September 15, 2008

MESSAGE--"I'M A PARTISAN HACK":

It's Not Just Palin -- Its the Message (Joe Trippi, 9/15/08, Real Clear Politics)

The Obama campaign's ability to recognize the shifting ground, understand that it is real, and adjust accordingly will determine the outcome. And the outcome, for the first time, is in doubt. [...]

John McCain and his team had to make a decision. Run as the more experienced ticket, and run smack into Barack Obama's trap of change vs more of the same just as Clinton had. Or pick Sarah Palin and run as the original mavericks that really will shake up Washington.

If you are an advisor to McCain. Faced with that choice, you urge McCain to pick Palin.

But now its the Obama campaign's turn to learn the lesson of the Clinton campaign. The Obama campaign looks at all its polling data and research and in a race between change and four more years of George Bush, change wins big. So it keeps trying to frame the race as four more years of George Bush and more of the same vs change and cannot understand why it isn't pulling away.

It's not just Palin.

The brilliance of the McCain strategy and messaging is that it includes a trap for Obama. To push back on the McCain claim of "country first" and "the original mavericks who will shake up Washington" the Obama campaign's attack of "four more years of George Bush" becomes a problem. In a country that yearns for post-partisan change the Obama campaign risks sounding too partisan and like more of the same.

It would not surprise me if in one of the debates Obama or Biden uses the "You voted with George Bush and supported him 93% of the time" and its John McCain that retorts "that's the kind of partisan attack the American people are sick of....".


And you'll find no evidence that the Obama camp understands any of this. Their latest reaction to their imploding campaign is to send out Joe Biden, who was chosen for nothing but his inside-the-Beltway bona fides, to attack Maverick for being too close to oil companies and to put up an ad questioning John McCain's honor.

Meanwhile, McCain/Palin's latest ad positions them as the type of reformers needed to deal with Wall Street's troubles:

You have to wonder if the lumbering nature of the Obama campaign and its inability to function effectively isn't a result of having too much cash for too long and ending up with an overly bureaucratic operation. The McCain campaign has much greater dexterity, even if the candidate can't so much as type.


MORE:
Records show McCain more bipartisan (Stephen Dinan, September 15, 2008, Washington Times)

Sen. John McCain's record of working with Democrats easily outstrips Sen. Barack Obama's efforts with Republicans, according to an analysis by The Washington Times of their legislative records.

Whether looking at bills they have led on or bills they have signed onto, Mr. McCain has reached across the aisle far more frequently and with more members than Mr. Obama since the latter came to the Senate in 2005.

In fact, by several measures, Mr. McCain has been more likely to team up with Democrats than with members of his own party. Democrats made up 55 percent of his political partners over the last two Congresses, including on the tough issues of campaign finance and global warming. For Mr. Obama, Republicans were only 13 percent of his co-sponsors during his time in the Senate, and he had his biggest bipartisan successes on noncontroversial measures, such as issuing a postage stamp in honor of civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at September 15, 2008 7:41 AM
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