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So, I've been waiting... his opponent getting more aggressive, his supporters getting squeamish, and everyone acknowledging that Obama will have to summon some of the fighter spirit to beat back attacks.

And I thought, hmmm, you know in October last year, Barack sat down with the Times and explained how he was going to hit back harder on Clinton in an article entitled Obama Promises a Forceful Stand Against Clinton.  I don't recall him ever having to lower himself that much, but just the act of stating that he intended to bring the fight to her heartened his partisans and told the press he wouldn't be pushed around.  I also remember this one article changing major dynamics in the race, while he largely remained clean.

Maybe he should do that again...

Well, unsurprisingly, I look online this morning and I find that Obama Plans Sharper Tone as Party Frets.

Man do these guys know how to play the game.

First up, same 'team' of reporters who love the process story, Jeff Zeleny and Adam Nagourney.  Just check out some of these choice quotes and consider what Barack is actually doing here.  (One thing to note here is that the October 28th article was from a direct interview with the Senator, today's article is based on high level sources including Axelrod and Plouffe).

Just look at the openers to these two pieces:

"Senator Barack Obama says he will start confronting Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton more forcefully..."

"Senator Barack Obama will intensify his assault against Senator John McCain, with new television advertisements and more forceful attacks..."

OK, so first we telegraph what we're going to do to reassure those freaking out, allowing the campaign to actually keep the high ground in practice.

"Mr. Obama said the plan had always been for him to begin taking on Mrs. Clinton more directly in the fall. "

"(T)hey were not planning any major deviation from a strategy that called for a steady escalation of attacks on Mr. McCain as the race heads toward the debates."

Then reassure people that you know what you're doing and can handle anything.

And one more for emphasis:

"(A)ides said they were startled by the effectiveness of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, and worried that her support was not as brittle as they had once believed."

"By every indication, Mr. Obama’s aides underestimated the impact that Mr. McCain’s choice of Ms. Palin would have on the race."

Always concede the obvious, otherwise you lack credibility.

Bottom line, Democrats get nervous, it's in our DNA, but these guys are pros and they're always thinking ahead.  I'm part of the largest field operation in hte history of this country, I'll leave the tactics and strategy to the big brains in Chicago.

We've been here before, David, David and Barack have been here before, and we all will succeed again.

Originally posted to NYPragmatist on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 06:56 AM PDT.

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