...Reagan won 44 states and 489 electoral votes in November. One Reagan adviser had predicted such a win shortly after Reagan had become the de facto nominee the previous spring. ...Richard Whalen wrote Reagan's "secret weapon" was that "Democrats fail to take him very seriously."
Are Republicans making the same mistake with Barack Obama?
As [Hillary Clinton] complained about his lack of substance, tens of thousands of people lined up in city after city, sometimes in subfreezing temperatures, for a chance to get a shot of some Mr. Obama hopemongering. Plainly, her critique is not working.
And yet, Republicans are picking it up. In just the past week, conservative commentators have accused Mr. Obama of speaking in "Sesame Street platitudes," of giving speeches that are "almost content free," of "saying nothing."
John McCain has joined the fray. ... After Wisconsin, he sharpened the attack, warning that he would expose Mr. Obama's "eloquent but empty call for change."
The assumption behind much of this criticism is that because Mr. Obama gives a good speech he cannot do substance. This is wrong.
How a writer like Hayes can be so incredibly tight in one way (above) yet so spectacularly loose in another (being the sole intellectual still clinging to the mythical tie between Saddam and 9/11) is baffling, but certainly admirable.
(Speaking of paradoxical tightness: How can a presidential candidate whose name rhymes with "Iraq Hussein Osama" also have a name that is infinitely and endearingly modifiable?