MEME WATCH….Rich Lowry’s “shrewd friend” — a recurring character at The Corner — emails today to say that Barack Obama is “showing hubris and contempt for the rest of us in how he considers America fundamentally broken and he’s the solution.” Roger that. But this isn’t the shrewd part of SF’s missive. The shrewd part is identifying the vector by which this folktale will spread:

The question now is whether Dana Milbank is the bird leaving the wire and every other bird in the press follows him or not. If this narrative sets in, Obama might have to move up his VP announcement to change the story.

Even a cynic might think that the media is finally tired of playing the GOP’s game on this score — Clinton was shifty, Gore was an exaggerator, Kerry was a flip-flopper — but that’s still an open question. If the press decides to run with Steve Schmidt’s presumptuous/messiah/I’m-not-saying-he’s-unpatriotic-but meme, then Obama could be in real trouble.

At least, that’s what people keep telling me. Personally, though, I don’t think it’s going to work. In fact, the McCain campaign shows signs of being a little too obviously tickled pink with the pickup they’re getting on these stories. There’s a good chance they’re going to carry it a step too far before long and end up on the receiving end of a major backlash. After all, even the media has its limits. I think.

POSTSCRIPT: By the way, speaking of the I’m-not-saying-he’s-unpatriotic meme, do you notice anything funny about this exchange?

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve also taken some heat this week with your comments saying that Senator Obama would rather lose a war than win a political campaign….

MCCAIN: Well, I’m not questioning his patriotism….

STEPHANOPOULOS: When you say someone would rather lose a war, a candidate, that’s questioning his honor, his decency, his character.

MCCAIN: All I’m saying is — and I will repeat — he does not understand. I’m not questioning his patriotism.

The funny thing, of course, is that Stephanopoulos himself never suggested that McCain was questioning Obama’s patriotism in the first place…..

UPDATE: It sounds like longtime McCain advisor John Weaver agrees that McCain’s campaign is in imminent danger of going overboard.

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