New Voters "Money In The Bank" For Obama

I am slowly beginning to understand Andy Rooney, the curmudgeonly old guy who used to do a five minute segment at the end of the news show “60 Minutes” about things he didn’t like. In the last couple of weeks there are a few words and phrases I’ve gotten tired of hearing:


“Joe Six Pack”

“energy independence”



The one that is probably the most bothersome is the one I am sure will be used to death over the next twenty four hours as the punditocracy chatter among themselves on their pre-debate and post debate panels – “gamechanger”.

I was reminded of this as I watched the Minnesota Vikings take on the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome last night. New Orleans amassed four times the yardage of Minnesota in the first half, but just couldn’t get the ball in the end zone enough. There had been too many errors in the execution of their gameplan, and too many fumbles by their star running back Reggie Bush. Minnesota was leading at one point by 10 points. And then, just like that, in the space of a few seconds, Reggie Bush electrified the crowd as he returned a punt from deep in his own territory for a touchdown. A few minutes later, he did it again, to put New Orleans in the lead. What was the first sentence out of Tony Kornheiser’s mouth? “This guy is a gamechanger.”

Finally, I said to myself, someone uses the phrase “gamechanger” phrase appropriately. And as I sat there, watching Reggie Bush’s teammates pat him on the back, I thought about what it was that got me so agitated whenever I heard a political pundit say “will this be a gamechanger” when they attempted to predict the impact each candidate's performance could have on the TV audience. As I sat back, watching the two football teams fight it out on the screen, I could see exactly what it was.

In a football game, you saw it all right there inside the stadium, the players on the field, the players on the bench, the coaches, the back ups, the special teams, the team owners in the skyboxes – everything that could affect the game except the training room was right there on display.

In this election, we are seeing only a fraction of the manpower of the opposing campaigns. The podiums and the cadre of aides each of the Democratic and Republican candidates are usually seen with in news clips tend to be equalizing images. The thing that is so maddening to me is that if you could visualize, as I do all the time, the difference between the manpower and the financial resources of the Obama and McCain camps, you would quickly realize that there is no way John McCain or Sarah Palin could have the kind of effect on this election that Reggie Bush had on the game last night.

There is no running room in virtually any state. No way a Hail Mary pass will make it to the Electoral College goal line. And even if McCain/Palin recover a fumble, Obama/Biden have too many players on the field for them to get very far. One of the bulwarks of Obama’s basic strategy – significantly expanding the electorate – was derided by the conventional wisdom as being a costly, time consuming endeavor. Now these newly registered voters are like money in the bank for Obama - although these days, "money in the bank" might be an oxymoron.

The “gamechanging” has been taking place for the last eighteen months, one door and one voter at a time. The army of Obama volunteers will finally get a break after mounting the biggest voter registration drive by a political party in modern times.

No 30 second TV ads will change this.

No debate zinger will matter.

Reggie Bush's heroics didn't change the football game enough either last night.

New Orleans lost by 3.

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