Any decent sailor will tell you that a key way to get to where you're going (not to mention to avoid seasickness) is to focus on a point on the horizon, and keep heading for it--not to be thrown off course by the wind, or the waves, or other distractions... just as Al Giordano keeps telling us to banish "chicken littles" who keep insisting the electoral sky is falling. This piece is a case in point of why I check his site at least daily: Al knows what the f*** he is talking about.
Let me summarize: Sarah Palin? Distraction. Joe Biden? Distraction? Barack being Black? In the end... a distraction. The number crunching of what actually matters... state by state polling, of which Al is a master, backed up by Al actually opening his window and listening to what is happening on the ground... tells me the most comforting thing I have yet seen about this race: the map. The map is... wait for it... the same map that Gore and Kerry faced, with one humongous and all-critical exception. That being, Obama is ahead in Colorado... if he can add New Mexico-- a state Gore won-- Barack wins...
One state that isn't Ohio or Florida... and we win. And OH, VA, FL, NV, IN and maybe MO and a Congressional district in Omaha... are all in play and McCain must still defend them, or he can't win... and this time, the "House tie-breaker" in case of a 269=269 electoral vote tie favors Democrats.
In short, as grim as many people who (wrongly) believe that the 44-year old Governor Palin possesses electoral superpowers want to believe it is... Obama appears to be in better shape than either Kerry or Gore, having changed the board just enough to allow a possible win without having to win either FL or OH, which, for Democrats, are both the equivalent of that football Lucy is holding for Charlie Brown. And we have a path to win and tell both states to go f*** themselves if they insist on voting for McCain. If that's not encouraging... I don't know what is. To paraphrase the late John F. Kennedy, "my Dad told me that if he was going to be buying this election, he'd be damned if he paid for a landslide."