Michael Crowley in The Observer:
One recurring feature of recent presidential campaigns has been the disgraceful effort of the Republican party to compensate for its unpopular positions on major issues, from health care to Iraq, by impugning the character of the Democratic presidential nominee. Liberals have made this complaint for some time, but I lent it new credence after listening to a senior figure in the Bush political machine. ‘You guys never get it,’ he said to a group of journalists who’d been debating the politics of some newsworthy issue. ‘People don’t vote on issues. They vote on character.’
The man knew whereof he spoke, for character largely explains how Bush won two presidential elections.
Well, why shouldn’t they vote on “character”? Barack Obama has no accomplishments, no legislative record, no nuthin’. So if you don’t want to vote on character (ie, his condescension to crackers too boorish to understand how sophisticatedly nuanced it is to have a terrorist pal and a racist pastor), what else is left?
[UPDATE: I think I mischaracterized Mr Crowley as a Brit snob. A long day spent on planes fogged my mind, and I assumed initially that he was a Fleet Street man, rather than a moonlighting Yank. My apologies for swapping his passport, but he’s certainly mastered the Observer/Guardian tone.]