Tuesday, September 09, 2008

What are Moderates Thinking about Obama and McCain?

This post and its thread are very interesting.

They all look like very thoughtful posts amongst people trying to make up their minds between the two candidates. I would say the election is very much in flux right now, with people still digesting the meaning of the last month's worth of news: the McCain attacks, Obama's performance on the stump, the VP selections, the McCain campaign makeover, Obama's promise. Is McCain really a "maverick"? Has Obama veered away from his thoughtful, progressive primary performance? How does the selection of Biden and Palin alter what we think of the candidates?

These people have become interested in McCain since he chose Palin (in this sense alone, then, the Palin choice, by being unexpected, has worked for him), though they aren't still sure what to make of her...or him, for choosing her. They seem to fault Obama's campaign for stumbling around over the summer (it has), but they aren't buying that McCain has suddenly changed his stripes, either. They seem to recognize that fresh-faced Obama has turned out to be the steady, thoughtful one in this campaign, while the experienced McCain has been unexpectedly reckless. Yet they aren't fully sold on either one.

Add this to Jeffery Goldberg's thoughtful meditation on keeping this country safe from terrorism - and his disastisfaction with both candidates on that score - and it seems like today is really the first day that the electorate is starting to seriously consider this election, the character of the two men and what they represent, and everything that might be at stake.

I'm heartened to see that undecided independants are considering these things carefully. If they are at all representative, they suggest that the polls are not "baked in" but could move significantly one way or another in the coming 56 days. We partisans have been putting the arguments out there, but these are the voters who will digest and render a verdict on those arguments, and ultimately swing the election one way or another.

One thing for sure: The debates will be interesting.

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