Skip to main content

I'm tired of how largely reactive the Obama campaign has been in controlling the media narrative of this race. I noticed the ineffectual nature of the Obama press shop during the primary season with Senator Hillary Clinton, particularly with Bill Burton, who remains the press secretary out of Chicago since the reported communications team revamp.

The responses were a bit slow, tepid, and poorly worded. Today, the responses continue to be tepid and poorly worded, which muddles the message they're trying to get it out.

Let me introduce the acronym, KISS, to the Obama campaign press shop. Keep It Simple, Stupid. Long missives do not an effective response make.

For example, take a look at the response by Obama spokesperson, Bill Burton, to Bush lifting the off-shore drilling ban:

"If offshore drilling would provide short-term relief at the pump or a long-term strategy for energy independence, it would be worthy of our consideration, regardless of the risks. But most experts, even within the Bush Administration, concede it would do neither. It would merely prolong the failed energy policies we have seen from Washington for thirty years. Senator Obama believes Americans need real short-term relief, which is why he has proposed a second round of stimulus with energy rebates for working families. And over the long-term, Senator Obama understands that our national security and the survival of the planet demand a real strategy to break our dependence on foreign oil by developing clean, new sources of energy and by vastly improving the energy efficiency of our cars, trucks and our economy. He is ready to lead such a transformation," said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

Blah, blah, blah. Fucking mealy-mouthed. Keep it simple, stupid. Say something like this:

"This is a calculated political ploy on part of the Republicans to play upon the very real economic pains of Americans. Offshore drilling won't even bring in a drop of oil for the next seven years as many experts have said. And even Senator McCain has said that this proposal will bring "pyschological relief" even though it won't bring real relief to Americans.

We don't need mental relief. We need real relief. That's why Senator Obama is running for President."

Don't take 30 sentences to explain what can be said in five or less sentences.

Also, Senator Obama, I strongly take issue when you say something like this below in response to your donor, Bill Walton, who said, "Well, I'm worried we Democrats -- sometimes we get too soft. We're always on the defensive, and these folks are going to play mean and they're going to play nasty."

And you said:

"Listen, I'm skinny but I'm tough," Obama said. "We are going to be responding swiftly and forcefully but always truthfully to any attacks that are launched."

That's nice you're going to respond swiftly and forcefully but always truthfully to any attacks that are launched, but the crux of the problem here is that it puts you in a defensive posture, Senator Obama. It puts your team in a reactive posture, and that's not where you need to be. And Bill Walton was right when he said, "We're always on the defensive."

Offense, offense, offense, go on the offense, Senator Obama. Always launch the attacks first. Don't wait for the Republicans to attack you and then to rebut these attacks. When they attack you back after you attack, attack them back. That's how it works.

  1. Set up early morning conference calls, like the Clinton team did, to put out the day's message. Stress particular talking points that you'll keep throughout the week.
  1. Like McCain's major weakness on the economy. There were so many gaffes last week that you could've capitalized on other than the Phil Gramm one, and why did you let the Phil Gramm story remain a one-day story?
  1. Social Security gaffe, Carly Fiorina's muddling McCain's pro-choice record, the economy, taxes, and so on.
  1. Beat McCain over the damn head on those talking points.
  1. When the McCain team responds to your initial line of attack, keep them on the defensive.
  1. And yes, play the part of concern troll. By this, I mean, "It's too bad that Senator McCain doesn't know anything about the economy, and that his most trusted economic adviser is Phil Gramm who says we're in a mental recession. Maybe he should go see the real Dr. Phil." Stuff like that.
  1. Press conferences during the midday, particularly after Senator McCain speaks in a town hall meeting or whatever, and launch a direct line of attack at whatever he says in the town hall meeting.

You can't afford to coast with your press team's current strategy. It's been a losing one in the past elections. Be strong, think of your press team as rabid wolves, which they should be, in dealing with the press. Make your team effective, and you'll keep McCain on the defensive until Election Day in November.

Originally posted to slinkerwink on Tue Jul 15, 2008 at 05:56 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

skybluewater, sdf, RichM, C S McCrum, Ed in Montana, Angie in WA State, Susan S, shrub, Doug in SF, democrattotheend, jmart, DeminNewJ, MS, Chris Andersen, aisling, LeislerNYC, Bill in Portland Maine, Beth, mbc, Stevie, thinkdouble, eugene, jotter, Sally in SF, Rayne, copymark, dansac, laurak, kate mckinnon, roonie, GOTV, bball, gogol, Subterranean, Ivan, Oregon Bear, npb7768, dfarrah, lrhoke, dcdanny, freedom fried, pHunbalanced, Unstable Isotope, saraswati, ScientistMom in NY, theboz, docdls, Robespierrette, Sprinkles, tommurphy, Shockwave, Wintermute, byoungbl, meg, hyperstation, Arlyn, puppet10, loveaustin, jg82567, Andrew M, ThirstyGator, TX Unmuzzled, polecat, austxlib, frisco, BenGoshi, dlcox1958, object16, Joe B, patagonia, twistandshout, musicsleuth, bumblebums, zeroooo, freespeech, cvannatta, expatjourno, PeterSD, zeitshabba, Creosote, redtravelmaster, HStewart, sclminc, dpc, virginian, Riverman, alain2112, mierts, tyler93023, Delilah, bronte17, biryanifan, 88kathy, EricS, mentaldebris, kalihikane, wonkydonkey, SamSinister, anotherCt Dem, mbayrob, SecondComing, estamm, OCD, Gundar Schwartz, srkp23, marsbardem, biscobosco, quake, KBnNC, CalNM, Cool Blue Reason, Minerva, Glic, Porfiry, gayntom, pattisigh, mrblifil, Ignacio Magaloni, oslo, Decided Voter, weatherbigot, Bronxist, LeftCoaster, bincbom, luku, lauri, MJB, ctsteve, dmsilev, Alna Dem, sidnora, celticshel, Cardinal96, dksbook, OutOfManyOne, nalakop, SneakySnu, Ludi, dejavu, Dube, psnyder, BleacherBum153, danthrax, ManhattanMan, oldjohnbrown, Dallasdoc, Subversive, pat bunny, mad ramblings of a sane woman, alivingston, Noodles, delphine, joemcginnissjr, JohnnyCougar, john from vermont, JimWilson, Kidspeak, manwithlantern, Black Maned Pensator, Oy the Billybumbler, wulfhere, nika7k, joliberal, never forget 2000, The Termite, dnn, Greg in TN, maye, alizard, redstaterabroad, hbanks, TheJohnny, outragedinSF, Cablep, bwintx, svotaw1992, Sam Loomis, zerelda, randallt, sfluke, FenderT206, xyz, rolet, snowbird42, thereisnospoon, Drummond, Illissius, sawgrass727, weelzup, rapala, chumley, lcs, fijiancat, Bluesee, rini, Tinfoil Hat, IamtheReason, Treg, DianeNYS, Ckntfld, blueyedace2, glynis, caul, baccaruda, mjd in florida, Erik the Red, PBen, nyc175, Jersey Girl, CO, DocGonzo, ajsuited, karpinsky, llywrch, Cat Nerd, dj angst, YucatanMan, bleeding blue, buckeyedem08, sallyfallschurch, thered1, aaraujo, LABobsterofAnaheim, Ambrosius, Kayakbiker, SJerseyIndy, Mid10Dem, sunbro, Blu Gal in DE, Aint Supposed to Die a Natural Death, serrano, sodalis, Lisa Lockwood, rsr, bookwoman, the fan man, JanL, Ekaterin, proudprogressiveCA, hcc in VA, empathy, Arsenic, roubs, Alan Arizona, tomzultant, Snud, DivaBabe, noweasels, coffeeinamrica, accumbens, salvador dalai llama, SoulCatcher, WuChier, Tismo70, Showman, BobzCat, Do Tell, tarheelblue, Keone Michaels, PatsBard, Bluesman48, BlueInARedState, the freak, DC Scott, dopper0189, Robert Davies, Yellow Canary, cookseytalbott, liberalconservative, MarionCountyDemocrat, Samwoman, buhdydharma, KenBee, The Wizard, rhetoricus, johnsonwax, Wary, mystery2me, prodigal, ginja, birdbrain64, MJ via Chicago, global citizen, M Loutre, Glorfindel, gooderservice, Bush Bites, Bob Sackamento, pi1304, DJShay, NearlyNormal, betsyross, CTLiberal, Potus2020, dirtfarmer, MBNYC, llbear, blitz boy, profh, TeddySanFran, rsie, Timothy J, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, va dare, BB10, The Lighthouse Keeper, Stripe, cherryXXX69, RantNRaven, MadMs, DanC, kurious, Spongebob76, duha, Temmoku, takeahike, seabos84, subav8r, phonegery, Reagan Smash, Feeling Blue, bvljac, Cronesense, pradeep, Fredly, SomeStones, hockeyrules, wa ma, blue armadillo, ColoTim, gailwax, gtghawaii, Positronicus, EdSF, aravir, ChakraTease, Settembrini, Nespolo, Blue Waters Run Deep, yowsta, HeartlandLiberal, ezdidit, jetdog, DWG, Uncle Moji, ronlib, gatorbot, 99 Percent Pure, jayden, rivamer, martyinsfo, vbdietz, albaum, Junglered1, millwood, Moderation, OIL GUY, rogereaton, citydem, MadAsHellMaddie, Aynsley, ImpeachKingBushII, cacamp, sable, LoLoLaLa, Hjiorst, phaeretic, eaglehoo, cville townie, alba, Send Rahm a Cheesecake, acliff, MyBrainWorks, FirstValuesThenIssues, alkalinesky, lisastar, Hippokleides, The Bagof Health and Politics, califdem, Cordwainer, Brandon Friedman, Involuntary Exile, brooklynbadboy, Cat Servant, billvb, thetadelta, Sharon Wraight, redding888, Oliver W Holmes the 3rd, mikeconwell, Spirit of Fighting Bob, Mind That, davekro, hwmnbn, demoKatz, left my heart, Jeff Y, Thought Crime, mofembot, WisCheez, royalscam, change the Be, the new, jalenth, xango715, LCA, luckylizard, Blogvirgin, MalachiConstant, Jersey Jesus, xysea, gaiilonfong, rickyscorpio, chauie, toom, shortgirl, Stroszek, scrubjay, Tennessee Dave, rubyclaire, MufsMom, arainsb123, Fonsia, Texanomaly, hannahlk, liluli, snackdoodle, ChrisG7, RenMin, radmul, Jay Jay, TheOtherJimM, Yerba Buena, wonky, RandomActsOfReason, last patriot left, DFutureIsNow, notrouble, Partisan Progressive, Valhalla, Last Years Man, mkor7, apfapfapf, Setrak, Night Train, lollydee, oak510, smartheart, elziax, obiterdictum, zizi, AvoMonster, TheOpinionGuy, asym, brooklynliberal, Rick in Oz, igwealth5tm, allep10, paintitblue, IngeniousGirl, kl5, BlueMama, SkinnyPuppyFan, bbagley1, realwischeese, RadioGirl, amnesiaproletariat, JTRicher, hippodad, rubthorn, whatnext, Headd, 57andFemale, Houston Gardener, WaitingForGodot, secretidentityx, Living in Gin, DRStarks, D Wreck, Nonconformist, reesespcs, Integrity is fundamental, Sleepwalkr, Dragon5616, MizKit, etara, WaveFunction, ayanna a kazana, Phil In Denver, Dichro Gal, Emalene, sly1171, isabvella, lh114, BrooklynDemocrat, capasb, ruscle, krwlngwthyou, Deighved H Stern MD, bronxcharlie, gohmak, Fairy Tale, appletree, ATLSandlapper, inthecolour, dalys, draba, BrighidG, oohdoiloveyou, lpeggy, ObamaManiac2008, generic name, angelesmartian, rb137, Canuckoo, winkster, drksdeofthemoonx, goanliberal, gallimaufry, koch, dorkenergy, Vacationland, robertacker13, imamish, dditt, larryww, CandyKat, Blue Blood, blueingreen, vixenflem, Green Bean, seishin, whisperinghope, boriquasi, fleisch, on board 47, rrussell, LeanneB, wiprogressiveguy, BlueColoradoSky, Delore, rommelo, SignalHill, 2questions, JohnAdams999, Man from Wasichustan, WisdomSeeker, ilves, iRobert, catchlightning, ItsSimpleSimon, HartfordTycoon, Crazy Jane, apip0115, anegahban, DrFitz, irrationalbutsane, unperfect, Stella Liberal, ahimsa, Fife, Hope Reborn, Micheline, Black Leather Rain, abrauer

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site