A "Miraculous Fortnight"

Dean Barnett has some kind words for this blog (thanks, Dean) but thinks I'm delusional in saying Obama had an "objectively miraculous" fortnight. Of course, I did not mean by this that he wrapped up the election or that the pundit class swooned or the public was enraptured. In fact, Obama's been treading water in the polls, in so far as they tell us much at the beginning of August. What I meant is simply that it's remarkable that a first-term senator's proposals on Iraq, having been decried as defeat and surrender by McCain and Bush, came to be endorsed by the Iraqi "government," and that McCain and Bush had to adjust their own views accordingly. It's rare that any American politician who is not president would bring hundreds of thousands of foreigners into the streets of Berlin. It's rare that a Democratic nominee would be endorsed by the most successful young right-of-center politician in Britain, and be hailed by the conservative president of France. It's rare that such a newbie could pull off a complicated and pitfall-laden foreign tour without any noticeable gaffes or blunders. McCain is attacking Obama as a celebrity because Obama gave him no opening to attack him as an incompetent or unready on the world stage.

The fundamentals of the Obama campaign remain impressive to me. I have a feeling they will endure, even when the McCain camp sustains some tactical victories. In the end, this election will be decided on the core issues. On these, Obama still retains a serious advantage.