Mccain i think is winning. But i always do. Whatever, he sounds better than he has on the economy. Mccain sounds scared, looks angry, though.
I don't want to scare you, but mccain is doing amazing.
This ain't looking good
I think so. We'll be okay. But this is john mccain the debater, who is now awake.
I think mccain won that one, [redacted] thinks its a tie. But i'm always wrong. If there is any debate that changes this race or defines it more, though, this is it. Obama could have done a whole lot better.
That's a sampling of my fear. Kyle suggested to me after this debate that my fear is a result of having been alive for the past decade or so.
I was raised a Democrat, though I hardly knew it. My parents almost never talked politics when I was a child. They never told me how they voted, even when I asked. I don't know if they did this because, as educators, they didn't believe in indoctrination and wanted to encourage me to develop my own opinions (fine job, by the way), or maybe they wanted to protect me. I went to an all-white post-desegregation private school in Sumter County. Though no one there was rich under any measure applicable outside the Black Belt, it was a school made up of Republicans.
When I was 16, some of the upperclassmen surveyed the school on who'd we'd vote for in the 2000 election (if we could vote). When they asked my classroom, I was the only one who raised a hand for Gore. I liked the way he talked about technology, the environment, and helping the poor. The class treated me as if I was some freak. When the school's pollsters posted their results, it turned out that my classmates were correct--in the entire high school, there was only one vote for Gore.
That was probably the first time I'd ever realized that I was different, politically, and I started paying attention. I poured my hopes into Gore, and thought he would win, and imagined some sort of fanciful life under Gore involving flying cars and crap like that. I was crushed when he (finally) lost. I became disinterested until 9/11. I reacted to that and the super-patriotism following the terrorist attacks by moving to the radical left (what awful days those were). I moved a bit back towards the center before the 2004 race, when I finally started figuring out what I believed and why I believed it. I got wrapped up in supporting Howard Dean, and was again crushed when he crashed and burned harder than Guiliani. My fear began bubbling to the surface. I reluctantly supported Kerry. I definitely invested some hope in him, but nothing like I did with Gore or Dean. I was happy enough with him, and glad, when days out from the election, he was leading in the polls. But then he lost. Even after those 4 awful years of Bush, he lost. And I lost faith in him, the Democratic party, and the American electorate.
I didn't realize until Kyle attempted to reassure me during Wednesday night's debate that Obama was doing fine, but those elections, and their effects on my psyche, are why I psychologically hedge my bets when it comes to Obama. I rarely get swept up in his talk of hope, though he does inspire me. But I view him, coldly, as simply a good politician that I happen to agree with.
When Obama gives a great speech, like the monumental one on race or his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, and I start feeling hopeful or genuinely start liking him, I psychologically browbeat myself back into thinking "hey, that was okay, nothing special." I am now an abused dog, and I fear commitment and emotional attachment to my candidate of choice. And I'm a glutton for punishment. I almost want the post-debate polls to reassure me about my fears. But every time, I've been wrong by what is generally a pretty large margin.
It doesn't help that, due to this experiment in almost-daily political blogging, I've started reading a lot more right-wing blogs. Psychologically, it's not healthy to see such uncompromising extreme positions on the same issues. If I read something on Joe the Plumber or Obama's tax plan from the right, it's immediately undermined by the left, and vice-versa. It may be good to get information from different sources and perspectives, but it's not always healthy. I read this Ann Coulter article about how often mid-October polls are wrong just before watching Wednesday's debate, and that didn't help. I loathe her, and don't trust a lick of what she has to say as a historian. But I read it, and it got me scared.
But if I can overcome my insecurities for a moment (and disregard Drudge's fluffing yesterday of what is probably the most inaccurate set of Gallup poll numbers, the old likely voter model), Obama's looking really good right now. Polls average about 6 points in his favor, and on the state/electoral college level, he's doing much better than the national polls suggest. On another level, David Brooks even dedicated his column today to imagining an Obama presidency.
But I know, and I think I'm right in this case, that the polls will tighten up as we get closer to election day. Even in the last 4 days, McCain has closed the gap on Obama by almost 2 points (from 8.2% to 6.6%), though Obama is still outside the margin of error. And anytime I get hopeful my hopes are undermined by warnings that despite the fact that Obama has what is probably the most heavily organized ground game in US election history, he must rely on a Democratic get-out-the-youth-and-black-vote effort that historically almost never seems to materialize. I mean, Obama is leading in every battleground state and threatening McCain in states like Georgia, Indiana, and West Virginia. And all Obama has to do is win every Kerry state and one of the battleground states.
But I've got The Fear. And, as McCain says, "I've got the scars" to back it up. But this year, I think it's an irrational fear. I think I even hope it's an irrational fear. Is it okay if I hope?