This is a much better campaign than I ran in 1988, and I'm impressed.
That's maraudin' Mike Dukakis, interviewed by the New York Observer. Dukakis is sort of a folk hero of Democratic loserdom: Around America, liberal parents sometimes hold flashlights under their chins and tell their children the sca-a-a-ry story of how a charismaless goofball blew a 17-point polling lead and inaugurated the Bush dynasty.
Just as imporant as Obama's decision not to throw the election (so far) has been the McCain campaign's utter mania, its panic at falling behind in the polls and protecting half of the ticket from hard questions. (In a full month, Sarah Palin has yet to give a press conference.) From her Clearwater, FL event:
Constantly under the watchful eyes of security, the media wasn't permitted to wander around inside Coachman Park to talk to Sarah Palin supporters. When reporters tried to leave the designated press area and head toward the bleachers where the crowd was seated, an escort would dart out of nowhere and confront him or her and say, "Can I help you?" and turn the person around.
When one reporter asked an escort, who would not give her name, why the press wasn't allowed to mingle, she said that in the past, negative things had been written. The campaign wanted to avoid that possibility Monday.
All of the coddling and complaining doesn't stop negative stories. It leads to stuff like this:
In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric's questions for her "less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media." At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, "Sit down, boy."