Wednesday, August 20, 2008

McCain leads

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a sharp turnaround, Republican John McCain has opened a 5-point lead on Democrat Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential race and is seen as a stronger manager of the economy, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

McCain leads Obama among likely U.S. voters by 46 percent to 41 percent, wiping out Obama's solid 7-point advantage in July and taking his first lead in the monthly Reuters/Zogby poll.

The reversal follows a month of attacks by McCain, who has questioned Obama's experience, criticized his opposition to most new offshore oil drilling and mocked his overseas trip.

The poll was taken Thursday through Saturday as Obama wrapped up a weeklong vacation in Hawaii that ceded the political spotlight to McCain, who seized on Russia's invasion of Georgia to emphasize his foreign policy views.

"There is no doubt the campaign to discredit Obama is paying off for McCain right now," pollster John Zogby said. "This is a significant ebb for Obama."

McCain now has a 9-point edge, 49 percent to 40 percent, over Obama on the critical question of who would be the best manager of the economy -- an issue nearly half of voters said was their top concern in the November 4 presidential election.

Some of this is because McCain, or those around him, have discovered how to run an effective campaign. The rest of it is simply the fact that we are getting close enough to the election that people are finally beginning to pay close attention.

The fact is that John McCain's experience, both his life experience and his political experience, make him a vastly more qualified candidate than B. Hussein Obama has any hope of being.

Add to that the ridiculous messianic overtones to Obama's campaign, overtones which he has not only done nothing to discourage but has even fed with his "today is the day the oceans begin to recede and the planet begins to heal" rhetoric and you have a man who is primed to become a laughing stock.

And that is precisely what is happening. Obama is becoming an object of derisive humor. When you factor in his overweening narcissism and his bottomless sense of entitlement along with his angry militant wife and his rogues gallery of criminal (Rezko), racist (Wright), terrorist (Ayers) and just plain nutty (Pfleger) friends and associates you have a giant pinata that everyone who isn't a Marxist/Leninist kool aid drinking left-wing wackjob or a Hollywood actor (sorry, redundant) will be lining up to hit.

John McCain is going to have to work very hard to lose this election. It is within his power to do so but it will be difficult. The great danger for Republicans is that McCain will see his lead in the polls and take that as a license to reveal more of his true agenda by running to the most virulently racist Latino organization he can find and swearing to give Mexico back the entire Southwest and West Coast along with making Spanish the official language of what is left of the United States.

But if McCain's handlers can keep him pretending to be "sort of, kind of, halfway, a little bit, not too far to the left" he will win in an electoral landslide.