Waking Up On McCain/Palin; Bush's Third Term

A little late, but better late than never, 538 gets it:

She can make game-changing agitation plays that rouse her home team and provoke the other side into counterattacks that – 100% of the time – end up punishing the team who hits back. Democrats would be smart to understand her as such, and I see a lot of reaction that doesn't seem to grasp what Palin is doing and the value she's providing. I see a lot of Democrats taking a lot of bait.

This applies more to Democratic surrogates than it does to the top-ticket duo. Joe Biden had the smart response yesterday – naming the behavior – expecting it, and then riding through without taking the bait . . . And that’s all he says of Palin’s antics. Name the behavior, even praising the skill with which the agitation was attempted, and then back to focus. It's "the economy, stupid."

Yep. McCain/Palin represents Bush's Third Term. It represents, as the Obama ads constantly refrain, more of the same. Good to see some of the folks on the Left blogs are beginning to get it.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

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    I don't know what page (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by lilburro on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 09:17:17 AM EST
    a lot of the Democratic surrogates were on to begin with.  If anyone seems stuck in the primary days, it's them - I never got the impression they were all banging the same drum of economic prosperity, for instance.  They are an easily distracted group of people.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with pointing out the lies Palin/McCain tell about Obama - but it isn't necessary to do so in "the heat of the moment."  

    I never really cared for hockey.

    He seems bitter (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Steve M on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 09:37:51 AM EST
    that the Red Wings have gotten the better of the Blues so many times.  But yes, it's a good analogy.

    And while you're being funny (none / 0) (#12)
    by JAB on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:00:32 AM EST
    (besides right), guess where that little nugget will play well?

    Michigan, Wisconsin,PA, Ohio, the Dakotas, Maine, VT, NH, etc....

    Not saying that will win all those states over to McCain/Palin, but could make some closer than people think right now.  Many people "identify" with Palin, even if they don't agree with her.  Many people do not "identify" with Obama/Biden.  Attacking her on those things that people identify with her on, is a sure fire way to ensure game over.


    Hm (none / 0) (#33)
    by Steve M on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:45:49 AM EST
    What nugget do you mean?

    "Hockey Mom" (none / 0) (#53)
    by JAB on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 12:45:55 PM EST
    More of the same and more people get it (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Saul on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 09:48:13 AM EST
    This was the year that the democrats should haved sail through an election.  Why?
    Because of the terrible 8 Bush years.  Seems quite simple.  Almost anybody that wanted to run for president as a democrat should have shown a major distinction and been ahead.   However, why are the polls so close?  Why aren't they light years apart considering the black and white differences.   I fear that there is a great possibility that Obama could loose this election.  I do not think it's a shoe in for Obama.   The question is why is this election still so close?

    Why is the election close? (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by marian evans on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:54:20 AM EST
    A few hypotheses:

    *because the Obama campaign showed disrespect to a large segment of the overall electorate (the "bitter clingies");

    *because the Obama campaign condoned/turned a blind eye to/or not so subtly participated in disrespect to Hillary Clinton (e.g. the Stephanie Powers "Hillary Clinton is a monster" comment - and btw if Stephanie Powers represents the standard of foreign policy advice that Sen Obama receives, then god help America, as that level of "tact and diplomacy" will go down a treat with world leaders);

    *because the Obama campaign (&/or its surrogates) showed disrespect to women Dem voters (e.g. the whole "Hillary Holdouts" meme, the "dry pussy brigade' gibes of terminally puerile boy-bloggers);

    *because the Obama campaign showed disrespect towards its core voting base (e.g. Donna Brazile's brilliant insight that the base should "stay home");

    *because the Obama campaign showed disrespect for the spirit (and perhaps even the rule, if reports of caucus manipulation are accurate) of the democratic processes and traditions of the Dem party in the primaries and at the convention, so alienating many long-term supporters.

    Do you see a common thread here?


    I do think ObamaTeam laughing at her smalltown (5.00 / 5) (#10)
    by andrys on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 09:51:52 AM EST
    mayor tenure involving a small staff and far less $$ than his campaign hurt him.  I know it upset a few of us.  The tactic that had him and surrogates describing her only as a mayor of a small town with laughably insignificant numbers and dollars, deliberately ignoring her governership of the state was both dumb and infuriating.  This also wouldn't go over well with people living in small towns.

      That Obama compared the numbers himself saying how much more staff he had and how big his campaign budget was relative to her mayoral one was embarrassing, especially when he had to ignore the governor budget which is several billion.

     This directly led to the remark in her speech about what a mayor does - it being maybe like a community organizer with actual responsibilities.  Cheap shot begets cheap shot.  And then all we heard was ObamaTeam and supporters complaining about how she belittled community organizers everywhere.  

     NO, she belittled his tactic of belittling her mayoral job.

      Like begets like, unfortunately.  And it's showing in the polls.  Other people notice when he does this kind of thing, yesterday saying he would not be "bullied" (by a girl?).  

      It's called "give and take" in a campaign.  Hillary was not allowed to do that without enraging the DNC heads and being asked wasn't it time for her to stop campaigning.

      He was used to too much protection during the primaries and has to talk about leading the country and where.

       If he does that, he will go ahead of McCain and Palin as they don't at all provide that kind of focus on what can be done for the voters - in realistic terms, I mean.  I don't mean pandering but presenting ideas to get people working together to make things better for our lives.

      Today Rasmussen has a tie already, and Zogby has McCain/Palin 2 ahead.

      And we have an idea what the rest of the GE will be like.

    Gallup just came in (none / 0) (#37)
    by BrianJ on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:02:05 PM EST
    McCain 48, Obama 45.

    If you believe the daily numbers from Nate Silver, McCain won Saturday's polling by at least 5.7 points.



    Tag her (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Lahdee on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:37:10 AM EST
    and move on to the issues. If she wants to play in the personality pool fine, but we forget the third term at our own peril. McCain supports dubya's economy and must be made to own it.

    Frank Rich gets it right this morning (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Edger on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:52:23 AM EST
    Go after McCain. Not Palin.

    Sarah Palin makes John McCain look even older than he is. And he seemed more than willing to play that part on Thursday night. By the time he slogged through his nearly 50-minute acceptance speech - longer even than Barack Obama's - you half-expected some brazen younger Republican (Mitt Romney, perhaps?) to dash onstage to give him a gold watch and the bum's rush.


    Given the actuarial odds that could make Palin our 45th president, it would be helpful to know who this mystery woman actually is. Meanwhile, two eternal axioms of our politics remain in place. Americans vote for the top of the ticket, not the bottom. And in judging the top of the ticket, voters look first at the candidates' maiden executive decision, their selection of running mates. Whatever we do and don't know about Palin's character at this point, there is no ambiguity in what her ascent tells us about McCain's character and potential presidency.

    I really wish Obama and his handlers (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by oculus on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:43:16 AM EST
    would sit down with Bill Clinton and really listen to his input on how to win a campaign where there is an incumbent President as opponent.  Seems to me it isn't a good idea to tell the voters they were stupid for voting as they did in the past.  We all remember, it's the economy, stupid.  BUt what are the details of how Clinton won in '92?  

    Looks like you might be getting your wish (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by democrattotheend on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 04:30:28 PM EST
    According to The Page, Obama will be having dinner with Bill Clinton in New York next week.

    Stay on offense, always always. (none / 0) (#43)
    by eleanora on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:22:59 PM EST
    Carville hung a sign in their campaign HQ that outlined their whole campaign:

    1. Change vs. more of the same
    2. The economy, stupid
    3. Don't forget health care

    They had the Rapid Response teams that pushed back hard against any attack, but then Clinton and his surrogates, including Hillary, would swerve right back onto their message. I remember getting sick of it sometimes, but it really really worked. The War Room is a great documentary of their campaign, and I enjoyed the Matalin-Carville memoir "All's Fair" too.

    Another 'hockey' mom's observations (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by mjmartha152 on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:48:11 AM EST
    I too am a hockey mom however, I happen to abhor the ideals and values of the republican party.  Most other hockey moms I know fall into one of two categories - the very affluent, like our governor of Alasaka and VP candidate , or those, like myself in what's left of the middle to lower middle class.  Those of is in this second group stuggle to afford our children the opportunity to play hockey - which has become significantly harder in these 'bush' years.  I couldn't help but be repulsed and amazed by the RNC mantra  "Country First" - just incredible.  This from the gang that put policital party goals above everything for the past 8 years.  So, now it's 'Country' first?  Here's a fitting slogan for these crooks - Country First for a Change (that way they can leverage the Obama 'Change' theme (which McCain attempted to do with his very lame RNC speech), make it their own and bring at least some honesty to the rhetoric (of course we know it'll be repulicans first if they actually win in Nov.  Like everyone has said, four more years of bush...McSame.......)

    Chutzpah ... (none / 0) (#50)
    by FreakyBeaky on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 04:02:52 PM EST
    ... doesn't even begin to cover the Country First slogan.  

    Gov Palin is the fastball (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by eleanora on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:10:31 PM EST
    that John McCain fired right at Senator Obama's head, daring him to stay committed to the above-it-all, non-partisan schtick. And he can't, because most voters want someone who will fight for himself and his party, so they can believe he'll fight for them as president.

    I'm not saying that to take away Palin's agency, cause she's a really good pol, IMO. But McCain has been noodling around since he won his nom, poking a little at this and that, trying to figure out how to run with BushCo tied around his neck against an opponent the media adored. The Celebrity thing was good, took a little of the shine off. The Obama world tour was an unforced error that helped with that.

    And then Palin arrived boom! at the convention, saying to Repubs, "They want a battle? Let's give 'em one. Game on." Her speech took them from defense for the last 8 years to offense "but Dems still suck," and no "Let's make friends with the Republicans" cr*p is going to work against that.

    All the R's have to do is distract the public from the fact that they've driven our country into a ditch. Can they do that for eight weeks?  

    Greenwald on Palin & Press (3.00 / 0) (#2)
    by Coral on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 09:16:02 AM EST
    Greenwald is good on Palin, too.

    The Sibelius response that Jeralyn linked in a post below seemed also to be on the right track.

    What I don't like is Obama's "voters aren't that stupid" (paraphrase) response. As someone pointed out, if someone has been initially impressed by Palin that sounds insulting to the voter him or herself.

    Digby has been interesting -- pushing the McCain houses/Cindy $300,000 dresses may at least put some dissonance into the mix, as GOP reignite the culture wars.

    Read Willie Brown in today's San Francisco (none / 0) (#1)
    by Angel on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 09:15:06 AM EST
    Chronicle or catch it at Anglachel and read the analysis.  Worth your time.

    Anglachel (none / 0) (#5)
    by Coral on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 09:20:06 AM EST
    Important point from Anglachel that many on our side would do well to heed:

    He isn't looking to criticize her but to defeat her, which is something different than having the right policies.

    That's true (none / 0) (#4)
    by Polkan on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 09:18:22 AM EST
    but it's also true that Obama himself seems to have already taken the bait a couple of times.

    Yesterday, Obama said that while McCain may be Bush, then Palin is a Cheney. I'm not quite sure how credible this is, but...

    I think these points connects with the larger point raised here a few days ago - how to respond/not respond to Palin.

    In my view, Palin shouldn't be ignored. She should be tied to McCain and by extension to Bush.

    I'm glad you started doing it too BTD. It's the entire ticket.

    Great to have you back, btw

    You think that doesn't fit? (none / 0) (#8)
    by dailygrind on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 09:42:37 AM EST
    the McSame frame? In 2000, Bush picked Cheney, an extremist, to shore up his numbers. People didn't pay attention to how extreme like they are doing now until after they voted Bush and Cheney into office.  What little Palin has been allowed to say indicates she would be one of the most extreme VPs we have had, and fitting into a pattern of McCain falling into right wing extremist , again based on what little he is saying at this point. In otherwords, now, we are seeing the same. People are ignoring how conservative and reactionary Palin is, and thus ignoring that how far right McCain will govern. VPs are a sign of the judgment and and thinking of the potential president.

    Obama's attacks have not been based on Palin as Palin. Neither have Biden.  I don't think the point that BTD is maki ng, and I am wrong, he should correct, is to argue that Palin should never be mentioned as if she's not on the ticket. It's to place her nomination into context of the GOP and more specificially a continuation of the domestic extremism.

    For example, much of the housing mess can be attributable to that idealogical perspective. If you listen to her and her views, and what McCain is promising more of- it's exactly in accord with what Bush/Chenney have done on the domestic front.

     That's what Both Biden and Obama have been trying to do. Both are saying- looking McCain/Palin talk change- but here's what they are.


    Palin (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by WS on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 09:57:04 AM EST
    Obama shouldn't mention Palin or acknowledge her existence. It diminishes Obama to have to deal with the number 2 instead of going toe to toe with the top of the ticket.  

    I do agree that any engagement with Palin by Biden or other surrogates should be tied back to Bush.  She's just like Bush including her politics and her policies.  She says she's like a pit bull with lipstick; she's more like George Bush with lipstick.  


    I think I agree with (none / 0) (#13)
    by Polkan on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:20:38 AM EST
    "More of the Same" meme, but probably for entirely different reasons.

    My logic is this:

    • Women and religous voters will decide this election, just like the last two elections. I don't count independets as a distinct "issue" group, but a collection of undecideds from different issue groups.

    • McCain is not an evangelical. He had great trouble motivating Catholics, evangelicals and other pro-life groups. Kmiec even openly endorsed Obama.

    • Palin guarantess that McCain gets his entire base plus any Catholics who were on the side. Saddleback really hurt Obama with religious voters.

    • The play is going to be for women now. It's not clear how women will respond, because Palin almost fits the feminist ideal on gender equality (except maybe for equal pay) but doesn't fit it on abortion. But to take her on abortion would backfire because it will abortion wars and radicalism back.

    So I think "More of the Same" is the strategy because there probably is no other option. So to make it work, it has to be credible. I don't think ordinary people will find it credible to compare Palin to Cheney. The liberals will, no doubt.

    You forgot the computer code (3.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Dadler on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:31:37 AM EST
    The proprietary code, ownded by the private companies that far too many states and localities have farmed their elections to, and that "we the people" are not allowed to inspect or verify or control.  If you don't think that isn't going to play a major factor, if not be the deciding one, I have some great land I'd like to sell you.  I am AMAZED at the left for how little attention we give to the fraud that will, without a doubt, occur and be worse than the last two elections.  Hackable voting machines.  Think about it.  You REALLY don't think the hard right would let them go unhacked, do you?  In a race with a black dude who's middle name in Hussein?  Holy Jesus, we need to wake up to this.  

    It.  Is.  Frightening.

    And it will occur.  Without the slightest doubt.  And if the election is ANY kind of close, it will be the deciding factor.  Period.

    Excuse me while I get the sand outta my eyes.


    You don't think it happens (none / 0) (#18)
    by Polkan on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:38:08 AM EST
    on both sides???????

    Talk about living in a bubble then.


    In recent cycles (none / 0) (#27)
    by dailygrind on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:58:43 AM EST
    the last 20 years. No it really hasn't. If you want to say historically- then yes. If you want to say recently, then again no.

    To put it differently (none / 0) (#15)
    by Polkan on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:22:27 AM EST
    i think the only this strategy can succeed is when McCain/Palin are tied to the outcome of Bush's regime. Not to the names of people liberals hate.

    I slightly disagree (none / 0) (#26)
    by dailygrind on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:57:45 AM EST
    I could quibble over your definitions of voter categories, but ultimately , I think you are specifically wrong with saying it's Obama's only option. I would change that to saying its his best option and that of the Democrats regarding a long term strategy. I don't just mean McCain=Bush. I mean McCain=Bush=Failed Idealogy=Negative Brand the GOP.  What I mean is that is precisely how he should be defining this. Not just for just his chances to win, but to start the long process of associating over the next few cycles in voters mind the idea that GOP idealogical values are what are failing us. He did that in his speech in Denver. So did Clinton. Ultimately Palin matters on as to how she fits into this long term strategy and defeating McCain. I simply don't think as others do that these things are incompatible unless we focus on them as such. EIther side can do that by a) pretending that Palin is completely off limits or b) making this about Palin rather than how McCain's pick reflects more of the same regarding Bush and REpublican failed policies.

    Well (none / 0) (#28)
    by Polkan on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:05:53 AM EST
    I'm sure there are other options.

    But I can't find another option that also leads him to victory. So in that context - yes, it's the best option.

    However, I think one of its weaknesses (that McCain is already exploiting) is the in-built negative message: all Republicans are bad, by extension from Bush. I don't like it because it pushes too many buttons that McCain will be happy to play with and the addition of Palin only broadens his options.


    I think you are thinking like a progressiver (none / 0) (#34)
    by dailygrind on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:47:57 AM EST
    rahter than how politics works when you say that. First, the Republicans regularly have said for 30 years "All Democrats bad." I really think we don't think about how much they attack us any more because it is so ubiquitous as to be accepted wisdom even amongst Democrats.

     Second, and more importantly, the argument isn't about Republicans. It's about extreme conservative idealogy. It's threading a needle,b ut it's not the same thing  as saying All Republicans are bad.

    Still even if it were, given the Republicans doing the same thing- I don't understand this aversion to negative branding. I happen to think our failure is to always try to take the high road of positive branding when that has clearly failed us in the past because the ballot in America is either/or and black/white. People often frame this as the lesser of two evils, but that's because of the impact of negative and positive branding. Both are necessary and should be the case. I don't see the point of tying Democratic hands, while the GOP has no such restraint.

    The trick isn't whether McCain will react to our assault. Of course, he wil. So what.  The trick is to have the right assault and not backdown from it. The perception of weakness occurs when we backdown. The problem hasn't been attacking Palin or McCain- it's been not using the right attacks. Obama has, in fairness been trying (although the interview with ABC sucks) but the rest of the party has lacked message discipline. I've outlined the message above: McCain/Palin=Bush=Failed GOP Idealogy.

    That should be the frame, and it's not worried about being perceived of as negative. That's again tying the Democrats hand  while the Republicans will have no such limtiations.


    That's exactly the problem (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Polkan on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:57:37 AM EST
    and I won't follow you there.

    I don't agree to claim "extreme conservative ideology" unless you agree to claim "extreme liberal ideology" too.

    Both parties have extreme ideologies. It's inevitable - we have a two-party system. The Republicans became "extreme conservatives" in response to what they perceived as "extreme liberalism" which includes of course abortion. This has been a giant back-and-forth for so long I don't think it's worthwhile to waste time figure out who "started it".

    The danger of negative branding is two-fold:

    • it further contradicts what's left from the Obama post-partisan message
    • it gives a Republicans a pretext to go negative on things they don't dare go negative now.

    You seem to suggest that Obama should carpetbomb from here until November 4th. I'm not sure I agree with that.

    Both parties do not have their extremes (none / 0) (#42)
    by dailygrind on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:15:48 PM EST
    as the head of their party. The Republicans do. If you can't see that, then there is little esle to be said.

    The Republicans don't need a reason to negative brand. It's a basic element of their strategy, and has been since Reagan. Again, if you don't see that, there is little else to argue. In all seriousness, after 2004, and indeed with Rove now helping the McCain people- do you not see this?

    I could care less if it contradicts what you think of as post partisan. Post partisan doesn't mean capitulation in terms of not defining differences. It means listening and consideration, but not that the GOP gets to win the battle as your frame requires by ignoring the GOP and its idealogical views. For the record, 2004 is a poster child for why your argument is wrong.

    I don't suggest anything. I write what I mean to write. You can call me on my typos, but that's about it. You are the one arguing that negative branding is per se wrong. I am arguing that branding and negative branding are both necessary. To change that argument into hyperbole about carpet bombing is just a sweeping exaggeration not meant to understand my point at all.

    So, what is my point. Politics is  simply. It's define or be defined. That if you don't do this, McCain, when one goes into the ballot box, will be perceived of as the lesser of two evils because no one ever explained why not-McCain , and the forces that are behind him, are indeed represent of a extremist idealogical perspective. People vote sometimes in the positive for Obama, but others vote in the negative, against McCain. You would have us lose the against McCain vote because we never provided them with why not-McCain.

    This will be my final post, but I would prefer if you don't misrepresent what I am saying with exaggerations, false comparisions (claiming the extreme of the Democratic party is in control like the GOP's extreme etc) or misdirections.


    McCain... (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by kredwyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:37:21 PM EST
    isn't their extreme flank. In fact, from what I've been hearing, most of the actual conservative base think he's a RINO what with all of that reaching across the aisle stuff he's done for years.

    After 8 years I am surprised (none / 0) (#45)
    by dailygrind on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:51:44 PM EST
    many in this country still don't get it. It's not simply about what McCain is or is not, it's who behind him when he gets into office. The GOP is very smart about this reality. The Democrats/liberals/progressives/inpendents- no so much. I had this convo with a liberal who swore the right was against Harriet Myers due to experience. I had to tell him don't be so gullible. They were against her due to the fact they weren't 100 percent certain how she would vote. So, of course, they are going to say he's not an extremist. What else do you expect them to say exactly? "Oh yeah, to win this race we had to make deals with the devil, but tell the American people we aren't making those deals?" Do you honestly expect them to tell you that? That's why we read tea leaves such as what he is saying with Palin, with his advisors (whoa re they? do you know? I do.) With other things that tell us exactly how Pres McCain will govern. I am, again, really shocked at how many people just fall for this stuff just because they say it.

    I totally get... (none / 0) (#47)
    by kredwyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 01:02:35 PM EST
    that you think that when you said: "Both parties do not have their extremes as the head of their party. The Republicans do. If you can't see that, then there is little esle to be said."

    But I'm going to differ on the extreme part. I've met parts of the extreme in the GOP...and McCain for all of his games and such ain't one of them.

    And those folks? They loathe McCain...

    Do I think that makes him middle ground and all that? Nope.


    Let me write this shorter (none / 0) (#48)
    by dailygrind on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 01:09:22 PM EST
    McCain will represent those extremes of the GOP, but Obama can  not.  I don't care how they feel about McCain. I care about what power they exert over McCain. This is where the arguments breakdown. If Obama wants to negative brand McCain- this must be brought to light.

    and the opposite argument (none / 0) (#49)
    by kredwyn on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 01:14:41 PM EST
    is already there vis a vis the "in the clutches of the extremists in the Democratic Party." Heck...Hannity's been making the "in the pockets of socialist/communist" arguments for months.

    But that's not a good argument for a candidate to make--specifically.

    Not when you're trying to bring in some of the evangelical voters.

    It's best left to the 527s and others.


    You can say that again... (none / 0) (#46)
    by Pianobuff on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:55:51 PM EST
    and again... and again...  up until this point, the candidate with the least amount of enthusiasm in a long time.

    Why Catholics? (none / 0) (#22)
    by tres on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:52:02 AM EST
    Catholics are diverse voters who choose whom to vote for on very different issues. Yes, there are the pro-life, one issue voter catholics, but there are also the peace and justice catholics, who vote for different reasons. It doesn't make sense to lump them all together in my opinion.

    Because of abortion (none / 0) (#25)
    by Polkan on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:56:22 AM EST
    Catholics, especially the older ones, see the abortion issue as a tool of gender equality at the expense of life.

    That's the reason Obama was trying so hard in the beginning to reach out to Catholics and evangelicals.

    Obama himself said that that he is pro-choice but anti-abortion. He's trying to frame this issue as choice that can include a pro-life choice.

    But he stubmled very badly at Saddleback with "above my pay grade" and now we have Palin.

    So I think most Catholics and evangelicas will go for McCain.


    doesnt fit (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by AlSmith on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:33:01 AM EST
    Keep trying the square peg in a round hole.

    First BTD was right a week ago that you dont attack the VP. Maybe if you could knock them out then would be a point in doing it, but we are all clear that that isnt happening now.

    Does Palin mention Obama by name in her speech? No, why give them the publicity?

    The Bush's 3rd thing is over, done, finished no traction except with the base. It doesnt fit. They are still going to try "the Next Cheney" on Palin? No one is buying. What does the public know about McCain- he's the Maverick war hero guy ie different than Bush.

    Bush's 3rd term might have seen like a really good idea back in July when they though of it, and I know they already set up thenextcheney.com web site but things have moved on.

    At some point there is going to have to be a specific set of proposals from Obama/Biden, because the public doesnt know what they are going to do. In September and October, thats a problem. A big problem. Everyone is clear that McCain is for drilling.

    If they waste another week letting Palin domination the discussion, instead forming a positive impression of what they will actually do its going to be really bad. You can almost recover in politics, but they will be in a bad strategic position.

    Now that the conventions are done with I'd imagine we'll start seeing some hard hitting 527 ads. More Wright speeches, the Indonesian Muslim school registration form etc. At some point the has got to get a real message out there.


    Yes, Cheney gave ample clues (5.00 / 0) (#39)
    by KeysDan on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:10:01 PM EST
    to his extremist ideology, but they were ignored because he spoke so confidently about anything and everything. For example, as a congressman from Wyoming, he was one of the few in the Republican party to vote against Early Start programs and was opposed to the release of Nelson Mandela. After the vp  debate between Lieberman and Cheney, some in the MSM lamented the fact that these two stars were not on top of the ticket, rather than Gore and Bush.  Both were just so great. Republican party "moderates" such as Brent Scowcroft have stated that they no longer recognize the old Cheney, but they just chose to overlook the obvious. So too, with McCain whose right wing record is ignored along with his lack of presidential temperament.  The impetuous pick of Governor Palin is not a good omen; Ms. Palin seems to have extremist views galore, but the campaign has craftily changed the subject.  Senators Obama and Biden need to reclaim the spotlight fast, by spotlighting the extremism that is the Republican party and their faithful representatives: McCain and Palin.

    What you, BTD, and others (none / 0) (#19)
    by fercryinoutloud on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:40:54 AM EST
    arguing for that line of attack are missing is that McCain is clearly distancing himself from Bush in a very overt way. You all must not have watched his acceptance speech where he admitted and said that Republicans had gone the wrong direction. He said he was for cutting pork out of the budget and getting back to fiscal responsibility. Fiscal responsibility - I don't think there is a person in the US who does not agree with him on that. I don't think their is a person in the US who believes that their personal problems will be fixed until we return to fiscal responsibility.

    McCain mentioned other ways he will 'change' DC. So this notion to tie McCain to Bush was short lived and has been effectively cut-off at the knees by McCain. Meanwhile Obama has yet to add years of experience to his resume overnight which is still a problem for him.


    It's hasn't been cut off. (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by TheRealFrank on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:46:50 AM EST
    Yes, McCain is trying to distance himself from Bush now. This was expected.

    The trick is to not let him. That's why Obama's current ad is good: it features McCain himself saying "I voted with President Bush 90% of the time, even more than some of my Republican colleagues".


    90% (none / 0) (#31)
    by fercryinoutloud on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:35:48 AM EST
    Problem with your argument is that it is the remaining 10% that often separates any of our views.

    Think of people you know and what you agree with them on and what you don't agree with then on. Chances are very good that with the people you know you agree with them 90% of the time. That leaves the all important 10% that makes you different than them. That is just an accepted truth in life and in this case it works for McCain.

    As another poster in this thread 'Bush III' is the only argument Obama has. To defeat that argument is not difficult for McCain to do because he knows the argument and has that 10%, which is all that is needed, to make himself different from Bush in the same way your 10% makes you different than many people that you know.

    Voters just have to hear enough differences from McCain to squash the Bush II argument. Talking about fiscal responsibility in simple terms as McCain does, as opposed to Obama's long winded approach, is getting traction. Just look at the polls. McCain is tied after the conventions and he was behind before them.


    Are you kidding me? (none / 0) (#38)
    by bluegal on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:05:55 PM EST
    So voters are going to say that because John McCain ONLY voted with Bush 90% of the time  he can distance himself from him effectively? Are you serious?

    This is about simple math.  John McCain owns Bush's failures when you vote with the man 90% of the time. You really can't be any bigger of a cheerleader than that.

    There is a reason why 70% of the public thinks that John McCain will continue Bush's policies. Wait until we get into the debate. I guarantee you Obama will mention Bush's name constantly and it will be devastating to McCain.


    I want to save you comment (none / 0) (#41)
    by Polkan on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 12:11:04 PM EST
    so I can bring it back to the discussion after the debates are over.

    Of course (none / 0) (#21)
    by Polkan on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:47:40 AM EST
    both McCain and Obama are trying to frame the choice for the voters in November.

    But the fact that he's doing it doesn't mean that Obama should abandon his strategy. As I said, I have doubts about it but I think at the moment it's best one and the most consistent one he has.

    It was always going to be a fight over framing the big question.


    Somebody Better Tell Obama (none / 0) (#14)
    by MTSINAIMAMA on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 10:22:05 AM EST
    Cos now Josh Marshall is very upset that Obama is going after Palin instead of Biden.

    Heh (none / 0) (#29)
    by Faust on Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 11:17:23 AM EST
    top rec'd diary on Cos is about this. Helm's alee!

    But Armando ... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Caro on Mon Sep 08, 2008 at 07:29:30 AM EST
    ... how is OBAMA any different from Bush now?  He's caved on every major issue, except maybe health care.

    He has only fed the perception, based on substantial reality, that the Democrats don't stand for anything, and won't fight for anything.  So why should we trust him to follow any principles at all?

    Carolyn Kay