Intriguing title, huh? I can’t take full credit for it though, it was inspired by Michael Tomasky’s piece in The Daily Beast criticizing Obama’s DNC speech:
This was the rhetorical equivalent, forgive the football metaphor, of running out the clock: Obama clearly thinks he’s ahead and just doesn’t need to make mistakes. But when football teams do that, it often turns out to be the biggest mistake of all, and they lose.
Well, teams that are competent can usually manage to do that. It’s only teams with glaring weaknesses that fail at it. If you can’t run out the clock when you’re ahead, it means you’re not very good. Tomasky continues:
Unlike Clinton, Obama didn’t even mention [Medicaid] by name. Social Security and Medicare, yes, although even with those, he uttered mere vague sentences. But his not even mentioning Medicaid stunned me. Third down and 12, let’s run it up the middle, boys, take no chances.
Hey, Tomasky, teams that throw deep with a late lead tend to end up like this. So maybe Obama knows what he’s doing. Yes, I liked Clinton’s speech a lot too. But there was no point in Obama repeating what Clinton had already said. There was enough repetition in the convention speeches as it was.
As of right now, Obama leads Romney 48-45 in the Gallup poll. To continue the football analogy, with a three point lead late in the game, he’d be crazy to try anything risky.