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May 02, 2008

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Brendan, who is normally fastidious about attributing causality without evidence, concludes that "this kind of garbage has taken a toll on Obama's public image," citing a poll result about perceptions of the candidates as "very patriotic."

That seems like a huge logical leap, lacking any evidence whatsoever about causality. That is especially true given that (1) nothing in Obama's background, such as heroic military service, suggests that he is "very patriotic," as opposed, say, to simply "patriotic"; (2) Obama's associations with Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers have been much in the news lately and might easily influence a perception of whether Obama is comfortable among those who have spoken or acted in ways that might be considered unpatriotic; and (3) much was made of the statement of Obama's own wife that his candidacy was the first time in her life she had been proud of her country.

The point is, there are plenty of reasons why public perceptions of the candidates' being "very patriotic" might differ. Why should Brendan attribute any portion of the difference to the smears he has written about?

It doesn't seemed such a leap of logic to me, except that the recent blather is too current to have had an impact on any polls.

Still, the "garbage" Brendan references is built on the same flimsy "public perceptions" that Rob refers to. It's all part of the same narrative, so to speak.

Rob's comment is similar to the one he made saying that the 'flip-flop' label worked against Kerry because it was already a public perception.

That's taking the result of a campaign to label a candidate and is saying that because the negative PR worked (to some degree) it was built on something of substance.

All the talk of "Manchurian candidates" seems to be done by people who never saw the movie. In the movie (the original, not the horrible) a former prisoner of war becomes a tool of the communist political left (all while seeming to be loyal to the political right).

Now, I don't think Manchurian Candidate references are legitimate political dialog, but if there ever was a candidate who potentially fit that narrative it is John McCain. Prisoner of war who was tortured, espouses political right ideas, yet still isn't completely trusted. Seriously, how much closer to the plot do we need to be?

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