Often times elections are won and lost not by any forceful show of strength or a resolute offense, but rather by keeping overt miscalculations to a minimum. The office of President has often been won by the candidate who doesn't necessary make the strongest case to the American people, but instead makes the fewest mistakes. So if the first few rounds of the Obama/McCain battle royal reveals anything, it's that thus far the Illnois senator has managed to stay away from major problems on the campaign trail.
Obama has thus far run circles around McCain, who continues to seem old, tired, and out of sync by contrast. The Straight Talk Express looks like a decrepit museum piece, heavily antiquated and seemingly pulled from a completely different era, one certainly not our own. In addition, he can't seem to keep his advisers from saying stupid things. Case in point: Charlie Black.
It's a deeply hypocritical statement at minimum, considering the same charges were leveled against Democrats. Republican leaders and pundits openly accused their opponents of willfully wishing for major destruction in Iraq as the surest means to secure a Democratic majority in the Congress.
The other major McCain liability is his still lukewarm support among Evangelical Conservatives.
As a person of faith, James Dobson's comments criticizing Obama for his Christian faith don't seem rooted in anything substantive. It is interesting to see the Religious Right put on the defensive instead of the offensive for once, and I am certainly heartened that Obama so clearly extrapolated the views I hold dear. Too long the Religious Right claimed to assert that its interpretation of religion, faith, and doctrine was the sole view. Many of us on the left in our desire to make faith a private matter were all too eager to surrender that territory.
I just wish it hadn't taken decades for a leader on the left to push back and push back hard.