Yes, Obama is winning. So was Jimmy Carter. So was Michael Dukakis. So would any Democrat, incumbent or not, who enjoyed the fawning coverage the mainstream media heaped on President Barack Obama.
During the Republicans’ convention, the media interrupted, fact-checked, and cut to commercials. During the Democrats’ convention, they swooned, and barely mentioned the awful jobs report that followed the next day.
So? Par for the course. You know who else was winning at this point? John McCain, by 5 points. And Democrats panicked. The media panicked. Tom Friedman of the New York Times told Obama he needed to “start slamming down some phones.”
But soon enough the structure of the race started to change. Lehman Brothers failed. The media targeted Sarah Palin. Obama stood still while McCain suspended his campaign. And he won.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will not, and should not, hope for a market meltdown. Nor can they expect to get help from the mainstream media, even when President Obama has a George H.W. Bush “supermarket scanner” moment and reveals he does not know how to use touch-screen technology to make a phone call.
Unlike Democrats, the GOP contenders are going to have to do things themselves and fight for the win on their own.
And you know what? They can.
The challengers raised $111.6 million in August alone, and they are only beginning to spend money. They have nearly $200 million cash-on-hand, far more than Obama–who has spent his campaign into debt running attack ads against Romney and Ryan that failed to put them away. The super PACs are about to kick into gear, as well. And the battle is all on Obama’s turf, in states he won in 2008.
North Carolina is already moving back into the Republican column. Virginia is heading that way as well. Things are close in Nevada, Colorado, and Iowa–and who expected them not to be? Obama has a moderate single-digit lead in Ohio, but Wisconsin is in play for the first time in a generation.
The debates are coming, and Romney has faced tough competition all year while Obama can’t even get a tough question from the press.
All other things being equal, Obama should be losing. But all other things are not equal, and if you expected them to be, you’ve been living in a different country for the past five years.
This is a President who has been likened to “God” by the media, even though his party removed “God” from its platform. This is a man who won the Nobel Prize before completing a year in office. This is a guy who prayed at a racist church and still won.
Many of those who will vote for Mitt Romney on November 6th will hold out until the last possible moment. They want to give Obama a chance to improve, to show some signs of the potential they saw in him in the fall of 2008.
But the economy will not get better in the next eight weeks, and Obama’s lame excuse–“it could have been worse”–will not improve. He has no new ideas or policies. We’ve already seen his closing argument.
If Obama wins, his prize will be a country deeply divided by his tactics, a country facing a fiscal cliff and staggering debt, a country whose powerful defense forces are gutted by an unnecessary sequester. He will deserve it.
But we have not yet begun to fight–and if we go down, we go down fighting.