Obama On Offense - Against McCain, Not Palin

The Left blogs fundamentally misunderstand what they are doing wrong. Markos cites TINS:

The Obama campaign has been successful largely because of its inspiring "new brand of politics". Unfortunately, as Bill Clinton might note, that makes it somewhat difficult for the Obama campaign to get quite as nasty with the opposition as it might need to. But that's OK--because that can be our job.

The problem is not the nasty - hell, Obama has gone full out on offense against McCain - the problem is the target Obama's Tier 2 (blogs and Media (see MSNBC in particular)) is aiming at - Palin. Get tough on McCain. Talk about how McCain is tied to Bush. The Obama Tier 2 (blogs and MSNBC) are doing a lousy job because they are shooting at the wrong person. They are not getting played, they just are doing the wrong thing. More . . .

Kos writes:

I'm not about to revert to writing puff pieces about Obama thinking that his magic "new politics" bullshit will carry us to victory. He may or may not believe that crap, but I don't. We're going to win this thing the way campaigns are won -- by playing hardball. . . . Recent history vindicates the "tough and aggressive" path. We went toe to toe against Rove and his machine in 2006, and our math beat his.

Markos forgets what worked in 2006 - tying the GOP brand to George W. Bush. Obama's Tier 2 blogs have been spending all their time going after Sarah Palin, not tying Bush to McCain since Palin appeared on the scene. That has been the grave mistake. Finally, Markos cites Bob Novak:

I asked one of the Republican Party's smartest, most candid heavy hitters last week whether John McCain really has a chance to defeat Barack Obama in this season of Republican discontent. "No, if the campaign is about McCain," he replied. "Yes, if it's about Obama."

In the blogs, the campaign has been about Sarah Palin for 2 weeks, not McCain/Bush. Let's get back to McCain/Bush.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

< Radical Right Ramps Up PAC Now That Palin is On Ticket | Greenspan Criticizes McCain Tax Cut Proposal >
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    I'd add one (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:20:16 PM EST
    Palin on a winning ticket will make McCain a tool of the radical right.  They will extract their due.

    That is good (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by ruffian on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 07:24:39 PM EST
    Make it clear that the only way McCain can win this thing is because of the extreme religious right.  If nothing else, that should motivate our base to get out and vote to match theirs.

    That is an interesting line of attack (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:22:13 PM EST
    I think I can get on board with that one.

    That's (none / 0) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:39:09 PM EST
    the only attack that I think will work since it is based on issues.

    Because McCain bowed to someone's (none / 0) (#43)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:53:10 PM EST
    pressure to pick her over his preferred VPs?  

    Re: Because McCain bowed to someone's (none / 0) (#59)
    by jccleaver on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:09:23 PM EST
    pressure to pick her over his preferred VPs?

    You're going to blame Republicans for not wanting a non-Republican (not even a RINO) on the ticket? Liberman will make a great SecDef or SecState or something, but (rightly, I think) a non-Republican on the ticket would have been too much of a jump. I remember some articles out there investigating whether that was even possible given current RNC rules.

    I (personally) would have been happy with Thompson, but it's not much of a stretch to think McCain realized that Romney/Huckabee/insert-old-white-Republican-man/etc... were not going to be able to win the election. I think it had been #1 Lieberman, #2 Palin, and #3 everyone else for a very long time in his mind.


    Palin, Palin, Palin does nothing but (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:27:23 PM EST
    suck the air out of Obama's campaign.  McCain/Palin lies: too complex.  McCain:  more war; more government support for the rich; more Roberts/Scalia/Alito/Thomas; pro-life-we'll decide for you; SSN under fire, no attempt to solve health care crisis.  That's the ticket.  

    Yay! (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:40:28 PM EST
    I see someone finally gets it. You define what your opponent stands for while defining yourself.

    That's the truth (none / 0) (#69)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:43:55 PM EST
    And no matter how disappointed I am in Obama and his actions as a woman and a feminist your view of what's the ticket to get this act together is also truthful.  It isn't just a slogan or a plan of attack, it is the truth.

    This is (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:27:47 PM EST
    a multiple problem. When Obama goes on the offensive it has largely been ineffective. The left blogs, left to their inclinations, will lose the race for Obama. IMO, it makes people think what's wrong with Obama that he attracts these kind of people? It's the same thing that I thought about Bush II.

    Obama has been quite effective on the offense (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:28:36 PM EST
    based on the polls. It is when he loses the initiative that he flounders.

    Why (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:34:04 PM EST
    was he floundering before the convention then? That's what largely makes me think that his offensive has been weak. I personally think that his offensive has been weak because he's basically saying that Bush=McCain and lots of Americans agree that Bush stinks. It doesn't seem that they are really tying McCain to Bush in their minds.

    Why do you think the fundamentals are so bad for the GOP overall but Obama can't seem to close the sale? My opinion is that you can't always been seen as pointing out the negative. You have to give voters something positive too. That's why I think compare and contrast are so effective.


    He lost the initiative (5.00 / 4) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:42:55 PM EST
    Positive agenda - absolutely... (none / 0) (#99)
    by marian evans on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 10:35:04 PM EST
    From my observation, left governments are most likely get into power in liberal democracies when they are able to sell a "plan of action" to the electorate - particularly as left governments are often put into place when times are bad (think FDR).

    I don't actually believe that the electorate is stupid (which the focus on 'personality" & celebrity seems to imply) - and certainly treating them like they ARE stupid is a surefire way to lose, in my opinion.

    Times are hard. People are worried. The Dems have to give them hope, yes - but more than that they have look as though they have a clue! Grand visions are made up of concrete agendas.

    BTD is right. The obsessive focus on Sarah Palin is a mistake, but mainly because it wastes valuable time which could be spent on presenting a positive agenda to the voting public.

    (a)They want solutions, and (b) they want to believe in the person who presents those solutions to them.

    Your problem is that McCain is selling himself as part (b) without having part (a) - but Obama is also selling himself as part (b) without having part (a). They are both saying "believe in me" , but for different reasons.

    Wouldn't it be best to have both part (a) and part (b)?

    The problem with "change you can believe in" is that change shouldn't require belief, it should require trust and that is something the Dems bleed away every time they go against their "brand".


    I'm doubtful left blogs affect (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:31:51 PM EST
    voters directly, although they do seem to provide the media with material.

    I think (none / 0) (#17)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:35:45 PM EST
    they do affect voters directly. But it's only the voters who also blog. However, I have no idea how large "blogging voters" is.

    Now that would be a very interesting (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:56:30 PM EST
    cross-tab:  "voters who blog."

    As far (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:30:37 PM EST
    as what worked for 2006, doesn't mean that it will work in 2008. The Dems have had congress and people have had a chance to pass judgement on them. They've largely failed in what they were elected to do. In 2006 we also didn't have a candidate at the top of the ticket that seems to be a drag on congressional races either. It was each man or woman for himself and candidates could talk about issues.

    I know what the Clintons would do (5.00 / 3) (#31)
    by progressiveinvolvement on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:46:19 PM EST
    This goes contrary to conventional wisdom, which says that you try to manipulate the voters with various tricks and poses, and argues that you win the election by winning the middle class, and you win the middle class by talking about the issues of the middle class--jobs, economy, health care, transportation, education.

    The Clintons' major insight into the electorate is that, contra Thomas Frank, they DO vote in what they believe to be their self-interest.

    Oh yes, and "keep your eyes on the prize," and that prize goes right through McCain, not Palin.  I agree with that part.

    I can only speak for myself (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by bjorn on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:47:00 PM EST
    but I don't react well to Obama's recent tone.  He is much better when he is calm, strong, and focused.  Lately, he seems peeved, impatient, testy, etc.  I think if he goes at McCain but stays focused on the issues to do it and gets back to a calm but strong voice, he will be okay.  But he has been rattled and it shows.  Am I the only one that thinks Obama's "temperment" not McCain's is getting in the way here?

    Try not to think about these things (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:50:01 PM EST
    in how you react personally. It is the same mistake the Palinpaloozers make.

    okay (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by bjorn on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:52:22 PM EST
    then just get on the issues Obama!  I hope he grabs Greenspan's message today and hammers that some this week.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:59:53 PM EST
    the tone is important. It's one of the things that has keep Michelle in the background imo. However, it's really not what you are picking up on, it's whether there are voters out there who are picking up on the same thing.

    My problem is that I have a hard time listening to Obama. He stammers and uhs, and ahs so much that I have to turn it off. Also, the lecturing is really annoying to me.


    His town hall in York read just fine to me (5.00 / 5) (#67)
    by lambert on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:34:37 PM EST
    And I can't stand the man.

    But Tier Two would rather do snark (a) because its more fun and (b)  because each of 'em fantasizes they're going to be the next Woodward (or Bernstein) and take Palin down.

    Never happen and distracts from message.

    Plus, the lying thing is just stupid. People just roll their eyes and say "They all lie," and so what?

    Unemployment at 6% and rising, gas and fuel prices where they are, and a $5 trillion bailout with golden parachutes for the execs -- the Ds should be 20 points ahead now.


    Let's look at Kos' record ... (5.00 / 4) (#65)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:27:03 PM EST
    for helping Obama.

    His blog made Hillary Clinton a stronger figure in the Democratic Party, the more they attacked, the stronger she got, then they convinced Obama not to pick her, which allowed the opening for Palin.

    They also called everyone and their mother, brother, cousin and son a racist; while engaging in sexist attacks -- leaving an even wider opening for Palin.

    And that's only the tip of the iceberg.

    But in large part we're in this mess because of the progosphere.

    Keep up the good work, Kos.

    I agree, but what would I know? (5.00 / 5) (#68)
    by lambert on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:35:26 PM EST
    I'm a racist.

    When the garden mildews... (none / 0) (#102)
    by lambert on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 11:49:55 PM EST
    ... what do you do...

    three themes (3.00 / 0) (#2)
    by Turkana on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:17:10 PM EST
    1. bush iii.

    2. liar, flip-flopper.

    3. picking palin was dangerously irresponsible.

    they all work, they're intertwined, and they should all be emphasized.

    Nope (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:19:45 PM EST
    3 has not worked and has obscured 1 and 2.

    You wish it were different and have decided to discard the clear evidence.

    Why you have chosen to do this is for you to explain.


    could just as easily say (none / 0) (#6)
    by Turkana on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:23:12 PM EST
    that 1 and 2 aren't working, because obama is doing 1, and it's not working, and the media have been somewhat focused on 2, and it's not working. i think we continue to hammer at all 3. and 3, alone, can destroy mccain, if it reaches a threshold of public consciousness.

    No you could not (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:27:56 PM EST
    1  was working prior to the Palinpalooza as Obama held a  7 point lead more or less  consistently.

    It was when 3 became an obsession of the Media that Obama's lead slipped.

    the evidence is clear.


    3 is also just ... (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by Robot Porter on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:02:31 PM EST
    bad politics.

    If it's dangerous irresponsible to pick an "inexperienced" candidate for VP, it would be equally irresponsible to vote for one for P.

    Attacking Palin is wrong for the reasons BTD outlines.

    But the attack suggested in 3 actually hurts Obama more than McCain.


    the last few days (none / 0) (#13)
    by Turkana on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:30:39 PM EST
    there's been quite a bit on the lies- particularly about the dishonest ads. i don't much count the polls before the conventions, as most people weren't yet paying attention. i don't see why we can't focus on three themes at the same time, particularly as all three undermine the whole maverick schtick, which is all mccain has.

    Tie them to McCain (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:47:30 PM EST
    Palin has no say on the ads.

    This is the 1st paragraph of an Obama campaign (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by steviez314 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:57:41 PM EST
    memo going out.  I think it's kind of what you're looking for them to do.

    Since naming Governor Palin as their Vice Presidential nominee, the McCain campaign has distorted, distracted, and outright lied to the American people about her record in a desperate attempt to hide the fact that a McCain/Palin Administration would be nothing more than a continuation of the failed Bush policies of the last eight years.

    I might change "continuation" "more right wing".


    has been doing.

    I have a problem with what his Tier 2 in the Media and the blogs has been doing.


    I actually think Obama's surrogates have done (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by steviez314 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:10:39 PM EST
    pretty well..Kaine, Debbie W-S, Rendell, Biden for sure.  And of course Hillary.

    It's some of these democrats that no one has even heard of (Carol Fowler?) that are making stupid comments.

    As to the blogs, well, all you'll end up doing is raising your blood pressure.  No one controls the internet and there's no such thing as message discipline on it.


    All (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:37:22 PM EST
    that is MORE personality based stuff. It doesn't work. Talk about ISSUES. ISSUES are what is going to win the election.

    Remember the admonishment of Hillary: If you get into a personality contest with John McCain you are going to lose. You defeat him with the issues.


    it's not at all personality based (none / 0) (#21)
    by Turkana on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:39:46 PM EST
    (well, some people are focused on the irrelevancies)- it IS about issues. it's about her extremism, that mccain picked her because the theocrats told him to, that it proves he's no reformer or maverick, and that her complete lack of qualifications proves mccain only cares about winning, not about what's best for the country. that's as real as it gets.

    99% has been personal (5.00 / 5) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:43:50 PM EST
    and "not qualified" stuff. A huge mistake.

    there's a difference (none / 0) (#33)
    by Turkana on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:47:04 PM EST
    not qualified is a valid argument- it gets to the heart of mccain's irresponsibility in having picked her. the other personal stuff- her family, etc.- is not only irrelevant and counter-productive, it's a brand of politics i don't play.

    Ugh (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:48:07 PM EST
    "Valid" does not mean "effective." Do you want to be right or do you want to win?

    i see no cost in pushing it (none / 0) (#42)
    by Turkana on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:52:53 PM EST
    if it's the ONLY argument, it's a loser. if it's part of a matrix of arguments, which coalesce into a broader theme about mccain, i think it can be the final nail.

    I see a cost (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:00:43 PM EST
    I think the evidence is that it has had a substantial cost.

    i disagree (none / 0) (#64)
    by Turkana on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:21:32 PM EST
    there's been way too much focus on the personal (particularly in the shrillosphere), but i think there's enough air in the room for all three themes- again, because they reinforce each other.

    The (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:55:03 PM EST
    not qualified is making a tacit argument to vote for McCain. Who's more qualified between Pres candidates? McCain of course. No one really cares that the VP isn't qualified.

    You (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:44:26 PM EST
    can't just call her an extremist. You are putting in peoples minds that she has 3 heads or something. Then when she shows up and looks and sounds normal you have lost your credibilit. You have to tell the voters WHY she is an extremist. Tell them about her extreme stances.

    You can show she is though (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:48:32 PM EST
    That's (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:53:41 PM EST
    pretty much the point I've been making elsewhere in the thread.

    and it's not hard to explain why (none / 0) (#39)
    by Turkana on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:51:38 PM EST
    from her global warming denial (now turning into a flip-flopping hedge) to her openness to creationism in schools (which is NOT about competing theories- it's about confusing science with bronze age mythologies) to her wanting to end choice (which is, once again, about religion over science)- a pattern emerges. this is a woman who knows little about the world and dismisses science in favor of her brand of religion. as juan cole wrote, there's not much difference between that and what we're supposedly fighting against, in the wars. and it also fits nicely with bush iii.

    No, it's the economy (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Coral on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 08:56:40 PM EST
    that will win the election for the Democrats. That's why the houses ad/theme worked so well. It tied McCain's personal situation to his lack of answers to the economic problems of the middle and working classes.

    It worked on the level of character and policy both, with one simple-to-grasp image, easily packaged in a 30 or 60 second ad.


    Is there any solid evidence as to (none / 0) (#40)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:51:52 PM EST
    who pushed McCain to pick Palin instead of Lieberman, Romney, Ridge et al.?  

    blue texan (none / 0) (#45)
    by Turkana on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:54:56 PM EST
    I sense more the hand of Rove than (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:00:29 PM EST

    i'm sure there was a good mix (none / 0) (#62)
    by Turkana on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:19:41 PM EST
    of both. rove understands the need to appease dobson.

    i doubt it (none / 0) (#100)
    by Turkana on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 10:53:27 PM EST
    palin so pales in comparison to hillary, and obama picking hillary would have taken away mccain's play for her voters. maybe hutchison, but more likely romney.

    Re: Is there any solid evidence as to (none / 0) (#56)
    by jccleaver on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:04:15 PM EST
    She's been "the most logical choice" for a lot of the right-leaning blogosphere for a long time, just that none of the MSM (or lefty blogs, apparently) seemed to pick up on it. All throughout May, June, and July she was regularly coming in 2nd or 3rd in online polls on the right for who McCain's VP pick should be.

    The final catalyst may not have needed an external push. Once Obama didn't go with Hillary, Palin as a selection became more and more logical. Any number of people could have (rightly) told McCain there'd be hell to pay if he picked a non-Republican (ie, Lieberman).

    Gov. Palin was the best option, for about 15 different reasons.

    It certainly wasn't expected, but it wasn't out of the blue either to anyone who had been paying attention to the issues. The fact that it caught the MSM and Obama's campaign completely (and I mean completely) flat-footed says more about them then it does McCain IMHO.


    well (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:32:37 PM EST
    logical political choice and best choice for actually governing are seperate issues.

    I know a republican who will vote McCain that doesnt think shes a responsible pick, but thinks it was good politics.  Its not just the left who was taken aback.


    Paul Weyrich has been behind the scenes (none / 0) (#88)
    by ruffian on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 07:21:51 PM EST
    marrying the religious right to the big oil for years. I heard a good analysis by RFK Jr on Air America, linking the Palin selection to the organizations Weyrich has been involved with.  It really was McCain's deal with this branch of the party, which never liked him.

    yes (none / 0) (#25)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:41:28 PM EST
    Issues, sure. But get some punches in between the issues, in the same ads. And keep the punches focused on themes that are working, like McCains lies.

    It's the economy. (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by lambert on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:08:27 PM EST
    Stupid. Creative class types don't get that because so far they've been insulated from the effects.

    No. 4 (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by jar137 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 07:06:40 PM EST
    should be to tar the republicans generically for having created all of the problems we are facing today and reminding the public that we cannot trust them.  I believe the argument should be that they should be sent to pasture for their screw-ups.  Remind people about the corruption, Katrina, gas prices, mortgage crisis, lies about the war and tie McCain to them (he didn't stand up to Bush or the party).  The McCain = Bush connection has to be made with examples.  Remind people and tell them how you are going to set the country back on its course.  There should be a lot of Reagan-like language about the ideal of America and Americans coming together to fix our problems.  Remind them that we have to get back on the right path and no republican will do that for us.  Or at least, given their history, it's too dangerous to trust them to do the right thing.

    Reagan's question (none / 0) (#101)
    by badguppy on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 11:21:07 PM EST
    needs to be asked by Obama at one of the debates.
    He needs to look into the camera and say, "Ask yourself, are you better off than you were 8 years ago?"

    I don't think flip flopper needs to be (none / 0) (#70)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:46:48 PM EST
    revisted.  Everybody is a flip flopper, everybody changes their mind, circumstance always change and require new approaches and fresh goals.  I'm not for the flip flop label, I'd rather just wear them.......particularly when that is all I can afford :)  If you want to say that McCain is soon going to have ALL OF US in flip flops I'm okay with that though.

    it's particularly important for mccain (none / 0) (#79)
    by Turkana on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 06:24:54 PM EST
    because there's so much documented proof of it, and it completely undermines his whole maverick schtick.

    It's the words for me (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 10:28:34 PM EST
    Now I love the attack of the "Maverick" thing that needs to take place if we are going to represent reality to and for the American people.  In my sharpie fantasies about violating McCain yard signs I sneak up on them at midnight and write Maverick = Maverick = Duke Cunningham.

    The deflated PALIN BALLOON (1.00 / 2) (#78)
    by Oceandweller on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 06:21:40 PM EST
    So go after him? AS FOR Palin, once the Press has started to dig in her defrosted alaska, antics, and believe me, it is just starting; mrs Iraq border and refuelling Ireland character will soon be in tatters. Obama campaign can focus on McCain as ther is nothing more than the Media love s; but showing that Candid Snow White is the evil queen

    Obama's campaign is in big trouble (1.00 / 1) (#93)
    by downtownted on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 08:43:36 PM EST
    The polls indicate Obama is behind and in danger of falling further behind. How can this be?

    3 reasons.

    1.    Axelrod is being reactive to Republican attacks against Obama. The main thrust is seen as being reactive. Is it? Who cares! What matters is that the perception is ANOTHER Democratic Presidential candidate who is boringly reactive. And being reactive is boring. And if the candidate wants to be boring--why should anyone listen. IT IS THE CANDIDATE'S CHOICE. If they want to bore us, well we can listen to something interesting.

    2.    This looks like another Democratic wimp for President. Most Americans are taught to stand up against Bullies. Obama is labeled as cut and run from Iraq. It is hard for Americans to vote for a wimp to be President. Maybe Obama is not. Obama might be a really tough, no nonsense take it to `em if you push me kind of guy. The perception is he is just another Democratic wimp. Remember that "perception is reality."  Being seen as the kind of guy who can be pushed around by Chavez, and the Iranians, and, good lord, Putin is just fatal. Easy to cure, but fatal to leave unchallenged.

    3.    The economy is terrible and getting worse. Mort Zuckerman laid out a perfect campaign against McCain on the McGoofy group this weekend. (Unemployment, inflation, falling home prices causing destruction of net worth of American families, taxpayer bailout because of Republican failures, etc). Look at it. Use it!

    I never thought any person who went into the tough rotten dangerous parts of the Chicago slums as an effective organizer could be a feckless woose. I don't see that person in this election.

    ya (none / 0) (#1)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:15:42 PM EST
    THis "McCain as liar" theme has strength.  They need an ad showing the WSJ and all the papers calling McCain's tactics dishonest.  Put up a picture of McCain doing one of his old smiles. The really creepy speech smiles before they taught him how to smile properly.

    You can go after Palin, but in conjunction (none / 0) (#7)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:24:42 PM EST
    with McSame.

    For example  attack their alleged maverick status by asking Palin to put Alaska's money where her mouth is and return the 73 million of money earmarked for the bridge to nowhere that she accepted.

    Gets to the lack of integrity theme. McCain Palin would rather lose their integrity than an election.

    He stood up to Washington Lobbyists - by hiring them to run his campaign and oversee his transition team.
    She said no to the bridge and kept 73 million of our money.

    needs some work, but you get the drift.


    My reply to your return the money comment (none / 0) (#14)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:30:43 PM EST
    got zapped, so I'll try again.  McCain has consistently worked against earmarks.  Obama and Palin haven't.  I think most people are o.k. with earmarks for their own state.  Lobbyists:  we are o.k. with the lobbyist working for our own interests; for example, state and municipal governments employ federal lobbyists.  Not winning issues for Obama, IMO.  

    The point isn't whether you are for or against (none / 0) (#38)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:51:15 PM EST
    money for your own sake.

    The point is the blatant dishonesty. Yes it goes against McCain's perceived strength, once you kill that... what does he have left?

    This sort of blatant lying is how we ended up in Iraq.

    Remember Jimmy Carter after Watergate? "I'll never lie to you"  (note to Barack - don't use that line). After being constantly lied to by Bush,  I think voters are likely to punish blatant liars.

    Before you tell me all politicians lie and therefore no one cares, think about Al Gore in 2000. His credibility took a hit and I think it probably hurt him. What is the most important characteristic for any witness testifying?

    McCain Palin, you can't trust them to tell you the truth.


    On the other hand, Clinton lied (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:55:12 PM EST
    under oath and we are always hearing about his fabulous approval rating in spite of that.  I don't think anyone is shocked that politicians lie.

    McCain's and Palin's lies go directly to their (none / 0) (#53)
    by steviez314 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:01:06 PM EST
    records and reasons for running.

    Clinton didn't run on a platform of marital fidelity, if such a thing could even exist.  If he had, his lie would have cost him more.


    Bit of a difference (none / 0) (#57)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:06:58 PM EST
    Voters knew  about President Clinton and his sex drive. That is personal and no-one cared. Plus he had what 6 years or so of making most Americans daily life better.

    The lies being perpetrated by McCain-Palin are not to cover personal peccadillos. They are about public matters. That's our 73 million dollar tax money she took. McCain is telling us he is against lobbyists influence in Washington (read public business) while simultaneously employing them in his campaign. If he is such a thorn in their side, why are all these Washington lobbyists so interested in seeing  him elected?

    Again it goes against McCain's straight talker reputation. I wouldn't necessairily be use the L word just yet. I think the rather "lose his integrity than lose an election" gets it right. Its jarring, but strikes home and sets the theme.

    In any event, my original thesis was, you can attack Palin if it advances your attack on McCain (the attacks have to have the same themes).

    Attacking Palin in a vacuum doesn't work. Even though  I personally think she is a phony.


    I'm still hung up on Obama's promise (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by oculus on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:19:48 PM EST
    to support filibuster of FISA revise.  

    I'll spot you FISA (5.00 / 0) (#76)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 06:13:55 PM EST
    but, that is not an issue the election is going to be won or lost on. What's McCain going to say, FISA is bad?

    It doesn't really address my point that attacks on Palin should be ones which advance the attack on McCain.

    As for lying, right now most of the major newspapers and the AP are running some story on it. The theme of those stories is not that one or another is untrue, the theme of those stories is McCain has not been dishonest about some picky item, the theme I see developing is McCain is being extraordinary sleazy.

    It goes to McCain's credibility as a candidate and I think it has potential to reach a tipping point - where even accurate attacks on Obama could be lost.

    See today's Times

    Mr. Sipple, the Republican strategist, voiced concern that Mr. McCain's approach could backfire. "Any campaign that is taking liberty with the truth and does it in a serial manner will end up paying for it in the end," he said. "But it's very unbecoming to a political figure like John McCain whose flag was planted long ago in ground that was about `straight talk' and integrity.

    For extra fun read the first two paragraphs and note all the ways Michael Cooper and Jim Rutenberg find  to almost say the word lie.


    Gore was not a liar. (none / 0) (#73)
    by rooge04 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 06:04:17 PM EST
    He was painted as such relentlessly by our wonderful press corps. He's been one of the most honest politicians. He was attacked by the press and the right as a liar.

    We shouldn't repeat right-wing lies and press irresponsible reporting as fact.


    Who said President Gore was a liar? (none / 0) (#77)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 06:18:55 PM EST
    I said right wing attacks cost him credibility points.

    He was mocked by the right (none / 0) (#96)
    by Coral on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 09:01:12 PM EST
    It was the ridicule that did him in. And the accusation that he was lying about his own importance.

    Lying in and of itself is not necessarily an effective line of attack. It has to tie into a larger theme that people can identify with. And we're talking swing voters in swing states.


    ya (none / 0) (#20)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:39:22 PM EST
    Dishonesty can cover them both. They are both telling whoppers and if their ticket can get freely punched for it.  Plenty of third party quotes to mine on that subject.

    Yeah (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:41:39 PM EST
    but it's another character based attack and Obama can be defined as being a liar too w/r/t FISA. Character based attacks only work when you don't have the issues on your side.

    well (none / 0) (#61)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:12:44 PM EST
    Well of course you dont agree, you've said nothing positive about Obama in my experience.

    But for the rest of us the Liar angle is working, McCain is slipping in the gallup poll and the media has provided some solid hits.

    Even the conservatives were calling McCain a liar during the primary. Hannity and Coulter come to mind. He played dirty tricks on Romney as well.


    People (none / 0) (#97)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 09:52:04 PM EST
    were calling Obama a liar too. And he has lied about a lot of things. Personal attacks are not going to win the day against McCain. Go with the issues. I don't know why this is so hard for everyone to see.

    to clarify (none / 0) (#22)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:40:04 PM EST
    Both being Palin/McCain.  Its a free punch.

    And tie their lying (none / 0) (#95)
    by jar137 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 09:00:03 PM EST
    to the republican history of at least the pst eight years.  We need to remind the pubic that as republicans their crdibility is suspect.  That's how you tie McCain to Bush- through the republican lies of the past 8 years.

    theory is mulch (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:41:01 PM EST
    Stay calm and clean.  The Palin bump, not the response by Os camp is the only reason for the bump/  By the end of next week, O will have a slight lead, by the end of next week he will be ahead by at least 4-5 and in 3 weeks he will not look back.  

    People are not excited about mccain and palins star is already fading.  

    Strategists do not freak out and axelrod and crew are doing ground work that made bush win in 04.  your argument is silly being that all O has to do is continue to grow and look more presidential.  3rd term blah blah blah.  Repost this in 4 weeks for me please

    McCain abandoned the Maverick long time ago (none / 0) (#27)
    by MarkH on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 04:42:11 PM EST
    Karl Rove strongly supports the McCain - Palin ticket.
    The reason why:
    Both McCain and Palin have been able to lure the american voter away from critical issues like the war in Iraq, social insurance, education, global warming and instead to direct his attention to issues like family values, hockey-moms, sunday prayers and - how funny - lipstick, i.e. things that can never be criticized.

    This report is a fake, admits a German Blog, though it is absolutely true...

    cheers, Mark

    Bass ackwards. (none / 0) (#71)
    by lilburro on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:54:36 PM EST
    That is literally what attacking Palin is.

    what is "TINS"? (none / 0) (#72)
    by s5 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 05:59:45 PM EST

    An abbreviation for (none / 0) (#90)
    by oldpro on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 07:52:31 PM EST
    There Is No Spoon...a blogger at DK

    i was a member of the 'Ignore Palin' (none / 0) (#74)
    by KeysDan on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 06:05:59 PM EST
    school at the outset. Criticizing her on just about every and any ground was, predictably, like attacking a rubber band--it just snaps back at you.  However, I now believe that after a decent interval, analysis and discussion of Governor Palin's political ideology and policy plans be part of the Obama campaign. After all, the Republican ticket is McCain/Palin and she is part and parcel of what is being put to the voters.  The initial attacks were ill-conceived but, maybe, unacknowledged and intuitive impulses that Palin would change the dynamics. The responses that dealt with inexperience and, even worse, family and personal matters brought a defense from those who might not otherwise have come to her aid. It seemed unfair, she needed a chance to prove herself, and we really did not know her--what was true and what was not. But now we know more about her and a cogent argument can be made by opponents of her positions.  It still should not be about "experience", a Rovian trap for sure, but what conclusions she has elicited from those experiences.  Moreover, if the Republicans are successful,    McCain will be indebted, in no small extent, to Palin et al.

    Oh Markos! (none / 0) (#75)
    by rooge04 on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 06:06:31 PM EST
    You have completely missed the point altogether!  

    The (usually) unstated assumption (none / 0) (#84)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 07:03:17 PM EST
    that's motivating the attacks on her is that McCain is merely serving as a "transitional front man" for a Palin presidency.

    While I agree that attacking McCain and tying him to Bush has to be paramount, I share Rich's concerns that people have come to the point with Bush where they just glaze over when they hear his name. People have Bush fatigue like they have Iraq fatigue, and attacks using them don't seem to have the same emotional potency they used to have.

    You and Rich are wrong (none / 0) (#91)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 08:15:37 PM EST
    imo of course.

    Wouldn't be the first time (none / 0) (#92)
    by Alien Abductee on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 08:42:35 PM EST
    But if it still had the emotional charge to it I think people would still be drawn to using it. They're bored with it and in outrage overload wrt Bush. The economy and tying McCain to Bush economic policies though still seems to have a charge.

    BTW, what you've been trying to get across about the attacks on Palin finally made sense to me with what you wrote yesterday. Now if you could only post that at dkos...


    Bush not McCain (none / 0) (#86)
    by Doc Rock on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 07:05:28 PM EST
    Obama and Biden, IMHO, need to run against all of the Bush idiocies and tie-in and show how McCain means more of the same. We need to show that we need trickle up economics and not trickle down.  We need to ensure that all have adequate health care.  We need a foreign policy that negotiates from strength without bullying.  We need to bring justice back to the DoJ and the courts.  We need to restore the Constitution and protect rather than erocde Constitutional Rights. Here's what I wrote I wanted in November 2006.