Some very important things didn’t get said in this very long campaign-or they were said very, very late in the day. Victor Davis Hanson lists four areas of national interest that the media insufficiently explored: campaign financing, the VP candidates (and he’s not talking about clothing allowances-he’s talking about the hidin’ Biden), Barack Obama’s past, and the charge that he just might have a socialist philosophy.

On the last:

“A practical effect of socialism is often defined as curbing productive incentives by ensuring the poorer need not endanger their exemptions and credits by seeking greater income; and discouraging the wealthy from seeking greater income, given that nearly two-thirds of additional wealth would be lost to taxes. Surely that discussion might have been of interest to the American people.”

Melanie Phillips, the hard-hitting columnist for The Spectator (the London one), has a column today on the possible impact of a McCain upset, when the press has tended to present an Obama victory as a foregone conclusion. In the column she notes some of the other things that the public knows less well than it might:

“In similar vein, Obama’s relationship with the ‘unrepentant’ former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers is dismissed as of no consequence on the basis that this was a chance association. But the real issue is that Ayers stopped being a terrorist because he realised that he could more effectively undermine America through radicalising the young through education. As this article reiterates, Obama and Ayers between them systematically funded radical school projects to indoctrinate American children in sedition. This is all part of a pattern. Daniel Pipes has further essential facts on Obama’s links with corrupt sources in a web that extends all the way back to Saddam Hussein. Join up the dots.”

The McCain campaign has left a lot unsaid or tardily said, too. Here are some of those:

  1. John McCain should have come out and said something like this-he has the kind of puckish humor to get away with it: “I’ll probably live long enough to teach Sarah to be a great President if the unthinkable happens and I don’t live out my term. It wouldn’t take long-she’s a quick learner.”
  2. “I am not George Bush.” He said it but possibly too late. It’s tricky to go against an unpopular President of one’s own party. But speaking in code-all that maverick stuff-doesn’t quite say it, especially when there is a barrage of ads from the other side tying McCain to Bush.
  3. “Young man, I voted against the Bush tax cuts, which I now support, because at the time I wanted to make cuts in spending to go with the tax cuts. Come to think of it, I still do.”
  4. And McCain did a disservice to the American people by declaring off limits one of the important aspects of Barack Obama’s history-his ties to such people as Bill Ayres and the Reverend Wright. McCain should have gone past the associations on boards and asked, “Do you believe what they believe?” Even if it won’t get a straight answer, it’s a legitimate question, not “a distraction.”