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Monday, June 09, 2008

Marc Ambinder has a press release from the McCain campaign making the case McCain can win. Some of the charts are in fact pretty worrying:

I've been saying privately for a while that I think I know how McCain might win, and that's to transmute Obama's assertion of "better judgment" about the war into a claim that Obama thinks he's smarter than the rest of us. Having been right in American politics isn't necessarily better than having been as wrong as everybody else, and in fact there are even ways in which having been right can play as a disadvantage. One way to beat Obama—alongside the more under-the-radar patriotism smears and generic race-baiting—is to force him to explain, over and over again, just how it came to be that his judgment on the war was so much better than everybody else's back in 2002.

A majority of the citizenry and nearly everyone in government supported the war, but not Barack Obama. In state (not federal) government, what did he see that no one else could see? What did he know that no one else knew?

(And of course: Or is he just a pacifist? Does he oppose all use of American military force, or just the use of military force against Islamic countries?)

Put another way, this is a claim that Obama was "right for the wrong reasons," while McCain and The American People were wrong for the right reasons.

This is a tough argument to make at the same time McCain feels compelled to assert that he has actually been right on the war all along—but that contradiction isn't necessarily all that devastating. If there's one thing Karl Rove taught us, it's to attack your opponent at their point of strength from your point of weakness. Thanks to the prolonged Democratic primary, Obama's already been saddled with the elitist frame; I really think his advantages on Iraq could be neutralized using it, if McCain can thread that needle.

Naturally, I hope he can't.

FOLLOWUP: But this is just silly:

I strongly encourage John McCain to make every effort to win California.