In my perusal of RealClearPolitics this morning, I came across a Susan Estrich column. I read it, mostly out of curiosity. Then I read it again. Then I checked my Diet Coke to make sure Whodat in Texas hadn’t spiked it with something a bit stronger. Nope. No Rum, Vodka, Jack Daniels or other mind or mood altering substance there. With all other explanations having been excluded, the only remaining explanation had to be accepted at face value: Susan Estrich was making sense.

Ms. Estrich is very concerned about Barack Obama’s situation at this point in the general election cycle. She’s read the polls and doesn’t like what the tea leaves are saying. Here is the most relevant paragraph:

So here’s the bottom line. The polls make me nervous. Not desperate, not hopeless, not resigned, but nervous. Barack Obama should be ahead right now. Way ahead. Not even close is how it should look, even though I wouldn’t for a minute tell you that if it were that would seal the deal. But the fact that my old candidate Mike Dukakis was running better 20 years ago against George Bush than Obama is today against John McCain makes me nervous. It should be a sign to some of the whiners on my side, still worried about whether Obama is liberal enough or whether he’s doing enough to help Hillary, that it’s time to stop whining and start working. Otherwise, it will be hello President McCain.

She also has several questions:

So how can Newsweek have the race at a dead heat? How come, even in the polls where Obama is leading, his lead is in single digits? Is it that people still don’t know enough about him? No candidate in my lifetime has ever gotten better press coverage, more adoration from the media. (Emphasis Added)

There comes a point in every campaign when the candidate has to “seal the deal” with a big enough chunk of the electorate to get him into office. This was Al Gore’s Achilles Heel.  John “Lurch” Kerry alienated far more voters than he attracted. Now the job falls to Obama. Can he seal the deal? I’m beginning to think he can’t. Susan Estrich is on that same track.

One thing I didn’t mention about Ms. Estrich. She was the campaign manager for the ill-fated former Bay State Governor Mike Dukakis. She’s been down this road before, and if anyone knows what a doomed campaign looks like in July, it’s Susan Estrich.

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