Time Magazine has gone out and broken the unwritten and unspoken “traditional media” code and spoke the truth:
Oh, let’s just admit it: John McCain is a long shot. He’s got a heroic personal story, and being white has never hurt a presidential candidate, but on paper 2008 just doesn’t look like his year. And considering what’s happening off paper, it might be time to ask the question the horse-race-loving media are never supposed to ask: Is McCain a no-shot?
Last week, the McCain campaign’s case against Barack Obama went something like this: He’s irresponsible when it comes to Iraq, naive when it comes to Iran, and a big-government liberal when it comes to the economy. But now Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has more or less endorsed Obama’s plan to withdraw from Iraq, forcing McCain to argue that Maliki didn’t really mean it, and even the Bush administration has accepted a “time horizon” for withdrawal, if not a precise “timetable.” The Bush administration has also engaged in some diplomatic outreach with Iran, just as Obama has recommended, a severe blow to McCain’s efforts to portray Obama’s willingness to talk as appeasement. And on the economy, a TIME/Rockefeller Foundation poll found that 82% of the country supports more federal infrastructure spending designed to create jobs. When big-government liberalism is all the rage, McCain’s courage in opposing water projects or the farm bill becomes less of a selling point.