The Run-Up

September 2008

6 years
ago

 

The Temperament Debate

Can a contest for the world’s most important public office get any more uncertain than this? For all of his seriousness and sobriety, Barack Obama consistently seems to find himself playing the straight man in these unhinged political acts.

First, Sarah Palin and her hockey mom-with-lipstick sent the political contest hurtling into bizarro world, at least for a while. Then, the country’s credit and mortgage crisis evolved into a full-blown threat to the nation’s financial system, turning the economy into the overriding issue in the campaign. That led John McCain to cite the turmoil, declare that he was…

6 years
ago

 

The Chicago Connection

It’s surprising that it took this long, but Chicago’s long-standing tradition of public corruption has finally emerged in John McCain’s campaign against Barack Obama.

McCain on Monday unveiled a 30-second TV spot that attempts to link Obama with various players in the city’s enduring history of political sleaziness. The ad begins with a narrator, in a grave voice, announcing that Obama “was born of the corrupt Chicago political machine.” It quickly flashes to a clip of Obama defending his personal toughness by saying that he comes from Chicago…

6 years
ago

 

A Midwest Color Line?

In fall 2006, before Barack Obama and his coterie of astute political strategists decided to launch his campaign for president, they burrowed into the polling details of the U.S. Senate race in Tennessee that year.

Why? That was the most recent contest in which race might have played a significant factor in the outcome of a statewide election. Democrat Harold Ford, an African-American Congressman, narrowly lost the Senate race to Bob Corker, a white Republican…

6 years
ago

 

Tasting the Moose Stew

I haven’t spoken with Barack Obama this week, but I’m certain that he’s shaking his head with disillusionment at the current state of his presidential contest.

On Tuesday, he delivered a well-crafted, thoughtful speech outlining, in great detail, his many proposals for education reform. But instead of political experts on CNN and MSNBC dissecting his new promise to double the funding of charter schools, the week’s news was dominated by the McCain campaign’s charge that Obama’s “lipstick on a pig” remark was sexist and aimed directly at…