Obama in Germany
As one commentator noted, Obama's appearance before 200,000 (non voting) Germans was certainly a major media event, but boils down to "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what your country can do for me." Before the trip, independent studies showed Obama was drawing 2.5 times more media coverage than McCain was. Perhaps not coincidentally, last week also revealed that media donations to Democrats outnumber their donations to Republicans 100-1. And there's always the Chris Tingling Leg Matthews effect to consider.
But the media love-fest is a two edged sword. Part of the trip to Germany was supposed to include a visit to two US Army hospitals where wounded soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan are treated. My daughter's boyfriend was sent there when a suicide bomber blew up the Stryker he was driving. It's a place filled with heroes. But they don't allow cameras, and so the same campaign that printed flyers for the Berlin speech that they insisted wasn't a political event (right) decided not to go. Of course they're now working on their third explanation for why there was time to hit the gym, but not comfort the wounded.
Will it matter? Given the cover the news media gives to Democrats (seen any John Edwards stories lately?) it will be up to McCain to make it stick. He's going to have to decide whether he's willing to go the whole way or not. He's got an ad up critiquing Obama for skipping out on visiting the hospitals, but it needs a harder edge to make an impact.
Dennis Miller said that he wasn't interested in the color of Obama's skin; it was how thin it was that bothered him. A McCain assault could perhaps exploit that. But the contrast has to be drawn over and over again to break through the media blitz that Barack Delano Fitzgerald Jefferson Messiah Obama's going to continue to benefit from until the election.