Obama's campaign, heretofore quite spontaneous and frenetic, needs to take a time out, gather together, and start to get a grip — and get some crusty, cigar smoking pros to knock some heads. First, the candidate gets huffy at a press conference, then the unnecessary Nafta flap, then Michelle is back at it again (America is "just downright mean"),and then his advisor Ms. Power (not content to be sober and judicious despite past attacks on her) gives an unnecessary book promo interview and dubs Hillary a "monster".
All this has a deer in the headlights look to it, as the mantra "hope" and "change" starts to get old, and we are getting back to to a normal old 19th century campaign of head-to-head invective and back and forth — which Obama has not yet gone through.
Two things are starting to happen and the Obama pros need to get a handle on it ASAP. One, there is a McGovernish flavor to the campaign of a bunch of freelancing ideologues that are going off message and in sloppy fashion ranting and raving in petulant 60s-style. Two, the shelf life of all messiahs is not long if they don't produce miracles, and Obama has not quite yet knocked Hillary off as expected,. So the above-the-fray, change the world love-ins will have to change a bit since they only get you 40-45% of the electorate, close but not quite enough . He can't get too specific since his message is too hard left and if he goes after Hillary's tax returns ( a gold mine of embarrassments given Bill's who knows what and speaking fees) or her past scandals, he's a betrayer of the promised new politics.
He may decide to play conservative fourth-quarter, run-out-the-clock delegate arm-twisting, spike his loose cannons, let surrogates go after Hillary, and still hope-and-change it through Penn.
The significance of all this? The two are airing all sorts of things that would be hard for McCain to dredge up and he probably would not, but once out, his campaign can refer to something that is already out in the public domain.
Never count out, underestimate, or take the stake out of the Clintons.
The lesson of all the Democratic primary proportionality and Byzantine rules is that Democrat egalitarians have managed to ensure that the eventual result will probably be anything but democratic, and the rising acrimony is starting to make a dream-team ticket less and less likely.