Remember this time last week when Gallup announced Barack Obama had a 9 point lead over John McCain after the former's trip overseas? Now, it's down to anywhere from 1 to 2 points. If that wasn't bad enough, the media have started to question Obama a bit more harshly than they were in their "childhood crush" phase (which, admittedly is still going on).
Could it be Obama's campaign is in freefall?
You probably won't hear it from too many sources yet, but in spite of a fawning media and a lead, albeit slight, in the polls, this is not a good time for Obamania to be on the wane. In a matter of weeks, the Democrats will have their national convention in Denver, Colorado, and Obama needs some momentum to give him a better chance of coming out of the convention and the Republican National Convention with a lead.
At this rate, I don't see that happening, mainly because of the last 24-48 hours. With Obama's recent speech where he "predicts" the Republicans will attack him because of his race, he's going back to the race card, something that he has played time and time again during this campaign. But he's doing it in a subtle way.
There's a concept called a self-fulfilling prophecy in which something comes true because a person is conditioned to believe it will happen. By saying Republicans will attack him because of his race, Obama is setting up the premise. And with some of his campaign staff setting up a website to "combat the smears," he has people who can take any criticism levied against Obama and make it racist. Combine that with the efforts of Media Matters, a Fringe Left group whose main purpose is to distort anything said by conservatives in the media, and you have an army of people finding fake racism under every Republican statement.
Ah, but this is where Obama's desperation comes into play. After his bounce in the polls, Obama's starting to see McCain nipping at his heels and many criticisms about him being repeated, such as the perception that he's arrogant. When someone is in a bad way and doesn't know what to do, he or she tends to go back to a place where he/she feels secure.
And with Obama, it seems his "safe place" is one of hate and racism. The fact he lashed out against McCain and the GOP before they even mentioned his race shows his staff is concerned, as they should be. Obama has underperformed for months and is barely staying ahead of a weak Republican candidate in McCain in most polls. It doesn't matter how many Germans came to listen to him speak; they don't translate into votes, and they don't make the case that he'll be a good President.
And right now, Obama's not convincing too many of the "non-believers" that he's worth the gamble...or their votes.