Could be a big day for the “Feiler faster theory” made popular by Mickey Kaus: “The increasing pace of society is matched by (and perhaps driven by) journalists’ ability to report events and the public’s desire for more information.”
The flow of information on Obama in the past two weeks, most of it very negative, has been enormous. Obama generated the most important invitation to reconsider his candidacy with his evaluation of the origins of bitterness among small town and rural voters. The media introduced more biography via the Ayers-Dohrn connection (not yet fully detailed, but well-enough known to be part of the analysis), and the senator’s lackluster debate and churlish finger gesture were a couple more data points.
Hillary’s been using her commercials to push forward key messages about the job of the president and the times in which we live. She has been reminding everyone that the president protects the country first. (Powerline has the video. and Instapundit notes the predictions of her inherent plausibility as a C-in-C.) Senator McCain travels and his remarks have all been about serious subjects as well, and the feckless Jimmy Carter’s dance with Hamas has also been part of the inputs, reminding us the week of the vote of the disasters that follow the elevation of incompetent hope into the Oval Office.
Then there’s the pope. You couldn’t miss him these pass few days, and you wouldn’t want to miss him if you were a Christian and especially if you were a Catholic. Encouraging and engaging, the pope at 81 was about doing his job in difficult circumstances. If there is a cure for the gloom in some parts of the country (John Ellis points to the best study of its origins), it is in the renewal of those institutions in communities –especially churches– that encourage happiness via service rather than consumption. Benedict is so far above partisan politics that it is unusual to think of him having an impact on America’s political scrum, other than by introducing an sense of seriousness of purpose to the country in the week before an election, and by speaking clearly about the country’s role in the world. He did both, and thus impacted the background for the PA vote.
If Hillary wins convincingly, Democratic superdelegates will have to think about the long months of summer ahead. The truth is that Senator Obama would be the most left-wing main party presidential nominee in history. He is far outside the mainstream, and large crowds in stadiums don’t translate into huge vote margins in general elections. The young love him, yes, but the old are really going to trust John McCain to protect them. The superdelegates are going to be upset that Operation Chaos revived Hillary, and if she comebacks, she’ll always be Rush’s nominee, but he just played the role of Burgess Meredith/Mickey Goldmill in Rocky. (Bill will be Paulie –a fine analogy.) Hillary will have shown the toughness to do what it took to win.
Even with a six point win, Hillary will stay in and should. Obama’s not doing well under the pressure. Hillary wouldn’t know what life was without pressure. He’s got to worry about a thousand new stories about him. We know everything there is to know about Hillary.
This is the first election of the year where there has really been the time to consider a single stark choice between two very different candidates who would govern very differently and lead in very different ways, and it is occurring in a state very representative of the country as a whole. It has been a long and strange trip to tonight, but if Feiler is right –and I think he is– everyone knows what they need to know to make a responsible choice.
And Hillary can have no complaints or second thoughts about how the PA race has ended.