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:
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