Thursday, July 31, 2008

This Is Why I Love This Guy

Political Punch describes how Barack Obama responds to the latest John McCain ad comparing him to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears:

"Given the seriousness of the issues, you’d think we could have a serious debate," Obama said. "But so far, all we've been hearing about is Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. I mean, I do have to ask my opponent, is that the best you can come up with? Is that really what this election is about? Is that what is worthy of the American people?"

The crowd yelled: "NOOOOOOOOOO."

"Even the media has pointed out that Senator John McCain -- who started off talking about running an honorable campaign -- has fallen back on predictable political attacks and demonstrably false statements. But here’s the problem. All of those negative ads spending all this time talking about me, instead of talking about what he's going to do, that's not going to lower your gas prices…

"It's politics as a game," Obama said. "But the time for game-playing is over. That's why I'm running for President of the United States of America."

Big cheers from the Iowa crowd.

And from this North Carolinian.

Actually, my first reaction when seeing the "celebrity" ad was incredulity. McCain is running an ad that mostly points out how UN-charismatic McCain is in comparison with Obama? Is he TRYING to lose? But wisely, Obama decided not only to hit back, but to stay on message while doing it.

For years, the conventional wisdom has been "ignore attacks, no matter how scurrilous. If you mention them, you just dignify them." But that's pre-blogosphere thinking, a mindset from before the time when the networks saw it as their job to pick up and magnify every smear by repeating it over and over and over, thus giving the shit merchants free air time, while piously telling us that the accusation was itself a story.

Obama knows better than to follow that "conventional wisdom.." Obama, as I said, knows you have to hit back, hard. More importantly, he knows to stay on your core message while doing so. That message is: McCain is the past. McCain is old ways of doing things. McCain is everything you've gotten sick to death of in the past eight years.

It's a brilliant strategy, because it goes right at the heart of Honorable John's own manufactured "maverick" image. It points out that that image is a sham. Take this response:

Get that? John McCain. Same. Old.

But the beauty of it all is: the ad doesn't stop doesn't just attack. It goes on to to say why you should vote for Obama.

This Obama guy might actually win this thing.


Mark Terry said...

Well, yeah, he might, although I wouldn't underestimate the American voting public's tending to vote for the same old white guy.

Hmmm, I may be onto something there: John McCain, SOWG.

Libby Hellmann said...

Yeah, Dusty.. .I think he will win. And I'll vote for him. But I just keep wondering whether running a smart campaign is the same thing as governing wisely. Sure, the alternative sucks, but I have these nagging doubts. I mean, the "change" thing is all air to me. Been there done that..

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think running a good campaign means Obama surrounds himself with smart people. And that's half the battle. Realizing your limitations and finding the best people to augment your strengths. No one will find it easy to pull the US out of this malaise, but there is no way he isn't a better choice than McCain. And what it will do to level the playing field. I'll gladly take a chance.

Bill Cameron said...

I got a phone call earlier this week from the local Obama campaign. Ended up getting into an interesting conversation with the volunteer in which I ended up mentioning some things that I didn't like about Obama (McClurkin, FISA, stuff like that), but then I paused and said, "Of course, he's worlds better than John McBatshit." That got a laugh, and the guy said, "Yeah, I know. I used to be a Republican, and I want to still like my former fellow travelers, but McBatshit about sums it up."

Peter Rozovsky said...

Libby, I find myself wondering about JFK's 1960 campaign. He's the paradigm of the presidential change candidate, but would his campaign have seemed to observers at the time as weirdly weightless as Obama's campaign sometimes seems now?

Yeah, he may be better than McCain, but ...
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

JD Rhoades said...

I just keep wondering whether running a smart campaign is the same thing as governing wisely.

In order to do the second, you must first do the first.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

I have the same fear as Mark, that Crazy-Eyes will win because of SOWG.

Tom said...

" . . . that Crazy-Eyes will win because of SOWG."

Okay; what's the alternative to sitting back and watching something awful happen? Could it be, oh, maybe, picking up one end of the load and helping to schlep it from here to 1600 Pennsylvania?

I don't mean to be snarky, Patrick. We simply can't stand around wringing our hands - like Those People say we always do - when there's work to be done. So if you're a professional communicator, I'll bet there's a volunteer job waiting for you in the campaign somewhere.

Here's a recent Orange County bumper sticker message I'd like to see defeated: "It's Not A Democracy, It's A Republic." Let's reframe that sucker RIGHT NOW.

I am mortally tired of watching us defeat ourselves.