John McCain is playing checkers. That wouldn’t ordinarily be a problem so long as it were good checkers – and it’s not. Oh, and the fact that the Obama campaign is playing chess. Checkers requires good strategy and solid moves. Chess requires a mastery of the game and imagination.

This past weeks proves that there is a difference in how the two are playing the game. On the one hand you have the Obama camp’s absolutely stunning move to host his acceptance speech in an outdoor arena open to all, which will no doubt fill to a capacity 75,000 crowd. This move is both imaginative and symbolic. Lines up squarely with his narrative of being different and doing things differently. Change. It might even be such a bold move as to signal the beginning of a new era. Good stuff.

Then we have the overseas trip, which so far has completely wiped out any notion of Obama being too inexperienced and not Presidential. He looked entirely Presidential as compared to McCain who couldn’t get a grip on his supposed greatest strength – foreign policy. When you don’t know that Iraq and Pakistan don’t share a border or completely ignore Afghanistan in claiming Iraq is the “first major conflict after 9/11”, you appear to be losing the foreign policy battle. Checkers.

That the McCain campaign so much as dared Obama to go to Iraq is the final checkers-like move. To follow it up with whining about media coverage, buying ads in cities named Berlin in the states, and getting a cheese puff at Schmidt’s in German Village is further indication that the recent change in McCain campaign leadership made not one bit of difference.

McCain continues to play checkers and desperately try to jump Obama’s pieces. Obama turned McCain’s jump into Bxa4, beginning what will no doubt end in checkmate.

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