The Blog

Bad Moon Rising?

10:32 AM, May 8, 2008 • By DEAN BARNETT
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We'll always have May 2, or El Dos de Mayo as I like to think of it. On that day, John McCain led presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama by a healthy six point margin in the Rasmussen Tracking Poll, 48-42. Today, a mere six days later, Obama leads McCain 46-44.

What could account for such a turnabout? In the month leading up to May 2, Obama looked weak and indecisive. He also looked like a loser - which he literally was, being stuck in the process of losing a bunch of primaries in a row.

But on Tuesday night, Obama looked like a winner. And America loves its winners. What's more, in his hour of triumph, Obama regained some of his previously missing mojo by delivering one of his more stirring speeches of the campaign.

For McCain supporters, the news only gets worse. If he's of a mind to do so, Obama can avoid speaking off the cuff in public (which he's not very good at) until the debates in the fall. In the meantime, he can limit himself to the set performance pieces at which he so excels. If Obama uses the next several months wisely, he could become fixed in the public's mind as a transformational figure who glides above politics as usual.

Looking like a winner does wonders for a politician's fortunes. In case you're keeping score at home, here's a chance to add another benefit to the Democrats' lengthy and fierce primary season. John McCain hasn't won anything of consequence since before Spring Training. Obama registered his decisive victories at a much later and therefore far more relevant date.

Can someone please remind me again how the Democrats' long primary season would lead to their ruin?