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Obama’s Bounce: Dead Cat or Trend?

Monday, September 29, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Aided by a MSM willing to say whatever it has to say to help Obama make it to 1600, the democratic nominee has not yet been hurt by his very poor performance on Friday night’s debate. Weekend talking heads chanting “ties go to the winner” nonsense and the output of loyalists like E.J. Dionne are trying to make Obama’s halting answers on Iraq, Pakistan and especially North Korea seem like C-minuses on a pass-fail test. The cringe-inducing bracelet moment has surfaced in just a few places, and McCain’s dominance on the facts concerning Russia and his memorable “You don’t do that” dismissal of Obama’s threats towards our ally in Pakistan will get their full play this morning on all the talk shows, and of course Bill Bennett’s, Rush’s, Dennis’, Sean’s, Michael’s, Mark’s and my reach will instantly overshadow all the work done by CNN and the nets to spin this into “a draw that helps the rookie.”

Obama doesn’t know what he’s talking about on the perils we face abroad, and he was led around by the hand on the bailout package. He is a figurehead for Democratic party elites from the hard left edge of the party. While the financial panic erased McCain’s momentum by taking the real reform message off the front pages, it will be back as markets settle. The focus on the triggers of the crisis –look to Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and the friends of Bill Clinton– can’t be bottled up now that the legislation is in place. The idea of turning all parts of the government over to the gang that engineered the structure that brought it upon us is so absurd that only the MSM can ignore it, not voters.

Obama’s nearly 5 point lead in the RCP combined poll average has many nervous e-mailers sending me “it’s over” e-mails, but of course it is just beginning, and the deep uncertainty and fear in the country doesn’t help an untested Chicago machine pol much if at all or for long. (The Battleground dead-heat numbers should encourage the worriers, as it is a long reliable and respected poll, though so are Gallup and Rasmussen with their 8 and 6 point Obama leads.)

The Palin pile-on from the the Manhattan-Beltway media elite also is working a strange and important reaction in the electorate, driving liberals deeper into their blind hate of the accomplished and popular governor, and rallying the conservative base to her cause. The cultural divide in the country –obscured by the financial mess– didn’t go away, and it will dominate this week and weekend.

Palin faces an enormous challenge, just as she did on the night of her acceptance speech. She will not be graded on the curve by the MSM as Obama was.

But she does believe the right things, and understands the crucial choice facing the country. These are significant advantages. And if the momentum reverses itself again as is likely, Sarah Palin’s performance Thursday night will be the third time she has re-energized the McCain campaign.

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