I was shocked when McCain criticized Obama for not visiting the troops while doing his global tour. The reason I was shocked was the method he opted for. McCain said:
"The most solemn duty of a commander in chief is to fulfill his responsibility to the men and women who serve this country in uniform."
I had to re-read that statement twice because I thought I missed something. My first question was, 'did the election happen, is Obama President?' Then, I thought 'wait, Obama isn't President YET, why such a strong reprimand?'
I understand what McCain was doing but he made a grave error in doing it. He NEVER should have referred to the title "Commander in Chief" as an implication of what his opponent should be doing. His criticism raised Obama to a whole new level. His criticisms indicated that even he could see Obama as President of the United States. And he's basically saying, "Obama is doing the President thing all wrong."
I agree with Ben Stein's point of view that McCain is running a lack-luster campaign. I think his criticisms of Obama's globe trotting only validated Obama as a real contender for the White House.
Of course, McCain does have a disadvantage. Obama is making history. That makes great news coverage so everyone wants to photo these events. America is very interested in this process; and I think even those who don't support Obama can't help being curious about what he's doing. I'm sure they seek out news about him even if their approach is cynical. And no one can deny that Obama looks really good out there.
Obama was very smart not to have visited the troops. If he had done so, I think McCain's camp could successfully have painted Obama as doing so just for the opportunity to advance his Political motives; I think the fallout would have been more damaging. I am actually enjoying the elegance and class that Obama is demonstrating in his campaign.
And a word to the wise for McCain. If indeed he is distancing himself from Bush in order to generate more support, he will lose that support if he comes across as equally arrogant and self-righteous as Bush. He needs to cool his jets and apply some creativity to his campaign.
Has anyone noticed that Obama has a way of campaigning that really has nothing to do with his opponent. It's almost as though he doesn't acknowledge his opponent exists.