Time Mag: Is McCain 'Ready for Prime Time'?

May 29, 2008 Screencap of Time.com | NewsBusters.orgTeam Obama: Ready for Prime Time? Aides who were lobbyists, preachers who are controversial, a murky message. Can Obama get back on course?

Wow, who in the MSM wrote that story? No one. I simply replaced McCain with Obama in the front page teaser for a May 29 article by Time magazine's Michael Scherer.

We need not belabor Obama's "murky message" and controversial preachers. And we've previously established the media's lack of interest in Obama's numerous gaffes.

What about the lobbyist issue? As the LA Times noted on May 25, "[c]ampaigning without them is easier said than done" for both McCain and Obama.

Indeed, Obama campaign chief David Axelrod has a history of lobbying work, including spearheading an ad campaign on behalf of Commonwealth Edison:

[W]hen the power company faced a government decision on whether to extend a rate freeze, Axelrod's firm developed radio and TV ads sponsored by a ComEd-funded group called Consumers Organized for Reliable Electricity. The ads warned of potential California-style electrical blackouts in Illinois if the rate freeze were extended.

Axelrod said that such efforts were intended to encourage public participation and were not lobbying. "I don't do lobbying," he said. "I have never approached any public official -- nor has any member of my staff -- on behalf of a corporation.

"There is nothing I do that violates the spirit or the letter of what Obama is trying to do with his guidelines," he said.

Painting the McCain campaign as not ready for prime time might also be counter to what the polling data show. Pitted against Obama for the general election, the RealClearPolitics polling average only has Obama up by only 2.5 percentage points right now, a remarkably paltry showing considering the persistent negative drumbeat of the media and Democrats on the war in Iraq, the economy, and gas prices.

Campaigns & Elections 2008 Presidential Time Online Media Michael Scherer