September 15, 2008


Fast track forward (Michael Barone, September 15, 2008, Washington Times)

He has gotten inside Barack Obama's OODA loop. [...]

For a political candidate, it means acting in such a way that the opponent's responses again and again reinforce the points you are trying to make and undermine his own position.

The Palin selection - and her performance at the convention and on the stump - seems to be having that effect. Obama chief strategist David Axelrod admitted of the Palin pick: "I can honestly say we weren't prepared for that. I mean, her name wasn't on anybody's list." But it was known that McCain's vice-presidential adviser had traveled to Alaska, and anyone clicking on could see Mrs. Palin's impressive performance in political debates. The McCain campaign shrewdly kept the information that she was on the short list and that she was the choice to a half-dozen people, who didn't tell even their spouses. The Obama team failed to Observe.

Then they failed to Orient. Mrs. Palin, as her convention and subsequent appearances have shown, powerfully reinforces two McCain themes: She is a maverick who has taken on the leaders of her own party (as Mr. Obama never has in Chicago), and she has a record on energy of favoring drilling and exploiting American resources. Instead of undermining these themes, they dismissed the choice as an attempt to appeal to female Hillary Clinton supporters or to religious conservatives.

Then team Obama and its many backers in the media failed to Decide correctly, so when they Acted they got it wrong. Their attacks on Mrs. Palin tended to ricochet and hit Mr. Obama. Is she inexperienced? Well, what has Mr. Obama ever run (besides his now floundering campaign)?

Isn't the bigger problem that, because he's running on only identity, Mr. Obama is always Reacting, never Acting?

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 15, 2008 7:03 AM
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