FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
“The most accessible of the four candidates”
The Palin Rebound
That would be…Gov. Palin. And in another example of what Tom Maguire calls “the now-so-obvious-it-was-inevitable media surge in support of Sarah Palin,” CNN actually notices that Palin may indeed be popular with people whose votes are needed to win the election. David Gergen even speculates that she may carry her own reverse-Bradley effect:
“It may well be that there is … a group of people out there now who find it politically incorrect to be for Sarah Palin in public, but they’re going to vote for her in the privacy of the voting booth,” said David Gergen, a CNN senior political analyst.
Maybe this race is over and maybe it isn’t, but there’s only gonna be one way to find out, and that’s to go full throttle to the end and see what happens.
Now, granted, on the issue of press access, none of the four major candidates has the kind of open relationship with the media that McCain had for many years before he reorganized his campaign under Steve Schmidt, accepting as the price of a more disciplined message operation the end of his bantering ways with the traveling press. But one could write volumes on the questions Obama hasn’t been asked.
Here’s one set of questions we didn’t hear at the McCain-Obama debates: Is there a war on terror? Do we plan on staying on the offensive against radical Islam? Or are we pursuing a strictly localized war in Afghanistan and Western Pakistan against the Taliban and the remnants of the old Al Qaeda leadership, and otherwise dealing with the rest of the region and the world as a series of discrete and localized issues unconnected by ideological struggle?
That set of questions was the predominant issue in the 2004 election. We got questions on individual foreign policy areas, but the central question of our overarching strategy in this war, and whether we will even continue prosecuting it as such after January 20, never cameup in the debates. I think we can all offer an educated guess as to what Obama’s answer is, but it would have been nice to put the question to him before a national audience.
Or another specific example: Patterico notes a contrast between an LA Times profile of Palin’s college career and the absence of interest in Obama’s time at Columbia, which he refuses to discuss. Tom Maguire and Andy McCarthy have more thoughts on that particular omission. (Amusingly, the LA Times says nobody remembers Palin from college, but then goes on to quote at length from three college classmates and a competitor from the beauty pageants she competed in to pay tuition. And a side note about the photo: the 80s called, they wish to apologize to Gov. Palin). Meanwhile, a number of Obama’s friends from that period refuse to talk. I referred to this “missing witness” problem the other day in the Joe the Plumber post – with Obama there’s a long track record from his past of people who won’t talk or can’t be located (Byron York had that problem even with his State Senate colleagues), as well as ongoing stonewalls and/or destruction of records (as Jim Geraghty relates here, here, and here), even articles suddenly disappearing from the web (see here and here). It certainly seems as if there is a concerted and continuing effort to protect Obama from reporting on his past.
But if we want to know about Obama’s past, his record, or his agenda, we have to wait for him to wander into another plumber’s driveway. Because we sure aren’t getting answers out of him waiting for reporters to ask.