There has been clearly a huge gap between the MSM’s glowing reviews of Barack Obama’s world tour and its impact voters who seem to be more inclined to vote for John McCain now. My explanation of the apparent paradox — the candidate’s great media visuals that slowdown his electoral momentum: Obama fell into the trap set-up by the the same MSM and the McCain camp that highlighted results of polls showing that McCain beats Obama in commander in chief “test” and that the public is supposedly “divided” over their respective plans for Iraq. Hence the trip was meant to demonstrate Obama’s ability to perform on the world stage as potential commander in chief and his success in marketing his Iraq agenda. In that context, Obama was also stressing that America needs shift resources from Iraq to Afghanistan in order to win the “good war” there.
The fact is that a majority of American have concluded that the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq and that as two researchers put it for most voters the “matter’s closed.” Obama’s comparative advantage has always lied in his earlier opposition to the Iraq war and his support for withdrawal of troops from that country — two positions that he should have continued to contrast with McCain’s cheer-leading for that war and his commitment to mainain U.S. presence there as part of a hegemonic U.S. strategy in the Middle East, including a possible war with Iran. Obama should have stressed that in his campaign instead of trying to turn it into a debate over his and McCain’s “withdrawal plans” while promising to draw the U.S. into a wider war in Afghanistan as well as to embrace a tough approach towards Iran.
But if both candidates seem to differ only on the timeline for withdrawal from Iraq and are both committed to more wars in Afghanistan and possibly with Iran, why shouldn’t voters be more inclined to support McCain who unlike Obama (and Bush) is a tough military guy? Ironically, if there was any presidential election in which a “peace candidate” could win, this is the one.