So as it turns out my flight had DirectTV on it and I did get to see Barack Obama’s speech on patriotism after all. I thought it was a little bit lame and defensive, frankly, though certainly not nearly as lame as the campaign’s decision to hang Wes Clark out to dry for making a clearly true observation.
All that said, I read at the end of last week that McCain had “won the week” and I read the same thing after the week before that and yet despite all these winning weeks McCain is losing the election by a comfortable margin. And on some level I think this accounts for some of the lameness of the Obama campaign which, I’m now recalling, had a marked tendency to lapse into prolonged stretches of lameness during the primary only to raise it game at moments when Hillary Clinton’s attacks seemed to be getting traction. The organizational elements — field and fundraising — were brilliant throughout, but on the messaging level it was kind of a judo campaign that only really looked good when it looked like they were about to get buried. Right now, McCain’s flailing around and not getting traction with anything, and Obama seems to have retreated into a super-cautious mode just focused on parrying McCain’s feeble blows.