August 8, 2008


McCain Catches On: It's All About Obama (Toby Harnden, 8/08/08, Real Clear Politics)

"Oh, the unfairness of it all," McCain aides would lament, measuring the foot and a half of Barack Obama clippings each morning compared to the five inches devoted to their man. They'd bury their heads in their hands when another press avail knocked the Arizona senator off message as he responded to yet another inquiry that basically amounted to: "So what do you think of Barack today?"

But then the penny dropped. An astute campaign has the serenity to accept the things it cannot change. McCain's re-jigged team did just that by belatedly recognizing that this election was going to be all about Obama. When the main alternative was that it could be all about McSame and George W. Bush, the Republican's strategists concluded, perhaps that wasn't such a bad thing after all.

Obama has made his extraordinary life story the central plank of his political career. But the constant repetition of the carefully-crafted narrative has begun to wear a bit thin. All the talk about himself can seem a bit, well, self-regarding.

Team McCain now gets this. In a neat judo move - using the weight and momentum of your opponent to throw him to the floor - they hit upon the Celebrity ad, comparing Obama to the vacuous pop icons Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. A bull-session idea that was forced into reality by the hard-charging strategist Steve Schmidt, it was not without risk.

Note the difference between Maverick's campaign making the Unicorn Rider's campaign theme the basis of their critique and the Obama campaign trying to turn the McCain theme on its head?

An Antichrist Obama in McCain Ad? (AMY SULLIVAN, 8/07/08, TIME)

As the ad begins, the words "It should be known that in 2008 the world shall be blessed. They will call him The One" flash across the screen. The Antichrist of the Left Behind books is a charismatic young political leader named Nicolae Carpathia who founds The One World religion (slogan: "We are God") and promises to heal the world after a time of deep division. One of several Obama clips in the ad features the senator saying, "A nation healed, a world repaired. We are the ones that we've been waiting for." [...]

[Democratic consultant Eric] Sapp knows that the phrasing and images could just be dismissed as a peculiar coincidence. After all, it was Oprah Winfrey who told an Iowa crowd that Obama was "the one!"

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 8, 2008 6:15 AM

So, apparently if the McCain campaign quotes Obama (and accurately, not out of context), then they'll make people think he's the Antichrist? And this is Senator McCain's fault?

Posted by: John Thacker at August 8, 2008 7:11 AM

No the sequence is 5-8-5, not 6-6-6, so not to worry.

Posted by: narciso at August 8, 2008 10:35 AM

(Looking at the Time article pics) John McCain as Charlton Heston as Moses. Not bad. He'll need help keeping those arms outstretched, also.

Posted by: Jorge Curioso at August 8, 2008 11:21 AM

oj: ya know, if you Google "unicorn rider", the first hit is Brothers Judd.

Posted by: pchuck at August 8, 2008 11:36 AM

The one exception I will take with this article is the notion that Obama has an "extraordinary life story". McCain has an extraordinary life story: son of legendary admirals, aviator, survived the Forrestal inferno (it was his plane hit by the errant rocket), shot down over Vietnam, POW, senator, and soon to be president.

What has He done? A friend of mine who is reliably liberal told me that she's not going to vote for Obama because "I have a more impressive resume than he does, and I know I'm not presidential material."

Posted by: Dreadnought at August 8, 2008 11:40 AM

Dread: "The one exception I will take with this article is the notion that Obama has an "extraordinary life story"."

Bingo. The loony left and the MSM have led the Democrat party to disaster. Again. A few months ago I saw a couple of side-by-side bios of the two candidates in a news story in either USA Today, or an AZ newspaper, I can't remember which. It looked like either a satire, or a McCain campaign ad.

Posted by: b at August 8, 2008 12:09 PM

I get email all the time telling me that people won a googlewhack here, whatever that means.

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2008 1:14 PM

A "googlewhack" is a two-word search term that turns up exactly 1 hit on google. They are surprisingly difficult to find, and very often amusing.

Posted by: Mike Earl at August 8, 2008 3:10 PM

In the past couple of weeks, McCain's team has done two things masterfully:

1) They've gotten inside the Messiah's decision loop, to the point where Obama's team is caught reacting to yesterday's blow, even as today's arrives on his chin, and tomorrow's is being queued up.

2) Even more importantly, McCain's team has succeeded in making Obama an object of ridicule, which is far more damaging. If he can be successfully ridiculed he loses his "coolness factor", at which point he's got nothing new to offer and he becomes the Chocolate Dukakis.

Posted by: H.D. Miller at August 8, 2008 8:23 PM

Brokeback Hussein Dukakis.

Posted by: Jorge Curioso at August 8, 2008 9:22 PM
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