The latest political game reminds me of 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon. "Today, Obama's priest said ..." "Yesterday, McCain's advisor said ..."
The candidates have learned not to go off script, realizing that one gaffe could define them to swing voters (defined as people who spend 7 minutes or less on politics every 4 years) and spoil their chances. Meanwhile, they are surrounded by a posse of advisors and donors about the size of the posse that follows a rap star (which is to say, a population roughly equal to Cleveland). These people - like Americans everywhere - occasionally speak their mind.
I guess the thing that I like best about it is how much attention all this gets. If a candidate is going to win this thing, they'll likely aim for at least 50.1% of the vote. This means that among their supporters will be some certifiable nut jobs. Genuine loonies. Complete whack jobs. In fact, these very people - prone to sprout nonsense like a toddler with Tourette’s - probably make up the swing vote. Which is to say, the candidates ought not to distance themselves from the members of their retinue who say stupid things; in fact, if they are serious about winning this thing, they need to embrace these people and say that such nonsense is welcome among their supporters.
Or, they could take it one step further and, like George W., they could actually be the spokesperson and representative for the gaffe-prone among us. How else to explain the fact that he was elected twice? And why wouldn't either McCain or Obama be eager for those very supporters who put George in the White House?