49% to 45%. CNN reports McCain is in a better position in Colorado, Michigan, and Wisconsin than he was a month ago and they have moved Minnesota toward McCain into the toss-up category. Give them credit, despite the occasional criticism from this McCain supporter and others, John McCain's maverick band of campaign warriors are keeping this race competitive and, yes, even winning a hand or two, in the face of the worst political environment Republicans could have envisioned and the best global media exposure any Democratic presidential candidate has managed. McCain's recent attacks have worked. McCain's attacks on Obama's tax increases, his elitism and celebrity, his canceled visit to wounded troops, as well as McCain's sharp response to Obama's imagined Republican racial attacks, all dumped cold-water on the Obama campaign, stunting momentum from his European swing and creating a Berlin backlash.

McCain as comeback kid?

This would be a thrilling storyline for the media. Their favorite maverick was defeated in 2000, was the front runner for the '08 nomination, but went down in flames last summer. Then, like Jimmy Stewart in Flight of the Phoenix, the scrappy flyboy rebuilt his rickety campaign and came back to win the nomination against far better financed opponents. Then he faced down the Obama juggernaut and was given up by everyone as a hopeless cause --- no way, no how, could this tired veteran compete against the young genius and his hordes of cheering followers. And waddaya know? The grizzled old warrior's still got it. Wouldn't it be something if he pulled it out?

I don't know if it will catch on, but it seems tailor made for the media, hungry to advance a feel good story about a favorite village elder overcoming adversity and never giving up even when everybody says his best days are behind him. They can bring up his POW experience with vomitous frequency and talk about guts and glory for days.