Frank Rich cuts through the hyperventilating

Seriously folks, slow down:

Obama has also been defeated by racism (again). He can't connect and "close the deal" with ordinary Americans too doltish to comprehend a multicultural biography that includes what Cokie Roberts of ABC News has damned as the "foreign, exotic place" of Hawaii. As The Economist sums up the received wisdom, "lunch-pail Ohio Democrats" find Obama's ideas of change "airy-fairy" and are all asking, "Who on earth is this guy?"

It seems almost churlish to look at some actual facts. No presidential candidate was breaking the 50 percent mark in mid-August polls in 2004 or 2000. Obama's average lead of three to four points is marginally larger than both John Kerry's and Al Gore's leads then (each was winning by one point in Gallup surveys). Obama is also ahead of Ronald Reagan in mid-August 1980 (40 percent to Jimmy Carter's 46). At, which aggregates polls and gauges the electoral count, Obama as of Friday stood at 284 electoral votes, McCain at 169. That means McCain could win all 85 electoral votes in current toss-up states and still lose the election.

I have no idea who's going to win this November. But I'm hearing too many people tell me Obama's in trouble on too much flimsy evidence. Among my favorites--the claim that the McCain campaign thinks that "the celeb ads are working." So what? What are they supposed to say--Yeah our latest ad really flopped. If you can't tell me that it is working, and what the long-term impact will be, I'm not interested. Really man. To paraphrase Ghostface, cats need to lay back and enjoy the moment, instead pushing for the end of the story.