Perhaps the most dangerous, Obama-threatening paragraph in recent weeks was posted yesterday by New Republic columnist Howard Wolfson (a.k.a., “The Flack”). “Perpetually fretting Democrats will not want to accept it,” it begins. “The campaigns themselves can’t afford to believe it. Many journalists know it but can’t say it. And there will certainly be some twists and turns along the way. But take it to a well capitalized bank: Bill Ayers isn’t going to save John McCain. The race is over.”
He may well be right, but there are at least five reasons why these words shouldn’t be spoken.
One, it ain’t over until it’s over. Two, there are millions of Obama-supporting but fundamentally lazy and distracted under-25 voters who will leap at any excuse not to vote, and reading that political insiders believe that “it’s over” is just the excuse they’d like to hear. Three, McCain going ugly between now and 11.3 could notch things down a point or two. Four, something bad could still happen (like a terrorist October surprise). Five, however far ahead in the polls Obama may be the night before election day, the Bradley Effect (i.e., racial-minded whites getting cold feet in the election booth) will probably drop that margin 3 to 4 points.
Here’s a sixth reason: