Senator Barack Obama in front of a crowd of more than 200,000 in Berlin on Thursday (Jae C. Hong/Associated Press)
While surfing the local blogosphere I came across a post at Glass City Jungle about the flurry of fawning media reports in light of Barack Obama's successful tour of Europe and Israel the past week. A local columnist named Marilou Johanek - certainly not a part of any arch-conservative, anti-Obama cabal - took to task network anchors for their almost sycophantic coverage of the Illinois senator in his various campaign events overseas, a sort of collective adoration of Obama that seemingly borders on veneration.
Part of this Obama-mania might indeed be some media bias, but much of it is undoubtedly the highly skilled Obama campaign team and the relatively inept John McCain bunch. Simply put: the Obama team is flat-out schooling McCain's advisers.
The reason why Obama defeated Hilary Clinton has less to do with any laudatory characteristics of the Illinois senator (excepting his oratorical skills) but that he simply ran a superior campaign, while the Clintons never seemed to be able to consistently articulate messages that resonated with voters.
I know that the Republicans reading this post might not want to hear this, but McCain will get stomped in November with his current menu of tired and worn-out strategies. Obama can be beaten, but the existing mantra of "John McCain is a great American, an expert on Iraq, and a political maverick" is going nowhere fast.
Give the media something interesting, and they will cover it. Give the media chicken dinners and high fives with auto workers, and they will snooze.
Now, we might complain with justification that Obama's people have been working hard overseas to get these crowds for photo opportunities, but John McCain could have done the same thing. Instead, he's staging the same sorts of predictable and mundane events he's been known for.
Now, I'm not an Obama fanatic by any stretch, but I have to give his campaign staff credit for getting their candidate an unprecedented amount of global coverage at a time of the election year when presidential candidates normally can't even bribe their way into very much airtime. This is the middle of the summer vacation season, when typically candidates only make news when they shoot themselves in the metaphorical foot or when they get caught in flagrante delicto with a lover, a congressional page, or while tapping feet in a restroom stall.
John McCain: you are getting PWNED, and continuing on the same course will all but guarantee an Obama victory in November, barring the appearance of a photograph of Barack Obama walking around the Ka'aba seven times and kissing the Black Stone.