In a previous post, I cited Sarah Palin as being the biggest thorn in McCain’s side during the general election. I stick to those guns. Even when some of what was said about the good Governor from Alaska was completely bogus, other things were completely legit. Those were the things causing an implosion within the McCain camp.
But if I had to delve deeper, I’d also say McCain’s loss was just as much of a referendum on George W. Bush as it was on McCain and Palin. Let’s face it: Bush is highly unpopular and poor Senator McCain (tried as he did) could not break away from his association with said unpopular President.
This got me to thinking. By November, 2008, voters were sick of the once effective fearmongering tactics used to keep Bush in office for a second term. Meanwhile, four years ago those same tactics were so successful that they led the country to trust a draft dodger in a post 9/11 world even more than a military veteran. For all the infamy of “Rovian politics”, one cannot deny its potency.
That said, I’m left to wonder: would Obama’s stellar 2008 campaign been as successful if it was launched in a 2004 America? Even bigger than the eternal debates of Batman vs. Superman, Jordan vs. Bird, or the all important Bernadette Stanis vs. Pam Grier battle, there lies the question of which campaign would’ve fared better in a head-to-head competition. In the red corner, we have Dubya ’04, his Brain, and American fear. In the blue corner, we have BHO ’08, his Davids, and American hope.
Who would’ve took home the gold?