A busy summer is all but over, school starts soon and I always seem to benefit from a burst of energy and enthusiasm. The presidential campaign is about to move into high gear, although I have to say that since McCain and Obama have gotten the nods from their respective parties, it's been a yawn fest.
The economy is weak, housing is atrocious (and not yet at a bottom despite what your local knucklehead realtor tells you), energy costs are up significantly (despite recent reversals), yet both candidates seem unwilling or unable to discuss the issues intelligently. They both offer warmed-over drivel straight from each candidates respective party archives.
The fact that Obama's lead is meager is troubling for his supporters given the pitiful state of the national Republican party. McCain benefits from the failure of the Obama campaign to present a relevant, coherent message. The body politic is uncomfortable with current circumstances. McCain is viewed as a "safe" choice and benefits from geopolitical and economic uncertainties.
That said, the Obama campaign is in much better shape from an electoral perspective (the only oe that really counts) where he enjoys sizable lead. That lead may ebb with gas prices if Obama is unable to firmly his bona fides as a ready and viable leader. Enough base populism, he must show himself able to adjust to circumstances as they presently exist. While the Bush tax cuts appear virtually certain to expire given the fact that the Democrats will enjoy significant margins in both the House and the Senate, such inaction will likely have a deleterious impact on the economy. In the same breath, the expiration of the tax cuts will likely result in increased federal revenue in 2009 as transactions are accelerated into 2009 in order to benefit from lower rates.
The other side is that revenues in 2010 and 2011 will be reduced.
The election still appears to be Obama's to lose, but at this point I am wholly uninspired by both campaigns;