Before I write much today, I just have to say that I agree with Joe Klein and Margaret Talev in crying foul about the distortions in a recent McCain ad about Obama and sex education.
I’m not going to spend more time on that because the John McCain I know as well as the Rick Davis, Trevor Potter, Mark Salter, and others who have stood with McCain for years are honorable people. This ad was a mistake — and they probably know it. I have no evidence for this, but my hunch is that this ad went out without thoughtful screening from above.
If they did approve it, then they should reconsider it.
But on other fronts, I’ve been talking to various women who either support Obama or Hillary Clinton. I’ve had a tough time finding women who support John McCain — but clealry Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman and others do. But many of the HIllary women remain apologetically enthusiastic about Sarah Palin.
Some women who are Obama supporters — and one of whom is a Pulitzer prize writing authors — are telling me that they are doing what they can to convince other women that Obama will be good for their interests.
But in an email I received from one of these yesterday: she asked me “where are the heads?”
What this means is that she doesn’t see Obama-supporting talking heads, particularly of the female gender, out in field meeting with folks.
I spoke to a senior Obama campaign official yesterday who told me that they are doing all the can to rev up their female base and to get people out talking — but that he knows it still feels like a less than adequate footprint.
I don’t think women are moving en masse to McCain/Palin — but the fizzle of enthusiasm for Obama/Biden is wanting.
Hillary Clinton is the key — and probably always has been. It’s too late to put Hillary on the ticket — but I wonder if Obama is willing to make his first tough-minded political act his support of Hillary Clinton as Senate Majority Leader.
It would cost him as Harry Reid doesn’t want to be deposed and Richard Durbin and Chuck Schumer want the job — and she’s not a formal part of Senate leadership as of now.
But extraordinary challenges require extraordinary fixes and gestures.
— Steve Clemons