As I write Ohio and Texas are too close to call for the Democrats. Commentators in ever media medium are saying the same thing in different words – wow, we don’t have a clue.
But to the American people, to the people who have already turned off their television sets and tucked their kids into bed, to the people who watched American Idol and flipped over to CNN or Fox or MSNBC to see what was going on, a clear winner has already emerged. His name is John McCain.
Tonight John McCain looked presidential. He stood in front of the podium with his crooked grin and stiff motions and he said to those people that we are going to be alright. Yes he said a lot of other things but that was the fundamental message – I’m here, I can be trusted, I know what it means to suffer and it is going to be ok. For a nation beset by economic problems bigger than we understand, for a nation in an uncertain world and an even more uncertain war, he was reassuring. He was grown up.
Meanwhile Hillary and Barack are fighting over delegates and super delegates. They are accusing each other of “electoral improprieties” They are dividing the Democratic party more and more and there is no end in sight – especially now that Hillary has just won Ohio.
Like a lot of people I couldn’t imagine a Republican winning in November – not with Bush’s baggage and certainly not with his 29% approval ratings. But tonight? The momentum is swinging McCain’s way.
Don’t forget that unlike Obama McCain has already suffered through his political tsunami. He’s been pronounced out and out and out. He’s laid off staff because there was no money. He’s had the front page NYT “expose”.
From here McCain’s path is a good one. People will begin to learn his story. They will hear again – or anew – of his sacrificial bravery in Vietnam. They will learn about the extent of his suffering. And they will identify with it. They will see him as the maverick Republican who often bucked his party and they will like it.
President John McCain. It has an easy ring about it. I’m guessing we should get used to the sound.