The Corner

A Fifth Point

5. McCain’s task in the campaign was fairly simple (if I can simplify): frame the election as a contest between an untested, callow left-winger — outside the American mainstream — and a tough, battered old warrior, who could lead the country through difficult times, including two shooting wars.

Why was that so hard? It wasn’t — this has been a weak campaign. (And McCain should have mentioned foreign policy and the world in the final debate, even though the debate was given over to domestic policy. That should have been easy, and it was justifiable.)

Also, Congress is not as popular as the editorialists of the Boston Globe or San Francisco Chronicle (for example) would like to think. Has the McCain campaign done enough to warn the country about a U.S. government that is Haight-Ashbury’s distant ideal?

6. Take a sixth: McCain and Palin both gave excellent convention addresses (delivered in different ways, of course). Those themes are definitely applicable now. (It has been weeks, not years, although it may feel like years.) Sound those themes free-flowingly until November 4 — see what happens.

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