Both Nate and Noam have tried to make sense of John McCain's odd-seeming decision to turn Pennsylvania into the battleground state. Here, smart reader Rick Rosenthal offers his (decidedly optimistic) theory of what's really going on:
Apparently McCain drew less than 500 people to a rally in suburban PA two days ago. Then he went to Western PA and flubbed the attack lines against John Murtha's comments so that the sound bite was completely incoherent. On Monday he drew crowds of about 2000, then 15 people at an airport rally (yes, that is correct--no zeros), and then his third rally of the day was described as "sparsely attended." (Maybe they should try raffling off a car next time.) In Florida today, McCain is going to a factory in the morning, unable to draw a crowd even in a Republican area of the state. McCain is demanding that he campaign with Palin again, so he can draw a crowd, so they are back together today, wasting valuable candidate time and resources.
Now the Obama campaign is doing a major head fake in PA. They "accidentally" leaked an "internal" poll showing Obama up by only 2 percent in PA. I guarantee you that no such poll exists and that this was done both to motivate volunteers in the state (and maybe elsewhere) and prevent them from getting too complacent and also to sucker the McCain campaign into spending more time there. Ed Rendell has asked Obama to come back and campaign in the state-another major ruse. They know that McCain makes most of the decisions for his campaign and that they can goad him into spending more time in PA by pretending that it is close there. Let's see if Obama actually returns to PA before November 4th, but I sincerely doubt it. They are brilliant.