As i have watched the Obama campaign over the past two years, time and again i have been blown away by the exact precision from which he has run his campaign. Every time I underestimate him, he pulls a rope-a-dope move that proves me wrong. That is why, today, I humbly present to the Obama campaign my wish list for adjustments to be made for the last 50 days of this campaign (As a complete amateur, Monday evening quarterback that I am):
1. Emphasize how you will utilize your 2 million volunteers to do volunteer work after the election! We are here, use us!!
Make us visible Now!!! - We don't need an 80,000 person rally - instead organize a Food drive in every Obama office across the nation! For every food donation and contact info receive a free sticker or campaign pin. Getting together millions of pounds of food for the needy would make every news broadcast from coast to coast and show what real change looks like! Also, I am sure that a volunteer at each headquarters would contact a Food bank to make the arrangements.
2. Reframe the Debate on the Windfall Profit Tax:
I am sick of hearing Republicans call the windfall profit tax socialism, wealth redistribution, etc. We need to push back and push back hard!! Reframe the debate and hammer it home! Here is the message we should be pushing on commercial after commercial:
Over the past 8 years Oil Companies have taken _ (10, 20, 30?) billions of dollars of our tax money - IT IS TIME WE TAKE IT BACK!! Every other argument is mute. We are taking back our money and will not accept any less!3. Reframe the Debate on The Iraq War:
I have to admit that Republicans are right on this one in one respect: Americans want to win! I know, I know, this is not the standard Liberal talking point, but do we want to hold our ground or do we want to win this election??? All I know is that every moderate or Republican I know wants out of Iraq, but wants to win, so here is the message we should be pounding away at:
We have a plan to win the Iraq war for Good: We will increase diplomacy with the countries surrounding Iraq, Ask Nato and UN for Help (so it has less of a US face), we will ask for the support of every possible relief agency and support them in any way possible, and we will begin to slowly and carefully remove troops to put the political pressure on the Iraqis. We can and will Win!I know, I know, but swallow hard and put out commercials with this and I guarantee a five point swing in the polls. A responsible strategy for victory and removing the troops.
4. Attack McCain on his Strength: The Troops
The best segment that I have seen on Keith Olbermann in a long time was when he listed all of McCain's votes against the troops. This needs to be a campaign commercial that is pounded on every chance we get! Here is the Keith Segment:
A Campaign version of this segment needs to run on a constant loop on as many tv stations as possible.
5. Message Discipline, Message Discipline, Message Discipline!!
The one thing that frustrates me the most about listening to McCain spokespeople on television is that they just repeat talking points, but they get their message across! While I don't think we should have a bunch of automatons as spokespeople, each week give your people 2-3 talking points that you want to emphasize and get someone on every station!! One week education, Foreign Policy, Health Care, etc. Make sure they do not get derailed and that they reach enough outlets. Why has Senator Kerry, Clinton, etc. not been on every possible show? Maybe they are holding off, but at least put some other spokespeople that can stay on message on at every possible moment.
6. The Best Answers are Sometimes the Shortest (Especially in the Debates):
Remember Biden's one word answer in the debate? Throughout the debates and throughout past debates the most memorable points are often the wittiest and shortest.
Although i dread saying this because it sickens me that our population cannot handle critical thinking, nuance, evaluation, and original thought - the fact is - many can't! A majority of our citizenry has become very comfortable with quick, pat, slogan-like answers no matter how ridiculous they are instead of long-detailed thoughtful responses. This is sad, but true.
For example, my parents, are life-long Republicans who have not liked a lot of what the Republicans have stood for, but felt chained to them because of their views on abortion. Then, with the Rise of Rush, Fox News, and others, they became so isolated from what I would term reality, that they began to believe a lot of the things that they never would have believed before. As their pay went down, health care went down, and prices went up (as well as house taxes), it was easy to blame illegal immigrants, affirmative action, feminism, and liberal ideology for their plight rather than see the reality. They were the easy scapegoats and they were working their 2-3 jobs each so it was easier to listen to the Conservatives one-word answers than the Dems nuanced ones. Now they support Obama, but they like McCain better in debates because his answers are shorter and more "to the point".
We need to take each issue and boil them down to the shortest possible answers and practice them over and over for the debates. Trust me, we like the nuances, but 75 percent of the public does not.
7. Pound away on McCain's ties to Big Oil with Specifics:
I do not have time to pull up specifics here right now, but McCain's votes with Big Oil, Cindy's involvement with oil, and Palin's. (will update later if I have more time)
8. Repetition from Supporters:
I listen to a lot of conservative talk radio because I think it is important to size up the competition and one thing that I have noticed is that the reason they are able to force through their points productively to the point that the MSM covers it is that repeat things continuously until it sticks. That is why their listeners call themselves "Ditto Heads" and a recent advertisement for the King Ditto Head said "You don't have to think, We do that For you! All you need to do is listen!". Or that another such show needs to repeat continuously the phrase "You are a great American" - they repeat it until people begin to believe the most inane ideas. We have to use Daily Kos in a more organized way - not quite ditto heads, but we need to focus on a few issues and pound away on them. One easy example would be e-mail campaigns to News outlets. While we have each separately e-mailed many different news organizations, we have been doing it sporadically on numerous issues, not to a great affect. One possible example:
On Monday, we all e-mail every MSNBC person with something along the lines of "Stop covering gossip and innuendo and FOCUS on the ISSUES." While it is easy to ignore our thousands of different messages, getting a few thousand e-mails that all say similar things will at least mean that they talking heads got our message!It might not make any difference, but who knows, maybe they will budge. Another example on this could be that we have one day each week where we all focus on one major issue: Health Care, Foreign Policy, etc. Of course there will be breaking news or people that are not on board, but if you have thousands of us all focused on health care for one day (or week), we could really refine our message and get it out to every press organization possible.
9. Organization, Pinpointing important targets, and ground game:
The Obama campaign were ingenious experts with this in the primaries. I am not even going to pretend to give advice to them hear; instead, merely root them on and encourage them to continue the smart microtargeting that got them through the primaries.
10. More gimmicks to increase fundraising:
Dinner with the candidate, dinner with Michelle, appear in a commercial, spend the day with the candidate, etc. We need something every 2-3 weeks, to give us that little extra encouragement to donate!
Update: 11. [From Escapade] Stop thinking that what Joe Klein, Andrew Sullivan, the NYTimes, AP, HuffPo etc. think and say has any impact on how the average voter thinks and behaves.