Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 15, 2008 6:58PM

While watching the third and final presidential debates tonight, I had a premonition at 6:58PM—beyond any doubt—that Barack Obama would be voted the next President of the United States. Two minutes later, I felt I saw the future unfolding.

McCain said he'd like to hear what kind of "fine" that "Joe the Plumber" would get under Obama's health plan and Obama responded "Zero", explaining that small businesses get an exemption under his plan.

Now look at McCain's face:

For most of the presidential debates, McCain has smiled or he's had his mouth closed. Instead, here he looks at Obama, nearly incredulously, as Obama flatly rebukes him, and then explains—with the usual Obama eloquence—the details of his health plan. It's hard to see on this clip, but in the video, McCain's face looked ashen, almost angry. All I could picture in my mind was McCain's spin doctors pulling out their hair, screaming at their TV sets for McCain to "reset" back to his pleasant happy face. Small moments like that leave a small subconscious impression which gently tips undecided voters towards the more affable candidate.

I guess a month from now it'll be easy to say how sure everyone must have been that Obama had it all sewn up so early, especially when you look at this election map where Obama is close to clinching more than the magic 270 electoral votes (thanks to NPR's interactive map):

However, there are several things which make this race uniquely advantageous for Obama to convert my strong hunch to certainty. Firstly, the candidate himself: he exudes confidence, charm, vitality, eloquence, hope, and he's remarkably intelligent. Secondly, he's running his campaign with virtual tools like Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter, and even sponsoring ads in video games. Thirdly, he's built a massive pro-active grass roots campaign (through those aforementioned virtual tools) from which he's consistently asking for donations. Fourthly, he's using those donations to force McCain to hemorrhage money to retain states he'd once taken for granted, and Obama's fiercely stumping in tossup states like Florida and Ohio. As of this writing, Obama is ahead in the Florida polls by almost 5 points. Since the margin of victory in Florida was so slim in 2004, there's a strong possibility Obama's fevered drive to register 500,000 new voters will flip Florida from red to blue. And everyone knows Florida is iconic in tipping the election.

I now hear that Obama has purchased a national half hour TV spot right days before the election... Obama beat the "unbeatable" Clinton simply by staying in the race long enough to let the voters get to know him. Given Obama's track record of political victories, one has to wonder if McCain ever really stood a chance at all.

So I'll bet money on it now—come January 20th, we'll have a President Obama in the West Wing.

Yes we will!

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