The worst campaign ever

Published 12:21 am Saturday, November 1, 2008

I don’t know which is scarier: The American landscape the next President of the United States is destined to inherit, the people who will make that decision (us), or the fact that these two guys seem to want it so bad.

Or do they? Did you ever think of that? Maybe John McCain is deliberately trying to throw the election. “Let me get this straight. Ten trillion in debt? Losing two wars? Tampa Bay in the World Series? Not what I envisioned when I gave this country the best five years of my life. Barack, my man, this one is all yours.”

It would explain a lot. Like why he and his people are running the worst campaign EVER. And that includes New Coke and Penn Jillette’s appearance on Dancing with the Stars. Or for you older folks: France in ’39.

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Have you seen him lately? The GOP nominee is running around the country like an ornery troll with irritable bowel syndrome. Stamping his feet and shaking his fists and spitting and shouting, and whose playbook is that a page out of? Rumplestilskin, Ross Perot or Naomi Campbell?

Loses all three debates; standing, sitting and strolling. His brother, Joe the Brother, calls up 911 to complain about Beltway traffic. Gets asked how many houses he has and doesn’t know? Then again, who among us hasn’t made that same mistake? “Let’s see, how many houses do I have? Unh. There’s one and… no, just the one. Wait, wait, wait. Nope, my mistake, only one. Oh, I know, that doesn’t include the… oh yeah. It does. Sorry, still one.”

Recently, the Arizona Senator addressed a rally with a hearty “My fellow prisoners” instead of “my fellow citizens.” Very Manchurian Candidate. Do not flash the Queen of Diamonds at him between now and Election Day. Then, in one of his fifty most crucial states, he said, “Senator Obama’s supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about western Pennsylvania lately, and you know, I couldn’t agree with them more.” Close, but no cigar.

The nascent Dump Palin movement has morphed into a Dump McCain groundswell. No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, it’s obvious that this is the worst case of political suicide since Walter Mondale bragged in his ’84 acceptance speech that he was going to raise taxes. Although Michael Dukakis dressing up at a tank commander for Halloween has to rank right up there. And oh, yeah, let’s not forget John Kerry wind-surfing in spandex. A visual that still makes Howard Dean shiver like a hairless chihuahua on a Black Diamond ski run.

But it’s way too early to talk about this election in the past tense. There’s a veritable plethora of ways this thing could still turn around. A Lee Atwater Special: Serious October surprise or November startlement. The Bradley Effect exponential factor fourteen. Convincing all first- time voters that the polls aren’t available to them until Wednesday. Keep Joe, the Biden, talking. A giant monster hand comes out of the sky and smashes Northern California. Lots of ways.

Interestingly enough, the former Navy pilot did experience a brief pop in the polls when he jumped off the campaign trail for a few days during the financial crisis. Well, there’s your answer boys. Clear the decks and let Sarah, the Palin, assume lead dog. Let the old man take a nap. His best shot at winning this thing may be to slip into a coma for the next week. Although some might argue that’s a done deal.