Obama On Offense II: McCain = Bush's Third Term

I like what Obama had to say in NH yesterday:

The good news is that in 53 days, the name George Bush will not be on the ballot. But make no mistake: his policies will. A few weeks ago, John McCain said that the economy is "fundamentally strong," and a few days later George Bush said the same thing. In fact, Senator McCain has said that we made "great progress economically" over the last eight years. . . My opponent said just last night, "It's easy for me to go to Washington and frankly, be somewhat divorced from the day-to-day challenges people have." So from where he and George Bush sit, maybe they just can't see. Maybe they are just that out of touch. But you know the truth, and so do I.


For eight years, we've failed to keep that American promise that if you work hard you can live your American Dream. Under the Bush economic policies that my opponent supported and promises to continue, the average family has seen their income drop by $2,000-a-year, while the cost of everything from gas to groceries has gone up. We have the highest unemployment rate in five years. Home values have plummeted. It's harder to save and it's harder to retire. Those are the day-to-day challenges that people have.

We can't afford four more years of this so-called "progress." We can't afford another President who is so out of touch that he thinks the economy is strong and that change is doing the exact same thing as George Bush.

(Emphasis supplied.) The McCain-Bush ticket. No Palinpalooza from Obama. This I like.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

< The Polls | Obama On Offense: McCain = More Of The Same >
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    It will remind millions of Democrats (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by BrianJ on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:20:03 PM EST
    Of the terrific primary candidate that campaigned on just these themes.

    Unfortunately for Obama, the candidate they'll be reminded of is Hillary Clinton.

    Obama needs to couple these statements with disavowal of his surrogates and the media who continue with their PDS.

    No (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by badguppy on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 01:03:43 PM EST
    He shouldn't even mention Palin's name. He is playing this correctly. A hopeful meme is (slowly) developing in lefty blogs - ignore Palin!

    I was reminded (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by indie in CA on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:24:27 PM EST
    of Clinton, too. Maybe Barack listened to Bill Clinton the other day after all.

    This is (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:25:35 PM EST
    step one. He needs to start step two. Step one is 45% of the voters out there. With the majority of voters not liking the way the country is headed he still can't seem to make this work alone. He needs to give the other voters a reason to vote for him. What are his solutions? If he doesn't start telling what his solutions are then the GOP is going to tell he public what they are. I don't understand why in all these many months of campaiging Obama has failed to grasp the fact that he needs to define himself and his policies.

    I no longer believe this works (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Polkan on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:28:12 PM EST
    I think the campaign is past the stage where you can still tie McCain/Palin with the Bush albatross.

    McCain and Palin are copies of each other and reinforce each other. By running on a promise of reform that is based on a small amount of credible evidence, they have given Obama's own campaign promise the substance it lacked and it seems that Republicans are now hoping they can take this change meme and apply it against the incumbent Democratic Senate too.

    I think this election is over.

    Obama/Biden as agents of change without any record whatsoever is not credible as the alternative to McCain/Palin and the Bush III is not credible to the ticket that critized its own Party during the convention.

    Imo, you are wrong (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:29:56 PM EST
    We spent two weeks talking about Palin instead Bush and we lost 10 points in the polls.

    How about we try this for two weeks and see what happens?


    I disagree... (none / 0) (#14)
    by BigElephant on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:34:40 PM EST
    But for a different reason.  My general thesis is that at the national level Democrats can't beat a slightly energized Republican base.  I know a lot of people here think, well if we had Hillary running... yada yada yada.  McCain still spanks Hillary.  He runs to the right, gets the voters out there, and most Democrats stay home, like we usually do.  

    As bad as McCain is, we could do worse.  And if he dies, we will.  So we as Dems should push for state's rights -- and move to blue states.  :-)


    That's perfectly fine with me (none / 0) (#15)
    by Polkan on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:35:27 PM EST
    There also doesn't seem to be much choice left anyway (apart from the continued Palin hunt).

    But I'm skeptical that any media blowback against McCain/Palin isn't in fact helping them. It fits almost too perfectly into their definition of outsiders battling the establishment.


    Its not over, but its on the tipping edge (none / 0) (#20)
    by Marvin42 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:45:59 PM EST
    It could go either way, but it shouldn't be here at all. The fact that it has gone from a forgone conclusion to the tipping point points out how good a strategist (not campaigner) McCain is.

    That doesn't bode well, because Obama is a great campaigner, but a terrible strategist (imo), not withstanding the whole "caucuses" strategy.


    It's not (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:32:04 PM EST
    bashing. It's constructive criticism. Do you realize that Obama has been playing the Bush=McCain game for quite a while now and it hasn't worked?

    Obama has not asked for my vote nor has he given me a reason to vote for him. It's Obama's responsibility to try to sell the voters on his policies.

    I'm looking at things objectively. Look at the polls. They aren't good. Look at his advertising. It's abysmal. Open your eyes and face the facts instead of sticking your head in the sand and blaming others.

    It WAS working (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:34:08 PM EST
    You are wrong imo.

    Obama was up 7 after the Convention, a convention that was ALL McCain = Bush's Third Term from Tuesday on.

    Then for 2 weeks, the Media and the Tier 2 Obama surrogates have been all Palinpalooza.

    IF we stick to this message, Obama will win handily.


    IMO (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:40:37 PM EST
    I think Bill and Hillary helped make the convention bounce. It wasn't him alone. So I do agree that them campaigning might help him somewhat.

    I guess we'll see. I think Palin has changed the effectiveness of that message.

    My proposal would be what he is doing here and then pivoting to what his plans are and why he is the better choice. I keep yelling "compare and contrast". It's been proven to be extremely successful in the past.

    In the end it might not matter. The balance of the population might vote for who they like which favors McCain/Palin.


    But hasn't Palin even shifted this? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Marvin42 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:44:06 PM EST
    I have a feeling that adding Palin to the ticket (an ultimate "outsider") has weakened the McCain=Bush a bit. McCain can be directly tied to Bush for many reasons, but McCain/Palin does shift away from that. And before anyone jumps down my throat I do realize that Palin's positions in some ways are closer to Bush than McCain's. But in the game of perception she APPEARS to be such a non-washington person that it almost works.

    Bringing forth (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by rooge04 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:56:04 PM EST
    criticism is what makes us Democrats. Seeing where things can be improved.  Where things can be made better. That includes our party and our candidates.   Saying " no worries! Stop all the hand-wringing!" will not win the election.   And if you think MI is a safely blue state you're very very mistaken.  

    I'm not mistaken about MIchigan (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by bluegal on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 01:00:00 PM EST
    Thank you very much.  

    It's easy to handring when you have lost two elections before. I understand but the handringing is coming from folks who have not won a campaign.

    If Obama falls behind in every state polling where it matters after the debates I will start to panic but I have no reason to since McCain has consolidated his base which was always expected. The problem for McCain is he has consolidated his base in the south.


    And where were you the (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by rooge04 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 01:10:41 PM EST
    last two elections?  See, here's the particular problem. And I've seen it from a lot of Obama supporters from the beginning.  You think you'll just coast into victory.  That there is no need to fight.  That 'don't worry! We got this' is the way to go.   Not the case. But then again, I was paying attention those last two elections we lost.  You think it should be a banner Democratic year in 2008?  2004 was arguably even MORE so.  The war was much worse, Bush was just as hated. It was going to be OUR year.  Did you see the results of that one?  Or were you not involved in politics as of yet?

    Oh and McCain consolidating his base was "always expected?" I thought the reason that Hillary was a bad choice was because only SHE could get the Republican base riled up. All the other Republicans were dying to vote for Obama.

    And MI?  Last I checked that state has probably the worst economic problems of most of the country.  They are not happy with their D governor.  But since you say you know, without any pesky facts to back up your argument, you're obviously right.  That'll be the way to the White House.  "But I said we'd win MI! Why didn't it happen?!"

    Look, I'm a democrat.  I will vote for Obama without pause. I will always fight for DEMOCRATIC principles over politicians every day of my life. And if a Democratic politician is not fighting for the principles befitting a Democrat, then I will say so.



    Oh please (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by bluegal on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 01:22:55 PM EST
    I'm black and have never ever thought that Obama would coast to victory.

    The primaries only confirmed my beliefs when 20% of voters said that race mattered and they voted against Obama. This was in a democratic primary.

    Anyone who thought that by chosing a black or a female and not just any female but a female in which opinions have formed either positively or negatively for 16 years would be a cakewalk was living in a fantasy.

    We are trying to do something that has never been done before, elect a minority. It was never going to be easy but I'm looking at the numbers and looking at where we are state by state and the sky is falling is just not working.

    Yes, I'm an Obama supporter but I'm also black and a realist.


    What does you being (none / 0) (#46)
    by rooge04 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 01:43:13 PM EST
    black have to do with anything? You keep saying it like somehow it gives bad political strategy some credence. I'm also a minority, also of the darker variety and also female. It has nothing whatsoever to do with pretending Michigan is solidly in our column.  Dems have to fight for every state.

    This election is becoming a morality tale (none / 0) (#32)
    by badguppy on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 01:23:09 PM EST
    I don't know what the moral of the story is yet.
    But, you are right about the expecting to cruise to victory. I've felt panicked recently too. But some of us have to remember why we liked our candidate. I think he can do it.

    Michigan (none / 0) (#39)
    by daring grace on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 01:30:51 PM EST
    I wouldn't call it safely blue at all, but according to RCP,
    it seems a lot more safely trending blue.

    There are many of us (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by Marvin42 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 01:02:15 PM EST
    Who you would call "lost cause" but doesn't mean we are wrong, or that we are bashing. We can offer constructive criticism, and maybe you think we are bashing because it rings a bell?

    He has not reached out to significant portions of the party (see VP pick), this has cost him dearly so far. He opened a door the republicans have walked right through.

    And now, according to polls, he has not only hurt his own chances but the generic dem no longer has the advantage it had in congressional races (down from 15+ points to 3-4).

    So is it bashing to point this out?

    Excellent (none / 0) (#2)
    by bluegal on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:23:43 PM EST
    McCain knows that once this becomes about the issues again he loses.

    The debates are in two weeks and it means that the focus is on the issues once again. There is a reason why McCain has gone so negative and will continue to do so.

    Unfortunately for him, time is running out fast and the economy still sucks and is the number one issue.

    Not enough (none / 0) (#5)
    by koshembos on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:27:21 PM EST
    This speech may convince a few people, but that's about it. What's needed are several TV ads that convey these facts and paint McCain as a candidate totally divorced from reality and wedded to Bush.

    It will help if Obama starts to show some passion; now he sounds like a guy who writes a column in a paper.

    All it needs to convince is 51% (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:30:10 PM EST
    Even 50.5% will do .. (none / 0) (#36)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 01:25:41 PM EST
    of course it never needed to be this close.

    ok Better (none / 0) (#10)
    by AlSmith on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:30:29 PM EST

    Ok he did manage to put in some specifics which is a big improvement from his usual speeches. Thats the kind of thing that can persuade people.

    But how do we reconcile his complaints against "tax breaks for corporations" with the point that the government taxes a company more on a worker in Dover than an overseas worker?

    Isnt the conclusion that the government is overtaxing employers? isnt he saying that the government should give tax breaks to companies for hiring US workers?

    I am not sure I follow your statement (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:32:33 PM EST
    and frankly, I am a proponent of KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid.

    We have the nest ready made negative brand and contrast prop in the history of politics - George W. Bush.

    The goal, in my mind, is to get folks thinking that a vote for McCain is a vote for Bush's Third Term.


    quote (none / 0) (#21)
    by AlSmith on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 12:46:44 PM EST

    We need a tax code that creates American jobs instead of shipping them overseas. You know, just this week we learned that if an American company creates jobs in the United States, they pay more than twice as much in taxes than if that same company creates jobs in China. So you pay more than twice as much to create jobs in Dover than Shanghai.

    I guess I drew the inference that we need to lower the tax cost of employing US workers.

    [I personally would welcome this because in my personal experience US workers have a much higher productivity that India GR resources. In a small way waiting on them to learn things lowers my productivity and makes US FTE's look even more expensive ]

    I guess it is also possible that he is saying there is some specific tax rebate for creating an overseas job. Dunno, I havent looked into, but doesnt seem likely. Or that he has a plan to tax foreign workers. That seems like a very bad idea since the foreign governments might do the same to US workers of a foreign company.


    This is more like it ... (none / 0) (#33)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 01:23:44 PM EST
    I saw clips of this event and Obama seemed less rattled.  Think Bill gave him a good pep talk.

    The real question is:  Can he stick to this message?

    Serious defense (none / 0) (#44)
    by Cairo Faulkner on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 01:38:33 PM EST
    Certainly the only Kerry state he is on serious defense in is Michigan (perhaps Pennsylvania too). But he can't win with the Kerry states - he needs to be on serious OFFENSE, and Florida is looking increasingly out of reach, McCain's lead in Ohio has increased, he has broken the tie in Virginia, and electoral-vote.com puts New Mexico red - though RCL does not. If McCain wins OH, FL, VA and NV, and Obama wins MI, PA and NH, then it's down to CO and NM. I actually thought NM was the bluest of those, but e-v.com disagrees. Regardless, if the former states go as I say (and I think they will) Obama needs to win both CO and NM, McCain only needs one of them.

    People Lining Up for Gas (none / 0) (#48)
    by john horse on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 01:56:42 PM EST
    If McCain thinks the economy is "fundamentally strong" he should have been in Tallahassee yesterday and looked at all the cars lined up to purchase gasoline because of the rumor that gas was going to go up to $5 a gallon.

    Its been a long time since our country has experienced peace and prosperity.  McCain will bring us 4 more years of Bush and given the fragile shape our economy is in, that is the one thing our country can't afford.

    gas prices (none / 0) (#52)
    by AlSmith on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 02:08:48 PM EST

    I agree with the premise that peoples sense of the leaders is in large part driven by gas prices.

    But where are you going with this logic? Gas prices have surged recently based on the worry about hurricane Ike effecting supply. Thats not a McCain issue. And how would Obama prevent hurricanes?

    If anything McCain's enenry plan is more like to lower gas prices than Obama's.


    I Agree That The Immediate Cause (none / 0) (#60)
    by john horse on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 03:33:10 PM EST
    of the recent panic was hurricane Ike but the deeper cause is that people were more susceptible to the panic because they were hurting financially, in part because of the rising price of gasoline over last 8 years. Hurricanes have disrupted supplies before but they don't usually result in panics.

    What these economic jolts do is remind people of how bad things have been in the last 8 years under the GOP watch compared to the relative peace and prosperity of the Clinton years.  


    I live (none / 0) (#61)
    by Amiss on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 03:35:29 PM EST
    20 miles from Tallahassee, ours was $3.79 last nite at the local Wal-Mart, while in Tallahassee it was $5.49, today it is $3.99  here.

    Obama Chasing Wrong Voters (none / 0) (#53)
    by pluege on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 02:37:04 PM EST
    Whether Obama and progressive like it or not, the voters that care about policy are already voting for Obama, i.e., the campaign is working hard on the WRONG voters. Obama is preaching to the choir with policy.

    They need to go after the putrid character of Big Liar John, that Big Liar John is a liar, flip-flopping panderer that would sell out his wife and kids to feed his ego in a skinny minute...and oh yea, he already did that. And while Obama is at it, he and his surrogates should go after the fibulous Porkbarrel Palin, another liar incompetent supreme.

    Big Liar John and Porkbarrel Palin are NOT people the average American would trust or like to have a BBQ with - their lying, 2-timing, egotistical, bastards subservient to their ambition, willing to lie, cheat, steal, anything to get what they want.  BIG LIAR JOHN AND PORK BARREL PALIN CAN NOT BE TRUSTED.