Abraham Lincoln once said, “You may fool all the peoplesome of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but youcannot fool all of the people all the time.” Until a couple of weeks ago, itappeared as if Barack Obama had proved Lincoln wrong. No one can forget the"messiah-like" speeches that Obama gave to swooning crowds justmonths ago. Now he is stammering and making gaffes about pigs and lipstick thathave steered his campaign way off message. The innocent bystander is leftwondering what has caused the halo of this once heralded prophet to tarnish.
First, Obama is getting some badly needed mediascrutiny. The job of the press is to present information for people to makeinformed decisions. Anyone with half a brain and a shred of honesty, however,must admit that the MSM has demonstrated a bias for Senator Obama. This factwas attested to by venerable democraticstatesman and former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. At a panel discussion ofmedia elites held during the democratic convention, Rendell shocked hisaudience by saying, "Ladies and gentleman, the coverage of Barack Obamawas embarrassing...It was embarrassing." He also stated, "MSNBC wasthe official network of the Obama campaign...” Increasingly, the American people have expresseda desire to see Obama unvarnished, which has spurred some brave reporters inthe MSM to do their job. These folks should be given the presidential Medal ofFreedom but will likely get the cold shoulder from their more “left leaning” colleagues.
Second, the rigors of a general election are taking their toll.Obama is now waking up to the reality that a primary and a general election aretwo very different animals. In the primaries, Senator Clinton did not make iteasy on Obama. She fought hard and scored her share of jabs, especially withher 3 a.m. call ad, but the competition and pressure he faced in the primaries doesnot compare with what he is under at present. Obama could get away withscripted addresses and carefully conducted photo ops in the primaries. Now heis having to do stump speeches, one on one interviews, and other rough andready events where there is no teleprompter to keep him from gaffes aboutlipstick painted pigs and cold fish.
The greatest and mother of all reasons (no punintended) why Obama’s glow has waned is Sarah Palin. John McCain in one fellswoop made a choice that may go down as the shrewdest vice-presidentialpick in American history. Sarah Palin has energized the base, given McCain afront to attack Obama, and stolen the spotlight away from Obama so much sothat Obama and his campaign have spent more time focused on her than they haveon McCain. This is a huge mistake for Obama and may likely contribute to hisdemise.
Whether Obama can re-acquire his god-like stature andreclaim his message of "hope" and "change" remains to beseen. He still has a little time and the debates in which to accomplish this.The republicans, however, have played their hand well and their two mavericks appearto have aces to spare.