Too Close To Call? Now What?

It seems fair to characterize the Presidential race as too close to call right now based on the recent polling. But I still cling (reference intended) to the underlying dynamics being incredibly favorable to Democrats and Barack Obama. George W. Bush remains our ace in the hole. This is still Obama's contest to lose, even though he seems to be doing his damnedest to lose it. So what now? Well, first and foremost, I hope and think that every one has learned their lesson that "hope" and "change" and "ground game" and "50 state strategy" are all nice words, but do not translate into an easy win, even in this favorable climate. The Obama campaign has to dig in and fight the fight.

More . . .

DemfromCt writes:

Bottom line is that, like in other polls, the GOP base has consolidated while the Dem base, while more enthusiastic, has not. Obama has room to move up, but it'll take work to get there.

(Emphasis supplied.) Actually, it does not take much work, just the swallowing of a little pride by Obama - all he needs to do to is pick Hillary Clinton as his VP candidate. But he won't. He is picking Biden. So what else is there?

First and foremost, run as the Democrat and force upon McCain the Republican/Bush mantle. This requires jettisoning the post-partisan Unity Schtick. Can and will Obama do this? We'll see.

Second, see the first.

To me, it is that simple.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    he has painted himself into (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:44:07 AM EST
    something of a corner with all the "above politics as usual" stuff.  
    if he attacks it will be turned against him.  and it will probably be pretty effective.

    and painted the wall behind him (5.00 / 5) (#101)
    by RonK Seattle on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:11:29 AM EST
    ... with "Hillary Clinton will say anything to get elected", flipping her the bird, etc.

    Pure gold for McCain if Obama does put her on the ticket.


    Two observations about Bush... (5.00 / 6) (#2)
    by Shainzona on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:44:56 AM EST
    He has disappeared (except for a couple of mug shots of him at the Olympics) for the average voter.

    America has survived (albeit battered, bruised and a shadow of some of its former "selves") 8 years of the worst president possible.  

    McCain may be all of the things you say he is, but is not Bush and Barack Obama is not proving himself to be a better candidate.

    And time is (or has) run out for those who had great "hope"...IMHO.

    Yep (5.00 / 7) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:01:08 AM EST
    Give Bush credit of a sort, he is doing all he can for McCain, including disappearing.

    How long do you figure (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by cawaltz on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:06:55 AM EST
    before the GOP ties Obama to the marvelously popular post office remaning body we know and love as Congress? Everytime Nancy Pelosi opens her mouth to gush about Obama I cringe.

    no kidding (none / 0) (#47)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:12:25 AM EST
    did you see the clip of her saying he was a gift from god.

    When it's all about (5.00 / 9) (#3)
    by Jjc2008 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:46:13 AM EST
    the "Obama" party instead of about the democratic party, there's a problem. The only unity the Obama folks want is for the rest of us to bow down to them, rid ourselves of any association with Clinton, worship Obama and Dean and understand the center of the democratic universe is in Chicago.

    The problem is this.  Too many long time democrats are not into worship.  We know better.  We learned.
    Until and unless Obama leads democrats and his team gets over the ego driven selves, there is a problem.

    No, it is not that simple (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:46:13 AM EST
    for him.  To be electable, a candidate has to be educable.

    Of course he is electable (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:49:08 AM EST
    Now you are being silly.

    Or are you arguing McCain is a shoo in?


    McCain isn't a shoo-in, (5.00 / 10) (#29)
    by samanthasmom on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:04:28 AM EST
    but in order for Obama to win he has to learn from his mistakes. Obama refuses to admit that he has made any. It's not his fault that he's not making progress toward being elected. It's our fault because we won't vote for him. He appears to be totally unwilling to change his strategy, which would include embracing the Clintons and her supporters. Although history shows that the more voters get to know Obama, the less likely they are to vote for him, he continues to run a campaign based on his personality. He's not "educable".

    Yes, McCain is a shoo-in (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by goldberry on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:05:51 AM EST
    No getting around it.  He'd have to saute live puppies on Iron Chef before he loses this one.  
    Obama absolutely can not win against him,  The GOP is just playing with its food now.  It's going to get ugly.  

    sadly, I agree (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:08:28 AM EST
    and (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:09:58 AM EST
    Im not even sure Puppy Stir Fry would make a difference.

    Samantha is disturbed by your comment. (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by samanthasmom on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:34:27 AM EST
    She says no kibble for Capt Howdy.

    And if McCain were (5.00 / 3) (#38)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:09:42 AM EST
    to add enough garlic, or deep fry them and coat them with chocolate, he'd still do okay



    No one is a shoo-in on this one (4.90 / 11) (#57)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:17:13 AM EST
    which is a larger context to my point, and to yours to which I replied.  But okay, let's look at the larger context with your new point here.

    The Obama camp believed it was a shoo-in.  So did the DNC.  But it is not and never has been, because these are the Republicans.  Once they got behind McCain -- because they want to win, no matter what it takes -- it was no longer a shoo-in for a Dem.

    When no one is a shoo-in, it is necessary to adapt.  Obama is not adapting.  McCain actually did adapt with the campaign shake-up a while ago.

    Whether McCain has made a good adaptation is yet to be seen.  But it looks like it so far.  It actually is looking like a meteoric rise vs. a fast-falling star.  

    See electoral-vote.com, where projections had Obama almost 50 above the needed 270 only two weeks ago -- and much farther above the projection for McCain.  Now, Obama is below 270 for the first time, at 264.  And McCain is only three behind, at 261.  (And the tie is, yes, Virginia -- so I expect the VP will be Kaine.  But at this rate of decline for Obama, it won't be enough.)

    The old dog can learn new tricks.  The new, shiny, young dog is not showing that he knows how to win or even be adaptable, i.e., educable.  That's all.  I said nothing about a shoo-in in my initial comment, but since you raised that context, there it is: It's still not a shoo-in for either, but one is adapting, and one is not.  So we'll see whether one has turned to a winning strategy, whie one is sticking to a losing strategy.


    If McCain gets the job done in the first debate (none / 0) (#153)
    by bridget on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 03:11:41 PM EST
    its all over for Obama. There is no reason to believe that he can't do it. Bush did it.

    Besides Eight years of solid media McCain love don't erase one year of Obama fawning by the talking heads.

    Eight years the media let McCain get away with just about everything and gladly disappeared his faults and mistakes all the way back to campaign 2000. The fact that McCain is a Saint, a patriot,  a maverickmaverickmaverick with a lot of character has been hammered into the brains of the TV audience.

    btw. even pundits who now ridicule McCain seem to think that it is at all possible that McCain might v. well turn back into the maverick they once loved so much. I bet Michael Kinsley is still in love w. him, too. All these liberal TV and paper pundits are to blame when McCain takes the prize in November. But what else is new?



    What is the difference between 'educable" (none / 0) (#146)
    by Christy1947 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 02:06:48 PM EST
     and Flip-flopping?

    The fact that Obama apparently continues (5.00 / 8) (#5)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:46:59 AM EST
    to advertise heavily in Georgia suggests to me that he believes his own spin. That makes me feel very uncomfortable.

    Yes, I'm going to keep talking about that (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:47:27 AM EST
    because it's emblematic of much of what's wrong with this campaign.

    we dont agree on everything (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:49:01 AM EST
    but we agree that he will not win Georgia.
    and that the fact that he seems to think he can is scary.

    Even if it started as a head fake, (5.00 / 4) (#9)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:51:54 AM EST
    the polling is in and the jig is up. Move on and stop wasting money.

    I'd hate to see Obama revert to (none / 0) (#49)
    by brodie on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:13:13 AM EST
    old Dem form and only compete narrowly in a handful of swing states.

    Last I checked, O was behind only on avg about 6 pts in GA -- that's what I'd consider striking distance as of August.  No need to pull out now.  And he has the funding to go into a number of tough states like that and see what happens, maybe make a game of it in the fall and force the other side to spend their more ltd funds there.

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  It would be stupid to repeat the narrowminded timid approach of TeamKerry.


    Ok, you send him your money (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:14:28 AM EST
    to fritter away in Georgia. He isn't getting a dime from me--that's for sure.

    He can't win Georgia. But he can win Ohio (he (5.00 / 5) (#62)
    by tigercourse on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:20:18 AM EST
    must win Ohio). The money he spends in Georgia could be buying air time, opening offices, etc. It's a bad allocation of resources.

    Who said anything about (none / 0) (#70)
    by brodie on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:26:06 AM EST
    "winning Georgia"???

    You want to force the other guy to compete in their own territory, the states they absolutely need to win -- that is a legitimate goal in and of itself, something the stupid Kerry camp failed to do, and Gore before him.

    O has the bucks and, right now, the time to put some money into GA.  I say go for it and see what happens.

    As for sending money to see it wasted, well this HRC in the primaries backer has been a bit grumpy lately seeing how that campaign, which I contributed to in a not insignificant amount, badly mismanaged funds.  Almost a gold-medal performance in funding mismanagement, thanks to PSD and a few others (Ickes?) who were incompetent or asleep.  


    It's not working (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:30:58 AM EST
    John McCain has chosen--correctly--to ignore the money Obama is spending in Georgia.

    I don't see what the Clinton campaign has to do with this. Their financial management was terrible, but they're not running the show now.

    In any event, past performance is no guarantee of future results, and Obama's strategy just isn't working now.


    Of course McC is wise, right now, (none / 0) (#81)
    by brodie on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:37:51 AM EST
    not to spend in GA.  They too would want to sit back and see whether O can make inroads there -- and if in the fall, during crunch time, they see him getting dangerously close, they will respond.  

    It is a gamble by O's team -- but as I say, qui ne risque rien, n'a rien.


    Just because Hillary's campaign was (none / 0) (#118)
    by hairspray on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:28:15 AM EST
    badly managed, doesn't mean that Obama's isn't.

    Oy (5.00 / 3) (#63)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:20:19 AM EST
    Why not Utah?

    You must be joking.


    Or maybe spend more (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:45:31 AM EST
    in Florida.

    Has McCain even spent a nickel there yet?


    Or Alaska, (none / 0) (#100)
    by Landulph on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:10:02 AM EST
    even better.

    I wish (5.00 / 5) (#13)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:54:46 AM EST
    he'd stop simply because not only is it a waste of money but I think that his advertising is going destroy the ability of downticket races to win. If he just quietly goes away, maybe the other candidates won't be put in the position of having to run against him.

    Yup - insular and stubborn (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by Dr Molly on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:55:27 AM EST
    Obama has 15 paid staffers in TX (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by stxabuela on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:30:09 AM EST
    The last I checked, we were painted a brighter red than GA this year on the EV map.  

    Same principle as Georgia (none / 0) (#75)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:31:55 AM EST
    and, for that matter, North Carolina.

    I want him to pull out of the states he obvious can't win.


    GA, TX, etc are part of his premature victory lap. (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by RonK Seattle on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:20:51 AM EST
    He's already talking about re-election like it was a done deal.

    And the superD's have abdicated. As with Groucho Marx's crazy uncle who thought he was a chicken, they'd do something about him ... but they need the eggs.


    Obama is relying on new Dem voter registrations (none / 0) (#85)
    by Josey on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:43:59 AM EST
    Do you hear conservative radio and TV talkshow hosts encouraging Repub voter registrations?
    I'm not an avid viewer or listener, but I haven't.

    Didn't work for us in '04. (none / 0) (#87)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:47:55 AM EST
    They beat us handily at GOTV with new voter registrations as I recall.

    iirc - 08 (D)registrations are vastly outpacing 04 (none / 0) (#90)
    by Josey on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:54:25 AM EST
    Uh huh... (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:05:15 AM EST
    maybe we'll finally catch up to their '04 level.

    Or maybe not.  How are the new voter R registrations going?  Or do we know?


    R registrations are lower than Dems (none / 0) (#139)
    by Josey on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 12:55:53 PM EST
    in every state that I've seen.
    And recently, a biggie in the Obama campaign said they're not looking at polls, but number of registrations.

    Are they tracking that number (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by sj on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:37:07 AM EST
    (new registrations) against the Dems re-registering as Independents?  That's a serious question.  

    Full disclosure:  that isn't me.  So far anyway.  But for the first time in my life I can imagine myself as a Not-Democrat.  That's kind of a creepy thought.  And if this die-hard Dem can consider leaving the party, well then...

    So I'm curious if it's being tracked.


    2-3 house seats and a senate seat in play (none / 0) (#117)
    by jimotto on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:26:53 AM EST
    Before the primary, Obama volunteers added over 100,000 new voters to the rolls.  Over 60% of them voted.  Since, they've added another 100,000.  

    What does he need to win in NC?  As of 8/16, he'll need strong black turnout (in 2004 turnout was 59% amoung registered blacks vs 66% amoung registered whites), and he'll need to get around 36% of the white vote (right now he's polling around 33%).  So while the state is no gimme, its clearly competitive.  

    Additionally, even if he doesn't win the state, these efforts could pay dividends in the senate race and in at least one (Kissell vs Hayes) and possibly a couple more congressional races.

    I'm sure similar arguments can be made in Georgia, Texas, Virginia and Indiana as well.  

    So the important question:  Is the money being spent in these states creating a dearth of resources elsewhere?  

    The answer:  There's no evidence of that.  Obama is committing huge amounts of resources to traditional battleground states (ie  MI, FL, OH).  

    So why not build infrastructure in states that can pay dividends down ticket, and in the future?  I'm really not seeing the downside here.


    Not his job (none / 0) (#126)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:43:51 AM EST
    And let's be clear: Obama needs every single dime to win.

    The DCCC and DSCC are well funded this year. Let them worry about downticket.

    If Obama were ahead by 10 points, we could have a different discussion.


    Please critique where he is lacking. (none / 0) (#134)
    by jimotto on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 12:28:04 PM EST
    He already has more paid staff in MI, FL and OH  than Kerry had in the fall of 2004.  They are well on their way to having a local voluteer in every precinct in each of these states (for instance, thats over 12,000 volunteers in Ohio alone).  They estimate that at their peak, they will have 3 times the staff in each of these states as in 2004.  And many times the number of local volunteers.

    So, please, help me understand how competing in NC and other states is hurting Obama in the "true battleground" states?  What resources do you want to see deployed that are not currently being deployed?

    I suspect you have no clue.


    It's not just what he's doing now, (none / 0) (#137)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 12:50:44 PM EST
    it's what he can do in the future.

    So he's raising $50M/month. Fine, but that's not enough. He should be raising $70M/month.

    If he can't raise the money he needs, then it's doubly important that he pull out of impossible states.

    What I really need to see is better negative ads being run more often in the real battleground states.


    Seems like he's raising the money he needs. (none / 0) (#141)
    by jimotto on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 01:27:45 PM EST
    Last month he combined with the DNC brought in 80 million.  They still had 90 million cash on hand.

    So, your idea of an effective campaign would be to run $10 million worth of "better" negative ads in each "real" battleground state?  And feel that competing in NC, VA, GA and IN is all that is holding back this highly competent strategy?  



    Here's a question (none / 0) (#154)
    by cmugirl on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 03:31:52 PM EST
    Is this primary money?  Since he is not the nominee yet, doesn't he have to spend primary money (which is maybe why he's spending like a drunken sailor where he has no chance)? Maye this is what is left in his primary war chest (and don't the contributions in July go to the primary war chest and not the GE?) I don't think he can start spending GE money until he is the nominee - does anyone know?

    Obama can roll primary money over for the general (none / 0) (#155)
    by jimotto on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 04:21:55 PM EST
    Since he isn't taking public funds for the general election, he is free to spend primary funds after the convention (unlike McCain).  There are also additional funds from maxed out primary donors (ie...people who donated more than $2300) that cannot be used until after the convention.

    Obama's not building infrastructure (none / 0) (#131)
    by Valhalla on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 12:20:21 PM EST
    anywhere, only Obamastructure.

    Do you think Josh Green of the (none / 0) (#98)
    by hairspray on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:09:23 AM EST
    Atlantic.com will say anything about how foolishly this campaign was run?

    I think you are very wrong. (none / 0) (#142)
    by jimotto on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 01:31:29 PM EST
    Speaking as a white dude who canvassed black neighborhoods in NC during the primary and last week, there's a hell of alot of excitement about Obama there.  This extends from 8 year old kids playing in the street on up.

    Are we sure Patti Solis Doyle was hired (none / 0) (#102)
    by Valhalla on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:12:17 AM EST
    to work for the VP?  Spending a ton of money uselessly...I see her fingerprints on the persistence in Georgia...

    (yes, I know it's tinfoily)


    BTD (5.00 / 11) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:52:43 AM EST
    look back and see where Obama has changed his strategy. I don't see anywhere he did it even after losing primary after primary. His strategy seemed to be to continually write off more and more blocs of voters.

    He wasted the summer and I don't know if it can be made up. You have to at least give credit to McCain for using the summer to consolidate his base of support.

    Obama has never had to run a tough race. I don't think he or his advisors have it in them to do what you want them to do. They seem to think that they can continue with the same campaign they've been running for months and pull it out in Nov.

    All true (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:00:06 AM EST
    We'll see if that changes now.

    Never had to run a tough (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by brodie on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:08:33 AM EST
    race???  Did you manage to miss the year-long primary battle against Hillary?

    As for wasting the summer, he has had less time to do political housekeeping than McCain, who had things in the bag months earlier.  And many complained that McC had squandered his time, too.  

    Some speculate here that all McC's efforts with the base could also go down the drain with either a pro-choice VP pick or a multiple-choice one in Romney.  We'll see how that one plays out for them.

    As for O, he's been slow to respond to the character attacks, but this is now changing, especially in regional tough anti-McCain adverting.  Hopefully the Dem convo will incorporate this tougher stance.  If not, I'll be a little more concerned about his ability to withstand the Repub attack machine and regain the momentum.  


    He's never (5.00 / 10) (#40)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:10:27 AM EST
    had a tough general election campaign as in running against a Republican. Hillary used kid gloves with him compared to what the GOP is going to do.

    Targeting disproportionately (5.00 / 6) (#43)
    by dk on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:11:02 AM EST
    delegate heavy red-state caucuses, and riding/fueling media sexism and CDS is not going to win Obama the GE the way it did the primary.  

    The problem with his negative advertising (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by esmense on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:23:11 AM EST
    is that the message isn't (unlike McCain's negative efforts against him), at least so far, being picked up and amplified by the national media. Unless and until that happens, they are less likely to achieve what they need to achieve; redefine who McCain is in the public mind.

    Right now, indulging its favorite sport, the story the media is telling about McCain (see especially MoDo's column this morning, also this framing was all over CNN last night) is that he is using Hillary's playbook against Obama. Now, that story is very satisfying to those who first and foremost hate Hillary and are delighted to see her blamed and put in a negative light. But it really does nothing to further Obama's cause in this election. It doesn't hurt McCain -- it just obscures and buries much more important criticisms of McCain that the Obama camp is trying to get before the public.


    I wonder (5.00 / 4) (#78)
    by Emma on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:35:28 AM EST
    when anybody is going to notice that Hillary isn't in the race anymore?  Can you win with CDS Clinton isn't on the ballot?

    Well, they are trying as hard as they can (none / 0) (#132)
    by Valhalla on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 12:24:09 PM EST
    to keep the CDS going -- it's been their only successful strategy so far, and they're sticking with it!

    Of course, it doesn't work if you don't have any tiny red state caucuses to game, or a RBC to throw the contest for you, or you can't exploit latent mysogyny into a giant flaming armageddon.


    First, you forget that (none / 0) (#76)
    by brodie on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:33:40 AM EST
    presidential elections are won at the state, not national, level, so specific targeting in adverting is smart.  Of course, nat'l numbers aren't entirely irrelevant, and add or detract from a candidate's positive buzz.  

    So in that respect, the O campaign does need to follow up regional efforts with a stronger national game, both in paid and free ads.

    As for how the MCM drags Hillary into this, you help make my point elsewhere how the CDS media would have gone after her relentlessly had she been picked VP.  "Clinton Attack Machine" coverage would have just neutralized any O/HRC ticket political messaging going after McCain.  Biden, otoh, is much freer in this respect to go after the oppo.


    As an advertising professional, I think you are (none / 0) (#91)
    by esmense on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:54:30 AM EST
    greatly over-estimating what ads alone can do. What Obama needs to do is REDEFINE who McCain is in the eyes of the public. Ads can help in such an effort, they can be a starting point -- but redefining an established image takes much more than spot advertising. Those ads need to be backed up in some way; with specific events that prove their point and/or by a generalized consensus among authoritive voices. In other words, their premise needs to be illustrated by real events and they need to create buzz. Because ads alone are both easy to miss and dismiss.

    So far, Obama's criticisms of McCain haven't been picked up and amplified.


    The problem is that the Dems s*ck at (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by Valhalla on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:24:21 AM EST
    negative advertising.

    Here is what the Republicans do:  pick up on some existing source of doubt or dissatisfaction and amplify it a million times.  Eg: doubts about Michelle, hates America, blah blah blah.  Spread rumors that she is controlling the VP pick.  Makes Obama look weak and hen-pecked.  That picks up on both the worries about Michelle this year, and on the decades old riff that all Dems are weak.

    Here's what the Dems do: decide what THEY, the Dem leadership, think should be a negative, and attack on that, whether it already exists or not.  This election, for their negatives they are looking only to themselves for what they think will strike a negative chord, not the great main middle of the electorate.

    So Rs = exploit existing fears and anxieties; Ds = make up new ones that they wish would work and are unwilling to abandon when they don't.

    Personally, I don't think the Bush-McCain thing works, because rightly or wrongly McCain has an independent identity in people's minds that has been built up over years.  There's only 2 months to go.  


    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by esmense on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:38:31 AM EST
    They also don't understand the difference between negatively defining your opponent's image and just plain name calling. So far, Obama and/or his campaign have called McCain "ignorant," a "cheater," and suggested that he was using "racist" appeals. These are strong insults -- but they won't strike the average voters as much more than gratuitous and easily dismissed insults if they are not backed up with powerful confirming images and convincing examples and "facts" (don't have to be truthful so much as "truthy").

    Name calling just makes the name caller look undignified and like a petulant poor sport.  


    Excellent point n/t (none / 0) (#133)
    by Valhalla on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 12:25:40 PM EST
    Paid ads alone usually aren't enough, (none / 0) (#96)
    by brodie on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:07:54 AM EST
    true, except that in the modern era of cable the more sharper-edged ones get the invaluable exposure as they're discussed on the many political shows and/or replayed in part even on the evening news.

    No question too that our side needs to follow up some of their adverting with tougher and better surrogates for the chat fests.

    But as to events to back them up, the party in power is always in a better position, obviously, to help create same.

    As to O's message having not quite the impact it should, let's also not forget this MCM has been in the tank for St Mac for at least a decade now.  No one at this desk ever was under the naive impression that just because they greatly favored O over HRC in the primaries, that that would automatically mean they would continue the O cheerleading against the Repub.  

    O is therefore working against an institutional force in the MCM which is going to make it always more difficult for him to get even 50-50 balanced coverage.  But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be redoubling their efforts to put a stronger and more aggressive message out there in the chat show battlegrounds.


    McCain strategy to consolidate GOP base - (none / 0) (#88)
    by Josey on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:48:31 AM EST
    >>>>Some speculate here that all McC's efforts with the base could also go down the drain with either a pro-choice VP pick or a multiple-choice one in Romney

    by suggesting a pro-choice VP.
    Obama does the same by suggesting Hagel...


    BO doesn't know tough campaign (none / 0) (#136)
    by Prabhata on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 12:33:34 PM EST
    Hillary was kind to BO. She never used the big guns because she was being accused of being a "monster" and "using the kitchen sink" "will do anything to win" "The Clintons are disrespectful to MLK", on and on.  Hillary backed away from telling BO supporters that their candidate was an empty suit to avoid being accused of "destroying the Democratic Party". She never used Wright or other of his friends to make her case.  McCain just started and BO is not able to respond.  Why is he not able to fight back? Obama knows that in an attack campaign, he'll lose big time.

    Not making waves is one thing. Denial is another. (none / 0) (#145)
    by Christy1947 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 02:00:10 PM EST
    Did you think the long chorus that started with complaining that Farrakhan worked with Wright and highlighted with "I wouldn't have gone to that church" was not using Wright. McC was not talking about it. She was. And as to the empty suit, while those words were not used, she said she and McC had the experience to be commander in chief and he had a speech. How's that for empty suit?

    I remain troubled at the degree to which some supporters seem to deny that various things with consequences even happened in the primary, now that it is over. I keep trying to understand a point of view that I started out not sharing much as I might have liked to as an older woman, but I can't do denial as a technique to pretend that any candidate is perfect or that it's all the other candidate's fault and this candidate didn't do anything 'wrong.'


    Kid Gloves (5.00 / 3) (#151)
    by BDB on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 03:05:15 PM EST
    is not the same thing as not hitting Obama (and he had no problem calling her a liar and repeating the right-wing meme that she would say and do anything, so let's not pretend his some sort of polticial virgin here).  Hillary hit him on his bitter comments, but only on the clinging to religion and guns, she did not hit him in her ad about the more explosive part of his comments, that Pennsylvanians also cling to racism and xenophobia.  She hit him on Wright at the very end, FOX was the one who really hit him, she stayed quiet until the end and by that time much of the damage had been done.  She never flat out said he wasn't fit to be commander in chief.  

    There were many times when Hillary could've hit Obama much, much harder.  She could've made him completely unelectable in my opinion, but she chose not to.  The hits she did were predictable and relatively mild.  Go on, show me the negative television ad with Obama in shadows and Tony Rezko front and center.

    Hillary did not have an obligation to never say an unkind word about Obama during the primary.  He isn't God.  But she did not hit him nearly as hard as she could've if she'd really wanted to damage him.  That will be McCain's doing (and Maureen Dowd and all the other pundits are dumber than dirt if they think Hillary had to point out that a guy who spent two years in the Senate before running for president could be attacked as inexperienced; he is inexperienced).


    For Comparison (5.00 / 4) (#152)
    by BDB on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 03:07:06 PM EST
    during the 2004 democratic primary, they morphed Howard Dean's face into Osama bin Laden.  All Hillary did was point out she had a lot more experience in D.C. and life generally than Obama.  What a truly awful woman she is.

    You may choose to live in fantasy land (none / 0) (#159)
    by Christy1947 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 07:32:10 PM EST
    but do not expect the rest of us to join you there.

    Actually, he did run one tough race (none / 0) (#143)
    by seeker on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 01:39:03 PM EST
    against Bobby Rush for House.  He lost badly.  

    There will be no unity. I don't understand (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by rooge04 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:54:42 AM EST
    why we keep thinking for some reason Obama will do this. He hasn't since the beginning and won't start now.  And lyin'-already Joe Biden?  LOL. That should go a long way toward selling the whole "New to Washington" meme.  I wonder if the Kossacks will refer to him as Biden- MBNA DE like they used to.

    Yeah (5.00 / 5) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:56:14 AM EST
    that D-MBNA thing is hysterical. I'm waiting for the massive apologia on that one! LOL!

    this is why I I think that (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:00:48 AM EST
    if he is to arrogant and insular to pick Hillary he will probably pick Kaine.  a suicidal as it is, I think that is what he will do.
    if he stays stuck in the newy hopey changey crap Kaine is perfect.

    btw (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:06:19 AM EST
    Lardball is back and last night I saw a headliner pundit, when asked about the polling showing McCain crushing Obama when it comes to experience and ability to deal with things like Russia, say that "well that might be true, but if you ask them about Hope, or Change . . . ."
    it was surreal.  I am so glad the Olympics are over so we can get back to the comedy styleings of MSNBC.
    although I must say Tweety made a pretty convincing case for picking Hillary last night.

    After a week of Shuster subbing (none / 0) (#80)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:36:52 AM EST
    Tweety was actually a breath of fresh air and rationality.  Shuster I think has a worse case of CDS than Olbermann.  Tweety is genuinely ambivalent about Hillary, but he's been saying for months that picking her as VP is Obama's best shot.  He's also incredulous that the Obama camp keeps stiff-arming the Clintons in general.  He compared it last night to clique tables at lunch in a high school cafeteria.

    There are probably better chances of him (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by cawaltz on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:11:27 AM EST
    uniting with the GOP party. It appears to be what he wants anyways. At least from what I can see with the "kiss the faith based communities collective behind" strategy they appear to have developed.

    I said he is not doing this (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:59:33 AM EST
    So I do not know who you are referring to. I said all he needs to do to unify the Party is do this.

    Apologies. I mean that I don't believe he will (none / 0) (#28)
    by rooge04 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:04:06 AM EST
    not that you said he was currently doing that. He does not care about party unification...just about ridding the party of the Clinton wing.

    Two things: (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by dk on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:55:52 AM EST
    This week is feeling pretty 1988 to me.  Remember, Reagan wasn't all that popular at the end of his presidency (not George W unpopular, I admit, but there had been Iran-Contra, etc.), so I'd be careful about pinning too much hope on playing off W's unpopularity.  In my opinion, the swing voters don't want the next two months to be a walk down memory lane with regard to W.  They just want to know what will happen next with whomever they vote for.

    Based on his campaign, and how he has been identified and identified himself over the last year, what true Democratic positions can he really identify himself with at this point?  Seriously?  The only thing I can really identify him with (and no, I am not counting whatever boilerplate he puts on his website) that is Democratic is for taxing the rich more.  That's something, of course, but Democrats always stand for that, and from recent history we know it's not enough on its own.  What Democratic issues has he not compromised enough on at this point that he could make a persuasive case he believes in?  I honestly don't know.

    You must be joking (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:58:05 AM EST
    Are you seriously arguing Bush as Reagan politically?

    That's nuts.


    No, but I'm saying there was (none / 0) (#25)
    by dk on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:01:31 AM EST
    Reagan fatigue in 1988, and that was one of the reasons that Dukakis was so far ahead in the polls at the beginning of the summer.  But, as the summer went on, it became obvious that it wasn't enough.

    Nonsense (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:11:22 AM EST
    Bush 41 won Reagan's Third Term.

    I disagree. (none / 0) (#56)
    by dk on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:16:49 AM EST
    right (none / 0) (#103)
    by AlSmith on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:12:54 AM EST

    I think dk is right.

    You can get too plugged into the latest activest parsing and framing and forget the overall tides that influence the general public.

    At the end of an 8 year administration there is always fatigue, and it happened at the end of Reagan. Back then there was more expectation of lame duckery and not much had gone on for over a year.

    Mostly the public is thinking, "yawn some change would be nice" and only start getting shaken up after the balloon dropping conventions.

    People will be tuning in soon. The problem is that I think given the number of ads that have been on tv already this year, they arent going to pay attention to tv anymore. A Rev Wright ad will get attention, any thing else will fall below the screen.

    Obama will need to have a good set of debates.


    Team of Rivals (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by KeysDan on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:57:55 AM EST
    can we send a copy of Doris Goodwin's book on Lincoln's cabinet to Mr. Obama?   Or, better, someone can present it to him on the Old Capitol steps in Springfield before he makes, what appears to be,  a very bad mistake.   The times require a bold move: Mrs. Clinton would re-energize his campaign and bring a victory critical to the country.  Otherwise, it will be a real uphill battle--the Republicans are just getting going, and the Democrats are relying on pageantry.

    Excellent (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Lou Grinzo on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:19:05 AM EST
    Obama is facing a choice: Does he want to be Adlai Stevenson or Abraham Lincoln?

    Unless he makes some pretty serious changes, and soon, we'll be seeing political cartoons of Obama that mimic the famous hole-in-the-shoe photograph of Stevenson.


    A bold move is required. Exactly. (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:23:38 AM EST
    I am just now rereading about FDR and his "First Hundred Days" call.  Clinton echoed it, of course, and it worked well for her.

    Obama needs to show that he is Ready From Day One with a First Hundred Days agenda -- a vow that he will call Congress into a special session and give them a to-do list.  Lucky for him, it doesn't have to include a Constitutional amendment to repeal a  Constitutional amendment (Prohibition) or closing banks (bank holiday) or other such radical and seemingly insurmountable steps at all.

    But I doubt that he will do it or is even capable of calling for a showdown with Congress.  He owes the Dem leadership in Congress.  So there 'tis.


    Umm..won't congress (none / 0) (#92)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:59:25 AM EST
    already be in session when the new president is sworn in?

    Yeh. I ought to have (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:41:33 AM EST
    amended that to the times -- Obama could say they won't get to go home again until they get the list done, that he would call them back, etc.

    The difference in inaugural dates these days does make some amending required.  (Thank heavens that the current timing will not give Bush more than two months more!).  But the main point of the message could stand:  Dems will get things done, and from Day One.


    This (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:02:41 AM EST
    the underlying dynamics being incredibly favorable to Democrats

    I'm sure it is.  I suspect that Democrats at the local, state and congressional level will do fantastically.

    Now Obama has Fifth Avenue (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Josey on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:04:41 AM EST
    designing Obama clothing. Fits right into the "elitist" meme.
    Obama for the working class?  not so much.

    Today's kids have been marketed to, to death (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by catfish on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:14:09 AM EST
    I wonder if the slick marketing of his campaign is backfiring.

    And somebody noted yesterday that McCain is one Senator who does not speak Senatese.


    what is Obama DOING to connect (5.00 / 4) (#83)
    by Josey on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:39:50 AM EST
    with the working class? other than talking.
    Seems vacationing in Hawaii and luring Fifth Avenue designers perpetuates his elitism.
    I'm finally beginning to understand the GOP attacks on Dems elitism....
    The Kennedys detested the outsider hicks - Carters and Clintons - but failed with their elitist picks - Dukakis and Kerry.
    For all the Kennedys have done to support the working class and poor, it appears they prefer elitists for President.

    the Fifth Avenue (5.00 / 3) (#93)
    by ccpup on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:00:34 AM EST
    designer thing is odd in light of the fact I see stacks and stacks of Obama t-shirts down on Canal Street on-sale for $3.  (Other equally inexpensive made shirts go for anywhere from $8 to $20)

    The kids in my neighborhood who go to NYU are decidedly over Obama now.  For some reason, when he lost New York, they shrugged and said "oh well" and moved on to the next thing.  It is now officially "uncool" to have an Obama button or sticker on one's backpack, I guess.

    If Obama is depending on the Youth Vote, ... well, we've been down this road before and lost.


    Zogby poll -- (none / 0) (#138)
    by Josey on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 12:52:42 PM EST
    >>>>Obama's support among voters between the ages of 18 and 29, which had been one of his strengths, slipped 12 percentage points to 52 percent. McCain, who will turn 72 next week, was winning 40 percent of younger voters.

    During summer break, perhaps Repub parents knocked some sense into them?


    I don't think he is capable (5.00 / 5) (#119)
    by americanincanada on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:28:27 AM EST
    of connecting to the working class. I was just watching him at a live townhall on CNN. He was talking about american's not being afraid of hard work but he framed it wrong.

    "American's are not afraid of a little work. They now it will be hard. They like work."

    Over and over he kept saying they. All I could think is that he should have been saying we and including himself in the framing.


    That is because they don't have to work with (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by Valhalla on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 12:31:33 PM EST
    or mingle with the working class voters in order to promote legislation that helps them.

    give me a break (none / 0) (#156)
    by JanG on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 04:52:44 PM EST
    Obama went to Hawaii because that is his home. He has family there. I am so sick of people buying into this "elitist" garbage.  McCain is the one who thinks 5 billion is middle class and is married to an heirees(whom he slept with while still married to his first wife)

    Well, not to knitpick, but I'm not sure (none / 0) (#157)
    by zfran on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 05:12:33 PM EST
    McCain slept w/Cindy during his first marriage, perhaps I am incorrect. I believe he did fool around on his first wife, but I'm not sure it was with Cindy, which McCain does call a mistake, to be sure. Sen. Obama admits to drug use and drinking as a teen. Does he get a pass because of his youth, or does McCain because he had come home after 5 years as a POW? Oh, and McCain and the $5mil households, he was making a joke, the audience laughed, the end.

    Obama should consider an actual, sustained (5.00 / 13) (#34)
    by tigercourse on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:07:16 AM EST
    campaign against McCain. Right now he darts out once in awhile to say "He's questioning my patriotism, don't question my patriotism" then flitters away to tease people with his VP choice for another week or two.

    You actually have to hit your opponent once or twice to win a prize fight.

    Ding! (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:10:47 AM EST
    He is starting to toughen his game (none / 0) (#64)
    by brodie on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:20:31 AM EST
    and it's still only pre-convention August, with most of the masses tuned in to the sporting events from Beijing.

    Regional adverting is getting sharper, I read, and that's an important change in TeamO's attitude.

    We'll need more, and tougher, attacks of course.

    The Unity Schtick really should have been jettisoned in May once he had the nom in hand -- save the naive soft stuff for the bipartisan Inaugural Address.

    Biden as VP should help with the attack program, provided he can stay away from the gaffes.  He's a little freer to do this than Hillary would have been, too, given a better relationship with the corp media than her, by far.


    There's always an excuse as to (5.00 / 7) (#72)
    by zfran on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:29:33 AM EST
    why Obama isn't doing better, could be doing better, wishing he was doing better? It's the Olympics, it's that he went on vacation, it's that he's waiting for the convention, it's that he doesn't want to go negative, it's that he wants to be a different sort of dem.....Grown-ups make decisions and choices every day and they stick by them or change them but don't offer excuses. Obama has yet to take responsibility for his campaign and its actions...it's always someone elses fault i.e. the forum last weekend. If Obama waits long enough to "start" his ge campaign, it'll be Thanksgiving and some will wonder why?

    Waa! Waaa! Didn't the Obama (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by hairspray on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:25:18 AM EST
    camp whine endlessly about Hillary distracting him by staying in the race?  Well she's been out for over 2 months and I have yet to see him buckle down to a serious campaign. He is wimpy and it shows. Biden will be a good attack dog, but not much else.  What the blue collars of this country want is Bill Clinton back again.  Get it? The Obama camp is in denial about this.  They have built their campaign on the lie that Clinton shafted the American people.  Well guess what?  Most people didn't feel that way, except the elitists and those born in the last 25 years. The working class people  were willing to go Dem this year, but Obama has not given them much "Hope"

    Obama's hype and silliness is getting old - (5.00 / 5) (#52)
    by Josey on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:14:25 AM EST
    Obama hypes the VP buzz, then pokes fun at it.
    Very middle school...

    CNN -
    In a poke at all of the VP buzz, the Obama campaign on Wednesday sent an e-mail to reporters with the subject line "Vice presidential ..."

    The first line of the e-mail: "Just kidding." The e-mail contained details about Obama's schedule with no mention of any of the potential vice presidential candidates.

    Ick (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by Emma on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:22:09 AM EST
    Why is this guy playing cutesie with the press?  WTF?

    I think that's kind of funny (none / 0) (#59)
    by cawaltz on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:19:03 AM EST
    It would have been funnier if he dared them to focus on policy positions though. Anyway I guess I have a sick sense of humor.

    Oh - I agree, it's funny, cutesy (5.00 / 4) (#71)
    by Josey on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:26:17 AM EST
    It's just that McCain is already gaining on the "experience" and "adult" memes.

    What policy positions? (none / 0) (#144)
    by seeker on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 01:59:53 PM EST
    And I do not count those written by SOMEBODY on his web site.  I mean what policy positions has he spoken about and made themes of his campaign?

    What now? (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:36:46 AM EST
    More of the same is my bet.  Doesn't appear the candidate or his team are capable of change themselves.  Irony...

    His VP pick will be his political IQ test...must be a helluva fight going on in the headqtrs meetings over that...especially after the decision has been made, to hear Gergen and Bill Maher(!) say yesterday that 'he needs Clinton!'

    Wonder who will write the tellall book?

    So you're saying McCain is a shoo-in? (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Cream City on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:08:52 AM EST
    That's what you get here for saying what you and I say -- that Obama is not showing himself to be educable.  If needed, see my reply to that, above.:-)

    I stand by it.  Obama is not showing himself to be educable.  If he would, he could be electable.  If not, events will manage it all.  And Repubs are in the White House to manage, i.e., create (orange alert!) events.  There it is.


    Heh. (none / 0) (#115)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:24:47 AM EST
    Stubborn people are harder to educate...it's true.

    Obama is stubborn...Kerry stubborn.

    I never thought either one of them would win but 'the Democratic money' was on both.


    Gosh (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Lahdee on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:41:11 AM EST
    aren't we supposed to be jazzed about our nominee? I wanna be excited but I'm not feeling it. Call me a cynic, but in communities where foreclosures, inflation and layoffs threaten everything precious flogging hope seems old, tired and toothless. Heck if I wanted that I'd vote for McCain.

    "Obama camp has to dig in and fight the fight (5.00 / 4) (#89)
    by OxyCon on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:54:21 AM EST
    That would be the first time in their history they ever had to do that, wouldn't it?
    It's alot easier to kneecap your opponents when they are Democrats and they allow you to do it "for the sake of the party".
    Not so much to Repubs.

    Obama has nothing to run on (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by Prabhata on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:09:35 AM EST
    except "McCain is too much like Bush" or his unity, change and hope schtik.  He cannot point to his character to take us anywhere.  The "I don't take money from lobbyists" won't do the trick either because his hands are dirty on that score.  Face it, Obama is just another Democratic loser.  What now? Now all those who couldn't see the obvious will see what we, old Democrats who were looking forward to a Democratic sweep have been telling you, we won't come home and vote for Obama. It won't happen.  I won't vote for another incompetent, even if it's a Democratic incompetent.

    Blame the voters (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Prabhata on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:20:15 AM EST
    and get nowhere.  I'm "nuts", "wrongheaded", "ungracious" and I don't normally repeat the "racist" because it's incredible that such accusation could be thrown at me.  To those who support BO he is the perfect candidate, but to me he's a loser.

    Obama would be cleaning up if he had run (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by my opinion on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:31:20 AM EST
    his campaign on a truly liberal Democratic platform. Instead he chose the get along with the Republicans  approach and makes his campaign look like it is running in a Republican primary instead of a general election. This makes no sense from a business, marketing or strategic point of view since the data shows the people want to have someone that represents their views and not those of the 20-30%. So instead of going after the majority of the market share he decided to fight for much of the same market share as the Republican and throw away a significant part of the Democrats existing market share.

    As I see it (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by MichaelGale on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 01:04:26 PM EST
    Obama has been making some very bold moves.

    He voted his platform with FISA; compromise and nonpartisan.
    He wants to redefine Roe V Wade and offer other choices
    He feels he needs a vacation, he takes it
    He thinks faith belongs in government and he's putting it there.
    He says every day that "change" is what he is about and he means it.

    I'm not supporting Obama but I can't blame my non support on, now he is not Democrat enough.  I heard him. He hasn't changed in 21 months.

    I said no thanks.

    Face it, we're screwed (4.40 / 5) (#14)
    by goldberry on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:55:21 AM EST
    Tell me, BTD, WHY do we have to go with this candidate when we still have time to pick a better one?  If he gets rid of his hopey/changey/post-partisan shtick, he's got nothing.  
    Time to bring in the relief pitcher.  

    Ain't gonna happen (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:58:27 AM EST
    So why dwell on it?

    Because we will not take NO for an answer (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by goldberry on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:01:38 AM EST
    When it is obvious what is going to happen and when it is clear that the public wants a comepetent Democratic president, there is no excuse for taking the road towards catastrophe.  
    If it isn't going to happen, it's because Obama played a perception management game on the superdelegates and the public.  He made his nomination seem inevitable.  Well, now it's time to stop playing games because his election most certainly is not.  
    I will not accept it when some frightened superdelegate tells us NO.  If we lose in the fall, it is on THEIR heads.  

    There may be no excuse for it (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:11:58 AM EST
    but it will happen.

    I would try to get the superdelegates (none / 0) (#94)
    by MKS on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:04:22 AM EST
    to pressure Obama to name Hillary as VP.  That is something that might actually work....

    the problem is (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by AlSmith on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:24:43 AM EST

    Switching to Clinton would be a very good plan.

    Except for the fact that no one wanted to admit that this has been a close race all long and it is only under these, rather odd, set of primary rules that Obama is ahead.

    For a lot of Obama supporters a convention switch to Clinton would be the first they every heard that this thing is close and he didnt run away with it in a historic landside.

    At this point you would lose huge chunks of AA votes because its too late to start educating them (and the press core) that this thing is a coin flip. You cant win with out the AA base, so there is no choice except to go with Obama unless something earth shattering happens in the next 4 days.

    If the press has the bomb shell they'll sit on it. If Clinton had it she would have used it. If the GOP has it they will wait until he is nominated.

    So the best thing to do is to accept it, ignore the more ridiculous aspects of the convention spectacle and move ahead in September.


    Except that a Clinton/Obama (none / 0) (#121)
    by samanthasmom on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:31:44 AM EST
    ticket with Obama onboard with the idea may not turn off as many AAs as you think it will. Presented as a realization that the voting public is insisting on more experience and that as VP, Obama will be being groomed for a 2016 run, it might just fly.

    parsing the hypothetical (none / 0) (#127)
    by AlSmith on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:46:57 AM EST

    There is no way this works but to continue the exercise...

    -there has to be some motivating event that people understand
    -it would have to be a deal with Clinton only 4 years not 8

    • you would have to thrown in more to the deal. Pre name some prominent AA's for cabinet
    • maybe Obama get to pick the replacement for Ginsburg.

    Face it- this still wont fly. Got to go with what we have.

    Won't work. Period. (none / 0) (#147)
    by Christy1947 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 02:11:44 PM EST
    AAs are not going to forgive all of what Clinton and her supporters have done, and accept being told that a white candidate is really needed here because it is a coin flip. The Clintons have this meme for 'they will just have to get used to it" which they are reported to have used for the Soviets and David Brody reported last fall was their working assumption for AAs. "they'll get used to it.'  Well, no, they won't, because they've been forced to 'get used to it' for two centuries in this country, and ain't going there again. For that, they will stay home and watch the football game. And rightly so. And your white candidate will lose because they have for many years provided the winning margin for Democrats, even for Bill.

    Okay (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 02:54:24 PM EST
    what are they going to do when Obama loses in Nov? He's going to ruin the chance for an AA candidate or President for literally decades. If I were an AA, I would be mad that the Dems nominated an obviously unqualified AA who damaged all others.

    Depends on how the loss goes, ASSUMING (1.00 / 1) (#158)
    by Christy1947 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 07:29:24 PM EST
    he loses. If they feel he had a fair chance, rather than being stabbed in the back, one outcome. They do know how racist this country is. If, on the other side, they believe  that people split the party to destroy his candidacy, that people treated him differently than, say, Bill Clinton when he became the nominee and took the position that he does not enjoy the rights of the prior nominees in the same way they did, or were deliberately racist for personal political benefit, another result. (Don't bother telling me she and her supporters were not racist - I got too many communications and saw too many communications referring to Sambo and the n word and the like that ended Vote for Hillary '08.) And there is nothing that the people on sites like this can do to affect that conclusion.  

    And they do have a choice. there always have been an appreciable number of black Republicans, and McCain at least has not been insulting them to their faces as others have in this campaign. Or taking them for granted. Socially, AAs tend to be a bit more conservative than middle class white folks under most circumstances. More than one group can switch allegiances, given enough motivation. For decades, those few who could vote voted for the Party of Lincoln, until FDR.

    AAs do not as a rule think he's incompetent, or green or any of that. No more than other candidates in other years who were elected. Get over it if you think they're wrong on that. And they don't think you would act as you have if he were  otherwise just as he is, but white. Get over it if you think they're wrong on that as well. If you want to argue with them that he was racist or he cheated, do so if you choose but wear armor and ear plugs when you go, if you do. Somehow I don't think you will, as the conversation here and in in other places has not addressed that community at all, except in the third person.

    But I will say that no amount of certain people claiming they didn't do it and it's all his fault won't cut the mustard in that thought process  on at least the current record. McCain simply playing out the Clinton playbook in the fall, for example. Running clips of what she said to defeat him, which she should have known better than to say in the first place.  Meeting with McCain people to strategize how to do that; last Thursday's meeting between her brother and Carly Fiorina does not help.

    In a country where good citizens are supposed to move forward by playing by the rules, it looks a lot like someone who did not win by the rules,   and who therefore decided that the winner should not be allowed the benefit of the win, because that was HERS! is acting here. And that appears to be what's happening here. Better let the Republican in than let the one who won the Primaries under the rules of those primaries enjoy his victory. Because he should not have won it, should not have even run against her. he was not entitled to run against her. That a black person who otherwise met the qualifications should not have considered running against her because she is who she is, is not an idea they will accept.

    I do not speak for all AAs but if that's the feeling they end up with, they will vote Repub rather than Clinton in 2012 ( or for the other party if she has switched by that time ) and I will gladly do so alongside them. Don't tell me about principles, because equality is the first among them.

    Forcing her onto the ticket will heal nothing as there as as many people who won't vote for her under any circumstances now as there are who won't vote for him.

    And God help us all if anything happens and Hillary supporters stand up in public and pat themselves on the back for their success in defeating him in November if that's what happens.

    There has always been a tension between the women's movement and the African American striving for equal rights, that women articulate that it was unfair for black men to get the vote before they did, whether or not Jim Crow allowed them to exercise it. And a thought that as a principally thought not exclusively white movement, women should have precedence. NOW's Ohio worker reported in the NYT that it was outrageous for a man to run against her, "and a black man at that," was reasonable current evidence of that continuing strain.


    Father Pfleger? (none / 0) (#160)
    by Landulph on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 12:16:45 AM EST
    Is that you? Have a lot of spare time on your hands, don'tcha, seeing as how the Chi-town Archbishop put a muzzle on you after you went all Eminem at Trinity on national TV. Say hi to Louis F. for me!

    After Ed Rendell. Apparently praising him is OK (none / 0) (#161)
    by Christy1947 on Thu Aug 21, 2008 at 11:53:56 AM EST
    if you like the praiser. But seriously, there are problems here that are being avoided by answers such as this one, which just flings a few snarky references but does not address the substance of the comment.

    In fact... (5.00 / 3) (#125)
    by sj on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:43:17 AM EST
    "If he gets rid of his hopey/changey/post-partisan shtick, he's got nothing. "

    ...if he keeps his hopey/changey/post-partisan shtick, he's still got nothing.


    Maybe it's time (none / 0) (#12)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 09:54:46 AM EST
    for Katrina vanden Heuvel to show us why Obama is different?  After all, didn't she say it was progressives' responsibility to show how Obama is different?  (implying that it's not Obama's responsibility).

    Katrina (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:14:48 AM EST
    is a deluded idiot.

    I don't think that it's enough to... (none / 0) (#37)
    by EL seattle on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:09:00 AM EST
    ... force upon McCain the Republican/Bush mantle.  That has to be done with a lighter/defter touch than many democrats have shown.  I think most of the people who voted for Bush will recognize that he's been a failure (they'll say "disappointment").  But if they're called idiots because they voted for him, they'll respond by either voting for McCain or by not voting at all.  

    I'm not sure that the democrats can afford to lose votes or half-votes that they could pick up with a measured, non-insulting approach to the millions of people who voted for Bush.

    Wrong (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:10:28 AM EST
    Sledgehammer it.

    That is what works.


    Yah, but it works better (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by dk on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:15:39 AM EST
    if the messenger behind the negative campaign is at least perceived to stand for something, some alternative of what the guy who is being beaten up stands for.

    And there, Obama's post-partisan unity shtick has made him look like he stands for nothing in particular other than "hope".


    Obama doesn't know how (none / 0) (#50)
    by andgarden on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:13:49 AM EST
    His vacation was a very big mistake IMO.

    See also (none / 0) (#109)
    by Landulph on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:18:38 AM EST
    Kerry '04 and Lamont '06. Will they never learn? (Of course not. They're DEMS, remember?)

    We need a reason to vote FOR Obama (5.00 / 8) (#61)
    by catfish on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:19:22 AM EST
    Honestly, since the primary ended, his priorities from a tv-with-the-sound-turned-down perspective have been:
    1. faith, expanding Bush's faith-based initiatives

    2. patriotism, proving he WAS in fact patriotic

    3. European world tour

    4. Announcing every day that he would eventually choose a v.p.

    5. Denying that he was fighting with Hillary, Bill, or both

    6. Dissing Max Cleland, Wes Clark, Charlie Rengel

    7. Moving DNC to Chicago

    8. Going back on promise of public financing, FISA, death penalty for child rapists, guns

    9. Raising gobs of money from elites

    10. Reserving a football stadium in Denver and Brandenberg Gate in Berlin

    He has not spoken with passion or conviction about working people. McCain is not Bush. But even if he were Bush, the fact that Kerry WASN'T Bush was not enough to win him the election.


    Max Cleland? (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:24:33 AM EST
    What'd I miss??

    Daschle is an unregistered lobbyist. Cleland (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by catfish on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:38:56 AM EST
    is technically a lobbyist. So Daschle who serves on boards of Big Ethonol, can be an advisor to Obama and travel with him and be his surrogate.

    But Cleland was disinvited from an Obama fundraiser:

    Cleland is registered to lobby for a company whose products are aimed at helping soldiers recover more quickly from battlefield injuries, Tissue Regeneration Technologies.

    "Sen. Cleland is definitely not doing lobbying work. He gives speeches and campaigns for a few friends, but mostly he's spending his time taking care of his father," said Cleland advisor John Marshall, who said that Tissue Regeneration Technologies was the only company on whose behalf he lobbies.

    Beyond stupid, (5.00 / 3) (#107)
    by oldpro on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:16:48 AM EST
    this game plan.

    What about Daschle's wife?  Is she disinvited too?


    Beautiful list (5.00 / 4) (#105)
    by Prabhata on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:15:57 AM EST
    Add to the list that BO has nothing to run on except negative campaigning.  He won against Clinton by adding fuel to the flames of hate.  BO won a Pyrrhic victory.

    Promise to end the wars and bring peace (none / 0) (#149)
    by bridget on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 02:49:38 PM EST
    to the Middle East (i.e. Israel and Palestine) ...

    And I gladly would vote for Obama.

    But The second faith forum told me that Obama doesn't want to talk about the above anymore.

    Since religion is now a big part of Obama's campaign strategy, shouldn't his longtime pastor be part of it and speak at the convention? Since he knows Obama best in the religion department?

    just saying


    Contrast IS what will work (none / 0) (#58)
    by cawaltz on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:17:35 AM EST
    That's why we are all exasperated with the campaign and it's fondness for the "follow the leader" strategy.

    It really isn't that hard to say that the GOP is NOT really the national security party. If it were then Bush, McCain and the GOP cabal would not have wasted our time and resources souping up a case to attack a country that was no threat. It isn't hard to attach the GOP to the donuthole in Medicare or a billion other BAD for the country decisions. It DOES require giving the GOP the credit for those decisions though.

    If Obama can't do this then he better at least name a VP and it better be someone who CAN fight this fight.


    Nixon ran a 50-state strategy in 1960 (none / 0) (#48)
    by catfish on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:12:50 AM EST
    JFK ran in 19 states.

    Nah, it wasn't a strategy by Dick, (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by brodie on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:15:24 AM EST
    merely the fulfillment, at great expense in wasted time and candidate personal stress, of Nixey's unfortunate pledge earlier in the campaign to campaign in all 50 states.  

    Once he said it, he was stuck with fulfilling it -- to his great chagrin as the campaign was in its final wks and he had out of the way states, already in the bag or hopelessly lost, yet to visit.

    JFK's mistake, otoh, was in spending too much time in the vy difficult state of OH instead of putting in a few more days in the up-for-grabs Nixon home state of CA.  Something JFK himself noted in the final week -- but back then, last-minute changes to plans plotted months before were nearly impossible to undertake, so he was stuck with what became a dangerously outdated campaign itinerary.


    More hypocrisy at DKos - (none / 0) (#65)
    by Josey on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 10:20:36 AM EST
    McClellan: Investigations "Would Be Divisive"
    by Hunter
    Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 06:51:21 AM PDT

    Uh - Obama is the only Dem to declare Bush and Cheney had not committed impeachable offenses and investigations would be "too divisive."
    Of course it's implied Obama meant "divisive" before the '08 Nov election. But if he doesn't even think Bush & Co have done anything WRONG....

    Evidence, citation?? (none / 0) (#108)
    by pluege on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:17:43 AM EST
    Well, first and foremost, I hope and think that every one has learned their lesson that "hope" and "change" and "ground game" and "50 state strategy" are all nice words, but do not translate into an easy win...

    where is the evidence that this is even remotely true. I have read no evidence of this at all. On the contrary, the Obama geniuses and worshipers seem to me to be as throughly locked into seeing only what they wish to see as ever.

    Read them and weep (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by Prabhata on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 11:21:26 AM EST
    The polls aren't good enough for you to tell you that Obama is tanking?

    Run as a Democrat and stop (none / 0) (#148)
    by bridget on Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 02:28:17 PM EST
    turning yourself into a carbon copy of McCain!
    advice numero uno IMHO.

    Bill Maher has been wrong many many times in the past. But he certainly has a point when he now says Why vote for Obama when you can vote for the Real Thing=McCain (paraphrase).

    Obama is no fish, no fowl. Since Voters want their candidates clear cut, there is no reason to believe that this is Obama's election to lose. Sorry, BTD, not so.

    Also, Bill Maher is correct when he points out again that the vast majority of American voters do not spend their time reading und studying before they cast their ballots. Forget nuance. The less mambojambo the better. And Obama's hemming and hawing is his achilles heel. Mark my words.

    re Hillary for VP
    After years of Clinton hating propaganda by the netroots (anyone else remember the dkos straw polls (e.g. Edwards 10 000 votes, Hillary 30? Well, sort of? ;-), the desperate Hillary for VP cry on the net is too weird for words.