The latest national polls all have Barack Obama with leads larger than the margins of error, and the Democrat has opened up a lead in almost every toss-up state as well. With less than a month remaining until Election Day, the campaign of John McCain now understands that their ideas are not going to convince the citizenry to chose the GOP nominee, and therefore there is only one route remaining: all negative, all the time.
William Ayers, a 60s radical who is now a civically-active college professor in Chicago, has been resurrected by attack-dog Sarah Palin. Can Jeremiah Wright and Tony Rezko be far behind? That's all they've got: guilt by rather weak association. Oh, and race. The McCain campaign has been subtly injecting that into the mix all along -- with their talk implying that Obama is unlike the rest of us (hint, hint white America) -- and now this area will be mined for all it's worth.
The Obama camp struck back with an Internet video yesterday that reminds voters that McCain was part of the Keating Five and that Charles Keating was part of the problem that led to the Savings and Loan Crisis, another instance where the taxpayer had to bail out banks and millionaires after they'd run wild in the face of lax regulation. I heard Obama quoted as saying that, in the realm of negative ads, he will not punch first, but that he will punch last. Clearly many believe that the lessons of Gore and Kerry are that attacks cannot be unchallenged.
One surprise is that lack of 527s -- groups unaffiliated with the campaigns that air attack ads. The GOP has used these to their advantage in the past: remember the so-called Swift Boat Veterans? Don't be surprised if they surface now with some outrageous allegations. The Republicans are desperate, and like the old saying about lawyers, when neither the truth nor the law are on your side, you've got to bang the table and scream as loudly as you can.