With both Rasmussen and Gallup showing Barack Obama moving backwards even before the Republican Convention dropped its balloons on Andrea Mitchell, one can excuse the Democratic nominee for hearing footsteps.   How desperate has he gotten?  Looks like he’s playing the race card once again:

“I know that I’m not your typical presidential candidate,” Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told executives and employees of the Schott glass company Friday afternoon, “and I just want to be honest with you. I know that.”

“And I know that the temptation is to say, ‘You know what? …The guy hasn’t been there that long in Washington.,’ You know, ‘he’s got funny name,’ You know, ‘we’re not sure about him,'” Obama continued. “And that’s what the Republicans, when they say, ‘This isn’t about issues, it’s about personalities,’ what they’re really saying is, ‘We’re going to try to scare people about Barack. So we’re going to say that you know, maybe he’s got Muslim connections or we’re going to say that, you know, he hangs out with radicals or he’s not patriotic.’

Once again, Obama has resorted to a smear campaign against the McCain campaign.  They have never —never — even hinted that Obama has “Muslim connections”.  They have never made even a slight attempt to make his race an issue, despite this fourth repeat of this particular smear.  Neither has the RNC nor any mainstream Republicans.  In fact, the McCain campaign let go one staffer who only Twittered a link to a Jeremiah Wright video earlier this year.

If Obama wants to argue that some misdirected bloggers have made these kind of attacks, he might have a point.  But by that standard, the Democrats have attacked Bristol Palin, smeared Sarah Palin about the maternity of her youngest child, and questioned the mental capacity of John McCain.  If Obama wants to start making these kinds of accusations, then maybe he ought to get his own house in order first.

That’s not the only data point of desperation today, either:

Sen. Barack Obama ditched his normal languid cool today, punching back at Gov. Sarah Palin as he spoke with reporters in York, Pa, hotly defending his work as a community organizer. He said he assumes Palin “wants to be treated same way guys want to be treated, which means their records are under scrutinty. I’ve been through this for 19 months. She’s been through it, what four days?”

Obama’s hackles were clearly raised by Palin’s dismissal of his community organizing –a response to his earlier dismissal of her record as a small-town mayor. “Why would that kind of work be ridiculed?” Obama said. “Who are they fighting for?” The idea that community organizing is not relevant to the presidency, he said, just shows why Republicans “are out of touch and don’t get it.”

The Obama campaign was clearly on the defensive today, acknowledging how appealing Palin came across, and sending out surrogates hitting their talking points that Republicans have spent their time on attacks rather than substance.

Says the man who keeps calling John McCain the same as George Bush.  There’s a word for a man who can dish it out but can’t take it.  I’ll leave it to you to reach your own conclusions.