McCain Surrenders to Rove; Obama Plays Retro Politics

The possibility is growing for a wholesale public revolt against everyone in Washington, with the nominees of both parties giving away their specialness as political brands.

John McCain is the worst offender, following Bush 44 policies and now bringing in the Karl Rove team to run his campaign. Barack Obama similarly has made so many tactical moves away from his primary campaign that one needs a scorecard to keep track.

McCain on energy sounds like J.R. Ewing from “Dallas.” He plays the pander-of-the-week on issues and his maverick brand is in tatters. He is strangely moving to the right from the right. McCain will not solve his problem; he will decisively destroy his brand by bringing in the Rove team, which suggests he is now reduced to nothing more than demeaning Obama.

Obama, meanwhile, appears to have an issue a day of repositioning, triangulating and maneuvering. Even his fundraising model appears to move away from his inspiration of small donors to a standard-issue model of big players going to $30,000-a-head events.

I was an early and strong supporter of Obama and remain so unequivocally. He must move toward the center, to some degree, as the primary season ends and general election begins. Some of these moves make sense and others do not, but cumulatively the sheer number of tactical shifts and almost daily events of this kind are disconcerting.

If this continues, I predict Obama regrets it.

Meanwhile, people are suffering incredible pain and hardship over the economy while Congress takes the usual leisurely recess without passing a housing foreclosure bill, an energy bill or the Medicare bill while the war drum sounds on Iran and the FISA debate degenerates again.

The politicians are fiddling while the American people burn. A gigantic political tsunami is coming, from a public disgusted with the status quo, from voters suffering unendurable pain, while the politicians keep dancing the same old dance to the same old music.

The gathering storm is coming.

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