Noonan: What if Neither Man Is Up to the Job?

Things will get mean out there
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2008 10:45 AM CDT
Republican presidential candidate John McCain attends his Road To Victory campaign rally at the the PS Air Hangar at the Cedar Rapids Airport on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008.    (AP Photo/Liz Martin, Pool)
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(Newser) – The election is about to enter a dark, mean period writes Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal, as the country confronts a terrifying possibility: What if neither man is up for the job? Thanks to the economy, anxiety is at a fever pitch, but “I haven’t heard a single person say, ‘Yes, my guy is the answer,’” writes Noonan. “A lot of shrugging is going on out there.”  

As the doubts grow, the election gets meaner. The once dignified Obama “gets tough,” a bad move because “people want depth, not ferocity.” Surrogates and supporters, beginning to doubt their own candidates, intensify attacks on the other guy. And behind it all is a deeper doubt: What if this election doesn’t help? “We make believe the election can change everything,” writes Noonan. “But deep inside we think: Ah, that won’t work either.”