Wednesday, January 09, 2008

McCain As Lazarus? New York Times Gets Caught Up in Maelstrom of Hype Following N.H. Primary "Upsets"

National Desk: Time To Brush Up On Your Bible

The New York Times lead on the New Hampshire results was bewildering, not to mention inaccurate.
"In the Republican primary, Senator John McCain of Arizona revived his presidential bid with a Lazarus-like win."
Lazarus, in case you never went to catechism, was the brother of Mary and Martha who Jesus raised from the dead. Which is hardly a description of McCain's prospects going into Tuesday's vote.
First off, McCain didn't campaign vigorously in Iowa and basically bet the house on taking New Hampshire, where he bested Dubya in 2000. True, it was supposed to be a close race with Mitt Romney, who desperately wanted to wrap a win around his New England coattails.
McCain's campaign had been on the ropes because of flaccid fundraising and a chilly reaction to his unwavering support for the war. But the fact that he didn't win in Iowa wasn't ripe for a Lazarus allusion in New Hampshire, where polls showed him at or near the lead. And when you're at the top, there's no way you can rise from anything, let alone the dead.
The Times should have saved its Biblical references, of course, for Hillary Clinton. But her victory was merely labeled a "surprise."
Which is true. Not even Lazarus was predicting she'd win last night.
ADDENDUM: To be fair, after writing this I saw how McCain told The Wall Street Journal that he was marveling at his "Lazarus life," which is certainly true of his campaign if you look back at the last six months. But I still believe the Times left the impression they were referring to New Hampshire, rather than the overall campaign. Not a biggie, I realize. But still.

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