Time is running out on Barack Obama. The last day that they have had substantial positive control over the content of the news cycle was the day of Barack Obama’s acceptance speech, two weeks ago. You can’t hear him talk about CHANGE! because John McCain, Sarah Palin, or Obama’s own surrogates are stepping on Obama’s story every single day.
Let’s look at the schedule for the rest of the election.
Tomorrow is September 11. Sarah Palin will wish her son off to war in Iraq tomorrow. Between that and Joe Biden’s blunder about Hillary Clinton being more qualified, John McCain and the GOP own the rest of this week.
So they will have between Monday the 16th and Thursday the 25th to have significant impact over the news cycle. On the 26th, the first Presidential debate will happen. But between the the 16th and the 25th, there will be:
- John Gibson interview of Sarah Palin on ABC.
- Probably a significant profile or two of Sarah Palin.
- Some sort of serious debate in Congress on energy.
One can imagine that this will suck up 3 of those 8 news cycles.
One you get into the debates, the ability to shape the story gets even harder. The next debate, the VP debate, is 6 days later on a Thursday, which is really 3 or 4 real news cycles. (Granted, one of those will be October 3rd, when the unemployment number comes out, which probably won’t be pretty)
The next debate is October 7, a mere 6 days later on a Tuesday. The Monday before is probably the only day that Obama could seriously have an impact on the news cycle.
Then you have October 15th for the final debate on a Wednesday. That’s 5 real days of news.
One of those will be occupied by the release of the Alaska legislature’s report on Sarah Palin firing a guy who refused to fire a cop who drank in his cop car, tasered a 10 year old, and threatened to murder her dad. (remind me how this is a good story for the Dems?)
And then early voting starts.
Time is really, really running out on these guys. Before voting starts, they probably don’t have a real shot of moving the story for more than about 15 days. That has got to be scary. In the meantime, Palin’s star power will just dominate.