The race for the White House has just become a “real” one, with John McCain climbing in the polls and Barack Obama sinking. Why? Because people are finally “paying attention,” writes Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal. In McCain, Americans are seeing a familiar face: the “POW senator” with a “prickly” attitude, while Obama remains a charming unknown who can’t be categorized.
To many, Obama’s labels don’t identify him. He’s “a community organizer (what's that?), then a lawyer (boo), then a state legislator (so what, so's my cousin), then US senator (less than four years!),” Noonan notes. Obama’s performance at the Rick Warren debate didn’t help. When it came to abortion, for instance, McCain was the familiar conservative, while Obama seemed “radical or dodgy," Noonan notes.