Joe Scarborough, a conservative island of sanity in a turbulent sea of liberal wackiness, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program was mystified by what the presidential polls are showing.
How, he asked, could Barack Obama, despite having a worshipful media in his hip pocket and all but openly campaigning for him, be locked in what most polls indicate is a neck-and-neck race with John McCain? He should be miles ahead of McCain instead of being side-by-side with him.
The answer should be obvious — it’s the uncertainty factor.
With the media-fed favorable publicity all but proclaiming him as a new messiah, to a sizeable segment of the electorate Obama remains a cipher — a political figure whose real past and real political philosophy seem clouded in a mist of confusion. He appears to many to be an empty suit.
Who, the voters ask, is this guy?
Obama is, to many, a question mark (?) while John McCain, despite his shockingly incompetent campaign, is an exclamation point (!). Given a choice between a question mark and an exclamation point it isn’t at all surprising that the voters would be more inclined to favor the certainty of the exclamation point to the uncertainty of a question mark.
Obama’s past, despite his widely read autobiography, is studded with question marks. His much proclaimed career as a community organizer, sacrificing a lucrative career as an lawyer, for example, fails to disclose exactly what it was he was organizing, mainly because the few available facts prove it was an excursion into the promotion of far-left causes espoused by his Marxist mentor Saul Alinsky.
For him, it’s best that this period of his life, like his early years abroad, remain largely a question mark.
For all his deficiencies as a skilled campaigner, John McCain, the exclamation point, is straightforward. There’s no aura of mystery about him, no question marks. The voters know who he is, where he’s been, what he’s done, and what he’d do if elected.
There’s no uncertainty factor there, and that’s why Obama with that enormous media publicity machine at his beck and call, remains an uncertain quantity to the voters, unable to pull ahead of John McCain even with the near-hurricane force media wind at his back.
It almost a certainty that the uncertainty factor will be dominant in the minds of voters as they enter the voting booth in November. Odds are, in the end they’ll go for the certainty of the exclamation point.
You can bet on it!
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