"These liberals want complete control of government in a time of crisis, all branches of government," warns a Republican ad playing in North Carolina. "No check and balances, no debate, no independence. That's the truth behind Kay Hagan. If she wins, they get a blank check." The ad targets Democrat Kay Hagan, who is challenging Republican incumbent Senator Elizabeth Dole.
But a "blank check?" The only way Hagan's victory could possibly be construed as a "blank check" is if one assumes that Democrat Barack Obama will win the Presidency since a President McCain, theoretically, could wield veto power over a Democratic Congress. As Alexander Mooney wrote at CNN.com today, the ad, "...appears to suggest that Barack Obama has all but won the presidential race, an argument several vulnerable Senate Republicans may have to reluctantly embrace with only days until Election Day."
Mooney continued, "The GOP isn't aiming to regain control of the evenly split Senate but to ensure that Democrats don't reach 60 seats in the chamber -- the "magic number" that seemed unthinkable only a few months ago." That magic number would give the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, rendering Republicans impotent to block Democrat-backed legislation.
I'm hardly calling for McCain and Caribou Barbie to throw in the towel. I want some drama. I want to see a fight. As much as I want to watch the Chicago Bears win, I also want the games to be worth watching, and likewise with the Presidential race. Besides, Caribou Barbie has provided me with virtually endless hours of comic relief.
Even so, the Associated Press (AP) reported today that McCain is planning to effectively sit out his own victory party in Phoenix. "Instead of appearing before a throng of supporters at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix on the evening of Nov. 4, the Republican presidential nominee plans to deliver postelection remarks to a small group of reporters and guests on the hotel's lawn. Aides said Thursday that the arrangement was due to space limitations and that McCain might drop by the election watch party at some other point. McCain's remarks will be piped electronically into the party and media filing center, aides said. Only a small press "pool"...will be physically present when he speaks."
Wow! I just got depressed writing that. By contrast, Obama will be holding an election eve event in Chicago's Grant Park. Grant Park has played host to such events/guests as Lollapalooza, The Pope, the Taste of Chicago, and the 1968 Democratic Convention riots. Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands might attend.
McCain certainly hasn't announced that he has ceded the election to Obama. But he's not acting like somebody who expects to win.