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Let me get this straight. Arizona Sen. John McCain, age 72, a 26-year veteran of Congress, and President George Bush’s legislative twin brother, the man who has for months repeatedly condemned Sen. Barack Obama’s message of CHANGE as grossly inferior to his decades of EXPERIENCE–yes, that McCain–is now saying that he is the change candidate? It appears that McCain and his strategists, as they were beginning the RNC Convention behind in the polls and on the wrong end of an “enthusiasm gap” between the constituencies of the two major parties, decided that since it doesn’t look like they can beat Obama and the Democratic Party’s change message, why not just imitate it?
The Dems made history by putting forth history-making candidates, including Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton (not to mention Bill Richardson, the first Latino of a major party to make a run at the White House). McCain mimics, by selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate–even though based on their resumes, Palin is strictly minor league compared to Clinton, and at least a half dozen other women in her own party, most of whom knew next to nothing about her only few months ago. Of course, despite the selection of Palin, the GOP is as diversity-challenged as ever, with women making up only a third of their delegates and black Americans representing less than two percent (versus more than 50 percent and about 25 percent, respectively, among the delegates at the DNC convention).
The next thing you know, McCain will actually try to engage in public displays of affection between himself and his wife, Cindy McCain, in an effort to capture the authentic and loving romance evident in Obama’s interaction with his wife Michelle. (Mrs. McCain looks absolutely like a third wheel now that Palin is on the scene. Earlier today, at the running mates’ first campaign appearance since the convention, McCain followed Palin closely as they left the stage, with Cindy trailing behind–a literal afterthought. You know Obama would never have done Michelle like that!)
Obama and the Democrats use their convention to demonstrate that they totally understand America’s justifiable dissatisfaction (given the Iraq War, record levels of unemployment and home foreclosure and the wreckage of the domestic economy) and desire for change. McCain and the Republicans mimic–even though he really doesn’t “get it” (“our economy is fundamentally strong”), his acceptance speech at the GOP convention declares that he is the candidate of change, despite the fact that he is a veteran of Washington who supported the economic policies that has placed most Americans, and the middle class in particular, under such economic stress.
It’s one thing to imitate, quite another to actually duplicate. Palin may be great at dressing mooses (or moose, or whatever.) Most Americans have no idea exactly what that entails, but they do know that putting a dress on a moose doesn’t mean it’s no longer a moose. The selection of a younger woman as a vice presidential candidate