With one day to go until the election's conclusion, Sarah Palin has really ramped up her rhetoric, suggesting during a stop on Monday that Barack Obama thought terrorists were "the good guys."
"What do they think?" she declared at one point. "Do they think the terrorists have all the sudden become the good guys and changed their minds? No, the terrorists still seek to destroy America and her allies and all that it is that we stand for: freedom, tolerance, and equality. The terrorists have not changed their minds."
The comments, delivered to a crowd in Jefferson City, Missouri, are the latest in the slash-and-burn rhetoric from the Alaska Governor. Earlier in her address -- which seemed clearly non-scripted -- she accused Obama of wanting to drastically slash the defense budget during a time of war.
There is a particular poignancy to the terrorism card being played at this juncture. The country's reaction to 9/11 has defined the last three congressional elections. But it was the 2004 presidential contest in which the candidates were judged most scrupulously on their commander-in-chief mettle. Voters have moved on, clearly, from '04. But that doesn't necessarily mean that terrorism isn't a divisive electoral issue. It is just that the discussion is no longer weighed down by simplicity. Accusing Obama of coddling up to terrorists or wanting to slash the defense budget hasn't had its desired affects. In a recent ABC poll, 49 percent of voters said they trusted McCain best to handle the issue of terrorism, only two percentage points more than Obama.