For a candidate who thinks he's ahead, and might actually become president, inevitably there's a tone of new seriousness right at the end: What we've been working for years is within our grasp, let's not screw this up, and let's be sobered by how different the world is going to look in a few days.Outside of the political skits, I think SNL is pretty wretched. But if Obama does win, Tina Fey & co. will have helped decide this election. In Newsweek's recent poll, 34 percent of independents said that the Palin pick makes them less likely to support McCain. In the Washington Post-ABC News poll, 58% of Americans said that Palin was unqualified to be President. Palin made that impression; Tina Fey baked it in.
So if McCain really thought he had a chance of catching up, he wouldn't have wasted time on an audience that might repair his reputation among liberals and journalists but does him no good with the crucial swing votes. And if he thought he were secretly ahead, he wouldn't comport himself this way. He would be more like the stiff character we saw in the debates.
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