Column: Obama Gets Back In The Game By Banking On GOP's Faults

This story was written by James Cooper, Daily O'Collegian

What a difference a week makes.

In the recent Gallup poll, Barack Obama leads rival John McCain 48 percent to 44 percent. Quinnipiac shows Obama ahead at 49 percent to 45 percent while the new CBS/New York Times poll puts Obama at 49 percent to 44 percent. Reuters/Zogby shows Obama beating McCain at 47 percent and 45 percent. And, Thursday, the Pew Research Center put the race at a statistical dead heat, 46 percent to 44 percent.

Last week, Democrats across the country began to worry that their candidate might not have the passion and fight necessary to win. In the week following the Republican Convention, the maverick found a way to pull ahead of the agent of change for the first time, maintaining a nearly three-point advantage in the Real Clear Politics average.

The maverick found his soul mate in the governor from Alaska. The Obama campaign found themselves in a state of disbelief. For nearly two weeks, Obama and Biden waffled on how to handle Palin.

Palin, however, went for the jugular, attacking Obamas experience as a community organizer, repeating the lie that she said Thanks, but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere, noting that a vote for Obama meant a tax hike for the middle class.

Lies have a peculiar way of exposing themselves as such. The McCain Campaign thought they had found the perfect distractions. Palin was to become the gay marriage of the 2008 election. Their hope was to turn this election into a referendum on small town vs. big city.

Their failure was their fundamental misunderstanding of the mess their partys economic polices have caused. This misunderstanding makes perfect sense when your key economic adviser, Phil Gramm, dismisses the economic troubles facing the country outright, calling the country a nation of whiners.

This comment is especially interesting considering Gramms work on the Commodity Futures Modernization Act in 2000 led to the deregulation that paved the way for the current banking crisis. You know you are in good company when Enron, one of your biggest contributors, lobbies on behalf of your legislation.

Yet, their biggest failure was to assume that Obama would not hammer away at these deceptive practices, especially in a week where the government socialized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, bailed out insurance giant AIG and turned Lehman Brothers away in the face of bankruptcy.

This week, Obama reminded voters that the party of deregulation led the way for this current crisis. Obama reminded voters that he championed legislation in the Senate to prevent this crisis two years ago, warning of the impending housing crisis and the subprime meltdown. He reminded voters that the only change McCain brings on this issue is his newly minted position as a staunch regulator, a position he even seems to have a difficult time reconciling on a day to day basis.

The polls shifted back in Obamas favor because voters saw Palins interview with Charlie Gibson and were startled to learn she did not know the Bush Doctrine and she seemed so scripted in her responses. Rest easy, America, she can seeAlaska from her backyard.

McCain cynically thinks he can move the conversation away from a referendum on the disastrous Bush administration policies by focusing voters attention on his commendable war record. He hopes voters dont realize he picked Palin to win an election, not to govern. He hopes voters forget his extensive voting record in favor of further deregulation. He hopes he can lie about Obamas tax plan while he prepares to make the Bush tax cuts permanent for those making over $250,000.

This week proves that Obama, confident and with a smile, has no intention of allowing voters to suffer through a cse of historic amnesia.