"McCain’s tactics are drawing the scorn of many in the media and organizations tasked with fact-checking the truthfulness of campaigns. In recent weeks, Team McCain has been described as dishonorable, disingenuous and downright cynical. A series of ads — including accusations that Barack Obama backed teaching sex education to Illinois kindergartners and charges that Obama called Sarah Palin a lipstick-wearing pig — have provoked a cascade of criticism of McCain’s tactics. “We recognize it’s not going to be 2000 again,” McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said. “But he lost then. We’re running a campaign to win. And we’re not too concerned about what the media filter tries to say about it.” — Politico.comThat last line is the killer: nobody seems to care. The McCain campaign has made a simple calculation, based on the lateness of the conventions: hunker down in the bunker, and ride out the clock. (Remind you of anyone?). It is a high-risk gamble, just like the Palin pick. The McCain campaign is a rocket running entirely on the fumes of Palin's celebrity right now, and the rocket is going very fast. The ever perspicacious Peggy Noonan:—
Democrats, hit reset. Accept the fact that the race has changed utterly, that you're up against a ticket that has captured the public imagination. Now you must go out and recapture it. You must aim your fire at the top of the ticket, John McCain, and not at this beautiful girl, Sarah Palin, about whom you can do nothing.You can never kill her now. Forget it. She can hurt herself, but in terms of Democratic attacks she is bulletproof. You made her that—she wasn't that way when she walked in.... The Democrats were up against Xena the Warrior Princess and came across, in response, as pale-lipped Puritans who actually, at the end of the day, don't really like women all that much. Mrs. Palin radiates the sense that she'd never give up her femininity in her quest for power because her femininity is part of her power. (On the Democratic side, she can be compared in this to Nancy Pelosi.) Right now only Mrs. Palin can hurt Mrs. Palin. Messrs. Obama and Biden can't do it and shouldn't try. And the media can't, because more than half the country won't listen to them on this subject now, and for a while. The media could get videotape of Mrs. Palin saying, "We should invade Mars and it will be easy because Mars is hidden inside my hair!" and people would say, "Stop sliming Sarah!"