Saturday, June 28, 2008

Has Team Obama lost it?

First, they said they'd send the candidate to Alaska, and fantasized about Wyoming and even Texas. Now, they're babbling about England and beyond:
Obama's campaign said the likely nominee will travel to Jordan, Israel, Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The Illinois senator also has said he intends to visit Iraq and Afghanistan this summer; his campaign would not say whether those stops would be part of the trip to the Mideast and Europe.
Pennsylvania? Ohio? Florida? No, forget about the stupid morons in those silly swing states -- let's campaign in foreign countries where there aren't even any eligible voters!

Sensible Democrats must be tearing their hair out and chewing the carpet in frustration. It's 128 days until Nov. 4, and there is no campaign resource as precious as the candidate's personal presence -- speaking at rallies and fund-raising events, doing photo-op handshakes with ordinary Americans, talking to reporters and editors.

Yet Team Obama wants the candidate to skip the swing states, and instead do the grand tour of Europe, with a jaunt to the Levant thrown in for good measure. This, mind you, at a time when voters by more than a 2-to-1 margin are telling pollsters that their top concern is not foreign policy but domestic economic issues.

WTF? Are Plouffe and Axelrod daft? How the heck does it help convince independent voters that Obama can be trusted to fix the economy for ordinary Americans to turn on their TVs and see the candidate in London, Paris or Tel Aviv?

Given the itinerary they're laying out to the press, this "Look, Foreigners Love Me!" tour will occupy at least a week of Obama's schedule -- time that the candidate might otherwise spend at state fairs or plant-gate handshake events or rallies for his volunteers in key states.

Let me go ahead and predict that one of three things will happen. Either (a) this talk of a foreign trip will be quietly shelved, at the behest of Democratic elders; (b) the plan will be seriously scaled back to no more than 4 days, with maybe a quick London stopover en route to Iraq, and a quick stopover in Paris on the way back; or (c) Team Obama will go ahead with this grandiose scheme and suffer a brutal P.R. beating as a result.

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