The latest distraction--lipstick on a pig--is washing itself over the press like a tsunami. There is a huge gap between how a Republican and a Democrat responds to this sort of thing. We can see how they play the game with the bridge to nowhere turned road to nowhere. There are plenty of excellent things to say in response to this crap, but the biggest problem with any response is that it must pivot into what ever it is that you want to talk about. You get bonus points if you:
- Pivot into a hard hitting attack that causes the other side to have to respond.
- Pivot into your negative framing of the other campaign.
So here is what I think the Obama campaign should do.
- Get Stephanie Cutter out there to respond more often. She did a great job of that this afternoon and we need more of that tone from all surrogates. Put her out there to show how its done.
- Every critique of McCain usually starts with comments about his honorable military service. Change this to highlight the obvious dishonorable behavior of the candidate these days. Something like "...he was an honorable person back then."
- Take every opportunity to use the phrase lipstick on a pig. When McCain or Palin or any surrogate says anything about you, you respond with something like "there's another case of putting lipstick on a pig." Get the audience to say it with you. Like Josh at TPM says, embrace it.
- Just say no to all those requests for apologies, then pivot. Andrew Sullivan posted some excellent ideas from one of his readers that bear reading.