Friday, August 8, 2008

Downside of Joe Klein

Of course, there's a downside to match the rare upside of Joe Klein, but for a change he seems merely mistaken, rather than captured by the narrative of the media herd. And that in itself is a silver lining.

The sheer, slimy audacity of the McCain ads has given him a nice midsummer run. The polling numbers haven't changed all that much, but Obama has been on the defensive since he returned from his overseas trip.
Here, Joe misses the timing and the complicity of the media in printing every stinking McCain press release while Obama was overseas. Obama was already on the defensive long before returning home. Minor, of course, but I wish pundits who get paid for watching paid as much attention to the big picture as a part-time blogger reading and writing from his study or office.
The best way to do that is through a major, narrative-changing event.
Here's another head-scratcher: Klein is asking for political theater, not reality. And he completely fails to notice the obvious fact that the Obama trip overseas was exactly "a major, narrative-changing event" that didn't work because the press corps was so obsessed with McCain's slimy audacity (good phrase, Joe!).

Last, Klein's thesis is that Obama should sign up for more debates in the late summer. Here's the obvious reason he won't: He prefers to play a few big hands and win the killer pots instead of penny ante town halls that slide into boring frequency. Who remembers anything from the zillion Democratic primary debates?

Yes, a dozen debates would give Klein and his cohorts more to write gaffe-watch pieces about - and snark about even if there are no gaffes - but they are unlikely to give the voters more useful information about what the two candidates believe and what each would do as President.

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