Skip to main content

I've been annoyed lately by the ostriches who continue to insist that the Obama team knows what they're going to do, that people aren't paying attention until after the conventions, and that Obama will do the rope-and-dope strategy.

They're mistaken on these three points. From what I'm seeing, especially in tonight's faith forum, that Obama has a lot of work to do in connecting to voters emotionally. While he gave very good, thoughtful answers to the questions that were asked, he meandered in his answers, gave some nuance, and in doing so, sounded like he was hedging.

Americans don't do nuance--especially low-information voters. McCain did very well tonight even though I intellectually know that he's bankrupt on his positions and the ideas he has to give to Americans. He gave short, pithy answers, and connected emotionally. That's what Americans are looking for--a emotionally-based reason to vote. It's how national elections are decided by low-information voters. They don't vote logically. They vote emotionally.

The Obama campaign needs to stop thinking logically, and start thinking emotionally. David Plouffe had this to say in today's edition of New York Times:

“Democrats should take a deep breath and realize that there are a group of voters who won’t make up their mind about a candidate until deep in the fall,” said David Plouffe, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager. “And there are 18 states that are battlegrounds for a reason, and they’ll be decided by 2 to 4 points. I don’t care about national polls.”

Uh, David, people ARE paying attention---especially to the definition of the candidate. As any committed political strategist knows, the definition of the OTHER candidate starts once you've won the primary election. A recent poll showed that 69% percent of voters had seen the Paris-Britney celebrity ad, and it shows that they ARE tuning in and paying attention to what's going on in politics. Never make the assumption that people aren't paying attention because when that happens.......you lose.

This isn't chicken littleism. This is tough talk with a heavy dose of realism, and for another dose, you should go to thereisnospoon's diary on this matter, where he shows that McCain is now outperforming Obama on Iraq and the economy:

ISSUEMcCainObamaGOPDems
Iraq51%39%40%49%
Economy45%44%39%51%

Cross-posted From Strategy08

If you agree with me that we need to be more realistic and acknowledge that Obama's campaign needs to rethink their media strategy, (which should be Keep It Simple, Silly), please feel free to recommend this diary.

It's time to wake up, and go on offense, offense, offense, not defense. Kossack FMArouet also has a very good take in his comment response tot his diary:

Based on my canvassing experience... (1+ / 0-)
in the wealthy Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., even most upscale voters seem to be relatively low information voters. And they are the ones who tend  at least to read a national newspaper (the WaPo) and watch a bit of MSM televised news--ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox or CNN.

My non-scientific guess is that no more than two or three percent of the population--and five or six percent of voters--pay close attention to national and international events and think at all critically about them. And a good one-third of these "politically engaged" voters are of the conservative persuasion.

In much of the country people consume little or no national and international news at all. One cannot be informed by watching an occasional evening news broadcast, listening to right wing hate radio, or reading the local news in a local newspaper.

Slinkerwink and Dansac have it right. Team Obama needs to simplify its message down to images and slogans that can reach the low information swing voters. Thus far they are missing the target. Team McCain is saturating it.

Obama could have been much better prepared for last night's Rick Warren forum. A few hours or even a full day of preparation--with a few well-prepared theological points and a few more carefully quoted Bible verses--could have enabled him to hit some of the questions out of the park. Obama  seemed rather to be winging it, as though he had not prepared at all (except for his little dig about Warren's $25 million in book sales and a rather flaccid response on the adoption question).

And could Obama's staff perhaps work with him to control his habitual stammering? Pause for a second. Think. Respond crisply in short, comprehensible sentences. Remember that swing voters don't do nuance. They look for confidence in a leader. Stammering does not project or inspire confidence.

I'd give Obama a "C-" for the night. McCain (who seemed to me to be so scripted that he must have seen the questions in advance) performed crisply and was more energetic than usual, and in terms of his audience he performed at an "A" level.

The only bright point in the evening was McCain's strategic blunder in citing "five million" as the income level for one to be rich. Team Obama surely could make use of that quote in an ad. Why not start it tomorrow?

by FMArouet on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:43:50 AM PDT

Originally posted to slinkerwink on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:34 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

  •  tip jar here (181+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sakitume, bink, C S McCrum, Ed in Montana, zzyzx, Tuffie, northsylvania, eugene, dansac, SarahLee, kate mckinnon, acquittal, irmaly, sphealey, Shockwave, LynChi, liz, meg, maxentropy, eeff, frisco, RFK Lives, floridawave, auapplemac, rasbobbo, Gustogirl, opinionated, BigDog04, Delilah, chira, bronte17, Bensdad, roses, slatsg, Decided Voter, Larry Bailey, MadEye, vogue500, jillles, A Chicagoan in Naples, SneakySnu, Dittoz, logsol, grannyhelen, Drew J Jones, niteskolar, kalmoth, inclusiveheart, Donna in Rome, zett, SanDiegoDem, bablhous, snowbird42, weelzup, rapala, Bluesee, 3goldens, SherwoodB, sap, BCO gal, frandor55, Clem Yeobright, EJP in Maine, boofdah, CarolynC967, eastvan, ivorybill, janew2, The Raven, pacotrey, djohnutk, Susan M, Asinus Asinum Fricat, Showman, Sanuk, BachFan, Do Tell, vigilant meerkat, SoldiersInRevolt, BlueInARedState, Catesby, IvanR, Naniboujou, DarkestHour, gooderservice, joshc123, ICtheLight, Coffee Geek, FMArouet, Hedwig, seabos84, bigchin, RagingGurrl, xaxado, leema, SemDem, yoduuuh do or do not, Nespolo, starfall18, Matt Z, Jimdotz, Delphi, Midwesterners, chicago jeff, Moderation, NMDan, The Red Pen, VA Breeze, acliff, Shane Hensinger, AJsMom, calibpatriot, FightForJustice, Youffraita, elwior, Satyanand, Rick Winrod, jamess, TexasLiz, icebergslim, pickandshovel, Jeff Y, rubine, mofembot, wavpeac, WisCheez, StageStop, allie123, badguppy, vacuumslayer, fidel, hardtoport, soarbird, Fonsia, hannahlk, snackdoodle, CanyonWren, XerTeacher, vertexoflife, panamaniaco, Deltones, zackamac, langstonhughesfan, beijingbetty, batgirl71, ElizabethRegina1558, obscuresportsquarterly, dotalbon, BlatantLiberal, Losty, RadioGirl, hippodad, yaddab, 57andFemale, tote, brushysage, FundaMental Transformation, tony26, Colorado Billy, nomdegrrl, bronxcharlie, rb137, Earl Haffler, ArtSchmart, The Jester, Dirk Thrust, eXtina, politik, carlosbas, hjamil, on board 47, Krate, NurseReek, atliberal, InfiniteNether, Mike in Denmark, Stella Liberal, BeaRational, Virgil RK, cherry poptart, alliebear
    •  What McCain got vs. Obama last night (58+ / 0-)

      Everyone around here is going on about how it "wasn't Obama's audience last night" and he won by "showing up."

      Well - guess what?  It got road-blocked cable coverage, so hundreds of thousands more (at least) at home got to see it.  McCain's answers were aimed at them.  Obama's were aimed more at trying to please Warren and the crowd.  

      Slink's points are not about last night, playing to the Saddleback church crowd.  It's about how he answers these questions moving forward.  How he needs to keep it short, simple, and EMOTIONAL to connect with people on a gut level.

      He didn't do that last night, and he needs to start.

      Tipped and Rec'd

      Strategy '08: Obama vs. the other guy

      by dansac on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:07:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fixed your tags. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fabian

      Ferengi Rules of Acquisition: #34 "War is good for business...but only from a distance, the closer to the front lines, the less profitable it gets"-8.25, -6.21

      by Jacques on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:11:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  OK, Slink, I'll bite (4+ / 0-)

      What do you want us to do about it?

      •  call the Obama campaign and tell (4+ / 0-)

        them they need go on offense, offense, offense, and keep it simple, silly in their messages.

        •  It's Keep it simple, stupid. KISS. (0+ / 0-)

          You can't even get your acronyms right.

          Before you lecture us get the basics worked out.

          "It's the planet, stupid."

          by FishOutofWater on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:42:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  OK (0+ / 0-)

          I agree with this.  But I'll bet it's already being done.  From what I've read, the campaign has gotten the message, and they're airing loads of negative ads about McCain in local markets.

          So is that going to be enough?  Seriously, many (most?) voters DO connect on a gut level.  the question becomes: how nasty do the attacks on McCain have to be?  Is it reasonable to expect an ethical person like Obama to run with under-the-radar attacks on McCain's mental stability, for example?

          •  Offense can also mean hitting your own (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink, FMArouet

            points hard and clearly when making a presentation to an audience - not just attacking the other candidate - I think slink is talking about presenting a much more definitive side of Obama than is presently coming through.  I've seen him in that mode when he looks, feels and sounds like he really believes to his core something he is saying - we need to see more of that from him and less of the tenative side which can come off as either too concerned with what people will think (weak) or maybe worse - insincere.

        •  Let me elaborate a bit... (12+ / 0-)

          This happened in 2004, too.  Not in an identical way (Obama's doing better than Kerry did in 2004), but the netroots became very dissatisfied with how our candidate ran things in 2004, and started voicing their displeasure on dKos, among other places.  "Kerry needs to..." was possibly the most common phrase found here during the six months leading up to the election.

          Having been through that, I can tell you the things we have in our power when it comes to elections:

          1. We can petition the campaign to do something.  It's unlikely to make a whole lot of impact, but we can do that.
          1. We can do original research and opinion writing, and forward it to the media in large numbers to try and sway the story of the day (the refutation of the Swift-boaters in the press, such as it was, started here, IIRC).
          1. We can act to influence the online narrative, through polls, etc. after debates and other similar events.
          1. We can get off the Internet and pound the pavement.
          1. We can donate.

          And that's about it.

          So then, knowing our limitations, the questions become "what exactly do we hope to accomplish?" and "is what we're doing actually helping things?"

          I believe Obama is going to win this thing.  But it's hardly a done deal - the American electorate is remarkably, deeply mistaken about a number of things that influence how it votes, especially when it comes to the presidency.  And McCain is playing to those mistaken notions as best he can.

          To me, knowing how little we can actually do as activists and knowing Dems are very likely to increase their control of Congress regardless, I see little point in doom-and-gloom when it comes to how the campaign is going.  Yes, do what we can.  Yes, work to change things with the tools we have.  But in my opinion, tearing one's hair out as a useless waste of energy that is very likely to cause others to not do what they can.

          •  I think we need to (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eXtina

            find someone who can do effective sound bite ads that reach 'low information voters'. MoveOn's ads are ineffectual (Betrayus,Alex etc)

            Dig up scary footage of McCain loosing it and do :"Mc Cain, too angry to lead"
            or Rovian sound bites that resonate with 'low information voters"

            Vets against McCain
            There are a lot of sound bites that reveal who McCain is.  The 'kiss' should
            be wallpapered across the country

            •  Oh, I'd do one better (0+ / 0-)

              If it were me (e.g. if I had money at my disposal), I'd run ads featuring speakers who have known McCain, discussing how the idea of him anywhere near the White House is scary as hell.  Have other people who were present when McCain did his various outbursts, when he called his wife a c**t in public, when he got confused and angry, telling the story.  etc., etc.

        •  I call their Contact Number all the time! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, FMArouet

          Slink, as I said below: Thanks for this diary!
          And I keep urging everyone I know to call the Obama"s "866" Contact Number that is listed on the Internet and tell the Obama Campaign to "Attack, Attack, Attack" before it is too late.  I am in complete agreement with you.

          I also am a volunteer----in response to all those folks here who say that people like us do nothing but complain!  

    •  Polls as evidence (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bellevue

      One must bear in mind that younger voters without landlines are not being polled.  Young voter registration has quadrupled.

      Meanwhile, the older voters who are being polled (as a group) are far more likely to be underinformed, therefore breaking for McCain.

      Add to that the financial need for the CM to make this appear close.  Horse races get ratings, landslides do not.

      So in general, I think any poll is at best inaccurate and at worst a ginned up fabrication with the methodology geared toward a predetermined result.

      (-9.12,-7.33) I'm calling it now-- after the first Debate, MSM will run Nixon/Kennedy into the ground

      by Mikeguyver on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:36:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pollster.com and the great Poblano at fivethirty (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eugene, slinkerwink

        eight note that young votes with no landlines are likely to only be a two to three percent difference from polls. While I admit that is huge amount in polling, will all of that two to three precent turn out? Unlikely.

        Politics is highschool drama taken to a new level.| 08ama! | -5.50 -6.26

        by vertexoflife on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:41:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pollster.com and Poblano (however great) (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fabian, vertexoflife

          are pollsters, and have a vested interest in the perceived validity of their trade.  It's only logical for them to play down any potential flaws  in their methodology

          (-9.12,-7.33) I'm calling it now-- after the first Debate, MSM will run Nixon/Kennedy into the ground

          by Mikeguyver on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:49:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So, essentially all scientists are suspect (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CParis, vertexoflife

            because they have a vested interest in the perceived validity of their trade?  

            So, who are we supposed to trust -- people who have no training in survey statistics?

            •  No (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fabian, pacotrey, vertexoflife

              The scientific method requires the gathering of hard evidence in testing hypotheses under rigorously controlled parameters noting specifically what the variable is in each experimental iteration while maintaining sometimes several controls to be absolutely sure what causes a change in the outcome and why.

              Pollsters, on the other hand, call people and ask them questions, and results are all too easily skewable based on who is called, how the questions are worded, and who is left out.  The argument against the cell phone theory is, at the moment, "these pollsters said younger voters w/o landlines wouldn't make a difference" while younger voters w/o landlines are not polled.  In the scientific community, publishing a result without actually doing the experiment is frowned upon.

              Your analogy, therefore, fails.

              (-9.12,-7.33) I'm calling it now-- after the first Debate, MSM will run Nixon/Kennedy into the ground

              by Mikeguyver on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:59:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So, all science is experimental? (0+ / 0-)

                I know a bunch of epidemiologists, cosmologists, paleontologists, metereologists ... etc, that would like to have a word with you.

                •  Enough with the straw men already. (0+ / 0-)

                  What i wrote is what i wrote, not what you said I wrote.  That's really a grand leap off the pier of rational discourse.

                  (-9.12,-7.33) I'm calling it now-- after the first Debate, MSM will run Nixon/Kennedy into the ground

                  by Mikeguyver on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:10:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Here's your strawman. (0+ / 0-)

                    Your own words:

                    In the scientific community, publishing a result without actually doing the experiment is frowned upon.

                    That's plain wrong.

                    •  how is that wrong? (0+ / 0-)

                      I said result, not hypothesis

                      (-9.12,-7.33) I'm a rationalist. I believe in that which makes sense.

                      by Mikeguyver on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 01:02:15 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                        I think you're missing the general point.  Several branches of science are not experimental -- i.e., their hypotheses are not testable by experimental methods.  

                        Consider cosmology.  In order to test hypotheses experimentally about the effect of varying conditions at the beginning of the universe, one would need to experimentally create multiple universes under test and control conditions.  You can attempt to experimentally reach energies similar to that at the beginning of the universe in huge accelerators, but you can do so only with a few particles at a time.  Cosmologists instead rely on theory-driven simulation models and calibrate the results of those simulations to observational (as opposed to experimental) data.  See, for example what cosmologists do with WIMP studies and the GOES array.

                        Or on a smaller scale, consider climatology -- to test hypotheses about the effect of C02 on the global climate experimentally, you would need to create several duplicate Earths and alter the C02 levels in some, but not others.  Instead, one uses theory and simulation models to generate predictions under a variety of alternative assumptions, and choose the model that best fits observational (as opposed to experimental) data.

                        Most branches of science that study complex systems -- like the universe, the climate -- or even social, economic or political systems -- are inherently non-experimental.  Those sciences would not exist in their current were it not for the observational statistical modeling you claim is not science.  That's why, in my opinion, your statement that "publishing a result without actually doing the experiment is frowned upon" is fundamentally incorrect.  

                        •  Ok (0+ / 0-)

                          Quantum physics falls into that as well, but going back to your original refutation of my original point about pollsters

                          So, essentially all scientists are suspect because they have a vested interest in the perceived validity of their trade?

                          You hit me with a generalization, I generalize back, and you decry generalizing.

                          Nuance notwithstanding, it would be possible to test whether or not non-landline users would effect the results of polls by actually polling them, so your original analogy still fails as a refutation of my refutation of flawed polling methodology in the modern era.

                          Clear as mud we are now?

                          (-9.12,-7.33) I'm a rationalist. I believe in that which makes sense.

                          by Mikeguyver on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:07:50 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  asdf. (0+ / 0-)

                            First off, I never decried generalizing.  In fact, I used it as a tool to show you that your original statement was unfair -- and that your followup statements re: the nature of science were  incorrect.  

                            Let me remind you where you came into this thread.  You said:

                            "Pollster.com and Poblano (however great) are pollsters, and have a vested interest in the perceived validity of their trade.  It's only logical for them to play down any potential flaws in their methodology"

                            In other words, in addition to impugning Pollster.com and Poblano directly, you stated that pollsters (really anyone who has a vested interest in the perceived validity of their trade) "play down" flaws in their methodology.

                            Any survey company worth its salt would have done exactly what you suggest and tested their non-response imputation methods against a validation survey of cell-only respondents.  I have seen results of such validation surveys, and they show that the methods of imputation for non-response (conditional on sample covariates like age, sex, education, geocode, etc) do a fine job of accounting for the failure to sample the cell-only portion of the population.  They do not do this for every survey, but they do repeat these validation exercises once in a while to make sure that their models still hold.  In the end, the exclusion of cell-only respondents should not result in biased measurements of support -- but it should increase the standard error (and therefore the so-called 'margin of error').

                            Just because you don't understand how survey methods work doesn't mean that they are flawed.

                          •  fdsa (0+ / 0-)

                            In other words, in addition to impugning Pollster.com and Poblano directly,

                            It wasn't personal

                            you stated that pollsters (really anyone who has a vested interest in the perceived validity of their trade) "play down" flaws in their methodology.

                            They do

                            We could go back and forth like this all day long, but if it's that important that I am cowed beneath the might of your incessant condescension, consider me cowed and get on with your life.  This conversation has become boring and repetitive.

                            (-9.12,-7.33) I'm a rationalist. I believe in that which makes sense.

                            by Mikeguyver on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:16:31 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  yes (0+ / 0-)

                  the only completely non-experimental science is mathematics.

            •  As to who we should trust... (0+ / 0-)

              How about people with training in survey statistics who actually include this landline-less younger demographic in their surveys?  It would help even more if they published the exact wording of the questions as well as the algorithms used to randomize the sample pool.

              (-9.12,-7.33) I'm calling it now-- after the first Debate, MSM will run Nixon/Kennedy into the ground

              by Mikeguyver on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:13:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There are methods to deal w/ (0+ / 0-)

                missing data.  Basically, you need to know the number of people you are likely to be missing (i.e., prevalence of cell-only people in your population of interest -- which in this case is well-known from marketing data).

                You then need to have a model that predicts missingness (i.e., cell-only) by the same characteristics that matter to your dependent variable of interest (in this case, support for Obama or McCain).  Such characteristics would likely include age, sex, race, geocode, education, employment status, etc.  Then you can apply one of a number of algorithms to impute the missing responses.  For a classic introduction, Statistical Analysis with Missing Data by Little and Rubin.

            •  actually yes (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mikeguyver

              all scientists are suspect.  the difference is that scientists don't ask you to just trust them.  scientists welcome any questions and skepticism.

              •  You got half the point. (0+ / 0-)

                All science is suspect because human powers of observation and inference are limited.  And yes, true scientists welcome questions and skepticism.

                But the statement to which I was responding stated that scientists are suspect because of ulterior motives.  Frankly, in this case it reeks of shooting the messenger because the message is unpleasant.

        •  Poblano's estimate (0+ / 0-)

          was based off of what they calculated the impact of the youth vote would be, so they included turn out rates in their 3% estimate.

      •  Actually, Kos did a front-page on this (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eugene, Delilah, boofdah, CarolynC967

        and he said that research showed that cell phones, when included in polls, didn't have an effect at all on the overall poll.

        •  Link Please? (0+ / 0-)

          I'd like to see the arguments against the cell phone/younger voter theory.

          Can I assume you concede media influence on poll results?

          (-9.12,-7.33) I'm calling it now-- after the first Debate, MSM will run Nixon/Kennedy into the ground

          by Mikeguyver on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:46:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  ??? (0+ / 0-)

          If I remember that diary, it's a 4% swing when you do the math.  That is, Obama goes up by 2% and McCain down by 2%.  

        •  what about those who screen with caller id (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deoliver47

          another reason I seldom get polled. My phone rings off the hook but if I do not recognize the name or number, I do not pick up the phone. And all my friends and family do the same thing.

          The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

          by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:54:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You just tossed the ball to me (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wishingwell

            I'm on the Do Not Call list which does NOT block pollsters.

            I do a poll every week or so.  I rarely get a big national poll, but I get the local and regional ones regularly.

            Your loss, my gain.  Plus I love reverse engineering polls.

            Proud member of the Cult of Issues and Substance!

            by Fabian on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:21:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK maybe my friends, people I met on blogs, (0+ / 0-)

              forums, my relatives and neighbors and coworkers are the minority..we screen all our calls and we seldom answer the phone.

              The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

              by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:17:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why have a phone then? (0+ / 0-)

                And why not use register on the Do Not Call list?  It saves me a world of aggravation.

                Proud member of the Cult of Issues and Substance!

                by Fabian on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 12:24:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  We are on the Do Not Call list but we still (0+ / 0-)

                  get a lot of calls...when I was answering the phone during primary season, I averaged 10 calls per week asking for money for various candidates.

                  Last week, I decided to answer every call. I got 8 calls asking for money for various charities, 9 calls asking for money for every Democratic organization there is. We get calls from online websites because we ordered merchandise from them and we shop online. So I had to get our names specifically taken off those.

                  Remember telemarketers can get away with calling you saying they have a relationship with you because you bought merchandise from them.

                  The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

                  by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 12:46:32 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yup. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    wishingwell

                    It pays to keep the checkbook closed tight.  Charities spread those lists around.  I donate to the ones who keep their lists private.

                    Proud member of the Cult of Issues and Substance!

                    by Fabian on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 05:13:47 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  what hurts is that my late parents gave and gave (0+ / 0-)

                      for decades to lots of charities. They died and their mail was forwarded to my address. So by default, I get all the junk mail and phone calls.

                      The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

                      by wishingwell on Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 10:31:40 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  Don't you all get a dozen calls per week asking (0+ / 0-)

                  for money for charities? One week, we got 40 calls that were either political in nature asking for money or charities, all of which are exempt from Do not call lists.

                  The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

                  by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 12:48:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  And I think the younger cell phone (0+ / 0-)

          is a bit of a misconception.  There are many of us 'empty nesters' who no longer have land lines, also.

          I dropped the land line as soon as my 'son who sleeps with phone in ear' left home.   I pretty much don't understand why most people have land lines.

          "He who fears something gives it power over him."--Arab proverb

          by crazyshirley2100 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:09:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Nate Silver has also said repeatedly (6+ / 0-)

        ...that polls taken before the conventions have little predictive value to the outcome of the election. Also that polls do not reflect the effect that Obama's (vastly superior) ground game is going to have on turnout.

        The lesson: do not freak out about polls right now. If you are really concerned, head over to your local Obama field office and volunteer your time.

    •  This diary is absurd. (19+ / 0-)

      You, a back seat driver, are calling us ostriches for not panicking when the driver stops for a lunch break and takes it easy for an hour.

      Here's a clue. My screaming won't help the driver win the race. I don't know what his strategy is. You want to tell him to follow your strategy, but he isn't listening to you.

      So you tell us we're ostriches for not panicking...

      Ridiculous.

      "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:41:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Shooting the messenger (8+ / 0-)

        Is a pretty weak way to respond to some rather valid points.

        As you might recall, if you were here in 2004, many of the same criticisms were made of the Kerry campaign. We heard many of the same responses along the lines that you just made.

        And sadly, bitterly, horribly, we were right.

        If you think we are going to shut up about what is wrong with this campaign just because a bunch of timid loyalists shout "backseat driver! backseat driver!" then you rather fundamentally misunderstand what is going on here.

        This is about much more than your own inability to see a problem that requires a fix.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
        Neither is California High Speed Rail

        by eugene on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:16:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is not 2004 and Obama (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lrhoke, theran, greylox

          is running a manifestly superior campaign to Kerry's.  

          No day but today--Obama '08

          by someotherguy86 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:45:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is not 2000 and Kerry is (6+ / 0-)

            running a manifestly superior campaign to Gore's.

            No joke, I've heard comments like yours in 2004.

            •  well then its good we call all agree (0+ / 0-)

              that this campaign is not like the other campaigns before it.  each one is different.  each person running is different.  but more importantly the times are different.  It would be nice if everyone could stop comparing campaigns for once.  

              The lesson of that history is that you must not despair, that if you are right, and you persist, things will change. -Howard Zinn

              by littleHalo on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:13:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I fail to see it. (5+ / 0-)

            As far as I can tell they're both beneficiaries of a wave. It's just that in 2008 the wave is bigger than in 2004.

            I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
            Neither is California High Speed Rail

            by eugene on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:59:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think that a lot of people fundamentally (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              eugene, seby1689, slinkerwink, eXtina

              do not understand how important what you just said in the comment actually is.

              A lot of people really do think that McCain is a loser candidate, that the Democrats have so much momentum that it is impossible for them to lose and that Obama is such a superior candidate that he can't possibly lose.  

              The reality is that this race is going to be close if we don't step it up here.  McCain is a talented politician when he is on - which he was last night.  The Democrats in Congress are starting to really piss a lot of people off with their inaction and their ill-conceived actions.  And Obama is an unknown quantity in this country who needs to be on and making the connection each and every time he is exposed to an audience.

              Thus far, the Democrats have been riding the wave, but the only way they will win is to get ahead of that wave and get it going fully in their direction.

              These numbers above in this diary:

              ISSUE McCain Obama GOP Dems
              Iraq 51% 39% 40% 49%

              Expose a very troubling disconnect.  Has Obama's post partisan gig backfired to the point where people don't see him as a Democrat?  Has he basically shot himself in the foot by distancing himself from the party?  Has he walked away from the power of the Dem brand on the Iraq front?

          •  **AMEN TO THAT! (0+ / 0-)

            **Yeah, I'm mad! I've been paying attention.

            by greylox on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:36:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  As much as I wish "low-information voters" would (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boofdah, CarolynC967

      leave choosing a leader to the grown-ups, I know you're right.

    •  See, I see it differently (10+ / 0-)

      When I see politicians pandering to "low-information voters" by eliminating nuance, I start panicking for my country.

      It's about time we had a candidate that didn't just speak in platitudes.  And now just when I'm starting to enjoy the man, you want to silence him in his thoughtfulness, in his ability to see the pros and cons of an issue?

      Have you considered why we have so many low info voters in the first place?  I'll tell you part of why it is: it's because candidates have for so long listened to the kind of cynical strategy you propose here, where thoughtfulness and nuance is replaced with clever, canned sound bites.  I think the people are ready for a change, and that your thinking represents the past.  So I have a new idea: how about we have a candidate that enlightens us, that raises people up from being low info to something more than low info by actually saying something meaningful to them once in awhile?  Someone like.... Barack Obama, just as he is!

      •  you go to election with the electorate you have (9+ / 0-)

        not the electorate you wish you'd like to have.

        •  Haha (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TenthMuse

          Well, you make your point succinctly and with humor :-)  

          I still think that Barack has to be his thoughtful self and let the chips fall where they may.  I believe that enough people will see the sincerity for him to win.  

          Keep in mind also how the past two elections have been lost by candidates that really didn't campaign as who they were.  Gore tried to be the alpha male in the 2000 debates (something he wasn't) and wasn't nearly as appealing as he has shown he can be since then.  And I seem to remember Kerry in hunting gear and a rifle at some point of the 2004 campaign :-(  Americans definitely don't like a phony.

          •  Maybe Americans don't like a liberal phony... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fabian

            but they seem pretty comfortable with conservative phonys.

            As a matter of fact they seem to prefer them that way.

            Hypocrisy as a virtue is as American as Apple Pie.

          •  Americans are accustomed to constant flattery (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skymutt

            and assurances of how easy it will be. We've come to expect that from people trying to sell us stuff. I think we tend to regard politicians as belonging to this category.

            That's why we never vote for the politician who says "this is going to hurt a lot right now but it will save us from worse further down the road." People react to that by thinking: "Well, surely if he were ready for prime time, he'd try harder to make it sound nice."

        •  Perhaps you can get the McCain campaign (0+ / 0-)

          to run the Obama campaign. You seem to have accepted uncritically that the way McCain is running is the best way to do it.  And sure, one can get that impression from watching the media, with all its McCain fluffers and it's disorganized Dem response.

          I don't want Obama's campaign to start resembling McCain's; I think the contrast will be important later. But I do agree that we need to do better managing the media. We need better Dems out there, and they need to have a coordinated message.

          "I wouldn't trade one stupid decision / for another five years of life." -- LCD Soundsystem

          by tomjones on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:51:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Thank god for this diary (8+ / 0-)

      It's about fucking time Kossacks started looking realistically at this election campaign. Standing in the middle of a herd like Kevin Bacon at the end of Animal House shouting "all is well!" isn't an election strategy.

      Also kudos to you for not just identifying the problem, but explaining what needs to be done. It's not just enough to say Team Obama is driving this election toward a cliff, but that here is what can be done to swerve and avoid disaster.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
      Neither is California High Speed Rail

      by eugene on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:09:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A little perspective. Last night. I was (6+ / 0-)

      at a dinner a friend's house. Eight people of various political stripes and all of which keep up with politics at a pretty informed level. Two wealthy Republicans (the hosts) and their six relatively liberal guests. I was aware of the event, but never gave much of a thought to watching it.

      The discussion at dinner barely touched on politics, other than an occassional good natured snark between the libs vs the cons. We had the Olympics in the background with the sound off and we talked more football, traveling and family than anything.

      Why am I sharing this?? Because folks, this is typical of what 99% of the rest of the country was doing last night!! It was a Saturday in August!! Get a grip on yourselves. This was an event that was geared toward a particular audience who was 90% of the viewership. The two camps will make their spin and use soundbites to their respective advantages and it will quickly be forgotten. Repeat after me: Serenity now, serenity now, serenity now...

    •  This is what I was trying to convey... (7+ / 0-)

      in my diary last night (which you rec'ed- Thanks).

      Bottom line, I am sick of seeing the best candidate lose. I want to see the Obama campaign hit HARD.

      We need to get low info voters, and now is the time to do it.

      I am not a chicken little either... I believe Obama can and will win, he just needs to tweak his strategy.

      Obama is hands down the best man for the job...

      The campaign should be asking itself "Why isn't he blowing McCain out in the polls?

      This shouldn't even be close... we have every advantage... go for the blowout, not the squeaker.

      This sig line shows a complete lack of imagination.

      by weelzup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:51:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree and disagree. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, CParis, hannahlk, hippodad

      IMHO, Obama could do two things to make a difference in debates and forums like this.

      1. He could summarize answers in a short, pointed statement, elaborate, then end with a restatement of the short answer. He doesn't have to do this with every question, but we all know certain questions that will be asked on certain topics. He can formulate the short answer for those questions and keep them in his arsenal to pull out when appropriate.
      1. He could use more anecdotes to illustrate his answers. For example, perhaps in his answer about stem cell research last night, he could have told a story about a family dealing with Parkinson's Disease and what a medical breakthrough would mean to them--even better if it is a more personal story.

      I disagree a bit about the negative assessment of the forum last night. I don't think McCain did himself any favors. I agree that on the surface, his overall performance seemed better than expected. However, he pandered to  the audience in the church along with the right-most wing of the GOP, and in doing so, I believe he probably turned off many moderates and independents.

      McCain cleared up the misconception some have that he is pro-choice and made it abundantly clear that he will definitely choose anti-choice justices for the SCOTUS.

      McCain also said that rich starts at 5 million--not a good statement for one who wears $500 shoes and is so wealthy himself. (BTW, this sound bite reminds me a bit of his 100-years line in regards to the US presence in Iraq.)

      Finally, he talked way too much about war (past, present and potentially future) in a faith forum.

    •  Erm, (0+ / 0-)

      I agree with you 99% of the time, slink, but not on the Orange County debate.

      Obama did just fine.  So did McCain.  Based on the fact that it was McCain preaching to the choir, I give the win to Obama.  Doesn't sound to me like McCain said anything to win votes, while Obama's thoughtfulness might have won him a few.  Hell, I didn't even watch it, but I can piece it together based upon how people here at dKos reacted last night.

      And didn't Obama sweep the Dem and Indie callers on C-SPAN?

      Anyway, Ras back me up this morning: Obama 47-45 McCain.  Statistical noise?  Yes, almost undoubtedly, but also evidence that last night didn't change anything for the worse.

      "Words ought to be a little wild for they are the assault of thought on the unthinking." - John Maynard Keynes

      by Drew J Jones on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:00:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  this doesn't follow (0+ / 0-)

      A recent poll showed that 69% percent of voters had seen the Paris-Britney celebrity ad, and it shows that they ARE tuning in and paying attention to what's going on in politics

      Just because a person has seen an ad on TV does not mean they are actually paying attention or drawing conclusions from it. I see ads for rental cars, but I make no decisions about them because I don't care right now.

      -7.75, -6.05 The point of the war in Iraq is that there IS a war in Iraq- Keith Olbermann

      by nicolemm on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:24:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh come on. You think the candidate that beat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dounia

      the World's Greatest Political Machine doesn't know what he's doing? Please. All Obama has to do is stay calm for now, let McCain exhaust himself, and when it is really important (i.e. THE FALL) he can turn up the volume (when everyone is listening) and close the deal. Why waste your ammo now when no one is paying attention? Why don't we get that here? Why do some of us think we know better than Obama how to handle politics? Think for a minute. Who's winning the game?

    •  I said exactly this.... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, Delilah, boofdah, fantanel

      ....in a comment to another diary this morning.  Of course I didn't make the comment with the same detail and panache as slinkerwink.  

      But it's disturbing me as well, and you said it perfectly, as always.  

      It will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to un-do McCain's personal narrative that he is weaving with the help of a compliant press.  It's up to the Obama campaign.  

      I've been concerned about this since the primaries, and it disturbs me deeply that the Obama camp has done nothing about finding an effective way to define their opponent in other than intellectual ways, and not appeal to the gut level.  He ceded this to Hillary and he's ceding it to McCain.  This time, we're not just talking to Democrats, we're talking to the entire nation.  

      I'm very concerned.  The lame meme that "no one is paying attention" is what's lost us election after election.  Is there any reason why the Obama camp can't get ahead of it, instead of lagging behind?  We all know that once perceptions are sealed, they are extremely difficult to un-seal.  

      Limping across the finish line is not good enough.  I'll take it if I have to, because if Obama does not become President, this country is doomed.  Doomed.  However, with a clear national mandate, he will be able to govern progressively.  Without that mandate, the liberal blogosphere will be very unkind to him, and the conservatives will make his life, and ours, miserable.

      Let's be realistic:  Obama is enduring a level of lies and attacks never seen before.  The door was opened to this by Hillary and being clearly exloited by McCain and welcomed by  -- unfortunately -- the legion of Americans who are pre-disposed to be against an Obama victory. It is folly to not define McCain in ways that make the public uncomfortable with him, and shoot holes in his dishonest narrative.  

      I've stopped emailing the campaign.  They saw no reason to define Hillary on an emotional level and evidently see no reason to define McCain.  They are attacking McCain stronger on issues than they did Hillary, but the gut-level perceptions that drive so many low information voters -- they are ceding that battle to McCain.  I'm worried.  

    •  And you point is... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FenderT206, Sagittarius

      what exactly?  After we stop being "ostriches" - and I profoundly disagree with that term, we're probably among the most informed and well versed students of politics in the country - what would you have us do?  It's Obama's campaign.  Do you want us to work harder?  Give more?  Write Axelrod and Pouffe.  Or would you have us stop working so hard?  Giving so much?  Because, after all, Obama and his team don't have a clue as to what they are doing and the Repubs are going to win at any rate?  Or is this just a cri du coeur in the midst of the plague years.  I searched for answers in your diary and didn't find them.

      "We're all working for the Pharaoh" - Richard Thompson

      by mayan on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:59:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You Should be Ashamed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dounia, boofdah

      An honest politician gives honest answers to people who don't like his answers, so you suggest that the answer is to appeal to their emotions because they're not bright enough to think logically.

      Either you are:

      1. A disappointed Hillary supporter
      1. A closet Republican
      1. Or worse, a self-appointed guardian of other people's "values"

      Obama wants to move to a post-soundbite/slogan society, so you think the answer is more soundbites?

      If America agrees with John McCain's "performance" last night, America deserves him.

      All living is value-based

    •  What? What DailyKos are YOU reading? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theran, boofdah, Fineena
      This place is so completely swamped by slump-shouldered, gloomy, relentless pessimism and hopelessness that I'm afraid if I stay here much longer I'm going to throw in the towel ands concede the total uselessness of putting forth any effort to elect Obama. LOVE the way you cherrypick absolutely the worst polls you can find. McCain equal to Obama on the economy? On Iraq? I DON'T think so. But if you say so, that's it. I quit. You doomsters win.

      Seriously, are you a spy from NewsMax or WorldNetDaily? Few here are too optimistic or too prone to overrate Obama's chances. Virtually everyone is in panic thinking Obama is doing everything wrong.

      We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

      by anastasia p on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 12:27:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re: diary title (0+ / 0-)

      mix metaphors much?

      In any case exactly why do kossaks need to wake up and ... or rather or stop being ostriches?  We aren't running his campaign, and if we were we'd end up feeding the general electorate a steady diet of Democratic faithful red (blue?) meat.  We might enjoy this, but we could well find ourselves concocting the third volume of trilogy rationalizing Presidential electoral failures.

      One thing I've learned in business is this: don't assume your customers think like you or feel the same way about things as you do.

      McCain claiming some ground is to be expected, especially on specific issues.  The kernel of truth in the pundit "seal the deal" blather is this: we're moving out of the generic Democrat/generic Republican phase, and now the public is making Obama establish his credibility.  He's got a higher burden because he's younger, less familiar, but most of all because he is the front runner.  

      Surely you didn't expect that Obama (or anyone else) would carry the generic Democratic advantage all the way to the end, without being seriously challenged, did you?  Did you?  

      It's a whole new race, not a marathon at this point, but more like a 10K.   It's long enough to need more strategy than run like hell.

      Americans may not do subtlety, but it won't look subtle if Obama shoots from the hip and misses.   Obama's greatest liability is the possibility that the public could well be convinced he doesn't have enough experience for the job.  Then you're really talking about making a subtle argument, that different kinds of experience can count towards what a President needs to do.

      It'd be a historically well supported argument, but that's cold comfort.

      I've lost my faith in nihilism

      by grumpynerd on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 01:41:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lots of respect for you slinkerwink (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boofdah

      but I tend to disagree. The faith forum may show indicators that Obama still has work to do, and he does, but they do have a fundamental understanding of when an issues is gaining traction or when is the right time to push forward or fight back. Last night everyone in the US was watching Michael Phelps crush the individual gold medal record, and were not paying attention to the forum (I know I wasn't).

      Additionally they campaign knows that they aren't going to turn over huge amounts of evangelicals, the only intense viewers of the forum, but are instead simply trying to take some of the heat of the blistering favoritism that group pays the Republican brand. Obama is conducting a nationwide micro strategy, and it just isn't going to look pretty at this point where it isn't worth pulling out your trump cards when no one is paying attention.

      As the conventions roll up and people stop cheering for the Olympics they will shift gears and you will hear so many of the money quotes that the McCain campaign has been pouring out in their rush to win the past 2 months, months where most voters do not make up their mind. I know you here this a lot and disagree but - wait for the debates, thats when you'll see how good (or bad) a job Obama has done with appealing to low info voters.

    •  Given that yu have outlined many of my (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink

      concerns I think it's safe to say I agree with much of your premise. I also think last night was a tactical blunder in that it was obviously slanted to McCain. Those are his type of forums and yes, I think it possible he was given an 'edge'. It was no debate -- just a series of puffball questions.

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:05:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's already been four or five times... (0+ / 0-)

      during Obama's campaign where everybody questioned what he was doing. I know; I was one of the hand-wringers, perhaps even one of the worst. But, over the past 8-months I've learned that no matter how well-intentioned my suggestions were; no matter how many times a feeling of dread washed over me for fears of him losing -- no matter how many times I said "WE'RE DOOMED!" he's proven me wrong and come out of whatever perceived mess he had seemingly stepped into -- just as strong... or even stronger.

      Obama reached who he needed to last night. He may not have reached as many as we would have liked but that's on us -- not Obama. People have already made up their minds. I believe the polls that say there's 9, 10 even 11 percent of voters still undecided are just plain wrong.

      When people find themselves in a bad or uncomfortable situation (like the one this country's in now) people don't rely on emotion anymore. They can't afford to factor emotion in their deliberative process. Existential fear takes over and survival depends on basic instinct and acute awareness of circumstances and surroundings, i.e., via their brains... not their hearts.

      Accurate polling is not possible in this election. They don't poll people with cell phones, and just how many people in this country use cell phones exclusively (who will vote this year) is impossible to tell. But one thing's for sure: young people don't have land lines and young people are Obama's strength.

      And, (just for kicks & giggles) don't forget, a five point lead in enough states -- in the right states -- could turn this election into a landslide nationally.

      Now, does Obama need to shorten his answers? I would say so. Less nuance -- more emotion? Perhaps, but I'm not worried about it. If he loses this election it won't be because of too much nuance. It'll be because of one of two things or both: (1) a singular event somewhere in this country (or the world) between now and the election that neither we nor Obama have any control of -- or -- (2) election fraud.

      The latter is what we need to concentrate on preventing.

    •  what most people don't get is (0+ / 0-)

      Obama only has to peel off a relatively small number of evangelicals to win and a larger chunk (say 20%) to turn November into a GOP disaster of the sort they'll need a generation to recover from.

      McCain needs all of his relatively small base to win. Obama only needs a few percent of evangelicals. Judging from what I'm hearing, he'll probably get the ones who are closest to reality-based. The ones who know the US is in deep shit and sinking fast and know a Bush third term means we're sunk.

      The idea that Obama should pander to the wingnut evangelical right enough to get their votes even if it were possible (it isn't, given that their leaders are for practical purposes, the GOP leadership) is pretty silly.

      Obama's campaign strategy is open to other criticism, but the idea that not enough outreach is being done to the Religious Right is just plain ridiculous. Evangelical outreach is a relatively low priority, exactly as it should be.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:59:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Playing into their hands (11+ / 0-)

      I couldn't agree more.  And when I read about them hiring a fashion coordinator, I just about hit the roof.  Talk about reinforcing a negative image.  Where are their brains?  This is becoming a joke.  I am not a chicken little, I'm a realist.  They are not running a good campaign.  They need to fight back, to be creative in their ads, and as you say, Obama needs to get down to earth in his language.  Plouffe can say all he wants about state-by-state strategy, but it's not as if we aren't all connected through news online, on the radio, on TV, etc.  Obama needs to come out with some strong positions on the issues, and be able to state the benefits to people's pocketbooks in three short sentences.

    •  Offense, not Defense (8+ / 0-)

      And don't wait. This week was depressing. It almost made me want the horrible Hillster as attack dog Veep. She would be all over the Corsi book, cramming it back up McCain's ass. Obama needs a tough veep here, and I'm not sure even Biden can smack the rethug's the way they need to be slapped.

      My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me. Benjamin Disraeli

      by pvmuse on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:02:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama was hedging. (9+ / 0-)

      Rabid fundies aren't his natural milieux, IMHO. What you saw was an extremely intelligent man trying not to be offensive or condescending, and failing, coming off as slippery and indecisive and aloof. Which, I'd argue, is what Obama is vis-a-vis fundies. I thought it was sickening watching him pander to this constituency.

      McCain's answers, on the other hand, were simple, straight from the gut, uncoached (or uncoached looking), and effective. And peppy: even I was impressed, and perhaps we'll drop the infantilizing "grandpa" meme now that McCain's shown some fire, humor, and intelligence (finally).

      Last night was a paradigmatic example of how Obama's rush to the center is crippling: why go RepubLite when you can have the fresh, cooling draft of the real thing? Why vote for someone who waffles on a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage when that's what you've been programmed by your church to be against? Why vote for someone who will trust his wife above General Petraeus? Why vote for a youthful drug experimenter when you can vote for a war hero? And so on.... Since the primaries, Obama has completely failed to bring forth a fighting progressive alternative to these Republican nostrums, and, if he continues, he's going to get creamed for it.

      Americans have traditionally voted for character, not issues, and Obama got SMACKED DOWN, repeatedly and mercilessly, by McCain on this issue last night.

    •  Slinkerwink, you think Obama will lose. (10+ / 0-)

      You've recc'd up comments suggesting as such. Fact of the matter is, this just goes back to the primaries. Clinton was fighting for some odd total that never counter, and now McCain is doing the same. Obama knows the numbers that count, and is working towards those.

      •  There is the chance that he will lose (10+ / 0-)

        I'm not slinkerwink, but I think Kossacks have not been sufficiently accepting of the possibility that McCain really can win this.

        I think there would be more confidence in the Obama campaign were they not doing their best to repeat every single mistake Democratic candidates made in 2000 and 2004. I don't think any of us expected Obama to become a consultant-driven candidate who lost his powerful and compelling script of inspirational change, but here we are.

        Obama's campaign since he secured the nomination has been like a slow leak out of a balloon. Given the fact that his leads have never been significant, that's a problem. He needs to patch the leak (because he was right, properly inflated tires DO matter!) and start taking the fight to McCain.

        But do it on offense. He's being weighed down like Gulliver with a million Lilliputian attacks by McCain. Hitting back at the attacks isn't the same as going on offense, which Obama has inexplicably failed to do these last two months. It needs to stop.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
        Neither is California High Speed Rail

        by eugene on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:21:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Obama Is Becoming A DLC Candidate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          seby1689

          Don't rock the boat, always move to "the center".

          Disappointing to see and likely a loser in november.

          I don't think any of us expected Obama to become a consultant-driven candidate who lost his powerful and compelling script of inspirational change, but here we are.

          Well I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari... Tehachapi to Tonopah--Lowell George/Little Feat

          by frandor55 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:25:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Insightful comment (7+ / 0-)

          It's important not to have a panic attack, but there is such a thing as being overly-complacent.  Obama is just not running a strong campaign.  He has the charisma, the money and his positions on the issues are more popular than McCain's.  But he's simply not using these advantages to create the popular groundswell of support that I, frankly, thought he would, once he won the nomination.
          And I liked Slinkerwink's advice.  Keep it simple, stupid.  I would add, what other Dems are saying: speak about the problems of everyday Americans and give short, understandable, effective solutions.  Stop speaking in generalities.  Propose concrete solutions, hammer them home in ads, speeches and debates.  Solutions, not more words, that are practical and concrete.  
          If Obama could really speak to the desperation that many American's feel about their economic future, this race would be over in a heartbeat.  

          One cannot deny the humanity of another without diminishing one's own. James Baldwin

          by CarolynC967 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:44:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with you that Obama needs to streamline (12+ / 0-)

      his delivery in debates.

      I had always thought that Obama was consistently the worst of our candidates in the debates after Richardson dropped out, because he simply takes too long and uses to many words to say what he's trying to say.

      Our other candidates always used up all of their alloted time also, but they made their points quickly and used up the rest of their alloted time reinforcing their points... and Obama quite often used up all of his alloted time MAKING his point, leaving himself little if any time to reinforce the point he'd just made.

      I know that some take his performance in debates as an indicator that he's thoughtful about issues and takes the time to think about what his answer is going to be before he answers the questions and I agree with one caveat... He DOES seem to be very thoughtful about his answers, but we already know what the majority of the questions asked in debates are going to be, so many of his answers shouldn't need to be thought about, because he should already know what he's going to say by heart.

      For the most part we already know what topics are going to be asked about and I think that Obama should already have detailed and concise answers formulated for the majority of the questions he's asked in these debates.... and I'm sure he does already know his answers in most cases, but it rarely seems like it when you're watching him.

      He comes off as very off the cuff, like he's just now thinking about these topics for the first time and needs time to formulate his answer.  

      I don't know... I suppose it's just something that's always bothered me about Obama's debate performances. I know it's probably just nerves on his part, but I always worry it'll give people the impression that he really IS just that moment considering whatever topic it is he's been asked about for the first time and I'm concerned that people will think that maybe he had never considered these important topics until just that second.

      This is probably just my inner worry wart coming out, but I've always wished Obama could get over whatever it is that makes him so slow to react/formulate his answers in debates, because it to me it makes him seem like he's never thought before about important things that at this stage in the game he clearly should already know his positions on.

      His debate performances just always give me the impression he's winging it and I obviously know that isn't true... but his delivery and slowness to answer always makes that thought pop into my head.

      "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

      by MichiganGirl on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:04:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  On a certain level he might be winging it. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        seby1689, slinkerwink

        I know a fair few extremely smart people who really never mastered the art of studying because they didn't have to because they were so smart.  They'd read a book an hour before a test and ace it partly because they were smarter than their professors in some cases.  But they didn't figure out that had they read a book a couple of days before they might do even better work and make a better impression overall.  That's what comes through to me - a lack of discipline and an understanding that appearing to be disciplined is more appropriate in certain forums than being so smart and cool that you can wing it and pull it off.

  •  Tipped and Rec'd for a very sound warning to... (10+ / 0-)

    ...the O campaign, which (from Plouffe's comment above) doesn't seem to realize how much a candidate's image is shaped in the heat of Summer.  After all that's been written about the SBVT assault of '04, how could they not know that Senator Obama's image is being shaped right now and could even be hard-set by mid-September.

    •  Plouffe worked on Gephardt's campaign in 2004 (5+ / 0-)

      I don't think he has the media strategy needed to work in this sort of level of national politics, given that Gephardt lasted only for a few months.

      •  Oh shit. (10+ / 0-)

        I said that out loud when I read your comment.

        Now I understand what is going on here.  Gephardt the champion of the working class who never seemed to connect to them.  That's scary.

        On the connecting issue I am in full agreement with you.  The stated purpose of sending Obama into this forum was for him to connect with those values voters and I did not see him doing that last night.  I also think he missed real opportunities on things like stem cell research and made one fairly unfortunate choice in how he talked about his position on the war.  Add to that the fact that McCain was totally on his game last night and I think Obama did not come out well here.

        The Obama camp needs to make some adjustments especially if the McCain I once knew is really back.

        •  He's back. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eugene, inclusiveheart

          Already he's distancing himself from Bush.

          The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world She didn't exist.

          by callmecassandra on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:53:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  McCain alienated moderates and women (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          seby1689, TexasLiz, Methinks They Lie

          and acted like Bush. I think all he accomplished was to get some of these right wing Evangelicals who planned to sit home, to consider voting for him.

          But he alienated women, moderates and Independents.

          He tarnished his Maverick image and there is much that the DNC and Obama campaign has to work with in terms of showing McCain is No Maverick.

          Right now in PA, McCain is airing an ad about how he is the Original Maverick. Well he shot that all to Hell last night.

          The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

          by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:04:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think McCain won people who don't care about (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink, sockpuppet, Fabian, frandor55

            issues which is sadly a big group of people in this country.

            A lot of people vote for the guy who makes them feel comfortable regardless of how scary their statements are.

            •  I am not sure as the economy is so bad that (0+ / 0-)

              a lot of people want a candidate who can help them, give them hope.

              The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

              by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:15:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  On the economy, McCain is doing a better (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fromdabak

                job of connecting.  You have to understand that people who think very differently from you do not process the intellectual problems with the promise to drill for oil offshore - they process the fact that someone is passionate in offering them a solution - even if it is NOT a solution - they attach themselves to the person offering one.  That's why that tire pressure thing worked so well for McCain - in a rare moment when the majority of the people want government to "interfere" Obama sticks with more of a free-market philosophy and McCain grabs the opportunity promising full government interference and mocking self reliance.  I think some of the people on Obama's campaign are a bit lead footed and overly intellectual in their responses - especially on the economy.

          •  No, he didn't (9+ / 0-)

            He only alienated voters if Obama and other Democrats hit on those points constantly for the next two weeks.

            If we want something to stick, we have to make it stick. It doesn't happen all on its own.

            I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
            Neither is California High Speed Rail

            by eugene on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:23:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  We have a winner.. (6+ / 0-)

              McCain killed himself when Phil Gramm called us a nation of whiners..

              no he didn't...the Obama campaign decided it wasn't a big deal...

              McCain killed himself when he called Social Security disasterous...

              no he didn't...the Obama campaign decided it wasn't important....

              I could go on...

              but not only did he miss an opportunity to define McCain...he missed key opportunities to define news cycles for days....instead, we get Brittney and Paris...

              that is the problem...they have no offense...I can only hope this is rope a dope and McCain won't know what hit him the day after the convention...but I am not optimistic...

              "So this is how liberty dies, to the sound of thunderous applause..." -Senator Padme Amidala - Star Wars Episode III

              by justmy2 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:32:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  true, I am saying I am hoping the DNC, the (0+ / 0-)

              Obama campaign and 527s take what McCain said last night and hammer it.

              The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

              by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:16:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I was outraged by the Plouffe comment (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, maxentropy, FMArouet

      That is the same conventional wisdom...by the way, what are they going to do with all of the money they leave on the table that can't be used for the general...they know McCain has one line...I was a POW...they should have spent the entire summer innoculating themselves and constantly forcing McCain to say that his experience while honorable, shouldn't be a qualifier...

      they keep running from the elephant in the room, instead of running to it..

      Obama's a celebrity..."You are darn right.  More American's believe in Obama than McCain and we embrace their support.  Why does McCain think the American people are groupies"

      Drill Drill Drill..."McCain is a Snake oil salesman.  Let's have a townhall and look at the facts"

      Obama played the race card..."Uh...no...John McCain did, and i have a picture of myself on a $100 bill to prove it"...

      But nope, these guys were acting like you can't walk and chew gum at the same time.  

      Add that to the fact that Obama has not driven one campaign narrative this cycle...not one..

      I blame Plouffe and Obama...and I can't for the life of me see why they don't flood the airwaves with surrogates...

      "So this is how liberty dies, to the sound of thunderous applause..." -Senator Padme Amidala - Star Wars Episode III

      by justmy2 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:26:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Low info voters - vote against a candidate... (12+ / 0-)

    ...not for one.

    I HATE that - but it is true. Ask the 2004 voters that voted Bush in (Blech) and they will (mostly) tell you that they voted against Kerry and not for Bush.

    This race will be no different - I agree - time to go on the attack!!!

  •  Americans don't do nuance (4+ / 0-)

    Sounds like GWB.  And if Americans want a rejection of GWB, as the polls show, they'll want someone with nuance.

    The nuance problem comes with their failure to attack McCain aggressively enough, so far.  But there's nothing wrong with nuance in presenting your position.

    Shill, Shill, Shill.

    by Paleo on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:44:53 AM PDT

    •  there's plenty wrong with nuance (14+ / 0-)

      It muddles your message. It makes it sound like you're hedging.

      Just give your answers straight, and simply.

      •  Some questions don't lend (6+ / 0-)

        themselves to yes or no answers.  You can get in just as much trouble with that as you can with nuance.

        Shill, Shill, Shill.

        by Paleo on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:49:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  McCain was able to get straight to the point (10+ / 0-)

          Look, we all agree that nuance is a virtue, especially in governing.   But it doesn't win campaigns, period.

          Strategy '08: Obama vs. the other guy

          by dansac on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:14:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And there is a difference between nuance (5+ / 0-)

            and making an argument in such a way that you change the audience's mind.  

            Sometimes Obama pulls off a teaching moment, but sometimes he just comes off as nuanced to a degree that he seems hesitant and unsure - that's not what people look for in a President.

            It is always easier for Republicans because they don't mind lying about their positions - they don't mind making a stupidly over-simplified statement about X or Y - that's okay with them.  Democrats tend to want to he honest which is much harder to pull off - but it is still a requirement for any Democrat seeking office at this level.

            I think Obama needs to find his baselines on key issues - decide that he can't be all things to all people - and work the crowds from there.  Right now he is trying to appeal to too broad of an audience which will in the end make him appear to be more political and less trustworthy than McCain - EVEN THOUGH McCain is the most political and least trustworthy politician in this race.

            •  I think the corporate media influences this. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              inclusiveheart, scotths

              Republicans can say the sky is yellow and the corporate and right-wing media will simply parrot the line and not question it. If a Democrat did such a thing, it would be parsed and questioned ad nauseum.

              •  That's true, but I don't actually believe that (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                seby1689, CParis, dotalbon

                it is an insurmountable problem for Democrats.

                Democrats need to be more disciplined in their communications.  One reason the media is so loyal to the GOP's messages is that the Republicans are much more disciplined about defining themselves and staying on message.

                We just need to stop being afraid of saying what we think clearly and concisely.  We need to understand that we WILL be beaten up EITHER WAY - if we are nuanced they'll attack and if we are straight they'll attack - the focus should be on the audience - the people we are trying to talk to - we should be thinking about what they want to hear and NOT so much about what the Republicans will say about what we say to them because if we manage to make a connection with the audience - it is much more difficult for the GOP to dominate the debate - as it stands now we often hedge worrying that the GOP will attack and the hedge denies us the opportunity to connect and the Republicans attack anyway - then we just look kinda pathetic.

              •  republicans can get away with anything... (0+ / 0-)

                Republicans can say the sky is yellow and the corporate and right-wing media will simply parrot the line and not question it. If a Democrat did such a thing, it would be parsed and questioned ad nauseum.

                I'm amazed that McCain has been able to get away with running ads containing outright lies about Obama's tax plans...

            •  Great post inclusive! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              inclusiveheart, CParis

              His uhhs and umms need to stop asap.
              He is known for his eloquent speech and yet in this debate he appeared to hem and haw for answers.

              A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The USA for an amount of "up to and including my life." - unknown

              by AJsMom on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:55:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  It's always much faster to lie. nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jfromga
      •  Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't (16+ / 0-)

        If he doesn't give nuanced answers, doesn't he again face the criticism that that he's all about slogans with no substance behind them?

        •  Uh, the best message is distilled in a soundbite (6+ / 0-)

          that's why brand advertising has worked so well.

          •  "Kossacks NEED to . . " is the wrong soundbite. (0+ / 0-)

            If all you have are imperatives, you don't really have an argument. Not yet anyway.

            As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

            by ticket punch on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:53:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Can you give us a soundbite on abortion, then? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wishingwell, Matt Z

            I'm sorry, but "freedom to choose" is not going to work against pictures of bloody fetuses on billboards.  Neither is "safe, legal, and rare." This is (still) the evangelicals' key issue, and any soundbite from the Dems is going to sound like "infanticide" to the so-called pro-lifers.  This is the place where nuance is desperately needed, and hardest to achieve (see Bush-Kerry debates, 2004).   We can raise the question of jail terms for women who abort (for sending women to prison, John McCain?  if not, why not?), or ask what McCain plans to do about the untold loss of innocent life to miscarriage in this country, often before a woman even knows she's pregnant (millions of babies, each a full human being from the moment of conception--shouldn't this trump every other priority, John McCain?  If not, why not?)  Changing the narrative on abortion in the ways we desperately need to do might result in some compelling soundbites, but I don't see how it can start there.

            •  "I don't like abortion, and no one is (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              inclusiveheart, CParis

              pro-abortion, but what I am is pro-choice. I know that women do not make this decision lately.

              They struggle with it, because they're placed in situations where we haven't provided them with the support services like child care, adoption, and school tuition support, so they have abortions.

              Also, many women have abortions for medical reasons, and that's why I am pro-choice because it would be reckless to refuse to help save their lives when their pregnancy puts them at risk of death."

            •  Here's a question for you all on abortion (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              slinkerwink, inclusiveheart

              I'm curious about the responses here.  Obama obviously had to know that he would get the "when do you think life begins" question.  He did, in the form of "when do human rights begin" or something like that.  (I don't remember the exact wording.)  His didn't answer directly, as I recall, saying something to the effect that the answer to that was "above my pay grade," meaning that he would leave that to others.  I suspect that the pro-life groups will play that clip over and over.  

              But here's my question:  Should he have answered that question more directly?  Should he have said, "I want to be up front with you, I don't believe that human rights begin at the moment of conception, this is an area where I respectfully disagree with you, but . . ." and go on to discuss attempts to reduce abortion?  Would he have gotten more points for being clear and honest?  

              •  He could have used faith to push his answer (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                inclusiveheart

                Most mainstream Christian denominations favor a woman's right to choose.  Obama could and should have hit that point hard.  Fundies make the most religious noise in this country but they don't necessarily represent the majority of believers.  

                "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." (Frederick Douglass, 1857)

                by dotalbon on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:51:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  YES (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                inclusiveheart

                I made this point in another diary and actually got troll rated for it.

                They wanted to know his personal position on it.
                He could have said my belief is X but as President I will support the law of the land etc.

                A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The USA for an amount of "up to and including my life." - unknown

                by AJsMom on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:57:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I would have counseled him to leave the glib (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  slinkerwink

                  comments about pay grade out of it too.

                  I would just say to him "Tell them how you feel about it."  Religious voters are first and foremost an emotionally driven audience.  He tried to connect intellectually which was a mistake.  On stem cell research I would have had him launch right into the promise of saving lives that it holds and to be emotional about that - not to explain how the whole embroys get "disgarded" thing - the mechanics of issues aren't where these people dwell - its the emotional "somebody's gonna die and I need to save them" that drives their decisions.

            •  Try this: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fromer

              "My opponent is against safe, legal, and rare abortions; in other words, he is in favor of illegal and dangerous abortions. We don't need to return to the days before Roe v. Wade happened and women who had accidentally gotten pregnant and could not even afford the medical care necessary to carry a child to term decided to take things into their hands with a coat hanger in a back alley."

          •  he's done mostly soundbites (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            historys mysteries

            with everyone telling him he needs to get into more detail and substance.

            When he does start doing more detail and substance, like last night, he gets told he is too "nuancy".

            I agree that he can improve on his presentation.
            Fewer uhms, snappier delivery, little more emotion thrown in.

            The real problem is that this is a country that is very religious, and very militaristic and I say that as a Soldier and officer (and one who's not much of either, it's why I'm in JAG lol)

            This even moreso of conservatives and right leaning independents, and the muddled middle. It is why Republican veterans are always going to do better than Democratic veterans.

            Even Bill, as great of a politician as he was, had a VERY hard time winning in 92 with an unpopular president and a bad economy and no war going on.

            I again agree that Obama needs tweaking. But it's too late to do a 180. It just is. The media coverage will not be about the ads, it will be about, Obama isnt what he said he was. He's doing anything to get elected.

            And unlike McCain, who gets praise for doing anything to get elected, Obama will get criticism for it.

      •  In so many ways I agree with you. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, Texanomaly, vertexoflife

        But how do you give a simple answer to a complex question?

        Obama, because he listens and thinks while being questioned, does appear at times to be hedging in his responses -- not because he is undecided on his position but because he is actually thinking. Which I, for one, do not think is a bad thing.

        I think he has to break the complexity down, but not ignore it. Even a nuuanced response could have a point one, point two and point three response. I guess I would like to see smaller, more "manageable chunks" that show his ability to understand nuance and allow the voters to understand it as well.

        Try my dream: President Obama

        by MrSandman on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:00:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The way he does that is to decide what it is (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, wishingwell, dotalbon

          that he wants people to know about his position on these issues.  Instead of worrying about the question or the people who might not like his positions, he needs to define what he believes in his own mind, decide what succinct statement best encapsulates his philosophy and then say it straight.  If there is time for nuanced follow up and context then take it, but he needs to lead with his main point.  Obama tends to bury the lede in these free form formats.

          That is a mental discipline that he needs to adopt for these extemporaneous formats.  

          The reality is that the list of possible questions for our presidential candidates is criminally short - abortion, war, economy, taxes, religion.  He should have those answers down by now, but his performance last night did not give me the impression that he did.

          On stem cell research for instance I think he should have just gone directly to the life-saving potential in that research for MILLIONS of people.  Positioned stem cell research as a humanitarian in nature - forget about the rest - it is the best you can do with an audience already conditioned to disagree.

    •  there's a time and a place for nuance (8+ / 0-)

      when presenting opinions to the dailykos or huffpo or TPM set, that's a wonderful time and place for nuance.

      a nationally televised discussion on faith?  not so much.

      sometimes nuance is more appropriate than others.  how's that for nuance?  :)

    •  It's the medium (0+ / 0-)

      TeeVee doesn't do nuance, at least not the corporate news TeeVee that controls information today.  Most voters get their info from TeeVee news, and that means they see the candidates in 5 second clips.  In the distorted perception of 5 second clips, nuance always loses.  Always.  It doesn't matter what people want, because the format gives them no choice.

      I think what may have happened here is that in the primaries, voters got information differently.  First, the corporate media showed many of Obama's speeches in the primaries, at least early on before they realized how potent they were.  Secondly, dem primary voters probably rely less on corporate TeeVee news than general election voters, so Obama's message could get through.  Now we're in a different forum, and by virtue of its design - some probably intentional since the corporate media has learned how to smother Obama's message - Obama cannot get through to the voters.  

      Then there's the whole issue of the media using different standards to cover the candidates and to drive negative smears of the candidates.  The built-in narrative is that McCain is a seasoned foreign policy expert, and so even though he looks like a senile fool, and talks like a senile fool, don't let that fool you, he really is a foreign policy expert.  

      I'm not sure there is anything Obama can do in this environment.  If he came out swinging and hit McCain hard, then the narrative wouldn't be the substance of those hits, it would be "OMG, Obama said he wouldn't do 'old politics' and now he's going negative!  Obama's a hypocrite!  Who is the real Obama!"  The current dynamic is that whatever Obama does, it will be criticized, and whatever McCain does, it will be excused and if necessary, suppressed.

      Too often, and I include myself here, we forget that this race is not between Obama and McCain, but is instead between a progressive insurgency against an entrenched corporate power structure that controls everything, right down to the TeeVee news that voters use to decide on a candidate.  We are up against a power that has everything to lose and nearly controls all public opinion.  In this light, Obama's ground war is a brilliant campaign strategy.  My guess is that he's not really trying to "win" the TeeVee competition, because he knows it's rigged.  

      Obama is playing to win a victory not in the corporate media's forum, but despite it.  It's a risky strategy, but if he wins, it will sweep away the old campaign paradigm, because he will have demonstrated that the corporate media no longer has an iron grip on public opinion.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:54:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Subterranean

        TeeVee doesn't do nuance, at least not the corporate news TeeVee that controls information today.  Most voters get their info from TeeVee news, and that means they see the candidates in 5 second clips.  In the distorted perception of 5 second clips, nuance always loses.  Always.  It doesn't matter what people want, because the format gives them no choice.

        I would argue that for the first time people have a choice in this regard.  The internet now makes detailed nuanced information quickly available to anyone who chooses to locate it. In the past it would have been much more difficult to receive such information, most people probably didn't receive publications beyond a basic (corporate controlled) newspaper and/or magazine.

        Perhaps a big part of our job as Kossacks is to attempt to influence people to look beyond the corporate media for information.  Remember the speech on race in Philadelphia? Remember people bringing that speech to Easter dinner to help counter misconceptions about what he said?

        I think what may have happened here is that in the primaries, voters got information differently.  First, the corporate media showed many of Obama's speeches in the primaries, at least early on before they realized how potent they were.  Secondly, dem primary voters probably rely less on corporate TeeVee news than general election voters, so Obama's message could get through.  Now we're in a different forum, and by virtue of its design - some probably intentional since the corporate media has learned how to smother Obama's message - Obama cannot get through to the voters.  

        I don't think that is what happened. Obama's win in the primaries bubbled up from the youth; from students organizing on facebook and other such mediums. Perhaps they were drawn to this candidate by his inspirational speeches, but also as he shares their values (he does, see here for youth values issues)  and perhaps also in part because of Obama's support from academia. In other words, for largely the right reasons.

        How many people were influenced by their young family members in deciding to support Obama? The fact that the list includes Caroline and Ted Kennedy and Claire McCaskill I think is pretty telling.

        The youth gave him the victory in Iowa which gave him national attention. They continued top vote in large numbers and influence their friends and family from that point.

        Too often, and I include myself here, we forget that this race is not between Obama and McCain, but is instead between a progressive insurgency against an entrenched corporate power structure that controls everything, right down to the TeeVee news that voters use to decide on a candidate.  We are up against a power that has everything to lose and nearly controls all public opinion.  In this light, Obama's ground war is a brilliant campaign strategy.  My guess is that he's not really trying to "win" the TeeVee competition, because he knows it's rigged.  

        This year it seems like that lies and misrepresentations have reached new heights but at the same time new levels of transparency. For instance, McCain tried to connect Obama to oil companies by pointing out his vote on the energy bill a couple of years ago, of course failing to note that Obama only voted that way after he had amendments added funding alternative energy work. While frustrating, this seems more the typical kind of misrepresentation seen by candidates that should (but often isn't) be called by the media. However, this year it seems to have gone way beyond that. Now, McCain has resorted to outright lies. He is running ads stating that Obama's plan involves increased taxes on the middle class and the elderly! It doesn't take much in the way of nuance to clear that up!

        The ground game really is the way to beat it. Remember, a significant number of people are Republicans who will certainly vote for McCain, and a significant number democrats who will certainly vote for Obama. This leaves a smaller number in the middle that one can influence (considerably less then during the primary when it was necessary to chip away at a huge double digit Clinton national lead in the polls. Perhaps part of the reason things feel stagnant now is that we were used to seeing constant progress against Clinton throughout much of the primaries.) . The electorate was nearly tied in 2000 and 2004, with the influx of new young democrats the electorate is tilting towards the dems. It won't take a significant increase in votes over Kerry as that election was so close. If Obama can energize the youth, and also turn out blacks and hispanics in record numbers he should be in pretty solid shape. He'll give himself many ways to win (win OH or win CO (w/hispanics) or win VA (w/african americans) etc.

        Let's not forget.. Obama is

        1. Ahead in the national polling
        1. Close to tied in places like MT and ND
        1. Ahead in OH and by a smaller margin CO and VA
        1. Has an extremely strong base of states (more than 200 strong evs on pollster), meaning that McCain is likely not to be competitive on almost all of Obama's states. This puts McCain in a position where he has to win numerous swing states and risks loosing the election if he looses just one (maybe 2) of these to Obama. (on pollster right now Obama doesn't even need a swing state)
        1. None of this takes into account the effect that the youth, AA's and Hispanics increasing their turn out will have. These things seem likely even if Obama didn't have the largest campaign in the history of the country with the goal in mind to do just that.
      •  Yes! He is working against the corp media (0+ / 0-)

        This is one of the best comments and analysis of what is going on here. The media will not give him a
        fair shake, it's owned by the right, and sometimes I
        feel like I'm watching a gladiator show in the Roman Colleseum when I watch the pundits and news go after Obama.
        The campaign is apparently running carefully placed ads in various markets vs. the whole country.
        I just hope they can do it.
        Obama has to win.

  •  I disagree, slinkerwink. (16+ / 0-)

    Obama creates emotional connections during his speeches, which is why he's created such desire to see him in person.

    For me, his problem during debates isn't how he presents content, it's his speaking style.  Obama is used to thinking through answers carefully; therefore, he tends to hesitate between phrases and says "um" or "ahhh" too often.  This might give the appearance that he's hedging on an answer.

    I think this is primarily a cosmetic issue that he could resolve in debate practice with a dialogue coach.  I don't know how much time he has to do something like that, but it would improve his debate performance a lot.

  •  K.I.S.S. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, The Poet Deploreate

    I like Keep It Simple Silly (as opposed to keep it simple stupid). I'll start using that with my fellow friends of Bill.

  •  Not Sure (8+ / 0-)

    That we have the power to influence the direction of the Obama campaign.  I think that we just have to hold tight and continue to do what we can do.  Donate, volunteer, register voters, reach out to your network and make sure that your family and friends are going to vote for the Democrat in November.

    "Truck Stop Women," a New Film By Phil Gramm and John McCain.

    by bink on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:46:12 AM PDT

    •  If you recommend this diary, then they'll see it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bink, weelzup, hippodad
      •  Recommended! (18+ / 0-)

        I personally think that McCain's performance last night shows 1) what he will do in the debates and 2) why it will work.

        His answers were short, simple and unambiguous.

        Millions of busy, disengaged Americans were hear in there snippets of the kind of thing they want to hear from a politician:

        1. Certainty
        1. Confidence
        1. The idea of each and every one of them will some day be rich and have to pay no taxes, while being able to freely hate gay people and keep women in reproductive slavery

        True story!

        Obama needs to figure out how to deliver his compelling #3 using the #1 and #2 techniques above.

        "Truck Stop Women," a New Film By Phil Gramm and John McCain.

        by bink on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:51:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  McCain speaks to the reich (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell, vacuumslayer

          unfortunately a lot of idiot Americans find that appealing.  I am starting to really just be disgusted with Americans more than usual.

          Fox news: Even better than meth!

          by get the red out on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:21:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure McCain can get away... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bink, Matt Z, dotalbon

          with the same kind of a performance in a debate. The forum last night had a promising format, but a format that ultimately failed. The forum was billed as a conversation, not a confrontation, and Obama approached it in that spirit. McCain, on the other hand, used the opportunity to repeat short rhetorical blasts and mawkish anecdotes lifted directly from his stump speech. The format Warren used, asking the same questions of both Obama and McCain, seemed promising at the outset, but became a trap for Warren. Perhaps Warren would have liked to ask follow-up questions once it was clear McCain was not going to play ball, but had he done so, many would cry foul. Warren simply lost control during the McCain segment, despite his good natured entreaties to depart from the stump speech rhetoric. So, we got a forum where Obama was thoughtful and nuanced and McCain was rhetorical and binary. Obama approached the forum in the spirit in which it was advertised, McCain simply did not.

          I can't see how McCain will be able to get away with this approach in a debate where the interlocutors will be able to challenge his answers. I can't imagine McCain will be able to get away with this approach in a debate where Obama will be able to directly address McCain's answers.

          McCain's performance last night should give the media a lot of grist. After all, most of his answers--his "policies"--simply can't stand intellectual scrutiny. I'm not convinced, however, that we'll get much discussion of content, but only more performance analysis. What a drag.

          Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

          by JoesGarage on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:38:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I got the impression (9+ / 0-)

            that Obama showed up to discuss subtle issues of faith.  McCain showed up to run for President.

            McCain's been well-coached, and will be locked on point from here on out (unless his meds fail or he has a tamtrum).  

            We have to consider the electorate we have, not the electorate we want.  Many voters hate Bush, but they are no more educated about issues than they were eight years ago (and right now they're not thinking about Iraq as much as they are about Michael Phelps).

            Obama must define himself, and redefine McCain, in short, succinct ads written for ten-year olds.  Because that is what the typical American voter is.

            "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." (Frederick Douglass, 1857)

            by dotalbon on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:00:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Right... (0+ / 0-)

              Obama played ball, McCain did not, and Warren was boxed-in by the format he designed. Here's McCain:

              IF I’M PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, MY FRIENDS, IF I HAVE TO FOLLOW HIM TO THE GATES OF HELL, I WILL GET OSAMA BIN LADEN AND BRING HIM TO JUSTICE. I WILL DO THAT AND I KNOW HOW TO DO THAT.

              Clearly the followup question should have been: "Senator, if you know how to do this, why not tell the Pentagon?" But, the quote works for McCain because, as you say, many of our fellow citizens seem to work on a visceral level when it comes to voting. Grim.

              Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

              by JoesGarage on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:14:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Spot on. n/t (0+ / 0-)

              This sig line shows a complete lack of imagination.

              by weelzup on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:42:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Remember during one of the debates (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              scotths

              when the question was what is your biggest fault?

              Obama answered it honestly, something about he was disorganized, and Edwards and Hillary had these politically correct answers, like "I don't have enough hours in the day to solve world hunger."..or the like...

              Last night was similar.  I think it is refreshing to have someone genuine, authentic, and I think people saw that with Obama.  Whether or not most people want a president with those qualities is questionable.

              I sure do.

              I think it will come down in November to those who want to take a chance on a new, fresh, young, energetic, forward thinking president, or an old, stale but direct, cold-war mentality, backward thinking president that will be the more of the same, but you know what you are getting.

          •  Hillary did this in the debates and she excelled (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vacuumslayer

            in that format. Short soundbites are always the solution in politics. Never ever underestimate the stupidity of the average voter.

            Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

            by Joe B on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:29:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  worked out very well for her... (0+ / 0-)

              She started out way ahead of everyone.. Then fell farther and farther behind...(her blowout performances at the end were an accident of scheduling not an indication of a rebound of support).

          •  But who will moderate the debates... (0+ / 0-)

            and if it's corporate media (it will be) we could see another Stephanopolus/Gibson travesty (did anyone see that delightful debate on ABC between Hil and Barack?).

      •  Suggestion: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        historys mysteries

        Change diary title to make your topic clear to readers.  You've got mixed metaphors there that don't really make much sense.  I opened this diary because of the author's dKos reputation. ;)

      •  I agree with some of your points (4+ / 0-)

        but please stop telling us to rec your diaries.

        I believe that this the "ostriches" understand that this is not, nor will ever be, a level playing field, because Obama IS BLACK. If he presented himself the way you urge, he will be defined as "angry Black man" and risk turning off voters.

        Not that it matters what we say here - recced diary or not. I believe the Obama team does NOT read DKos for campaign advice. If they did, FISA would have gone differently.

        I doubt the forum last night will have any affect on the election.

  •  Can you please post the research data on this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nicolemm, aimeeinkc, FishOutofWater

    comment? "They don't vote logically. They vote emotionally."  Is that just some form of conventional wisdom or an opinion? I'd love to see the data.

    "Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its idiot."

    by Gramarye on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 06:52:21 AM PDT

    •  It's conventional wisdom (0+ / 0-)

      There are many studies showing this sort of impact on voters when they're showed political advertising.

    •  2004 election (3+ / 0-)

      Kerry also responded with nuance and thoughtful answers..and look what happened.  After last night, the O team really needs to wake up and change their strategy. Or we are looking at another defeat in November.

      And, I hate to say it, but I think Hill would have done much better last night.

      •  I seem to remember Kerry creaming Bush in the (10+ / 0-)

        debates. If I recall correctly, George Jr. threw a hissy fit like a petulant child in one of those debates.  2004 was a different election--most of America was still coming down off of it's post 9-11 hysteria, which was stoked by the Bush administration at every turn during that election cycle.  I wasn't impressed with Kerry, but he was certainly the better choice in 2004. I think a lot of Bush voters realize that now. I also think Kerry was certainly a weaker candidate than Obama.

        "Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its idiot."

        by Gramarye on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:18:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I thought about that and I disagree, Evangelicals (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        akr nyc

        are the ones who seem to hate Hillary the most.
        And they truly loathe Bill with a passion.

        Women in positions of power is not something that conservative Evangelicals promote. Hell I know some moderate Evangelicals who do not think a woman should be President, especially Hillary.

        The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

        by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:11:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, Kerry did better in the election with a (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z, dotalbon

        poor campaign strategy and incompetent staff than many  of us thought he would. I love John Kerry but I have to admit being surprised he did as well as he did. Hell it came down to Ohio and there were shenanigans in Ohio. I am not saying the election was stolen ala Florida 2000, but you know what I mean.

        Obama is running a fantastic campaign in comparison to John Kerry. Yet Kerry came damn close to winnning the election at a time when the war was still rather popular and we were not far removed from 9-11 hysteria.

        The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

        by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:15:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama needs to press his point (8+ / 0-)

    Couldn't agree more with this diary. Obama didn't harm himself last night but missed some real opportunities to talk with more emotion and go on the offense.

    Take the question on evil. Obama's answer was good, it was reasonable, but it was not enough. He should have said that we need to defeat evil and then remind voters that President Bush failed to capture Osama bin Laden, that he moved troops to Iraq, and as a result al Qaeda is stronger than they've been since 9/11.

    I hope last night wipes out forever the notion amongst us that McCain is running a pathetic campaign. In some respects he is, but his performance last night was excellent -- more of these imbalanced performances and McCain can overcome whatever flaws his campaign has.

    •  Remember (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joe B, TomP, SottoVoce, Muzikal203, mikesbuddy

      This forum was filled with wealthy conservative religious church goers, McCain's base.

      Obama needed to try and convince the public that he is in fact a Christian and not a Muslim (Bill O'Reilly will certainly disagree) and I think he did that (except to the Rush Limpballs of the world).

      What freaked me out was these so called Christians who did nothing but clap at all of McCain's militaristic talk.

      The Religious Right just might be as bad and dangerous as the Taliban.  Sorry, that is how I feel.  They are such simple minds really.... and greedy too.

      -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

      by MarciaJ720 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:28:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I still do not know what drilling has to do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eXtina

        with faith. He got huge applause for

        Drill here, Drill now.

        I half expected McBush to ask people to grab their drills and head for the basement to start drilling right there in Orange County.

        The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

        by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:17:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As a Christian I am stunned (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ggwoman55

        It's like we are believing in entirely different things, reading different Bibles.

        Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

        by Joe B on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:33:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Subterranean, dotalbon

      In some respects he is, but his performance last night was excellent -- more of these imbalanced performances and McCain can overcome whatever flaws his campaign has.

  •  There's been too much dismissal of your POV (26+ / 0-)

    on here lately.

    Express concern, and you get zapped as a "concern troll."

    I think you've honed in on something that Obama needs to work on.  It is why Hillary Clinton was stronger in the debates.  She stood ramrod straight and made declarative statements about her beliefs, values, and positions on issues.

    Obama often hunched over a bit, thinking out loud a bit... for every voter like me who recognizes and respects thoughtfulness in our leaders, there are two who just want somebody to say "apple" or "orange" - say it with confidence - and be done with it.  

  •  Kossacks oh please (31+ / 0-)

    So, the most talented politician in an age is running an epic campaign against a war hero white man icon, and is wiping will wipe the floor with him, on the issues with the high ground and you want him to attack.

    I only thank god that you folks aren't running the Obama campaign.  Obama is not Bush or a neocon, and if you think acting like them to get elected is a good thing, then I would put you in the column to fight against.  If you have so little faith in America that you think the only way to elect Obama is to hop down in the unsubstantive muck with them we would end up with the same kind of governance.  Obama has bet all in on the intelligence of America.  I kicked in my watch too.  We are both going to clean up.

    Justice for Lavena Johnson http://www.colorofchange.org/lavena/?id=2220-540750

    by Adept2u on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:05:59 AM PDT

    •  Damn straight! [eom] (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sagittarius

      http://www.amazon.com/Underwater-Lengths-Single-Benjamin-Grossberg/dp/0912592583

      by claytonben on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:07:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're attacking a straw man (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eugene, slinkerwink

      Nobody is suggesting that Obama "hop down in the unsubstantive muck" with the Rethugs.  

      What critical posters are pointing out, and it is absolutely true, is that Obama needs to stay on point regardless of his forum.  The post about turning the question about "evil" to his advantage, by pointing out that Bush and the GOP failed to catch Bin Laden, is an excellent example.  

      Successful Presidential candidates do this with every question, in every setting.  Those that fail, don't.  

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." (Frederick Douglass, 1857)

      by dotalbon on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:08:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hope you are right. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink

      I liked Obama's performance last night, intelligent, honest, not backing away from what he knew were unpopular stances with that audience.  He was really trying to find common ground.

      Is this over the heads of most Americans?  Do the voters prefer a blustery, concrete thinker, who does not think in abstract terms, speaks in slogans and cliched phrases, short sentences?

      Probably. I hate to think that, but how the hell did Bush get to be president?  McCain was Bush on steroids last night, without the mangled words.  
      I heard someone who was there interviewed and they said they loved Obama's empathy, but Mccain's directness.

      I hope when he chooses his VP, and it looks like Biden has moved into the #1 spot, that they will go on the offense, relentlessly. Please.

    •  Where were you in 2004? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink

      Kerry got creamed being intellectual, thoughtful and nuanced.

      Conservatism = greed, hate, fear and ignorance

      by Joe B on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:36:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  while I generally agree (21+ / 0-)

    that Obama's media team has done a lousy job of framing the debate, I think the reaction here to the Faith Forum has been totally overblown, partially prodded on by the jubilant reaction from McCain's cable news cheerleaders (like the horrendous Candy Crowley), who were eager to call the night for him based on their own ideological leanings.

    Obama went into the lion's den and he left a positive impression. This was a forum for evangelical voters aired on cable news during a Summer weekend opposite an historic Olympic achievement. Nobody was watching but the true believers and both candidates' performances reflect that. McCain pandered eagerly to his base (and the right-wing pundits lapped it up) while Obama emphasized middle ground. If this had been a League of Conservation Voters forum aired on PBS, I would wholly expect to see the opposite dynamic (sanz McCain's cable cheerleading squad, of course).

    Ultimately, McCain is in a bind on social issues and he's sending mixed signals. He's trying to further confuse independents by floating Lieberman/Ridge for VP, but when he gets in a forum like this, he espouses views that are only held by about 20% of the population. If McCain continues the hard right posture he displayed last night, he will certainly win over Candy Crowley, but he will also firmly cement the view that he is a mere Bush clone.

    •  If you take the audience reactions away (9+ / 0-)

      the night was far less McCain's.  The print reporting on this that I've read this morning is more balanced and appreciative of Obama's nuance and honesty.

    •  The lion's den wasn't Saddleback Church (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stroszek

      The crowd reaction there is totally and completely meaningless.

      The lion's den is instead the media. Obama has consistently failed with them for the last two months.

      Part of it is that the media is so pro-McCain that they are de facto a part of his communications office. But that doesn't let Obama off the hook for poorly responding to them.

      I think this is the problem we face: Obama is one hell of an organizer and an orator, but does not do well in debates or in the media circus. Unfortunately, the first two do not trump the last two. Whether he wins this election or not hinges on how well the campaign addresses the last two.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
      Neither is California High Speed Rail

      by eugene on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:29:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Media is Lion's Den? (0+ / 0-)

        And maybe they should follow the McSame campaign's lead and totally remove Obama from all unscripted media "access"?

        He's not perfect, but the contest is one of comparisons is it not?  We're worrying about improving upon uh's and ah's and the McSame campaign is dealing with misidentifying Shia from Sunni, Czechoslavakia, etc.

        Me thinks we focus on the minutiae too much.

    •  Bravo Stros ..Amen! (0+ / 0-)

      I still think most who watched were firm Obama or McCain supporters, political junkies like us, and conservative Evangelicals who were never going to vote for a Democrat.  

      What McCain did was prove he was not a Maverick.

      He may have gained Fundies who planned to stay home but he also lost women and moderates in the process. And Indpendents do not like when he panders to the religious right.

      Women vote in heavy numbers and McCain did not help himself in that department.

      The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

      by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:32:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong. Read the live-blogs from last night. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink

      The commentary here was positive after Obama's hour but then went desperate after about 20 minutes of McCain.

      The pundits were still in the green room then.

      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

      by Clem Yeobright on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:07:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lets look at the situation realistically (6+ / 0-)

    Obama was not in home turf so it we have to grade him on a curve.
    Nevertheless, he has some work cut out for him that he should have learned during the primary:

    1.  He needs to stop stammering when speaking off the  cuff it gives the impression that he is hemming and hawing or doesn't know what the hell he is talking about.
    1. He needs to keep it simple.
    1. He needs to get back at doing retail politicking.
  •  I keep hearing "concerns" about Obama (6+ / 0-)

    "not connecting" with Low-Info voters. What percentage of voters are these fuckers anyway ?

    "Republicans pee on your head and tell you it's raining. Democrats, at least, hand you an umbrella!"

    by amk for obama on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:07:44 AM PDT

    •  I ranted to my sister the other day that I (19+ / 0-)

      want an election that hinges on college professors. I want pundits and talking heads to fret and pant over "What will the college professor vote do??" "Can the candidates reach those all-important PhDs"

      Why oh Why can't we have an election that hinges on THE SMART PEOPLE?

      •  "Does anyone object to these questions being (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, Matt Z

        asked here?" Yep, me, a PhD, Mr. Asshole Fraud "Feel-Good" Fundie Guru, me, indeed. Y'know, evolution, secularism, separation of church and state, critical inquiry, and all that.

        "Civil forum," indeeed! Were the victims of autos-da-fe asked to be "civil" when the Inquisition burned them to death? That's what last night felt like....

    •  and im sick of running our country for idiots n/t (5+ / 0-)

      Justice for Lavena Johnson http://www.colorofchange.org/lavena/?id=2220-540750

      by Adept2u on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:10:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If people are so stupid that they cannot see the (4+ / 0-)

        difference between the most intelligent, thoughtful candidate we have ever had and the old tired hack the republican's are running, then again this country will get the President it deserves. Maybe Obama is correct when he says that the right candidate will be what the country needs. We may need to go all the way down to hell, and I plan on leaving for Europe after the election if McCain is picked by the same bunch of idiots.

        My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me. Benjamin Disraeli

        by pvmuse on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:21:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  for those of us too old, too sick , too poor to (0+ / 0-)

          leave if McCain is elected..not sure what we will do. It is a seriously depressing thought.

          The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

          by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:41:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  i have said this before too i can't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink

          take it anymore. living in a country as dumb as ours.

          I am involved so its hard to relate to the part of the country that just goes to work, eats dinner, watches tv, end of day do it again.

          I work with a bunch of these people and with the exception of my bosses right wing nuts that i can't talk politics too, my regular workers i consider it part of my election plan to inform them.

          So if each of us picks 20 low info people and on a regular basis gives them the info, then a bunch more people will be informed.

          Heck, these folks have no desire to watch the shit, but they will vote and if you talk to them they have an opinion even if its based on almost nothing!

          So before they vote on some dumb thing they see between their sitcoms we need to be talking to them.

    •  High percentage (6+ / 0-)

      Sorry to say it, but it's true.  The numbers don't lie - as much as people around here try to analyze polls in our favor.

      Strategy '08: Obama vs. the other guy

      by dansac on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:11:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's very pathetic, dansac, for the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z, Alohilani

        world's oldest democracy. As a non-american, I am "concerned - nah, terrifed", that the post of most powerful man gets to be decided by such low-info, prejudiced & bigoted voters. Scary indeed.

        "Republicans pee on your head and tell you it's raining. Democrats, at least, hand you an umbrella!"

        by amk for obama on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:17:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  About (0+ / 0-)

      80%.

      My tires are properly inflated, my engine is properly tuned.

      by DarkRhyme on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:30:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Based on my canvassing experience... (6+ / 0-)

      in the wealthy Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., even most upscale voters seem to be relatively low information voters. And they are the ones who tend  at least to read a national newspaper (the WaPo) and watch a bit of MSM televised news--ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox or CNN.

      My non-scientific guess is that no more than two or three percent of the population--and five or six percent of voters--pay close attention to national and international events and think at all critically about them. And a good one-third of these "politically engaged" voters are of the conservative persuasion.

      In much of the country people consume little or no national and international news at all. One cannot be informed by watching an occasional evening news broadcast, listening to right wing hate radio, or reading the local news in a local newspaper.

      Slinkerwink and Dansac have it right. Team Obama needs to simplify its message down to images and slogans that can reach the low information swing voters. Thus far they are missing the target. Team McCain is saturating it.

      Obama could have been much better prepared for last night's Rick Warren forum. A few hours or even a full day of preparation--with a few well-prepared theological points and a few more carefully quoted Bible verses--could have enabled him to hit some of the questions out of the park. Obama  seemed rather to be winging it, as though he had not prepared at all (except for his little dig about Warren's $25 million in book sales and a rather flaccid response on the adoption question).

      And could Obama's staff perhaps work with him to control his habitual stammering? Pause for a second. Think. Respond crisply in short, comprehensible sentences. Remember that swing voters don't do nuance. They look for confidence in a leader. Stammering does not project or inspire confidence.

      I'd give Obama a "C-" for the night. McCain (who seemed to me to be so scripted that he must have seen the questions in advance) performed crisply and was more energetic than usual, and in terms of his audience he performed at an "A" level.

      The only bright point in the evening was McCain's strategic blunder in citing "five million" as the income level for one to be rich. Team Obama surely could make use of that quote in an ad. Why not start it tomorrow?

      •  I'm going to put your comment in the diary above. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FundaMental Transformation

        Thank you.

        •  Shucks. Had I known, I would have edited... (2+ / 0-)

          it down to make it much more concise.

          Anyway, thanks for again raising this subject. Team Obama may have a fine strategic plan in place, but down here on the ground from the grassroots perspective, Team Obama seems to be overestimating the political/informational awareness and sophistication of average voters, especially of the low information, politically disengaged swing voters who will decide this election.

      •  But McCain did blow it with Independents, women, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FMArouet

        and moderates.  So much for the Maverick image he wants to run on.

        He shot the Maverick thing to hell.

        The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

        by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:43:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, McCain let slip a few good editing cuts... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, Newsie8200

          for Team Obama ads, but only if Team Obama latches on to them like a dog on a ham bone.

          So far Obama's ads have been rather bland, forgettable stuff. McCain has been dominating the narrative with his edgy, over-the-top, offensive attack ads. We may sneer at them, but folks at the barber shops, beauty parlors, and sports bars remember them and talk about them.

          Team Obama started to sharpen its message last week ("Washington Celebrity," "McCain on Economics," "DHL," and "Harley" were improvements on past efforts), but McCain and his and well-funded 527 surrogates will unleash a typical Republican full-bore racist, bigoted, xenophobic, jingoist ad offensive any day now.

          Will Team Obama have the sharp elbows to fight back? Will Team Obama have the strategic presence of mind to take the offensive, rather than limit itself to gentlemanly, defensive counter-jabs?

  •  I'm looking at the big picture (10+ / 0-)

    and taking a "one step at a time" approach. It's working with dealing with my spouse's cancer, so it should work with dealing with the cancer known as the current batch of the Republicans.

    It's way too early to start running around and panicking. Most people are still on vacations, or if they're back now they're watching the Olympics and getting the kids ready for back to school (I just laid out about $100 on school supplies as part of a drive to gear up low-income kids -- hope the one I shopped for likes purple).

    Last night, Obama had the opportunity to define himself to a group of people who had bought into the "scary black dude" meme -- and proved that he's not as scary as they had thought. Come November, no one's going to remember what happened in July and August -- but the seeds of a potential Democratic victory may have been planted last night.

    Take a deep breath and don't worry -- I'm not being an ostrich, but I can't afford health-wise to worry about things that are totally out of my control. Put your energies to work controlling your own circle of friends and associates, and let the waves move outwards.

    "Old soldiers never die -- they get young soldiers killed." -- Bill Maher

    by Cali Scribe on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:08:08 AM PDT

    •  "Deep breath and don't worry" is, respectfully (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eugene, slinkerwink, DarkRhyme, dotalbon

      a condescending statement.  I know you don't intend it that way, and I do hear what you're saying and respect your perspective.  But phrases like that are thrown around too often without considering what is being said and how it discourages potentially constructive criticism.

      There are reasons for worry.  And to say it's time for a change in strategy and tactics is NOT the same as running around and panicking mindlessly.  Slinkerwink and others have been addressing this issue thoughtfully and with evidence.  

      By the way, best to you and your spouse, I'm sure you'll both come out victorious.

      Strategy '08: Obama vs. the other guy

      by dansac on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:10:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So worry all you want but knock of negativity (5+ / 0-)

        Well if you folks want to be republican and start dumbing down, and running negative take all the pages from their books.  0, none, NO criticism of Obama then.  You never ever see Republicans criticize their candidate even when they are wrong, and you certainly don't have their so called supporters writing tome after tome about how they are crushing the constitution etc.  So you want to get elected like Republicans then do it all, and quash anybody who actually dissents.

        Justice for Lavena Johnson http://www.colorofchange.org/lavena/?id=2220-540750

        by Adept2u on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:14:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Have you been following the news? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eugene

          It's been nothing but Republicans worrying in public left, right, and center.  

          Who said we want to get elected like Republicans?  We want to get elected, period.

          Strategy '08: Obama vs. the other guy

          by dansac on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:15:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The crux of this diary is attack, and debrain (7+ / 0-)

            and the crux of alot of Kossacks is concern, both are ill founded, and the republican way to get elected as if our governance is turned into a marketing campaign.  

            Obama is doing something different, and no less than the fate of our nation depends on his success.  He is going the way that uses thoughts and ideas as opposed to jingoism and attack.  If America be so stupid as to continue down this track we will get what we deserve.  Empires fall all the time.

            Justice for Lavena Johnson http://www.colorofchange.org/lavena/?id=2220-540750

            by Adept2u on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:22:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for your good wishes (0+ / 0-)

        I'm usually the one who's ten steps ahead of where we are -- I'm trying hard to emulate his attitude this time around. Had the trunk scan on Thursday, and if we don't hear from his doctor till the followup in early September, that's a good sign.

        "Old soldiers never die -- they get young soldiers killed." -- Bill Maher

        by Cali Scribe on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:36:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama won the primary race on strategy (9+ / 0-)

    And I expect that he will run the GE the same way.  He only attacked Clinton as much as he had to (SC debate).  Once he had the numbers, there was no gain for him to do so.  While the general polls remain close, the state-by-state map is still leaning far far over into Obama's corner. His ground game is excellent, remember. He will have every state in play and will know the numbers long before the last vote.

    I don't doubt that he is in this to win it, even if he is not out to roll with McCain in the mud. His game is strategy, slugging.

  •  No one is being an "ostrich" but we (12+ / 0-)

    freaked out about FISA, and Obama's candidacy is still standing and still strong. There is NO point in freaking out right now about some polls that won't even be relevant in 3 weeks. You're tired of people being "ostriches"? Well I'm sick of all of the chicken littles, maybe we should all take a lesson from our candidate and CALM DOWN.

    Whatever just happened means Obama is DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

    by Muzikal203 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:19:14 AM PDT

  •  Obama Won The Debate (6+ / 0-)

    Obama won the debate because he proved that he is a christian, and he came off as being not a risky candidate.  Also, old man McBush came off as the celeberity and Obama was more like a real person.  Also, Obama came off as caring about real people, and old man McBush came off as being for the rich when he answered that you are not rich until you make $5 million dollars.  LOL.  Old man McBush doesn't have a clue what real americans face when they have to live paycheck to paycheck.  I hope the Obama campaign realize what a gem that have in old man McBushes statement.

  •  Expecting Barack Obama to change who he is (16+ / 0-)

    and not be truthful to himself will make him into a John McCain type of politician.

    Obama went into this venue knowing what he was doing, and did a fine job. McCain damaged himself by spouting extremist viewpoints which may endear him to his 'base' but will alienate the moderates needed for him to win.

    "there are a group of voters who won’t make up their mind about a candidate" - oh yes, they will. When they slick absolutist extremism like they heard from John McCain about abortion, the SCOTUS, even on definitions of good and evil and what it is to be rich in America, they'll make up their minds. To vote for someone else.

    Obama is not going to become a shoot-from-the-hip rapid-fire cut and dry action hero, no matter what we think he should become.

    McCain just flushed his own campaign by his appearance at the FBF on Aug 16th, 2008.

    by shpilk on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:23:34 AM PDT

    •  EXACTLY! (6+ / 0-)

      And I don't WANT him to become one. I like thinking someone is being honest with me instead of feeding me prepared applause lines.

      Whatever just happened means Obama is DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!

      by Muzikal203 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:28:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  when they _hear_ slick absolutist (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, rockhound

      .. that is ..

      left out the word hear ..

      Obama isn't going to change; even though I'd like him to find another way to pause, and not use 'um' or 'ah'. It's people like McCain and Bush who appear so sure of themselves and have the answers to everything that have brought us to where we are today.

      McCain just flushed his own campaign by his appearance at the FBF on Aug 16th, 2008.

      by shpilk on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:30:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, MoreEvolution

      Obama knew what he was getting into and what audience was at the forum.

      He needed to get the Muslim tag off his back and hopefully he did (though Rush and Bill O will do all they can to claim otherwise).

      I was so appalled at this so called Christian crowd who clapped at all of McCain's militaristic talk.

      Now that is scary folks, very scary.....

      -6.13 -4.4 Where are you? Take the Test!!!

      by MarciaJ720 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:33:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Whatever (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, ggwoman55

      I want Obama back.

      I want the Obama who showed himself to be a transformational politician back in the first two months of the primaries. I want the Obama who wowed people with the race speech. I want the Obama who refused to cave to the Hillary-McCain gas tax holiday pander and as a result nearly won Indiana.

      That's really what the problem is here. We made Obama the nominee and suddenly he's become John Kerry.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day
      Neither is California High Speed Rail

      by eugene on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:33:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What is the source of your poll data? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nicolemm

    I've seen other polls giving much better numbers in favor of Obama on the issues.
    You can't cherry pick a bad poll and not cite the pollster and provide a link.

  •  Kossacks don't NEED to do a blessed thing. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rockhound, Muzikal203, Gramarye

    Tell me why YOU think it's important. I decide what I need to do.

    As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

    by ticket punch on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:25:59 AM PDT

  •  I heard somewhere (4+ / 0-)

    that John McCain was a POW.  Is that true?

    My tires are properly inflated, my engine is properly tuned.

    by DarkRhyme on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:28:51 AM PDT

  •  low information voters... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, Lefty Coaster

    may not know (and most likely don't care) that the U.S. supported the brutal Shah of Iran until the 1979 Islamic revolution.

    What they do know is:  Freedom Fries are must tastier than French Fries.

    Luv the diary.. and right on.

    Want to see Net Neutrality enshrined in law?  Then a Democrat needs to author a bill that accomplishes such and, rather than giving it some truthful technical sounding name, how about: "American's Are Patriotic Act".  

    Anyone who votes against it can be branded anti-American and asked the rhetorical question "When did you start hating American patriots?"

    This comment may be snark.. but sadly, the tactic actually works.  Patriot Act, anyone?  Clear Skies?  No Child Left Behind?

    The other day I yelled to a friend, "Look! A Unicorn!", to which the Unicorn gave reply: "That's nothing. I saw an undecided centrist voter last year."

    by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:29:35 AM PDT

  •  Why McCain actually lost last night: (14+ / 0-)

    Question: Define rich.

    McCain: "So I think if you’re just talking about income, how about $5 million"

    Also, "This presidency will have pro-life policies. That is my commitment."

    Say what you want about nuance, but the reality is everything about this forum will be lost in the coming conventions, but those two sound-bytes will live on.  

    By the way, it is exactly because more Americans are paying a great deal of attention to this election that nuance can be more effective this cycle.  

    Also, all of this worrying about strategy is filled with cable news tunnel vision.  The Obama strategy is designed around expanding the electorate through new voter registration, which is suppressed when the candidate gets too negative.  

    One for the doctor who cures disease; and one for the lorax who fights for the trees. Fitz's Blog

    by fitz2 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:29:52 AM PDT

  •  If you missed the forum, I have it (9+ / 0-)

    here.

    I will state this, Obama gave a conversation and McCain a stump speech.  The media loves sound bites and that is what McCain gave.  Also, take into consideration that this is a Republican crowd at Saddleback.

    Other than that, Team Obama have work to do.

    Finally, when the debates start, what we saw last night will not be on the stage and both candidates must answer the questions, period.  If McCain is allowed to do what he did last night during the debates it will be an issue for the Democrats in November.

    These debates are important, as the 1960 debates for Kennedy.  Obama is new, McCain is not.  So, the country will be paying very close attention.  Luckily last night they were NOT (the country) and the Olympics is on.  So, this will not have any major impact.

  •  Anybody else tired (6+ / 0-)

    of Obama being told what he should do by Clinton supporters?

  •  Nuance (9+ / 0-)

    I note that you use this word, as did icebergslim in her diary last night. I also noted this term used by Dana Bash and other CNN bobbleheads in discussing the forum and Obama's performance. I also remember those bobbleheads using the same term when discussing Kerry in '04. It is a talking point term, a code term for elitist, effete. Why are you guys, usually hard core Obama supporters, using it?

    My scorpi sense is tingling and not in a good way.

    Nothing is ever broken that can't be fixed if enough people are committed ~ Bill Moyers

    by cosmic debris on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:34:16 AM PDT

  •  The diarist's sentiments (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eugene, slinkerwink, FMArouet, rapcetera

    are shared by those in the know:

    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    "I particularly hope he strengthens his economic message — even Senator Obama can speak more clearly and specifically about the kitchen-table, bread-and-butter issues like high energy costs," said Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio. "It’s fine to tell people about hope and change, but you have to have plenty of concrete, pragmatic ideas that bring hope and change to life."

    Or, in the blunter words of Gov. Phil Bredesen, Democrat of Tennessee: "Instead of giving big speeches at big stadiums, he needs to give straight-up 10-word answers to people at Wal-Mart about how he would improve their lives."

    Pithy and blunt wins elections.  Always has, always will.

    My tires are properly inflated, my engine is properly tuned.

    by DarkRhyme on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:40:15 AM PDT

  •  Ratings? (8+ / 0-)

    Anyone have any ratings for the Saddleback Forum? We were glued to the Olympics, and I was never tempted to tune into the "Jesus pissing contest."  

    I hate that the Saddleback Forum even existed. Religion in politics really bothers me. I would love for candidate to say "None of your business" when asked about their faith, even though I know that it will never happen and it would hasten their defeat. Sad.      

  •  I think we're giving the entire forum more credit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alou73, wishingwell

    than its due.  Can we take a step back here for a moment and remember that this was an evangelical-sponsored "all about faith" forum again...we've already had one...and that it is not representative of the entire country's mindset?

    To categorize the people who ran this or who would be interested in the answers to these questions as "mainstream America" is a fallacy, even if the MSM insists on representing us as a country of holy-rollers selling our votes to snake-oil salesmen.

    If we keep saying, "Yes, that's us alright," instead of saying "Who gives a crap about what an esoteric religious group wants to hear" we are helping them.  

  •  the thing that unnerves me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eugene, slinkerwink, LEP

    is that Obama is wobbling on positions.

    I read that he has "modified" his position on Social Security. Instead of changing his position to be closer to McCain's he needs to sell his own position.

    This makes McCain look right. That is something no campaign can afford.

    The advice by slinkerwink here is good - connect emotionally, I'd say intuitively, and if the campaign can't listen to a bit of advice then they have a problem. and also, come up with great pitches for the directions you believe the country should go - don't wobble!

    In fact a better approach would be to double down and strengthen your original position if your believe it is right.

    the future begins

    by zozie on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:43:14 AM PDT

  •  What we need is: A progressivism forum to (3+ / 0-)

    counter the right wing that is given the same air-time to counter-balance the impression that these people represent America.

    •  Agreed, and pretty hardcore on vision... (0+ / 0-)

      ... vision for a functioning economy that goes back to doing FDR's work of raising ALL boats that created a massive middleclass.

      Vision of a government that actually works, regulates and overseas things that NEED oversight, that provide help to those who needed it desperately.

      Vision to reach energy independence and CO2 minimized.

      Etc, etc. Man on Mars, fight world poverty, help nations achieve population control, rationalize immigration,repair the damage done by 30 years of republican lawlessness and thievery.

      Vision to ring the national debt out of the filthy rich's necks and pay it off.

      Etc, etc.

      A progressive forum would be hilarious, and worth it just to see McShithead squirm to try and avoid appearing at it. Think of the propaganda fun we could have cajoling him into facing Obama there.

  •  Maybe I didn't get it (9+ / 0-)

    I watched the forum, missing only a few things to tend to family matters.  I admit I am a strong Obama supporter, so I watched for gaffes by McShame. But I didn't see "concise answers" from McC. I saw a stump speech; he often never answered questions, but instead told a story that was suppose to illustrate something about the question, but to me just diverted attention to the fact he was not answering the question.  I also felt he had these stories all set up, and gave the stories whether they fit perfectly into the conversation or not.  It seemed as if he had a bunch of set responses and used them whether they fit or not.  On the other hand I thought Obama was thoughtful, and gave the interviewer the respect of taking his questions seriously, and answering the question, not giving a set response, but a genuine response. I hope the many naysayers here are wrong.  I hope that many "on the fencers" saw what I saw and were able to see the phoniness of McC and the genuiness of Obama. I think alot of people here are dismissive of the average American and shows their  elitism. Not that there aren't some people who will only see soundbites, but I think you overestimate that percentage, and underestimate the number of thoughtful voters who are still deciding. IMHO.

  •  I was nauseated and sick after watching (3+ / 0-)

    last night.  I saw that the audience (polite and serious through Obama's talk and wildly enthusiastic during McCain's) responded to militarism, certainty, right wing appeals, wedge issues, drill here drill now, lies by McCain, and populist-sounding appeals by a wealthy man--in other words--George W. Bush all over again.

    Obama cannot win by making himself into another George W. Bush. It would help if he told more stories--he certainly has them--that reflect his viewpoint.  But he and his campaign also need to define McCain (see Frank Rich today).  The press is carefully stepping around the real McCain.  Obama's campaign needs to DEFINE him.  Easier done than changing one's intrinsic speaking style.

    •  the speaking style does have to be changed (0+ / 0-)

      and the definition of the other candidate has to be better, because voters vote emotionally, not logically.

      •  I never thought I'd see this... (0+ / 0-)

        Of all of the political candidates I've observed in my life, none of them has had the oratorical skill that Barack Obama displays.  He needs to change his speaking style....?  I can get on board with the suggestion that he simplify his responses to to questions and crystalize his position statements.  Frankly that's always a good goal, for both writing and speaking.  However, I've got nothing but admiration for Obama's public speaking skills. I'm glad he's probably confident enough to ignore any suggestion that he change his style.

        "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Ghandi

        by Triscula on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 01:33:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama must have been horrible last night (8+ / 0-)

    Otherwise, I'm having a hard time understanding the alarm about this forum.

    Having no organized "faith" myself, I didn't even tune into the show but for about 5 minutes while McCain was on, so I have no opinion on Obama's performance or McCain. Except, I note that this is not Obama's audience and even McCain lacks entire support from this crowd as well. I hope McCain talks more about religion and being prolife and all that stuff.

    Frankly, from my viewpoint, I find a "Faith Forum" at best a necessary evil. I don't think we should be mixing politics and religion, sorry about that. Don't mean to be offensive. I've long since gotten over finding "faith" as an issue offensive though I'll never stop shaking my head over it.

    Anyway, the best I can come up with is that Obama needs to deal with his ums/ahhs issues. That's about it.

    I read a little about the forum when it was publicized and it never occurred to me that Obama would do any better than McCain with the audience.

    NetrootNews coming soon!

    by ksh01 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:50:32 AM PDT

    •  Obama did okay with the audience... (11+ / 0-)

      he seemed honest and sincere and the crowd seemed to honestly appreciate it.  And honestly that's all he really needed to do.  They will never agree with him on the abortion issue, but they will come out of it with an appreciation that he came and actually listened to their concerns.  It might not be something that seems important, but it is.

    •  I Agree (7+ / 0-)

      Look at it this way.  Obama did not go there intending to win over any significant number of Evangelical voters.  He new that was not going to happen.  He simply wanted to get his positions out there on faith and faith-based topics.  I thought he was targeting not the evangelicals, but the larger quasi-religious / quasi-secular crowd that tuned in.  These are the catholics, protestines, and other christians who are somewhat religious, but do not live lives that revolve around their faith (the casual church-goers).  I think his responses played well with this crowd who do not choose a candidate on a strict pro/anti abortion litmus test.  By the same token, Mccain's black and white answers on a number of questions such as defeating all evil regardless of cost in lives, probably played badly with this crowd and may have even frightened some as it did us.  Even if Obama did nothing else but to inform some voters he is a christian, it was a positive.

      "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

      by Doctor Who on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:43:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  just analyze (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, ravenwind, MoreEvolution

    the answer about rich.  Some of the richest people I know are the unhappiest.  The average american doesn't know any rich people.  They know of them, but they don't know them.  And talk to anybody making $35k a year about money doesn't buy happiness, and they will answer, I'd like to try being miserable with a million dollars or some such.  People are stressed and unhappy over money, their kids get into trouble, they have substance abuse problems, and they can't cushion themselves from any of the effects of those problems, buy care, pay the bills for neccesities, etc. and they know if their kid gets on crack they go to jail and the rich go to treatment.  Then the crack about $5 million even as a joke is going to fall flat.

    His answers on abortion are going to open the eyes of some more people. McCain maybe solidified his base.  Not one of McCain's answers would attract the democratic base.

    The fight is for the independents.  That's the only analysis that is important.  Who answered questions that would more attract people with out strong party affiliations.  Are independents generally the low information voter who looks flip answers.

    Are they more likely to know Iraq costs $10 billion  month, so the $3 million bear research dodge not only doesn't play, its insulting?

    •  I bet if you polled.... (0+ / 0-)

      ...people watching the rich clip for the full five minutes overall people would come out with a favorable impression of John McCain.   Make no mistake about it  McCain is the next Bush but don't underestimate what he does in debates.  You can have the truth and correct information on your side but if you fail to connect with the voters you'll have no chance in the fall

      •  he failed (0+ / 0-)

        because right now there are lots of people worried about having a house, food and a job for their families.  They are not feeling rich in any of the definitions of rich he gave.  

        I'm telling you, its racists, the very rich and the far right religious types who will never accept a choice position. Everybody else is talking how to survive on a lot less, gardens, cutting back on gas, battening down the hatches.

        They're a lot more cynical than even four years ago.  John McCain's "i'm not for starting class warfare, I don't want to redistribute wealth" won't play to people who are waking up to the fact that they are under siege in this economy and the wealth has skewed upwards significantly already.  

        The real tipping point I keep seeing down here is race.  People know the score, they just can't swallow Obama being black.  The question is are they enough for McCain to win.

    •  The "rich" answer was just fine.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llbear

      ...he said rich people are unhappy. Other people LOVE IT when rich people are unhappy and they are heartened to hear that money doesn't bring happiness (it's what religion has taught them for years). So he hit a religious theme (you must be happy in your soul -- money won't bring happiness) AND a popular theme (we non-rich are happier than rich people!). The guy was good.

      Please don't tell me you feel sorry for Ben. Ben is a well cared for dalmatian and has not been harmed by my political views.

      by Bensdad on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:25:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Give it a rest. (4+ / 0-)

        Hillary lost.
        I know you have a hard time getting over it - but your continual b.s. about how horrible Obama is are getting old.
        And you continual praise of McCain, how great he is as a candidate, how he won last night, how Obama is toast, are idiotic.
        t Obama will get slaughtered in the debates and lose in a landslide are Puma material.

        he is a distracted and diffident politician who has benefited from a fantastic political machine. He will get slaughtered in the debates and he will not win this election.

        What a shame you were not talking about McCain but about Obama.
        Sad.

        "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

        by Christin on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:40:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Classic non-response.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          callmecassandra

          ...instead of responding to my comment, you criticize me for having supported Hillary Clinton. This is just the sort of "burying your head in the sand" that the diarist is talking about. Instead of being objective about the presumptive Democratic nominee, you attack me for having supported someone else.

          I support Obama, but I will not ignore what is becoming obvious: he is a weak candidate who is abysmal in debates and who has more baggage than one man should have to carry.

          I was very disappointed in his performance yesterday, as was the diarist and scores of commentors above. Your extreme position ("You are a bad person because you supported 'The Clintons'") is becoming increasing threadbare and unpopular.

          And, I must add, everytime you accuse someone of being a "Party United My Ass" you become a PUMA because you deepen the rift between those who voted for Obama in the primary and the 18 million who did not. That rift hurts the Democratic nominee. Silly.

          Please don't tell me you feel sorry for Ben. Ben is a well cared for dalmatian and has not been harmed by my political views.

          by Bensdad on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:09:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  nope. (0+ / 0-)

            Your repeated nonsense that Obama will get slaughtered in the debates.
            That he will lose this election.
            That you are disappointed in him.
            That McCain is doing a great job.
            That McCain is a better job.
            That McCain is winning.
            That Obama is losing.
            That Hillary should have won.
            Tells me all I need to know about you.

            "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

            by Christin on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:37:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Never said... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              callmecassandra

              ...Hillary should have won. I supported her, but the winner...wins and Obama should be congratulated for that.

              McCain is horrid, but his marketing team is doing a great job and the candidate himself did a great job yesterday. That's a precursor to the debates.

              I am not sure McCain is winning, as this is a state by state analysis. I think we are still ahead.

              Your personal attacks on me (more importannt to you to attack and to scorn me than to examine my ideas) tells me all I need to know about you: Partisan, incapable of seeing the point of view of another person, incapable of understanding or emphathisizing with the very small percentage of people who will swing this election and willing to alienate a fellow Democrat because he once supported Clinton. I should add childish.

              Please don't tell me you feel sorry for Ben. Ben is a well cared for dalmatian and has not been harmed by my political views.

              by Bensdad on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:44:14 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your ugly divisive comments. (0+ / 0-)

                About Obama.
                About Michele.
                About John Edwards.
                Speak for themselves.
                You're a very small, sad man to say such awful things.
                I shake my head in bewilderment that you think you are worth debating.
                You are not.
                Sorry - but I have nothing to say you further.
                Your comment about Michele clinched it for me.
                So respond - but you will now be debating yourself.

                He is not making the sale. He could have prepared better and he is going to need to spend a LOT of money to pull out of this. He is going to get smashed in the debates. McCain=succinct, popular answers; Obama=prolix "what did he say?" answers.

                Michelle has already introduced herself.... (1+ / 0-)
                ...and America doesn't want to see anymore. Any campaign strategist would say keep her the hell out of it.

                Edwards is pukey, a little small and uncute and always had a hideous soul that peeked through more often than we were willing to admit. Being craven is really unattractive.

                Even the debates won't save Obama. Here's why:
                He is HORRIBLE in debates. Clinton smashed him.
                Kerry won the debates in my estimation, but it did nothing. Nothing for him.

                "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

                by Christin on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:19:57 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes each of them..... (0+ / 0-)

                  ..has failed us. Edwards. Ha! Michelle -- she has not been well received and she has been unable to combat perceptions. And Obama was horrible yesterday. A diary on the recommended list agrees. The sooner we face facts, the sooner we can fix it.

                  Please don't tell me you feel sorry for Ben. Ben is a well cared for dalmatian and has not been harmed by my political views.

                  by Bensdad on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:51:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  which is also (0+ / 0-)

        why they connect emotionally to taxing the rich, not point in not sharing more of the misery.  McCain's attempt to diffuse it with they are not happy, let them keep their money, we'll stop spending three million on bears and the budget will be balanced.  Don't think about wars and $10 billion a month.  The fodder is there.  

        The pieces will be rewoven in a new series of ads.  John McCain says spending in the last eight years has been out of control.  John McCain supports the war in Iraq that costs $10 billion a month.  But John McCain thinks that if we didn't spend three million annually on scientific research, it would balance our budget.  (John McCain saying he doesn't understand the economy clip)  Not only does John McCain not understand the economy, he thinks $3million is more than $10 billion, and you're not rich til you make $5million a year.  Would you let John McCain balance your family budget?

  •  Am I the only one who loved his performance? (10+ / 0-)

    I thought he was spot on in all his answers. As far as I'm concerned, he needs to change nothing.

    •  No (8+ / 0-)

      I thought he was great, and I was really pleasantly surprised by the crowd's enthusiasm while he spoke. I also thought McCain did fine, albeit in a simplistic, bombastic way, and he also connected very well with the crowd. The bottom line for me was that this was by nature a Republican event at which the Democrat exceeded expectations. When I reversed the scenario in my head -- say, imagining McCain at a forum sponsored by NOW -- I think it put Obama's performance last night in the proper context, and it makes the relative success of the performance even more clear. Again, just MHO, but I was really pleased.

      Liberal parenting funnies at The Hausfrau Blog

      by jamfan on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:04:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I loved Obama's comment the first time (4+ / 0-)

        he visited Saddleback church, with Sen. Brownback, after both had gone to the NAACP, where Brownback was poorly received.

        Brownback said, "welcome to my house" and Obama responded, "With all due respect, but it's my house too."

      •  True enough, this isn't his audience, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jamfan

        and he got quite a bit of support. It's like McCain
        going to the NAACP and getting very little applause. But he tried. As did Obama last night. He may have gotten a few votes there, for confronting evil in our society as well as the world, rather than saying he would "destroy it" (shades of nuclear sugar plums danced in my head when McBush said that).

    •  You are in a tiny...... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink

      ...minority. I wish I could give you a hopefuller response.

      Please don't tell me you feel sorry for Ben. Ben is a well cared for dalmatian and has not been harmed by my political views.

      by Bensdad on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:26:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You are exactly right. Obama can't sit back, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, boofdah

    McCain is selling the people nonsensical crap, but it make you feel good and strong.  Feel good American propaganda, its the same crap the Chinese and the Russians sell their own people.

    McCain is a strong, experienced, and no nonsense guy.  A guy America needs right now.  

    That is what they are selling.  It is a not real!  But the media will eat it up, and help sell it to the people too.  It is up to Obama to break the McCain myth.  If Obama doesn't, Obama loses!

  •  Dems like battered women BELIEVE the words. (12+ / 2-)

    I swear, I am sick and tired of democrats being "ashamed" of their positions and acting like it when they are being interviewed by the right. We know what they think of our positions, we know they will call us liberal pots smoking naive idiots. This is what they do. So take it on the chin and speak your truth. When you hedge, you reinforce shame.

    THe action urge that goes with shame is "to hide".

    When we HIDE our opinions or hedge on them we are giving a big picture visual that we agree with the shame.

    It has to stop. We cannot fear their perspective but speak directly to it.

    The greatest gift you can contribute to the goal of world peace is to heal.

    by wavpeac on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:54:55 AM PDT

  •  I agree with Frank Rich... (11+ / 0-)

    on this one.

    Obama has also been defeated by racism (again). He can’t connect and "close the deal" with ordinary Americans too doltish to comprehend a multicultural biography that includes what Cokie Roberts of ABC News has damned as the "foreign, exotic place" of Hawaii. As The Economist sums up the received wisdom, "lunch-pail Ohio Democrats" find Obama’s ideas of change "airy-fairy" and are all asking, "Who on earth is this guy?"

    It seems almost churlish to look at some actual facts. No presidential candidate was breaking the 50 percent mark in mid-August polls in 2004 or 2000. Obama’s average lead of three to four points is marginally larger than both John Kerry’s and Al Gore’s leads then (each was winning by one point in Gallup surveys). Obama is also ahead of Ronald Reagan in mid-August 1980 (40 percent to Jimmy Carter’s 46). At Pollster.com, which aggregates polls and gauges the electoral count, Obama as of Friday stood at 284 electoral votes, McCain at 169. That means McCain could win all 85 electoral votes in current toss-up states and still lose the election.

    At this point in the election Obama is actually doing much better than previous competitors who were in his position in previous competetion.  It's not the greatest thing on earth but its not the end of the world either.  It's just kinda blah, at a blah time, and a blah place.  lol

    •  The Democratic nominee should be at 75% now. (0+ / 0-)
      * War bankrupted us. * War got us nothing. * We build Iraqi infrastructure, they tear it down. * Baghdad is safer than New Orleans and is receiving more attention. * People getting shoved out of their houses due to lack of regulations and oversight. * Joblessness up. * Infrastructure a wreck.

      This should be a cakewalk. You and I could do better than Obama.

      Please don't tell me you feel sorry for Ben. Ben is a well cared for dalmatian and has not been harmed by my political views.

      by Bensdad on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:28:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that view doesn't get a view of the whole (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, LA Person

        story.  McCain huge advantage in this year is he's not percieved as generic Republican nor is he really seen as someone tied up in the Bush crap for the last four years.  He's seen as the 2000 version of himself, so that blowback doesn't hit him as much as it would an average Republican.  He's seen as moderate, which was the other part of Frank Rich's article in why he is so close to Obama.

        He's the Maverick.  It's a persona he's nutured for eight years.  That's all he has.

        And if you think you can do better than Obama then enter into politics, have your life examined with a fine tooth comb, have ever misspeak, stutter, stammer, and speech impediment you have brought up.  Give a speech while twenty thousand people critize you being shrill, naunced, stupid, or whatever criticism someone has of you that day while you are running on two hours of sleep and you've been going nonstop for two years.  

        That's a life of a presidential candidate.  I know that I couldn't do it without inflicting serious harm.  I damn sure know that Obama is handling all of this bullshit better than I would have.  And he is probably doing better against McCain than either of us would be doing right now.

      •  75 pct? What ? With right wing hate radio (0+ / 0-)

        the media gushing over McCain, and right wing religious folks only voting on abortion and gay marriage....

        I do not think any candidate for President is going to be polling at 75 pct in this divisive climate.

        The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

        by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:06:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why do we need to wake up? (11+ / 0-)

    Kossack's aren't running anyone's campaign.

    Obama is cool and you want him to be hot.

    Which past Presidents were able to emotionally connect to individual voters?

    Many thought Bill Clinton could feel their pain, but I felt I was being manipulated.

    I find Obama to be inspiring, and he comes across as genuine and likeable. You want him to become someone else in the next couple of months?

    It's the fascism, stupid!

    by lastman on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 07:58:53 AM PDT

  •  I'm sick of armchair generals (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dounia, itskevin, ArcXIX, ticket punch, Matt Z

    Go run for president if you're so good at it!

  •  BO enters the lion's den (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nicolemm, GN1927, xxdr zombiexx

    and doesn't pander. McCain will throw these people under the bus eventually.

  •  They don't vote logically. They vote emotionally. (3+ / 0-)

    This explains why progress eludes us in the cannabis reform movement and why I write in the irritating manner than I do.

    The issues aren't based on logic and facts are essentially worthless.

  •  Diary's assumptions are wrong. (11+ / 0-)
    1. It is not "trending McCain's way" as poll trends at RealClearPolitics.com and Pollster.comshow. It has been a fairly static race to date with Obama ahead by about 4% nationally and 70 votes electorally.
    1. We saw the same "wake up" calls during the Obama-Clinton contest and the Obama strategy from beginning to end worked. They were already "awake".
    1. Obama's success has been in sticking with his strategy and campaign themes and not panicking. McCain has changed managers three times leading to a muddled, confused campaign and a muddled and confused McCain. Remember the head to head comparison the night Obama clinched the Democratic nomination and McCain decided he wasn't going to let Obama have the night to himself. McCain's performance was a disaster.

    I do understand the diarist's concern about too much nuance in Obama's statements.  Which gets back to Ploulffes statement. Most voters don't know Obama and they want to know where he stands on issues but they also want to know that he makes a stand on issues.  

    Obama needs to differentiate between the campaign and governing. Campaign requires making black and white positions while governing requires deciding what shade of gray we actually go with.

    Specific to the "Faith forum", that was a can't lose for Obama. He's deep in McCain's base picking up votes. It was also a forum that lent itself to more than the sound bite answers. For the "faith" voters Obama is going to pick up, those who give their faith some thought, Obama did well. He was authentic and thoughtful. These voters would come away knowing he was a guy who really did share in having religious faith and they could vote for him.

    McCain might have appealed to the dogmatic religiosity types but Obama was never getting those votes and McCain's appeal to them lost him independents and moderates. Playing back McCain's formulaic answers will hurt McCain in the general election.

  •  So... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, MoreEvolution

    you want him to hire Karl Rove...or better yet Mark Penn?

    The campaign did what it had to do yesterday.  John Mccain sounded like George Bush- more than I ever expected.  

    He will be haunted by some of the things he said yesterday.

  •  I disagree with this diary. (14+ / 0-)

    As was mentioned in one of the many columns I read this morning, the fact that Barack was even at this forum makes him the winner. It wasn't long ago (like, four years, maybe) that the Born Again Christian vote was a sure thing for the Republicans. Democrats need not apply.

    Obama and his strategists won the primary that was Clinton's to lose by sticking to the numbers, the rules and how to use them to their advantage. Their doing this now.

    We've been so traumatized by thugs, from Reagan to Rove that we pee our pants.

    The attack dog mentality is theirmentality.

    As Audre Lorde said:"The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house."

  •  Expectations (3+ / 0-)

    If you agree with me that we need to be more realistic and acknowledge that Obama's campaign needs to rethink their media strategy, (which should be Keep It Simple, Silly), please feel free to recommend this diary.

    It's time to wake up, and go on offense, offense, offense, not defense.

    Sorry, but that's not going to happen. That's not how Obama won the primaries, and it's not going to be how they win the election. That's just not the way Obama plays the game. Part of the package is accepting his approach to campaigning.

      •  I can almost see you (4+ / 0-)

        crossing your arms and turning your back.

        http://www.amazon.com/Underwater-Lengths-Single-Benjamin-Grossberg/dp/0912592583

        by claytonben on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:22:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  McCain is NOT Clinton (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink, eXtina
          GE voters are not all Democrats.

          The primary showed some of Obama's weaknesses(eg. ex temp speaking), which he's had months to work on.  There will be three debates and this town hall was a  preview to those.  Sound bites!  No ums or ahs or other verbal debris.

          If Obama plays the GE like he played the primaries, he'll lose.  The GOP will mop the floor with him.  Obama's major strength is his image.  The GOP's specialty is tearing down images and creating new and unflattering ones.  If image is all Obama has, he's in trouble.

          Proud member of the Cult of Issues and Substance!

          by Fabian on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:35:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  LOL, you have a very high (4+ / 0-)

        opinion of your own opinion, don't you?  

        No day but today--Obama '08

        by someotherguy86 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:32:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think this is the point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell

        at which your excellent observation of necessary dynamics derails.

        His win is not chiseled in stone, neither is his loss.

        Your diary NAILS what I will call "necessary dynamics to address" (aka "the Pander Factor"), but it's not the end-all even if they botch it - there are many other aspects to this effort.

        I think your anxieties, while well-founded, distort the overall importance of these dynamics and draw you off-message.

        I am not saying "stop focusing on this" in the least. I am saying "don't lose sleep or make yourself sick over it".

        You digress from your message (and clearly I agree with your message) when you let your anxiety take over.

        Your key points are, I think, unassailable.

      •  slinkerwink (8+ / 0-)

        So if he doesn't do exactly what you say, he'll lose?  That's a bit much, don't you think?

        First of all, probably only 10 people watched the forum, since the vast majority of the entire world was watching the Olympics to see if Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal (and he did).  So I doubt that Obama's performance is going to affect anything.  He could have stood there and recited the LA phone book.

        Second, this is another in your series of "attack, attack, attack" diaries.  You seem to think that the voting public are only slightly smarter than my Pontiac Grand Am.  I disagree with that.  The turnout alone in the primaries indicates that people are more attuned than you think; otherwise, they won't vote at all. The bottom line is that voter interest is being replaced by the Olympics.  It will pick up again during the conventions.  And the Democratic convention will demonstrate Obama's strengths - he will give a speech (his strong point) that will be terrific.

        There's nothing wrong with nuance.  I do agree with you that short, declarative sentences are best, if they demonstrate his position.  That's public speaking 101.  I do think he may need more prep for the debates.  I am glad they haven't agreed to the town hall forums, where McCain probably has an advantage. But the bottom line is that this campaign has been incredibly well run.  Saying he will lose unless he does what you say is arrogant. Hell, I wouldn't say it about my advice, and I have been active in politics since I was a kid.  I have decades on you.

        So consider you don't know everything about campaign strategy.  Say what you think, by all means, but lose the attitude.

        We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

        by Mary Julia on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:57:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Definition Of Irony (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ye ye ye, fedupcitizen

    Team Obama needs to simplify its message down to images and slogans that can reach the low information swing voters

    This diary on the Daily Kos rec list this morning following the interview with Col. Andrew Bacevich on Bill Moyers Journal last night.

    <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

    by superscalar on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:10:59 AM PDT

  •  We have a great candidate... (7+ / 0-)

    ...with so many winning qualities that the people who support him do so with ferver. If the playing field was truely level, he would win in a landslide.

    We all know that there are people who will hate him, or mistrust him for all the reasons that we do support him. There is also a concerted effort to MAKE people fear or mistrust him. How much do we really want him to change?

    My sense is that if Obama changed his style to be more folksy to connect with low info voters THAT would become an issue ("he's pandering"), if he distilled his nuanced positions into sound bites, THAT would become an issue ("he's flip-flopping" or "he has no substance").

    Just because I'm not ready to yell "fire" yet or to call the campaign organizers names in public doesn't mean that I'm not paying attention or that I'm an "ostrich" (BTW, why be insulting to make your point?) - my answer to all this is to get out there and do the grassroots work. Write letters, talk to people, post to the media, raise money.

    It WILL be an uphill battle because the system is stacked against us at this point. What Obama is trying to do is not just win, but change the game.

    "The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time." - Terry Tempest Williams

    by your neighbor on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:11:21 AM PDT

    •  Who's asking him to be "folksy"? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink

      I haven't read any recommendations that Obama start clearing brush or hosting press BBQ's.

      It's a perfectly valid point that a Presidential candidate is ALWAYS running for President, and that nuanced arguments fly over the head of simple-minded voters who are looking for reassurance and simple memes.

      If you want to argue that point, go ahead.  But don't mis-characterize the arguments of people you disagree with.  

       

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." (Frederick Douglass, 1857)

      by dotalbon on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:28:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't get where you're coming from at all. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lrhoke, amk for obama, filegirl

    So what should we do?

    PANIC???

    AAAAUUUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

    There.

    Feel better?

  •  NO Fighting = ALL Fascist Meme's True ?? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, boofdah
    1. Most people are not or were not in the top 10 or 5% academically ...

    (uh ... do the math ... !! 90% were NOT in the top 10% ...!!!!)

    1. lots and lots and lots of the money and policy people of the Democratic Party are and were --- that is how they got to me professionals and managers !!!
    1. you don't win in the top 10% by bullying and fighting, you win my being smarter & getting better grades and writing better papers and getting more prestigous grad school admissions and internships and jobs ...
    1. Forget the commies, the chardonnay, the card carry member of the ACLU stuff, the radicchio, the volvos, the lattes, the wind surfing, the elitist tag ...

    that is ALL smoke screen for a REAL BASIC GUT LEVEL FACT

    - People who do NOT fight lies,

    - People who do NOT fight FUCKING LIES,

    (ha ha ha ... I LIED AND SHOVED IT IN YOUR FACE AND YOU FUCKING WHIMPERED )

    - People who do NOT fight stealing,

    - People who do NOT fight cheating,

    (HA HA HA ... WE STOLE THE ELECTION AND YOU FUCKING SNIVELED)

    - People who do NOT fight us,

    - People who do NOT fight for themselves,

    => REAL BASIC GUT LEVEL FACT ...

    THOSE PEOPLE AIN'T GONNA FIGHT FOR YOU!!  

    (see the chardonnay, wind surfing, ivy league, volvo driving, pinko loving ... )

    NO or Limited or WEAK Fighting

    =

    All their fucking lies win

    (oh ... and

    we lose!!

    whimper, snivel, cry, sniffle ...)

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:14:10 AM PDT

    •  That comment is simply (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell

      an amalgamation of talking points.  Red meat fighting couldn't even win the candidate who employed it the Democratic primaries; there's no evidence that it would win the generals.  Obama's fighting for issues, not fighting people per se, but pointing out the inconsistencies of his opponent's stances and hammering away at the message that this election represents a chance to reverse policy course from 7 years of Bush.  

      •  Obama's not running against Bush (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        seabos84

        You think he is, and progressives think he is.  But making the leap from McCain to Bush may just be too complex for most voters.

        Most people see what's in front of them, period.  

        "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." (Frederick Douglass, 1857)

        by dotalbon on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:31:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  dotalbon (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell, ravenwind, amk for obama

          If I'm reading correctly, last night they debated in front of a group of right-wing evangelicals to whom McCain blatantly pandered.  Obama didn't manage to capture the crowd, but he reinforced key liberal policy stances such as maintaining reproductive choice and emphasized that there's room for commonality with respect to economic issues.

          I don't get the angst, though I do take your point about Bush not running.  But it's really not clear to me that McCain having to shore up his base articulating ideas not embraced by Independents or more right-leaning Dems is somehow a bad thing for us.

      •  We've NEVER Fought EFFECTIVELY, for 40 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        boofdah

        years anyway.

        We wimpy-fight fascists in ways that appeal to the bunch of people who always turn out and vote dem anyway. Sicne over 40% do NOT even vote in POTUS elections, isn't it kind of obvious that there are a lot of people who can't be bothered cuz they don't give a fuck cuz they don't see us doing much for them?

        BTW, I have a full time 50++ hour a week job,

        Cuz I need money to pay bills,

        Cuz I get money from my job,

        Cuz I don't have mummy and gramps paying for part or all of my life,

        THEREFORE

        I don't have time to figure out what the hell is EFFECTIVE fighting.

        BTW, that is why I try to give money and give time ONLY to people who are gonna fight for me.

        cuz, there are 435 U.S. Reps & 100 U.S. Senators & 1 President

        and 300 million of the rest of us,

        so I'm 1 of the 300 million teaching the kids, keeping the roads kind of running, keeping the hospitals kind of running, keeping the military kind of running, keeping the store shelves stocked ...

        cuz we can't all be Representative, Senator or President!

        Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

        by seabos84 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:50:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You inadvertantly just nailed it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boofdah, amk for obama

          You just nailed the key to truly and effectively fighting the fascist impulses of a minority of this country which has captured the rest of us because we can't beat them at their low-info game.

          So Obama's changed the game.  1 in 100 adults in this country have donated to the Democratic nominee's campaign.  When has that happened ever?  It hasn't.  Campaign offices flooded with volunteers, ordinary people hosting watch parties, you can't even go to a barbecue anymore without people giving out Obama buttons and stickers.  Millions of new voters tuning in, turning out, and becoming the change we want to see.

          You don't fight fascists by adopting their tactics of dumbing down the voting population with soundbites.

          •  but 1 in 100 ;) ... ummmmmm that is GREAT but (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            boofdah

            don't we need a lot more getting off their asses,

            AND

            NOT just in the neighborhoods like mine in Ballard, Seattle, which is upper income / huge registered / huge Dem / huge turnout?

            As a precinct committee officier, I tell people to go help OTHER parts of the state where there is little money, few registered voters, few Dems, few turning up ...

            I HOPE you're right. I've argued that there are 2 ways to beat these bastards ---

            1. beat them at their own game,
            1. change the rules to beat them at the new game.

            we sure as hell have't accomplished #1 in my 48 years.

            rmm.

            Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

            by seabos84 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:01:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  More ARE getting off their asses (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wishingwell, boofdah, amk for obama

              you don't get it.  Do you understand what it takes for someone making $20k, $30k a year to send $5 to a rich politician?

              And Obama's campaign is ALL ABOUT those voters in other parts of your state who formerly could not care less about politics because the sound-bite driven bullshit from both Dems and Republicans make it seem that there's no difference and their behavior as voters doesn't matter at all.  Obama cut through that and is showing people that our behavior does matter.  Behavior like calling Obama the unprincipled lying flipflopper when in fact it's the GOP's candidate as usual who is all of those things.  We can choose to leave the GOP and its stupid memes, its bandaids, and tire gauges behind and throw our full support behind the ONLY person in this country postured to help us get it back in shape, or we can evaluate his efforts from the destructive GOP lens.

              My money's on Obama.  And I have 2 million people keeping me company in that.

              •  partially agree. Our soundbites have sucked, and (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                slinkerwink, GN1927

                that is why they haven't worked to help people get off their asses.

                I know a few million is a lot more than what's happened before, AND

                I don't see our different tactics as mutually exclusive -

                we've been over reliant on weak ass crappy message, hoping that the dopes will recognize the fascists for what they are and get off their asses, for decades.

                Obama is inspiring people. that is true and not to be over looked.

                Obama, or any leader who wants to accomplish anything, can't do everything themselves, and in this politically schiz country it is much better to have other people doing the dirty work ---

                frankly, if I could get my bills paid doing politics, I would ONLY do dirty work - the people who don't like are gonna vote dem anyway. AND, I think a lot of people are turned off / lack inspiration CUZ we've never really really fought the dirty, lying, stealing, cheating fascist bastards 24*7

                but, again, I don't see our work as mutually exclusive - you can only do A or B -- we can do A and B.

                after the last 40 years of losing to these fascists bastards, candidates who only want to take the high road aren't worth my time.

                I've made over 51k ONCE in my life, I've lived most of my life in the bottom 50 or 25%, our household is a few checks away from being above 70% to being in the bottom 25% again, AND, it is hard freaking work getting outta the bottom and staying the fuck outta the bottom.

                I ain't working hard for people who ain't gonna fight these fucks.

                rmm.

                Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

                by seabos84 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:29:29 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Hey, don't think I don't understand your rage (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  seabos84, amk for obama

                  but you're smarter than most in that you have already connected the dots, understand the real problematic elements in this country, and want to see detructive politicians themselves destroyed.  Sorry seabos to tell you that we're in a country which made contests with something as disgusting as Bush close enough for the GOP to steal TWICE.

                  Soundbites aren't about to get us out of this mess.  Engaging more of this country will, and that's what Obama's doing, no one can argue that this isn't what he's doing.

  •  Comments on Chuck Todd's (9+ / 0-)

    FirstRead are far and away leaning with the thoughts that Obama won the evening.

    FWIW, slinkerwink, Todd agrees with you.  I, personally, do not.

    A ship adrift in a sea of rhetoric & recycled clichés.

    by Terre on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:16:07 AM PDT

  •  Electoral Votes (8+ / 0-)

    While I agree that someone has to take some shots at McCain (Read Frank Rich's column)(why aren't the outside groups running more negative McCain ads?), I don't think we need to get all panicky about the way the Obama campaign is being run.

    Obama knows that winning the national vote and $1.00 will buy you a cup of coffee, but it won't get you in the White House.  Its who wins 270 or more Electoral Votes that gets you in, and that means winning a certain number of "leaner and toss up" States.  This reminds me of how Obama conducted his primary campaign.  In that case it was delegates that mattered, and he carefully and consistently kept focused on where and how to pick up the number of delegates needed to win.  While the media kept highlighting how well Hillary was doing in the national polls, except for Chuck Todd who would always remind his colleagues, "its the delegates, stupid", Obama just kept wracking up delegates.

    Now we are in the general election, and I can't help but say "its the Electoral Votes, stupid" (sorry, nothing personal).  By every State-by-State poll I have seen Obama has a substantial lead in Electoral Votes, with many polling organizations already giving Obama over the 270 needed to win with "safe" and "lean Obama" states, before we even talk about toss ups.  Although Obama's lead has somewhat stagnated over the summer, not that unusual, McCain is not making up ground on the Obama EV lead.  While McCain may take some of the toss up states like Florida, he will need all of them and some of the Obama leaners to win.  That is a huge uphill battle and he is showing no signs of advancement.

    I am confident that Obama will be hitting the "lean Obama" and some of the "toss up" states hard in the coming months.  He not only has more money, he has a better ground crew and GOTV effort in these States.  

    So don't panick, and keep working!

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:16:35 AM PDT

  •  Obama Followed The Rules. McCain Couldn't. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, GN1927, kefauver

    Warren cautioned not to give canned replies from the campaign trail. Obama gave him what he wanted. McCain gave the same blustery militaristic, corporatist GOP  canned from his campaign speeches. He doesn't have the capacity to sound lucid speaking off the cuff. Let that be the spin before we head into the VP choices this week.

    Let's not panic that McCain didn't deliver another green screen performance.  I'm guessing that between the 3 debates and his acceptance speech, odds are we will get another Granpda Simpson display. This is different from Kerry in 2004. The people in the peanut gallery frustrated with the Kerry campaign were right. Kind of have the "we are not worthy" feeling when judging the Obama campaign team. They always counter well while keeping to their own message.

    Grandpa Simpson was not on display. Someone who could competently relay GOP crap was. Swing voters were probably surprised that McCain seemed to be reacting well to his meds, but they were not charmed by his rhetoric.

  •  Obama will never win the low info voters (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    boofdah

    Obama is appealing to the emotions of the high information voters. Tonight on issues such as abortion and stem cell research, Obama gave perfect answers for those who really count. We have to take those answers and sell the rest of the voters.

    McCain gave stupid, obnoxious answers.

    Practice tolerance, kindness and charity.

    by LWelsch on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:18:18 AM PDT

  •  Going on offense is difficult (5+ / 0-)

    when the referee (corporate MSM) keeps taking the ball away and handing it to the other team.

    •  Right now the MSM and GOP are engaging in (4+ / 0-)

      the damned if you do and damned if you don't strategy.

    •  No, it isn't (3+ / 0-)

      Skilled debaters know you don't answer the question as asked, you answer the question you wanted to answer.  Every time.  

      I know, it sounds slick and unethical.  But this is Political Campaigning 101.  Just because Obama is smarter and better than McCain doesn't mean the rules of engagement don't apply to him.  

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." (Frederick Douglass, 1857)

      by dotalbon on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:33:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, it is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell

        Believe me, I am all in favor of Democrats creating frames for the Republicans and utilizing those frames as effectively as the Republicans have against Democrats over the years, and I place much of the blame on the Democrats themselves for failure to get their message coordinated and repeated saturation to get it into the public consciousness.

        But like it or not, the corporate media is doing everything it can to keep this a horse race, and that means quashing those frames before they ever get off the ground.  McCain puts out an attack ad, and it gets endless play and talk in the corporate media and is given the color of legitimate issue.  Obama puts out an attack ad, and the corporate media responds with a giant 'meh,' even though any one of them would be a 'game changer' if roles were reversed.

        Let's say roles were reversed.  Say Mitt Romney was caught having an affair, but it turned out that Obama had a well known affair as well.  Would the media narrative be about Romney's affair, or Obama's affair?  Damn straight it would be about Obama's affair.  In the non role reversed world, the narrative was about Edwards and how much his infidelity hurt Obama, while McCain comes out relatively unscathed.  In a world of balanced corporate media, this question would be constant:

        "How can McCain capture 'values voters' when he abandoned his first wife and is a known philanderer?"

        Yet that question isn't even raised in yesterday's 'values voters' forum.

        Now what would happen if Obama and his surrogates tried to push the story of McCain's infidelity?  The narrative would immediately be about how Obama has gone back on his word about a different kind of campaign and a different kind of politics, and there is zero effective counter to this argument.  Tit for tat won't work, because IOKIYAR.  Truth v. falsehood and innuendo won't work, because the media is not concerned about the truth of the matter.  

        Certainly the Democrats are to blame for the inability to capture the narratives, but the media has painted them into a corner for 25 years.  IOKIYAR is not just the fault of the Democrats, it's the way the corporate media covers elections and politics in general.  The system is gamed.  We know the truth, but the corporate media won't report the truth, no matter how well the Democrats come up with clever punchlines.

  •  this place has serious problems. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, IvanR

    during the program, in response to my saying that i thought obama was doing terribly and not at all performing up to his potential, and that he is both a great speaker and in other ways, at times, a terrible one, everyone's first reaction was that i was a fucking moron who hadn't been watching the same program and that i must be a mccain troll, etc., etc., etc.  

  •  Hell to the Nawh (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ravenwind, crazyshirley2100

    I'm not affiliated to any party, strong supporter of Barack Obama, who certainly has demonstrated his political skills over and over again.  I trust him, and his team, I don't want him to change one iota of his persona, his presentation, or his strategy.  You're entitled to your opinion, invalid and clueless as I believe it to be.

    Barack did exceedingly well last night, he was much better received by the audience than I expected, given the context.

    I was appalled by the the other guy's performance.  He came across as arrogant, unresponsive, callous and downright stupid most of the time.

    Certainly, that audience's reaction and the opinion of the tradmed are not a measure of success, at all.  If you think they are, then you are the one not paying attention.  Spare us your pompous over-reactions and arrogant demands.

    •  Oh, okay (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink

      Certainly, that audience's reaction and the opinion of the tradmed are not a measure of success, at all.  If you think they are, then you are the one not paying attention.  Spare us your pompous over-reactions and arrogant demands.

      1.  That audience is representative of a lot of simple-minded American voters.  Democrats forget that at their peril.
      1.  Attack words like "pompous" and "arrogant" are overused and intellectually lazy.  They make your own argument seem less valid than it is.  I suggest you retire them permanently.  

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." (Frederick Douglass, 1857)

      by dotalbon on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:37:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Deja Vu (10+ / 0-)

    Some of the comments about Obama and his team being ineffective these days remind me of September 2007, when many folks were crowing about how Clinton was going to romp to the nomination because Obama was soft, and that he had to go hard negative to even have a prayer.

    Well, guess what, Plouffe and Axelrod stuck to their gameplan, and it worked out just fine.  

    The fact of the matter is, this is a marathon and not a sprint.  Every long distance runner knows that what matters is what you have in the gas tank down the final stretch.  McCain and company are already using their reserve tank with their negativity and will be running on fumes down the wire. Obama is slowly building towards his convention speech, while building himself up, and will outsprint McCain towards the finish line.

    On another note, I can't believe the lack of faith some people here have in Obama and his campaign. Maybe it's because I was in Iowa on Caucus night and saw them prove the morons in the media wrong with massive turnout, or because I personally witnessed the campaign's incredible GOTV in Indiana on primary day that turned a deficit (internal polling the night before had him down double digits to Clinton) into a tie, which ultimately was the final blow to the vaunted Clinton Machine.

    But I have faith in our guy, and always have going back to his Senate campaign in 2004. Every time the moment has called for it, he delivered his best performance. Examples include, but are not limited to: 2004 Convention Speech, Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, the final Iowa debate, the post New Hampshire "Yes We Can" Speech, the Los Angeles Debate with Clinton and finally, the Philadelphia Race Speech.  

    Almost any other politician would have wilted under the adversity that Barack has faced, so it's time for his supporters to trust him and his team a bit. He's earned that much, I think.

  •  This is absolutely hysterical... (24+ / 0-)

    FIRST last summer, Obama was accused by many other Dems AND the media of NOT connecting emotionally to voters. THEN, he DOES connect emotionally to voters and inspires them starting off at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner.

    What happened? He's ridiculed for having so little  substance, all feel good, squishy, fuzziness, and ONLY connecting emotionally to voters.

    NOW, he's accused of NOT connecting emotionally to voters because he wants to talk about substance AND he's a fucking celebrity who DOES connect emotionally to voters??

    GIVE.ME.A.BREAK.

    this double standard pisses the shit out of me. TOO BLACK? NOT BALKC ENOUGH?? TOO PRESIDENTIAL?? NOT PRESIDENTIAL ENOUGH?? TOO WONKY?? NOT WONKY ENOUGH?? FLIP FLOPPER? OR TOO STUBBORN???

    i could go on.

    FUCK man...Obama has a game plan, is confident about executing it, and he's going to follow through and adjust accordingly.  I know what you're saying, slinkerwink, but clearly Obama doesn't put as much stock into driving news cycles as you want him to.

  •  I'll put my faith in Obama, Plouffe, Axelrod, etc (5+ / 0-)

    rather than a diarist from Daily Kos who may or may not have any experience actually running a campaign. I know it's fashionable to trash Democratic campaign strategies (since we all know so much more than the professionals who run them), but I am going to try to enjoy the last few weeks of the summer and not get into a tizzy about something I have no control over.

    •  I actually do have campaign (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dotalbon

      and political experience.

      •  Are you currently working for a campaign? (0+ / 0-)

        as I do believe you have much to contribute.

        The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

        by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:16:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are the person who (8+ / 0-)

        was pushing hard for an organized "counter protest" at the RBC meeting (over the MI/FL delegate situation). You insisted at the time that it was absolutely vital that Obama supporters put on a big demonstration to counter the demonstration planned by Clinton supportes.

        People here tried to tell you this was both unnecessary and a bad idea. You refused to listen until the Obama campaign put out a very specific request that people not do that. Then, thankfully, you changed your mind and went along with the campaign's decision for supporters who went to the meeting to be respectful and to not fall into this trap of putting on a big protest for the media to have a field day with.

        I think, although I can't remember for sure, but I think that you later admitted that the campaign had been right and you had been wrong about what absolutely HAD to happen at that meeting. One might have imagined that you would have learned something from that experience, but apparently no ... you are still certain that you know everything while Obama and his team are nothing but idiotic, clueless fools.

        I don't think you've shown that you actually know so much more than they do, and -- just like with your RBC meeting protest plans -- I think you often push for exactly the wrong approach and you are so absolutely certain that you have all the answers, it just amazes me sometimes. I've read your posts for a long time and my impression is that you really have no respect for Obama and you seem to admire McCain and republicans tremendously for their 'style' of dumb, dirty politics. It makes me wonder if you really want Obama to win. I mean, why would you want a president who you believe is an idiot who can't figure out how to do anything right?

    •  The ad hominem arguments here are amazing (4+ / 0-)

      and discouraging.

      Obama's campaign strategists have their strengths, and those were certainly on display during primary season.  But now they are up against an apparatus that has already won two Presidential campaigns with the weakest candidate in history.

      To ignore this, and instead ridicule a diarist who has posed valid concerns about Obama's campaign choices, sounds suspiciously like a GOP troll's argument.    

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." (Frederick Douglass, 1857)

      by dotalbon on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:40:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  so basically you want Bill Clinton (32+ / 0-)

    What I'm so puzzled by people who write diaries and comments along these lines is that the very same people who had contempt for the Clintons, disliked Hillary Clinton, wanted change in politics, now say - oh, but we want talking points, 5 second soundbites, dumb it down for the low info voters. Don't you understand that 8 years of that were the direct cause of George Bush? When the Clinton campaigns of '92 and '96, and that administration, used media manipulation techniques as much as they did, they paved away for Bush to use the "compassionate conservative" slogan and other lies to make the election a "who cares" choice between 2 moderates that could be decided based on personality and who motivated the most core voters (who knew what "code words" were being used). The Obama movement is fundamentally a reaction against that kind of politics. It may succeed, or it may not. But it is what it is, and it isn't anything different.

    Now, many people here are tired of losing, and are desperately frightened of losing again, and openly contemptuous of people who they believe voted for and supported Bush from 2000-2006. What they don't realize is that the reason why the Republicans have won all of these elections is that a vast number of people don't vote, and they don't vote because the cynicism of modern campaigns turns them off, and they don't perceive any real difference between the parties and candidates. Obama provides a reason for those people to start voting again - even to donate money to campaigns.

    Is this a safe strategy in a "Democratic Year"? Maybe not... that was the Hillary Clinton argument in the primaries, but not a lot of people here bought it then. But remember that in 2006, Democrats were terrified of a McCain candidacy precisely because it would seem like more of a change than a continuation of Clinton-Carville-Bush-Rove politics than any Democratic candidate like Edwards or Clinton could offer. So maybe there isn't a "safe" strategy of combating McCain. And it's not like Obama is ALL about a "new way of doing politics". In fact, what we've seen in the past couple of weeks is a remarkable feat in which with few people noticing, Obama has test-run a double strategy of traditional politics at the local level (i.e., DHL ads) and new wave politics at the national level (building a house, hands). I imagine the convention speeches will be a continuation of that strategy. This is a revolutionary campaign, and as a result it will not be easy. But if it pays off, the rewards in the next 2, 4, 8, and possible more years will be worth it. That's the kind of campaign it is, and that's the way it will win or lose.

  •  Obama's damned if he does and damned if he (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, keeplaughing, ggwoman55

    doesn't. And in answer to this diary's title--it's the rest of the nation that needs to wake up. And let's face it, while it's a fair theory that making Obama play to people's emotions (pithy sound bites and so on) may get him more votes, here's MY counter-theory: That whatever Obama does, the media is going to find a way to hate him anyway. Punchy sound bites from him would probably get labeled "ebonics" or "condescending" or "too slick" or "the new terrorist war-cry" or some such nonsense that the MSM pundits are so good are pulling out of their asses.

    There's plenty to be frustrated at, but I for one don't think removing nuance from politics is desirable even for the sake of winning--if there's anything to wake up to, it's the fact that nuance and intellectualism is ALREADY gone, and look at the state of the US because of that absence.

    Let's recognize that it's really the MSM that is manipulating the public's emotions here. Even if you want Obama to connect to people with punchier lines, it's still no guarantee your Republican-owned MSM pundits are going to feature them or spin them the right way. I think Obama's speeches have been gold, but in the hands of the media, they're pearls before swine. No surprise: Obama's a democrat--they're going to pick on/ignore whatever he's doing.

    Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. - Helen Keller

    by marrael on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 08:41:36 AM PDT

    •  the MSM is manipulating no one (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, pamelabrown

      Obama is talking to the 10% (or probably more) of the potential voting public that doesn't watch political news but instead choose to be engaged in their jobs, their families, and their communities. They may be low-information voters, but in a lot of ways they are deliberately so. The massive incompetence of the Bush years has woken them up to the importance of elections, but they are still very cynical and wary of politicians. If you think these voters are not important, check out the Indiana primary election results and see how Obama did in middle to upper-middle class neighborhoods of Indianapolis that have until now been Republican strongholds.

  •  After reading some comments on here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Jester, amk for obama

    last night. I wonder if we shouldn't all visit the right wing blogs more often.I know my opinion of how Obama is doing is colored by the liberal arena I read in.
    I know I see things differently until I check out the other side.

    •  I wouldn't even know where to go. (0+ / 0-)

      Give us a list of places to haunt, with our SUBTLE cap on, to see just how much fun we can have.

      •  Pick the closest by location Republican (0+ / 0-)

        .... politician.  Go to their "official" website. Pick a few words out of their issues category.  Also look at their endorsements from other whacko organizations, especially ones you've never heard of. They've all got blogs.
        Now take that word, and the politician's name, and start googling with the word wiki.

        example

        wiki guns McClintock

        one of the links will be to the wikipedia page on this Republican candidate for congress in CA- 04. Follow the links.

        Another link brings up a list of videos. You tube is great.

        when the wiki pages come up, follow the links to the right wing internet websites of the organizations mentioned.  Also search these words with terms of social organizations like facebook, myspace.  When I look at you tube, I like to check out the organizations that are making or paying for the videos.  Eventually you find blog networks of right wingers who are all linking to each other, on certain topics.

        What they say about Obama, is a good reality check.

        "Red State" blog also has a good searchable tag database for what they are.   They don't like some of their politicians, either.

        But when I find a good r- w blog, I bookmark it and read it regularly.  I won't comment because it's a waste of my time, but it's handy for gauging reactions to things.  After all, they're reading our stuff. If I want to do commentary I do the mainstream on line publications in the area.

        "Toads of Glory, slugs of joy... as he trotted down the path before a dragon ate him"-Alex Hall/ Stop McClintock

        by AmericanRiverCanyon on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 01:35:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  avid support but disapointed (5+ / 0-)

    I agree with some of the comments...Barack did not seem prepared...McCain seemed to have studied the questions ahead and had snappy answers with nice little stories...and he just barreled on with his talking points...his was the more political stump presentation, and Warren did not stop him (he specifically asked Barack not to give a stump speech answer)...but it was McCain's crowd, a crowd that wants to love him and forgive him...Supreme court, abortion rights, conception rights...etc.  He hit all the points he needed to.

    Barack cannot continue to hem and haw...in his thoughtful way...He must have processed some of these issues by now...not come up with new responses as if he has never thought about them.  It appears indecisive and hedgy....

    I felt like he was still on vacation...

    I also know that he needed to dispel some ideas about his religion and himself in this forum...wish it were not necessary.

    hope he is rested but mentally charged and ready for the debates...he must have clear and crisp position answers...he has thought about all the issues...come on...lets get on with it...

    •  I disagree with you 100% (6+ / 0-)

      There was not a fight to be "won".  Last night was not some sound bite contest.  Obama went into the nest of the GOP base to try to introduce himself to those voters.

      Soundbites don't work when the people you're talking to don't believe what you believe.  Why is that so hard to figure out?  Is a snappy soundbite on why Obama's pro-choice going to suddenly make evangelicals go, "OH SHIT, what I've been practicing my entire life is wrong, I totally SHOULD abandon my anti-abortion stance!"

      Of course not.  Think it through!

      Obama's goal last night was to come off as earnest, humble, thoughtful, and a man of faith; somebody that people of faith, who are unhappy with GOP policies but are surrounded by smears and lies regarding our candidate, can then see themselves voting for him because he is a tolerant, patient, Christian man.

      Last night was about him defining his character to a certain group of voters.

      He achieved his goals.  Stop thinking like a black-and-white extremist Republican.

  •  I have checked (15+ / 0-)

    in with anti-obama folks on some other board and they conceded that Obama came off as likeable and not scary to them. My parents are strong catholics and they are anti-choice and they liked him better than McCain who they felt was a stump speech story telling panderer.

    I know Slink's heart is in the right place..she is an obama supporter to the core. I tend to want to let the Obama crew make the decisions about the campaign tho. But hey, we are democrats and americans so everyone is entitled to their opinion.
    I am just going to dig in, work harder to register and phonebank...we need new voters to win this thing.

  •  Until liberals believe it's okay to fight, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, IvanR

    we're going to get our asses kicked.

    And by "fight," I don't mean fight dirty, like Republicans. I mean stand up, look these bastards in the eye, and call them out, in no uncertain terms.

    The faith forum was bullshit even to me, and I BELIEVE IN GOD. If Obama has to soft-pedal the truth to get votes that he should get by virtue of already being more intelligent--about every issue from international relations to the economy--then what has he won? What have we won?

    I'm voting for the guy. But I'm less and less excited.

  •  Stop being ostriches and do what? (26+ / 0-)

    Join you in posting diary after diary about how clueless the Obama campaign is?

    Even if I agreed with your take on the campaign (and since the Obama team came from a huge deficit in the polls to overtake the most powerful machine in politics during the Dem primary, I tend to side with them over you), it would not change the fact that we have NO control over how the Obama campaign chooses to execute strategy. We could all call headquarters in Chicago and shriek at some hapless volunteer, but really, does anyone think that will do any good?

    I am under no illusions that Obama has this sewn up. He might very well lose. We as a country might be so numb and so isolated and so uncurious and so beaten down by fear that we go for the safety of old white guy.  But if that is the case, I'm going down with Obama being Obama, not the Obama who shaves off 60 IQ points to try to appeal to people who would never vote for a black guy anyway. So I'll keep donating and volunteering and praying until November.  I'm not going to pee my pants over polls, because, again, its POINTLESS.

    •  Well said! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fedupcitizen, My mom is my hero

      I completely agree with you. Thanks for saying it so clearly.

    •  Especially this: (8+ / 0-)

      We could all call headquarters in Chicago and shriek at some hapless volunteer, but really, does anyone think that will do any good?

      I think the idea that calling the campaign and taking up the time and energy of volunteers (or staff) listening to complaints is worse that just pointless -- it would be actively undermining the campaign by wasting their time, time that could be spent doing something helpful, and by making them feel worn down and frustrated, when what they need is appreciation and support and actual help.

      Anyone who really cares about Obama winning in November should be donating and getting more donations, volunteering, registering voters... in other words, doing something helpful and constructive to help us win! Constantly saying what a loser Obama is for being intelligent and thoughtful, while praising McCain and the republicans to the skys for pandering to idiots with empty soundbites, is in no way helpful.

      •  Hear, Hear. (4+ / 0-)

        Constantly saying what a loser Obama is for being intelligent and thoughtful, while praising McCain and the republicans to the skys for pandering to idiots with empty soundbites, is in no way helpful.

        Exactly. Instead cribbing about low-info voters, how about actually doing something to "educate" them about Obama and his policies ?

        "Republicans pee on your head and tell you it's raining. Democrats, at least, hand you an umbrella!"

        by amk for obama on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:18:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a fan of slinkerwink but (10+ / 0-)

    these type of diaries are really getting out of hand.

  •  Here's one way to look at it: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, Fabian, ggwoman55

    There are "Bread & Butter" Issues.

    There are "Quality of Life" Issues.

    There are "Constitutional" Issues.

    There are "Global" Issues.

    There are "American Legacy" Issues.

    AND

    There is "Gossip and Character" Reporting,
    (which is where the Corporate Media spends 90% of its energy and time)



    All of these "Categories" (with the possible exception of "Global" Issues") makes an emotional connection, in the Listener.

    When framed in one of these Contexts
    any given Issue is primed to trigger
    one those emotional "Hot Buttons"
    that so many people already have built-into their "world views".

    "If you can't tell in in 60 seconds, why I should care about your Position, How it matters to me and my family -- Well, I'm just not interest!"
    Click ... So says the typical "low info" voter.

    Do us all a favor and "cut to the chase" please.

    and to that, often, and well.

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

    by jamess on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:02:58 AM PDT

  •  While I sympathise with this diary, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Ericwmr, amk for obama

    I don't know why people are getting worked about this forum in particular.  I agree he needs to work on the pauses and the umms, even if they are just a sign that he's truly thinking about his answer.  In the debates, he will need concise answers that get to the heart of the issues, and I think he will be sufficiently prepared to deliver them.  But I don't really mind his nuanced answers here because this forum wasn't like how the debates will be.  It was Obama going into enemy territory of sorts, and revealing his sympathies.  

    But it's important to remember that this campaign is really about us, not Obama and his forum/debate responses (well unless he makes some massive gaffe, which he has yet to do).  It's about us, and the work we do to contact our neighbors, register voters, help down-ballot candidates, etc.  And no, that's not sticking my head in the sand.  Obama will make mistakes, but this has been an remarkably effective, calm, and responsive campaign.  I remember that Dansac made several diaries similar to this one during the primaries post-Super Tuesda).  And that's fine (I like Dansac!), but so far, the campaign has been vindicated on most of its decisions.  If we just focus on the things we can most do to help; we'll win.

  •  panties. bunch. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    crazyshirley2100, amk for obama

    the Obama team clearly needs you. go there.

    "Don't push the river but don't pull no punches." Van Morrison

    by bob zimway on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:06:45 AM PDT

  •  McCain used the John Wayne script....and when (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, boofdah

    he does this successfully he appeals to many who only get their "news" from tv or radio.  The low info voter crowd...which might be half of the nation or more.   He answered questions before they were asked (hmmm how did he know what the questions were?) and ran away with his scripted monologue.  He spoke to the common folk...my friends... using annecdote and personal touches.  He was vigorously aggressive and  appealing to those who seek authoritarian answers, he was not thoughtful nor always accurate...but he was on script and did it well.  

    That he is a jerk and ignorant and incompetent were qualities not expressly evident last night.  

    Too many do NOT know the Real McCoy er McCain.

  •  I disagree with the diarist (15+ / 0-)

    I have seen Obama run this same kind of campaign during 04 and the primaries.
    It's called rope a dope.  He is hanging back.
    What you want is a pound on the table and beat your chest candidate and that is not Obama.
    You want the obvious while Obama plays chess.  

    That forum last night was not a win or lose.  It was a forum.
    Obama's job was to not have the rightwing evangies hate him so that don't get galvanized.  He did his job.

  •  Obama screwed up, unprepared for unwonk ?s (0+ / 0-)

    McCain knew his audience and responded with proven stump sound bytes. He was well schooled in the questions that were expected. This was a campaign stop by a politician trolling for votes.

    Obama seemed unprepared for this line of questioning. His skills as a policy wonk were of no avail. It is easy to see how Hillary ate his lunch with the unwonked.

    Hopefully this will be part of his political education as he seeks to broaden his appeal. He needs better counsel to get more insight into 'values voters' and 'Hillary voters' unless he figures he really doesn't need them, screw them, it's in the bag.

    However, if he does not intend to whistle past his own graveyard, he will need a VP selection who has already found 'his voice' with this audience (and it isn't Hillary).

  •  Alarmist diarist (10+ / 0-)

    There are a handful of people here who insist on writing diary after diary sounding alarm bells. You're one of them. Your credibility on what Obama's team should or shouldn't do isn't strong because you've written so many diaries about impending disaster. It's tiresome.

    Stick with things you can control, like volunteering for the campaign.

    "This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected." - Barack Obama (3.18.08)

    by lapis on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:28:29 AM PDT

  •  I'm confused... (4+ / 0-)

    In your sig line you're promoting something called "Values Based Living" and offering a link. When I go to the site, here's the first thing I find:

    If your daily actions reflect your core inner values, you can credibly lay claim to inner peace, inspire, and lead others to fulfill their potential.

    Sound like Obama to me. Yet, in your diary you offer this:

    If you agree with me that we need to be more realistic and acknowledge that Obama's campaign needs to rethink their media strategy...It's time to wake up, and go on offense, offense, offense, not defense.

    Are you telling Obama to now run counter to his "core inner values"? Just asking.

    Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

    by JoesGarage on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:38:05 AM PDT

  •   Slinkerwink, Thanks a trillion for this diary! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink

    Slinkerwink:  I cannot thank you enough for writing this diary.  I have tried on several occasions to express the same sentiment to our fellow Kossacks out there.  Each time--and with a few notable exceptions--most of the comments that were written back to me called me "Chicken Little" over and over and over again. Indeed, the responses were a series of "snark" remarks telling me to lay off the "caffeine" and the  cups of "hysteria" that I must be drinking.

    It seems to me that you "realize" what is so important--which is that the readers of The Daily Kos are NOT like the majority of Americans who will be voting in November!  (And it doesn't matter what label is given to the majority of the electorate--be it "low information" voters or any other label!)

    Again, Slinkerwink, thank so much for braving the "Chicken Little" responses out there and writing this diary. Furthermore, as you said or implied, what is perhaps MOST IMPORTANT NOW is that people like David Pflouffe and the rest of the Obama Campaign start getting a better feel of the pulse of America!  We can worry about any charges of "pandering" (be it from the Left or the Right) until after November 4th!

    •  Interesting... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Midwesterners

      I realized not too long ago that when I thought people won in a televised debate, that it most likely meant that they lost in the eyes of others.

      I think it was reading Don't Think of an Elephant that got me started on the realization that I was not a normal American when it came to politics.

      The other day on Larry King Corsi and Waldman had an argument that everyone on dKos thought Waldman won, and it definitely appealed to me, but Waldman lost, IMHO, when it came to non-Kossacks.

      It's amazing how our perceptions can be so different from other people's.

      peace

      Sharing and Caring are for Commies! They should be illegal. Drop by and support the Human Agenda

      by k9disc on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:49:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes: It's a Different America Out There (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        k9disc

        Thanks K9disc.  I think your "barometer" is pretty accurate.  When someone like you or me thinks a candidate "won," we can be relatively sure that the "rest of America"--AKA "Middle America"-- has a completely opposite opinion!  (And I'm not just talking  about those heinous MSM/Mostly-Republican "pundits!")

        Of course, for the immediate moment, I just hope that Plouffe and Co. are paying attention to that "other America" out there!  Right now, it seems like Senator Obama has plateaued:  He has indeed "locked up" his "base" of supporters, but he hasn't really been able to penetrate those "other voters" out there that will safely put him over the "edge"--at least so that the Republicans will not ONCE AGAIN steal the election.

        •  Actually, I think the lack of resonance with my (0+ / 0-)

          of Obama bodes well for him in the General.

          I really think that when he's heard, he makes sense to people.

          The very stuff that pisses me off to no end, I think resonates quite well with people.

          I have a real problem with that though.

          To foster change in this country, people must be led to a deeper and different understanding.

          That's one of the reasons that I think Framing is so important.

          Framing is not some neat rhetorical trick, or dishonest communication technique, it alters the understanding of situations.

          Americans need to have a different way of understanding their world these days, and Obama is not doing a good enough job on that end.

          We're going to win the election, but the danger of Conservatism, Disaster Capitalism, and emasculation of government will remain standing. The shit is going to hit the fan and the reason for it happening is going to stand without being discredited.

          The failed conservative policies that have gotten us into this mess must be fully discredited. Otherwise they will be the first plan of action tapped to rescue us from our near term disaster that is going to be sitting on the Whitehouse doorstep on J20, 2009.

          Like Clinton, Obama is winning the battle but losing the war.

          peace

          Sharing and Caring are for Commies! They should be illegal. Drop by and support the Human Agenda

          by k9disc on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 12:59:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  First We MUST get Obama Elected, k9disc! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink

            I honestly agree with everything you say.  But in the VERY VERY short term, we MUST get Senator Obama elected, which is the issue at hand in Slinkerwink's diary.

            Eight years ago, too many people said that there wasn't any "real" differences between the two candidates--so they voted Republican "anyhow," or they didn't vote at all, or they voted for Nader.  Wow, History has certainly proved this "line of thought" wrong!!  We can't afford to make this exact type of mistake again in 2008--for it's even more urgent now than eight years ago! And that is WHY Obama must appeal to Americans in any way that will get the people to vote for him!   Again, we can worry about all charges of "pandering" on November 5th!

            •  I understand your position, (0+ / 0-)

              but the way to get elected is not to play to the base assumptions - it's to change them.

              Obama was doing that. That's what won him over with so many Democrats and Independents.

              People want principle, guts, a fighter - someone who knows where they stand and sticks to their guns.

              The disconnect between Democratic rhetoric, values and policy is a gaping chasm, and the more Democrats water things down and play games to win votes, the wider that chasm opens.

              He was 'Change', now not so much. He's playing into the opportunistic politician frame, and might get pounded on that.

              peace

              Sharing and Caring are for Commies! They should be illegal. Drop by and support the Human Agenda

              by k9disc on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 03:13:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Settle down there, Sparky... (7+ / 0-)

    How far do you expect Obama to get when he's on unfriendly turf, and McCain is on home turf?

    This "Faith Based Forum" was nothing more than an opportunity for Obama to make an appearance before a bunch of people who are unlikely as hell to consider voting for him in the first place.

    What precisely were you expecting here? That Obama was suddenly going to start chucking right-wing bumper stickers and dog whistle answers to the fundies? That he was going to dumb down his responses to appeal to the absolute lowest common denominator the way McCain did?

    That he was going to alter his approach to appeal to the sort of people who have blindly and fervently supported a right-wing agenda all these years?

    No, not everyone in that crowd was necessarily of that ilk, but plenty were. And what a surprise, they responded well to McCain's right-wing horseshit.

    We're never going to win people like that over, nor should we waste time and energy in trying to do so.

    And we sure as hell shouldn't start getting all knicker-twisted because Barack Obama isn't trying to appeal to the religious right.

    Yes, Obama could have simply fired off a load of canned responses like McCain did. He could have tailored his message to appeal to the lowest common denominator as far as the audience at that forum went. He could have tried to conceal the fact that he's a thinker from the more anti-intellectual elements of that crowd.

    Once he starts that, though, he's got to keep doing it. And personally I think this country needs a helluva lot better than another president who's going to cater to the anti-intellectuals in this country.

    Could Obama stammer a little less? Sure. But if that's the main actual strike against him (and in terms of this Faith Based Forum it seems to be) then he's not doing too badly.

  •  One word answers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, sephius1, jamess

    That's what Obama needs.

    McBush gave one word answers, so he came off as "stronger."

    Voting is emotional.  Even if people don't agree with the one word answer, the fact that is was direct and to the point resonates in the cathode ray tube and low info voters perceive him as a straight talker.

    (gag me)

  •  Nuance is not the problem: not attacking McCain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Catte Nappe

    That is the problem.

    Obama did fine last night: he came off as pleasant, clear connection w/Warren, and had some good momments. But he wasn't campaigning and I think that was a clear strategic choice.

    The ad campaigns they have show IMO that they're going after McCain/Bush ties and that is going to be the message down the home stretch. I hope it will be the message coming out of the conventions.

    I think the Obama camp has a clear handle on what they need to accomplish. I recommend this because I think they gave AGAIN to much to McCain. They didn't sell themseleves as they need to evangelicals: four more years of Bush. That is what McCain offers and that should have been drawn more clearly by contrasting himself more IMO. But it is hard to do in a nondebate setting.

    I think Obama did fine. I think it helps tone down expecations. And I hope he comes with a hammer to the debates and the conventions are spent running against McCain/Bush.

  •  I trust Barack Obama (8+ / 0-)

    and his campaign. They won the nomination against huge odds. I will not pretend to know their bisiness better than they.
    I disagree about the offense, offense, offense meme.

    It does not mean I am an ostrich. It simply means that I am not going to tell the chef how make dinner.

    The meaning of life is to live it.

    by COwoman on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:53:43 AM PDT

    •  Good point... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell

      ...Last week polls showed people were hearing too much about Obama.  I think the vacation was perfectly timed.  Additionally, if he were on offense all last week, as many here advocate, he would have fed the Obama is annoyingly in the media thing to the nth degree.  He looked refreshed and ready to go last night to me.

  •  Slinkerwink will be complaining on Inauguration.. (14+ / 0-)

    ...Day, because Obama didn't swear the oath the way Slinkerwink would have.

  •  Why I trust the Obama campaign (10+ / 0-)

    Because he beat my candidate, which was hard to do despite her campaign's no-legendary failings.  

    I assume that the Obama campaign believes that August is too early to eviscerate McCain, because that would only give him the chance to come back (as he did in the late winter and early spring against his Republican opponents), and because that would give the media a chance to aid McCain in that enterprise, which clearly they would do because they're still enamored of him.  Cut him down in September and October, by spamming the media with the famous bear hug and a million stupid McCainisms, and there isn't a power on earth that will bring him back to political relevance.  Maybe it's my narcissism at work here: that's what I would do if I were Obama's campaign manager, so I like to think they'll actually do it.

    -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

    by Rich in PA on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 09:59:04 AM PDT

  •  I am sure that if Obama had dumbed down (8+ / 0-)

    for this effing "faith" forum and answered without any nunance or explanation (like McCain did), the same posters here would have taken him to task for dumbing down, pandering to the right etc.

    "Republicans pee on your head and tell you it's raining. Democrats, at least, hand you an umbrella!"

    by amk for obama on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:00:28 AM PDT

  •  Vacation (0+ / 0-)

    While everyone, including Obama, is entitled to vacation time, I wonder if in retrospect, Obama's vacation will be seen like Ned Lamont's vacation?

  •  Equating wise Kossacks with dumb ostriches? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theran

    All humans sprang from apes, but obviously you didn't spring far enough:

    BOILED FLAMINGO

           1. Scald the flamingo with the feathers still on.
           2. Wash it and remove the feathers and other parts not meant for eating.
           3. Stuff it with greens, celery leaves, etc., and tie it to keep its shape. Coat it in lard.
           4. Boil the bird in a pot of water with salt, dill, and a little vinegar.
           5. Put the half-cooked bird in a sauce pan and brown in oil. Add a bunch of leeks and coriander. Add a little broth. Cover and continue cooking.
           6. To add color, pour in some grape juice thickened by heating.
           7. Crush some spices—pepper, cumin, coriander, laser root, mint, and rue. Moisten them with vinegar.
           8. Add dates and some of the juice from the sauce pan. Stir this back into the sauce and simmer.
           9. Add flour and cook till thickened. Strain and pour the sauce over the bird.

           The recipe works just as well for parrot.

  •  ITS NOT ABOUT LAST NIGHT (4+ / 0-)

    My very perceptive niece was watching last night with me.  She said McCain sounds like he is answering the questions- to the point.  Obama doesnt.  Most of the country is not following the ins and outs of our debates.  They want to get to the point, if they even want to listen at all.

    Obama is in a very difficult position.  He has to speak to multiple audiences with every answer.  He has to show he is American and patriotic.  He has to speak to the Democratic base while also enlisting moderates and independents.  He has to show that he is multicultural, African American, but a multi-racial unifer.  He has to show he is progressive, but thoughtful and not a left-winger.  He has to.....you fill it in.

    It is impossible for him to debate easily--- we saw that in the primaries.  In informal conversations he is pithy, funny and too the point.  But there is a lot on his plate now.

    I do think that despite all of this he has some idea of the questions that will be asked and he needs to work through all the dilemnas he will face in a debate ahead of time---

    And then be prepared with part 2:  to connect, tell stories, be his wonderful funny, clever, brilliant sell-- Yes and pithy, too the point,and related.

    •  Perception (0+ / 0-)

      is a tricky thing. I thought Obama sounded thoughtful and sincere. I thought McCain sounded like a pandering demagogue. I don't know what your niece's political leanings are, what issues matter to her, how closely she follows politics.

      But this was always the challenge with McCain as the candidate, no matter who our candidate was. In a way, it's the difference between the two parties. McCain's solution to Iraq is "victory"; his solution to the economy is "hard work" and "sacrifice"; his solution to health care is "personal responsibility". All of these buzzwords responses are more or less interchangeable, whatever the issue or problem.

      I don't disagree that Obama's message needs to be more focused and more aggressive. But Republicans have been offering bumper-sticker non-solutions for forty years. There comes a point where the public has to take, you should pardon the expression, responsibility for our government. Obama challenged his audience and the electorate with his closing remarks last night, asserting that there are no easy solutions. McCain came on and said "Drill here, drill now." If Obama can hit the Kennedyesque notes of "not because they are easy, but precisely because they are hard", he may succeed in getting voters to think about something "larger than themselves", to borrow a phrase.

      One concrete solution: Obama's surrogates need to be much more aggressive against McCain, pointing out the emptiness of his rhetoric, the shallowness of his record. You want to be his friend? Great. Retire from politics and throw him a party. Otherwise, dig deep and find a pair.

  •  you are COMPLETELY correct (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, boofdah, vacuumslayer
    And these 'thoughtful pauses'  have GOT to go.  He looks stumped, not thoughtful.  And even if he was ... as you said, we don't do nuance; most of the dolts in this country can't even pronounce it.  I hate to always call people stupid, but the evidence is in, over decades.  

    Dear Democratic Party: Win This One or Just Disband

    by Tuffie on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:30:40 AM PDT

  •  You were affected by the audience response (7+ / 0-)

    People here were saying Obama was fabulous.... UNTIL McCain started getting wild applause from the audience.  While what you're saying is not without merit, you left out the fact that the audience was McCain's constituency -- white, rich, conservative evangelicals.  These people live in black and white terms (for others) and shallow answers.  If the forum had taken place in front of an ecumenical faith audience, the response would have likely been completely different, as would your diary.

  •  personally, i like thoughtfulness & nuance (5+ / 0-)

    i agree with bill maher that we can't afford to vote barbeque this time.
    i also, obviously, believe strongly in the last paragraph of your post. this is no time to be nice, or play fair.

    Anyone who advocates, supports, defends, rationalizes, or excuses torture has pus for brains and a case of scurvy for a conscience. - James Wolcott

    by rasbobbo on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:31:03 AM PDT

  •  Which of these candidates would you count on to (4+ / 0-)

    help us stay afloat in a world in which China is overwhelming us on so many fronts? Someone to go to war with them? Or someone willing to work with them and with our own situations to preserve what we can and hopefully learn something about moving globally in a smart way for a change?  SO amazing that this comes at a time when we get a full blast of what China is about, a China that is achieving as we once did whether we like their ways or not. John, He Who is POW and Always Calls for War, should not be our man!

  •  The one question that SHOULD (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lrhoke, ravenwind, WisCheez, amk for obama

    get Christian folks thinking was the one about how to respond to evil:  negotiate with it, defeat it, etc it.  McCain's soundbite no-thought answer, "Defeat it", is very arrogant against God.  Obama's answer in that we can be "soldiers in the fight against evil" but it's God's role to defeat it is really way more Christian.
    I am hoping that amongst the hoards of the ignorant who actually heard yesterday's interviews, there is a certain percentage of Christians who actually understand a few basics about their own theology.  They should see McCain as an arrogant blow-hard who simply used every question to puff himself up, and see Obama as a true follower of Jesus.  

    I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

    by fayea on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:34:27 AM PDT

  •  If you can keep your head (9+ / 0-)

    when all around you are losing theirs, then your name must be Barack Obama.

    (Copyright of kos poster, eclecticbrotha's from his sig line)

    "Republicans pee on your head and tell you it's raining. Democrats, at least, hand you an umbrella!"

    by amk for obama on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:35:06 AM PDT

  •  Slinker- (6+ / 0-)

    Good diary overall. I'm not in total agreement, but I do like the idea of not getting too overconfident and pretending everything will go away if we ignore it. I also hope that this diary will light a fire under the ass's of those who do not yet  grasp the importance of putting a full-court press on the McCain campaign and its bullshit. We should all work as if Obama were 5-10 pts. behind in the polls.

    On the other hand, the only people who tuned in for the "faith forum" were people who truly take issues of faith seriously and political wonks like us. My friends and I didn't tune in. We went to the movies and then watched the Olympics, as did many millions of other Americans last night.

    However, if Obama and McCain left the forum in a tie, then that's good news, because most of the "faith voters" break for Republicans every year.

    Beltway wisdom is an oxymoron.

    by kefauver on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:53:19 AM PDT

    •  A 5% swing in Evangelicals (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kefauver

      means electoral landslide.  Bush won these guys 78% and had huge turnout.  We do 5% better than Kerry and lower the turnout for McCain and its over.  That said, underestimating John McCain and the Republican smear machine is a huge mistake.  Mark my words, this will be one of the dirtiest and nastiest elections in recent history.  Anyone not ready for that needs to get off the boat now.

      We are the ones we've been waiting for

      by celtic pride on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:58:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a good cover (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueinColorado, parakinesis

    But I liked the original Hillaryis44 version better.  Slowing down the tempo and mixing in some concern makes it less exciting.

    Manny goes to Hollywood :(

    by theran on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 10:59:22 AM PDT

  •  Faith based forum? (2+ / 0-)

    Now, why should that be relevant to a presidential campaign? Aren't you guys often debating about separation of church and state and how encroaching the Bush admin has been in this respect? Let's say that Romney was an outstanding candidate on the R's side, and I mean truly in command of what he knows and can accomplish to become President. Being Mormon would have sunk him, because faith-based forums as far as I'm concerned is basically code for heartland good Christians?

    This kinds of reminds me of Jodie Foster in Contact, when Matthew McConnehay's character ask here if she believes in God before going on the mission. She basically asks what's that got to do with the mission.

    So I ask again, why do a faith-based forum during a presidential campaign?

    I want my epitaph to read: He did whatever the fuck he wanted.

    by Deltones on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:07:44 AM PDT

  •  Another day, another unnecessary, alarmist diary (6+ / 0-)

    For balance, let's go to The Field:

    Obama's open discussion of "faith" throughout the primaries, his use of "faith forums" in the Iowa caucuses and gospel concerts in the South Carolina primary, his tolerance (yes, that's the proper word for it) of religious views different than his own, and the intensive efforts (a la the Matthew 25 Christian group for Obama) to peel away Evangelical voters from the GOP base (particularly the younger ones) was grist for attacks on Obama from the identity-politics left during the primaries (remember the screeching, during the early primaries, over gospel singer Donnie McClurkin's views on homosexuality?

    Interestingly, so many of the same bloggers and commentators that slammed Obama then over his refusal to demonize McClurkin are those that have today picked new complaints over what they see as Obama's unwillingness to demonize McCain in the ways they would prefer to see a presidential campaign run: it's as if some people don't know or can't even conceive of any other kind of presidential campaign than the ugly contests that produced Bush-Clinton-Bush).

    Sure, the "Civil Forum" audience was mostly a McCain crowd, but in those 3,500 seats and among the million or more viewers via cable TV was part of that twenty-five percent or so of Evangelicals that, if Obama wins their votes in November, he will win the presidency.

    In short, tunnel visioned tit for tat does not a presidential election win.  Bless their hearts, some people can only sing failure when the strategy being used isn't the strategy that they'd use. Some people have no tolerance for a strategy that isn't based on THEIR narrow minded point of view.

    Used to be, when a man or woman chose to enter the lion's den, he was seen as courageous by people who believed in him, and even his opposition.  Obama knew where he was going but chose to go anyway because he understands that getting even a few thousand of the moral majority's votes is a good thing.

    I'm still wondering though - how many successful campaigns - presidential or otherwise - have these negative folk orchestrated - and won?

    The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Luke 12:23

    by 99 Percent Pure on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:27:54 AM PDT

    •  How many elections have negative campaigns won? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink

      How about the last two?  I worked on both.  Remember how our guy was the war hero and their guy hid under a bed in Corpus Christi?  Remember how their guy was a moron and our guy was brilliant?  Remember how there was now way we were going to lose last time and then we got our asses handed to us?

      This will be a bare knuckle street fight before it ends.  Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't know politics and certainly doesn't know the Rethuglicans.  These guys don't like losing and are capable of anything when they are back-to-the-wall.  Complacency is the surest way to losing.

      We are the ones we've been waiting for

      by celtic pride on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 12:05:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I love and respect John Kerry but it was a poor (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        99 Percent Pure, celtic pride

        campaign with a weak campaign managers and advisors.

        The one thing we know about the McCain campaign...is that they're very good at negative campaigns, they're not so good at governing- Barack Obama

        by wishingwell on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 12:33:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry but that wasn't my question - my question (0+ / 0-)

        was

        [H]ow many successful campaigns - presidential or otherwise - have these negative folk orchestrated - and won?

        So are you saying that as a negative person, you worked on the repugs' winning campaigns in 2000 and 2004?  Because in both those years the Democrats lost the presidency.

        The diarist is expostulating that supporters and Obama's campaign advisers are operating under the auspices of complacency by stating that we are ostriches with our heads in the sand.  I didn't address that in my post because I find it not only insulting to Obama, his advisers and his supporters, but also preposterous.

        I will continue to address the negativity of diaries like these without arguing whether the campaign should or shouldn't go negative. That is not a call that I feel competent to make. I trust that Obama's so far successful campaign with his current advisers are better equipped to make that decision than I.  

        Where I can and when I can, I will point out the fallacies of the opposition's campaign, as Frank Rich did in his Op-Ed column today in the New York Times, but I'm not buying into tit for tat tunnel visioned campaigning because someone puts up a diary trying to persuade such.

        The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Luke 12:23

        by 99 Percent Pure on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 02:49:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well I agree that Obama needs to work on those (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, FMArouet

    umms and uhhs. I think they show that he's thinking about his answer, but stylistically, he should cut some of that out. He should work on that for the debates and that's totally doable.

    And yes, I would like to see the Obama team go on offense and start defining McCain. Stop making the election about Obama and defining him, but ending the very wrong ideas that people have about "maverick" or a moderate McCain. And yes, actively show that it will be insane to elect him because he promises to to do the same things that have been proven not to work under Dubya.

    But Obama also needs his surrogates to step up. It's not just Obama that is too nuanced. Too often Dems let themselves get out of being able to convey things succinctly. Not that I want us all to stop having nuanced ideas, I just want pithier ways of our expressing it. Like maybe have a good sound bite answer and then eleborate from there a bit.

    Lastly, and this is hard because it's not fully in his control, the MSM is totally going against Obama and there is only so much they can do about that. They can try and work the refs, but if the refs are actively not cooperating, that's going to be hard.

    As a rule however, I do think that there are some areas that Obama's team should improve. Ironing out a few umms and uhhs out of Obama's speech for the debate. Offense, hard, but not dirty ads defining McCain. Surrogates on point more. And as much as they can, work the refs more.

    That being said, I will continue to work for Obama and hope his team will improve to new conditions as need be.

    Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson

    by ElizabethRegina1558 on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:29:03 AM PDT

  •  I totally respect this diarists passion and (8+ / 0-)

    commotment to Senator Obama's election, but I find the tone of this diary very discomforting.

    To start with the eangelical audience was small and almost exclusively, by a ration of 2-1, pro McCain, vote Republican therefore their sudience response was influenced by their preferences.  The broader faithbased evangelical community to whom the television audience was aimed has the same mindset.  They probably will not vote for Obama.

    What the diarist is basically suggesting is that Obama dumbed down his responses to tell folksy sob stories based on Mccain's victimology simplistic answers as evidenced in hsi predictable reponses on abortion, the Supreme Court etc.  In other words she wants Obama to pander to his audiences.

    It is the very fact that Obama has the confidence to present himself as a thoughtful flexible person to the general electorate that gives me personally the trust and belief that in crisis over crisis that will be encountered he will do what he considers the right thing, the just thing, the moral and honorable thing.

    To pander to what she calls, condescendingly, low-information voters, meaning 'them' and not 'us', is to play Judas to his core beliefs.  If the electorate cannot rise to try and understand nuanced answers to complex question, telling them  what he thinks they want to hear is a total betrayal of all of us.

    This attitude disturbs me enormously.  It is the democratic equivalent of bomb, bomb, bomb.  If attack, attack, attack is our response then it is WE who are the hypocrites. We don't want CHANGE, we want business as usual because in our heart of hearts we believe that the same old same old is the obly thing that works.  I have more confidence than that. And if we lose the election because of it, then we have noone to blame but ourselves.

  •  Whine, whine whine. (8+ / 0-)

    All you do is whine about Obama not doing enough.  If he doesn't run his campaign in the way you like, the sky is going to fall.

    Meanwhile, OBAMA RAISED $51 MILLION TO MCCAIN'S $27 MILLION IN JULY.  If Obama weren't connecting with voters, somehow, those figures would look a lot different.

    Of course we can't take this election for granted,  and it won't be easy to elect a the first African-American president; but if you want to get Barack elected, you have to have a little faith in him.

    And quit whining.  Whining won't win elections.  Barack knows that this election will come down to one thing: votes.  He's not going to win because he gave brief answers to a sympathetic audience.  He's going to win because HE GOT MORE VOTERS TO THE POLLS.  So stop whining, and start canvassing, making phone calls, and getting out the vote.  

    Son, you're makin' the same mistake with Iraq that I did with your mother. I didn't pull out in time.

    by fou on Sun Aug 17, 2008 at 11:40:19 AM PDT

  •  Sorry Slink (8+ / 0-)

    Have to disagree...the only thing America is focused on right now is the Olympics. &nbs