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There are two principal reasons why John McCain has caught Barack Obama in the national polls. 1) McCain has changed the whole conversation about this election into one question - do you want to vote for or against Obama? This is genius. Obama needs to switch the conversation if he wants to win. 2) Obama has only played defense so far and has not attacked at all. This is weakness and a sure-fire way to lose an election.

The question in this election should be whether Americans want another four years of Republican rule. We just went through a disastrous eight years and the Republican nominee agrees with the president who brought us that disaster on nearly every single issue. McCain wants even more tax cuts, even more war, even more rights for oil companies and even larger deficits. Do the American people want four more years of that?

Instead, right now the only conversation is about whether Obama is qualified to be president or not. I think McCain's ads in this regard have been comical. They have flat-out sucked. But that doesn't matter. Because the only thing that matters is the conversation itself.

If Obama doesn't change the topic, he gives up an enormous advantage he has, which is the American people are grossly dissatisfied with the Republican Party (even the chairman of the NRCC is telling Republican Congressman to run away from their own party). Make the election about Republicans.

Secondly, Obama has not attacked at all. This is the same mistake Kerry made. He could have pounded Bush for all of his mistakes; instead he hardly laid a glove on him because he wanted to run a positive campaign. That's ridiculous.

There is a difference between hard hitting ads and negative campaigning. In my mind, negative campaigning is when you make stuff up about the other guy (like McCain did about Obama not visiting the troops in Germany because he couldn't bring cameras) or go after him personally (like McCain did when he compared Obama to Britney Spears). But going after your opponent's record isn't negative campaigning; it's explaining why it's a bad idea to vote for the other guy. That is part and parcel of a political campaign.

Should McCain go after Barack Obama for flip-flopping on FISA and off-shore drilling? Absolutely. There's nothing negative or unfair about that. He is pointing out his opponent's weaknesses. He would be negligent if he didn't (but don't worry, he will; I guarantee you will see an offshore drilling flip-flop ad within the week).

Should Obama go after McCain for voting with Bush 95% of time last yearand 100% of the time this year? He would be an absolute idiot if he doesn't. Who cares about the nuances? That's not what voters remember. They'll remember that McCain voted with Bush almost all of the time, for whatever reason.

Obama wins simply by having this conversation. If the question is -- does John McCain blindly follow George Bush -- Obama doesn't even need to win that debate. He wins simply by having that debate. What is stuck in people's mind is how much McCain voted with Bush.

The Obama team should take this clip from The O'Reilly Factor, where McCain says he is so proud of doing everything he possibly could to get George Bush elected twice, and run it on a loop a million times over. Here is the money quote from the interview:

MCCAIN: I voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004 ... And not only that, far more important than a vote, I campaigned everywhere in America for him ... I enjoyed it. I campaigned with him. I did everything I could to get him elected and reelected president.

Here is the simplest campaign ad of all time: Show all of Bush's failures and then run McCain saying, "I did everything I could to get him elected."

I did everything I could to get him elected. I did everything I could to get him elected. I did everything I could to get him elected. I did everything I could to get him elected.

Then there is the famous quote of McCain saying he doesn't know much about the economy. What is Obama waiting for? Run this on a loop until people say, "Ok, ok, I get it, McCain doesn't know anything about the economy. Leave the poor guy alone already."

If they don't have this kind of killer instinct, they will run a stupid, mushy campaign that will get rolled over by the Rove acolytes and wonder how they got their lunch money taken again.

And by the way, they are well on their way to doing this already. The offshore drilling flip-flop was a disaster. You undermine all of your arguments, all of your surrogates and give away your strength when you agree with the other side. Watch this clip for a full understanding of why this type of concession is the best way to lose an election.

Americans want a politician who is strong. That doesn't mean a politician willing to start more wars or one who mindlessly brags about being tough on national security. It means someone who is willing to stand their ground. This is in fact almost the sole reason why Bush won the presidency twice. This was his only true advantage.

I will give you an indisputable example. John Kerry won Wisconsin in 2004 by one point. Russ Feingold voted against the Patriot Act, voted against nearly every measure that the Bush administration said was vital to protecting our national security and stood up for civil liberties when it was not in the least bit in vogue. The original Patriot Act vote was 99-1. Feingold was that 1.

Republicans said he was weak on national security, he endangered the country and cared about terrorists' rights. He won in Wisconsin in 2004 by 11 points.

Kerry won by a margin of 11,000 votes in that same year in that same state. Feingold won by a margin of 331,000 votes!

Yes, I know he was an incumbent, but so was Tom Daschle. The good people of Wisconsin voted for Feingold not because they thought he was weak on national security as the Republicans claimed but because they thought he was strong on principle. They were right.

This is the politics of strength. You stand firm. You punch the other guy in the face. You don't back down from a fight and you don't cede any ground.

If Obama doesn't learn to stand his ground and take some serious swings at his opponent, he -- and the rest of us -- will be sitting around on November 5th shaking our heads wondering what the hell happened. How could we have lost to these incompetetents? How could the American people have voted for these frauds and failures again? Well, that's because you never told them how much of a fraud and failure the Republican Party, George Bush and John McCain were!

Yes, I just called John McCain a fraud and a failure. He has switched his position on everything from tax cuts to immigration to torture. He has done this to appease the rabid Republican base. He is a fraud. He has supported the failing Bush policies of the last eight years lock, stock and barrel. He has aided and abetted Bush while he screwed up in Iraq, in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and in running our budget and our economy into the ground. John McCain is a miserable failure.

Can you imagine the Obama campaign saying any of this? That's right, you can't. And that's exactly why I'm afraid they are going to lose this election if they keep heading in this direction. I don't know if they know this, but they are running against McCain. He is their opponent. Their job is to defeat him. To beat him. To make him lose, and hence, become a loser.

This isn't some esoteric campaign of Barack Obama versus history. That's what the McCain camp wants. This is a real political fight between two real people. And until Obama realizes that and gets in the fight, he is not going to win. Take a swing, for the love of God. Show the American people you can be a man, a strong leader, someone who can knock an opponent down. This is an election dammit. Act like it.

Watch The Young Turks Here

Originally posted to Cenk Uygur on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:47 AM PDT.

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  •  Tips n/t (347+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, claude, Anthony Segredo, JekyllnHyde, Ed in Montana, Angie in WA State, Susan S, Tuffie, eugene, lanshark, dansac, XOVER, AaronInSanDiego, miasmo, Christin, DelRPCV, Dump Terry McAuliffe, SVDem, madmsf, ScientistMom in NY, PeterHug, skiddlybop, RNinNC, byteb, Sherri in TX, billlaurelMD, Lipstick Liberal, cotterperson, Jim in Chicago, puppet10, OLinda, Byron from Denver, LEP, waytac, DCCyclone, iconoclastic cat, frsbdg, chicagochristianleft, Sandy on Signal, arthura, Bexley Lane, RFK Lives, mataliandy, Nonie3234, dnamj, loudGizmo, opinionated, fabacube, afox, skrymir, BlackGriffen, landrew, mentaldebris, dlcampbe, WShawn, SamSinister, elveta, whenwego, Ian S, highacidity, Bensdad, Minerva, ksh01, boilerman10, buckhorn okie, moiv, mrblifil, vmibran, exconservative, ClickerMel, vogue500, gottschee, high uintas, terence, Roxpert, Cardinal96, Quege, webweaver, kharma, Getreal1246, psnyder, grannyhelen, yet another liberal, desmoinesdem, churchylafemme, niteskolar, betson08, Magorn, drangel, The Termite, rockhound, Pohjola, barbwires, dkmich, bwintx, Donna in Rome, side pocket, Kitsap River, shii, Hillbilly Dem, SanDiegoDem, Black Max, edavis, Emmy, cartwrightdale, eve, AlwaysDemocrat, malcontent, jhawklefty, schroeder, weelzup, hopalong, rapala, paige, z adura, NoMoreLies, jrooth, DianeNYS, blueyedace2, Phoebe Tea, CTPatriot, SherwoodB, mjd in florida, PBen, PsychoSavannah, kamarvt, elkhunter, frandor55, Simplify, ChemBob, kaye, Tod, wildcat6, kldave, boofdah, John DE, peteri2, deep, SBandini, Geekesque, Marcus Junius Brutus, Thaddaeus Toad, The Raven, JavaManny, FightTheFuture, mic45, psyched, Alan Arizona, coffeeinamrica, Jim P, dhfsfc, martini, Sanuk, Icy, cas2, edwardssl, Califlander, Robert Davies, cookseytalbott, IvanR, mcartri, yojimbo, DarkestHour, TalkieToaster, birdbrain64, erratic, gooderservice, Bob Sackamento, imabluemerkin, NC Dem, Pager, happy camper, NearlyNormal, armadillo, CTLiberal, el cid, AndyS In Colorado, doinaheckuvanutjob, Claremore Logic, BB10, cherryXXX69, Statusquomustgo, kurious, FMArouet, mr science, Temmoku, NativeOak, nautilus1700, NonnyO, BentLiberal, DBunn, seabos84, One Pissed Off Liberal, BoyBlue, gardenkitty, xaxado, Cronesense, pradeep, SparkleMotion, hockeyrules, shellac, dmh44, Cottagerose, Roadette, mamabigdog, MikeTheLiberal, NovatoBon, terryhallinan, ddriscoll, threegoal, unionboy, power2truth, DvCM, Nespolo, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, dclawyer06, deepeco, Dash Riprock, todd in salt lake, jayden, brentmack, chicago jeff, Demi Moaned, keenekarl, Uberbah, Oreo, Moderation, echohotel330, UneasyOne, The Red Pen, Puffin, MichiganGirl, LoLoLaLa, Ms Johnson, Terra Mystica, cville townie, Theghostofkarlafayetucker, acliff, tosan1212, mconvente, Mad Kossack, abeincicero, American Daughter, bodymind, Chilean Jew, marmar, calibpatriot, Youffraita, Senor Unoball, Judge Moonbox, Bronmaderine, ReEnergizer, elwior, Mannabass, beltane, Greasy Grant, Happy Days, dewley notid, left my heart, icebergslim, Jeff Y, ankey, VirginiaBlue, bflaff, meldroc, LCA, echatwa, Jersey Jesus, Virginia mom, ihavenobias, bad dad, Guadalupe59, scrubjay, ZhenRen, maxcat06, legendmn, tabby, Rhysling, rubyclaire, ksduck, Leftcenterlibertarian, weaponsofmassdeception, arainsb123, olivert, hannahlk, CanyonWren, DemocraticOz, Stranded Wind, red states blues, jenontheshore, notrouble, sweeper, SciVo, IndySlip, shunpike, Deltones, azure, John Shade, oak510, dRefractor, zbbrox, obiterdictum, amsterdem, Aqualad08, mhsteacher1, allep10, The BBQ Chicken Madness, blueocean, hippodad, Little Flower, reesespcs, jfromga, Sleepwalkr, CalexanderJ, Geronimoot, Phil In Denver, Tricky, NThenUDie, stefanielaine, susan in sc, xsonogall, ladygreenslippers, Wyote, oldbeauty, mikesbuddy, LaughingPlanet, eXtina, Obamajority, larryww, gramofsam1, blueingreen, KayEmarr, fleisch, That Anonymous Guy, taiping1, lolynda, Ronald Singleterry, JJC, Klaus, alieninamerica, Subo, NJtom, Artchess, apip0115, ArturoCastaneda, roystah, Dems in 08
    •  Cenk, one of three things is about to happen: (99+ / 0-)
      1. People like me will agree with you
      1. Others will attack you for thinking you know more than the Obama campaign and being just a blogger
      1. Since you have a known "presence" on the net, those same people from #2 who have been trashing diaries left and right, will suddenly pretend to be in group #1 and agree with you.

      Having said all that, I think Obama and his camp know they need to wake up.

      Strategy '08: Obama vs. the other guy

      by dansac on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:51:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent piece Cenk (28+ / 0-)

      I especially like that you make a distinction between negative campaigning and hard hitting ads.

      People need to realize there is a big difference between the two, and that includes Obama's campaign.


      by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:54:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think John McCain's caught Obama (15+ / 0-)

      Obama's got 90% of the black vote.
      & 67% of the Latino vote.

      Conservatively speaking; he's already at 18% of the overall vote.

      That means that Obama, would just need 33% of the white vote to win comfortably.

      Right now he reliably polls between 38%-40%.

      By my/those estimates. Obama should win the general with 55-58% of the overall vote.

      That's why I don't believe those daily tracking polls. No Crosstabs.  You can't trust them, compared to the monthly polls, that list crosstabs.

      •  Don't forget Election Fraud (13+ / 0-)

        Obama needs BIG margins to prevent another 2000 Florida or 2004 Ohio. He should be WAY ahead in the polls (all of them) at this point but he's not.

        With that in mind Cenk's points are very relevant IMO.


        by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:03:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          betson08, martini

          Why should he be way ahead in the polls?  I keep hearing that but I don't see why:  He's not running against George W. Bush.

          •  McCain's major policies ARE just like Bush's! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dmh44, Uberbah

            By saying "he's not running against Bush" you're accept the right's framing of the issue. That is EXACTLY what McCain surrogates say all over TV.

            Don't buy it and as Cenk says, tie McCain to Bush as often as possible. Especially since it's relevant.

            The biggest foreign policy issue is Iraq, right? McCain has basically the same position as Bush.

            The biggest domestic issue in the minds of most low-info voters (right or wrong) is taxes. McCain wants MORE tax cuts for the rich so he's actually worse than Bush.

            PS---He should be way ahead because generically and in state races the Dems are WAY ahead of the Republicans. They CRUSH the Republicans right now because America is disgusted with the R party, period.


            by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:15:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  He should be running way ahead (5+ / 0-)

            ... as in "he needs to be running way ahead," or the Republicans will steal this election, just like they did the last two.

            And thanks, I don't need a tinfoil hat.  If you don't think the Republicans will steal an election, you haven't been paying attention.

          •  Because "stealing" elections takes preparation, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            the media lying that "this race is so close!" sets the general population up for the fake outcome, that the election was close, that McCain (barely) won at the last minute.

            Unless we generate LOTS of publicity and lots of "common awareness" that the election is in the bag for Obama, McCain's Deibold cronies will steal years 9 through 12 from our history.  They've already stolen 1 through 8 years.  And scabs like Scalia are right in bed with them.

            The media cannot be trusted with this responsibility for fair reporting.  Talking about how great & popular Obama is, here in ''la-la can't hear you MSM'' land, does no good in protecting our election from systemic, calculated fraud.  The media are corporate owned, in every sense of the word.

          •  Because the Dems run double digit leads (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            over the republicans in all but one issue, that's why. From the economy to environment to education to trade the dems are way ahead. That's why Obama should be ahead.

            I love the man and respect his political skills but if the dems lose this f-ing election b/c they take the high-road and don't engage the fight then I'm pulling all-my-gdamn-hair-out and giving up on the party.

            Obama must strike back. Let his surrogates do it if he doesn't(McCaskill seems particularly great at it).

            •  The fact that McCain ran those ads last week (0+ / 0-)

              is significant: it shows their camp, newly run by Steve Schmidt, the Rove protege, is already resorting to scurrilous attacks now.  Their timing is off and they are desperate early.   McCain, as Jon Alter pointed out yesterday, is compromising his image in 2000 even more than he already has.   In the long-term McCain's shooting his wad last week will hurt him.  Obama is running a strategic campaign.  His ground game is far superior to Kerry's or Gore's who relied just on traditional Demo party constituents.  

              Obama has been laying the groundwork for his candidacy week by week like Bush did in 2000 when he would talk about an issue per week.  I hate to give any props to the Rove camp but they achieved making W. look presidential to enough people.  Obama has been working on that: going to Iraq and abroad, patriotism week.  Last week was economics week and this is energy week.  The Obama camp is working strategically, like they did against Clinton.  If you worry about a three or four day period you lose sight.

              I was spending Saturdays registering people in Georgia.  You'd be amazed how many unregistered voters there are to register who will undoubtedly vote for Obama.  When I do that, I know I am helping.  Commenting on DK, of course, is just a self-indulgent act, where I doubt anyone who needs to be persuaded is reading.    

              •  That's a false choice (0+ / 0-)

                Either I urge Obama to fight right-wing smears OR I can work to build the party? Why not both?

                And is this really necessary?

                Commenting on DK, of course, is just a self-indulgent act, where I doubt anyone who needs to be persuaded is reading.

                Oh, thanks for doing field work.

            •  Remember. Even when Obama & Hillary were in the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Primary, neither polled more than 2-3 points better than John McCain.

              The reason why Obama is not up more than what some of us think is for two reasons. 1) Because McCain is not seen as a partisan Republican (remember Obama leads all other Republicans by 15-17pts). Obviously Obama has to destroy that notion, and he didn't do a good  job last week. I'm sure he will try. 2) I think the polling is waaaay off. If you look at intrade, historical/economic analysis, the major monthly polls, and even Gallup's geographical poll (where Obama is winning comfortably in all regions except the south), I don't see how McCain is close to being ahead. And that doesn't even include registered and unregistered voters, that may yet still vote for Obama.

            •  Democrats used to be vicious and they won. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              For all of the carping on Republican nastiness, the roles used to be reversed. Nixon's paranoias were not without some merit. What's that old saying, just because your paranoid doesn't mean they're not following you. Democrats used to know how to attack. Clinton knew how to survive, and no one else seems to know anything.  

              LBJ's campaign against Goldwater was a primer in how to smear your opponent. LBJ's campaign portrayed Goldwater as mentally unstable. The electorate thought this man was going to start WW3 when his positions on defense issues weren't radically different from Kennedy's. The Daisy ad was remarkable, Democrats wouldn't try something like that today, and that's not to their credit. LBJ's people had a story planted in the NY Times that had prominent psychologists questioning Goldwater's sanity. If Democrats did something like that today, half of their number would either be on Sunday talk shows denouncing it, or in Congress voting for a Republican resolution condemning it.

              Kennedy was equally scurrilous, lying about a missile gap he knew didn't exist. Proxies stuffing ballot boxes in Chicago. Handing out bribes during the West Virginia primary. Guys like Newt Gingrich loathed Democrats not just for ideological reasons, they had been on the receiving end of ruthless Democratic tactics for years, like the time the Democrats in the House refused to seat Indiana Republican Richard McIntyre even though he had been certified the winner in Indiana's 8th District, twice. Negative campaigning works. Toughness works. Showing no quarter works, even if they disagree with your policy position, standing on principle wins. Time Democrats relearned that lesson.

        •  That's my pont Ihave. What polls are you talking? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          betson08, vernonbc, Fonsia

          Look at the Gallup regional polls, the assorted monthly polls, Intrade, historic economic and this new Harvard/Washpo low income poll. Obama is demolishing McCain. So how can he be tied?

          I don't think he is, and I'm being realistic.

          I'll repeat my question statement.

          If Obama has 18-20 of the overall vote (blacks, Latino's). With the current hard times, and bad republican brand, do we really think McCain is going to beat Obama +20 in the white vote (or Obama get 28%)?

          No. Look at the individual state races.

        •  He'll get em (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wishingwell, jayden, addisnana

          I couldn't agree more about hitting McLiar - and hard!

          But a look at any electoral map shows that all the concern is premature.

          What McNasty's campaign is doing now is trying to "frame" Obama - to define him as that smooth black guy that's gonna seduce your lily-white daughter - like the swiftboat liars defined Kerry as a phony war hero poseur flip-flopper.

          I think the flip-flop issue is a huge vulnerability for McCain - and I can't wait to see him called on it.  What does he really stand for?

          Time for Barack to frame McLiar.

      •  It's all about electoral votes my friends... (6+ / 0-)

        and frankly, I have watched amazed at the way the Obama team-- and it is a superb team -- has done on the ground in quiet ways and in states like mine (IN) that have been ignored by DEMS for decades.  

        I believe they know that having a huge lead in August -- just as the Olympics start -- is not as crucial as the voter registration we'll be doing when the colleges start back ... working to maintain and grow the advantage we got in May's primaries.  

        Watch for the VP pick this week -- to make the last splash before the Olympics get a chance to take over the spotlight.

        McSame = 4 more years of BUSH

        by gnwmann on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:09:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  David Brooks was on face the Nation yesterday (19+ / 0-)

      and basically said the same thing.
      He said that the McCain campaign has decided that nobody cares about their policies so that's the road they have chosen.
      Making the election all about Obama is the only chance McShame has. And therefore  unfortunately we'll see more of these attacks

      Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway---Eleanor Roosevelt

      by alieninamerica on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:00:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great diary, Cenk--and speaking of Tom Daschle... (18+ / 0-)

      ...he's now on The Ed Schultz Show (I'm streaming it at work) saying how we have to stay the course and keep taking the "high road."

      Yeah, like I REALLY want to be taking advice from some DLC schmuck who LOST his election by playing it safe. Tom Daschle is such a dweeb.

      •  Yesterday, Tom Daschle got his clock cleaned... (9+ / 0-)

          with Joe Lieberman. Dems are too nice. Kerry was matched against Lindsey Graham. Graham beat his brains in. We're too nice.
          Right now, MSNBC is pushing the games that Republicans are playing on the Hill about off shore drilling. They know Obama weakened his stance and they smell blood in the water.

        Eisenhower- "We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage."

        by NC Dem on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:18:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you mean, the opposite (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NYFM, boofdah

          it was Drasche aganist Graham, and Daschle to me did well because the issues favored him and he made the points while Graham was spewing all that noise as usual.

          Lieberman, well, "I think those ads were funny", that speaks for itself, and Kerry was not soft. He could of really hit Joe hard and caal him a traitor, but Lieberman speaks for himself.

          And bump what MSNBC says, his speech today was to me, his best ever. He was penetrating but smooth with the attacks on McCain, and inspirational to say the least.

      •  Please, don't speak of Tom Daschle (5+ / 0-)

        He is one of the chief reasons why I hold Capitol Hill Democrats in such low regard. Incompetent, cowardly, and won't go away.

        John McCain's Straight Talk Express runs on fossil fuels.

        by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:29:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I don't concede your premise (8+ / 0-)

      about catching McCain in the national polls. Not yet, anyway. The tracking polls have the race where it's been for three months, plus or minus statistical noise.

      Check this am's abbreviated pundit... from Rothenberg to Todd, from the EC calculators to the graphs on and RCP, there's a small but clear Obama lead.

      And it's the doldrums of August.

      Carry on.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:06:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you could not be more correct (5+ / 0-)

      I sit here frustrated beyond belief that the Obama campaign is ignoring the simple, certain way to win.  This simply can't be happening again ... yet, it is.  I'm 56 years old and I know for sure that if they fuck this up -- AND THEY ARE -- it will shorten my life.

      Dear Democratic Party: Win This One or Just Disband

      by Tuffie on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:12:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great points and analysis cents. I agree. (3+ / 0-)

      I certainly get your point overall, though I think the daily polls are totally BS (as I wrote below).

    •  first off, you and the crew are tremendous (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christin, wishingwell, addisnana

      and I wish somebody in the traditional media wouldn't be scaried to put you and your crew on for a few minutes. Keep on fighting the fight in the great way you guys do it!

      Second, I have to say this though, it isn't genius by McCain and Steve Schmidt, and Rove for McCain to make it a referndum on Obama. That was the only game plan that they had since they knew that it was going to be Obama and not Hillary as their opponent. They NEVER EVER wanted Obama, and this was, has, is, and will be their strategy from now on out. All Republicans knew this, and all Democrats knew this if they were clearly able to read between the lines.
      That is why Obama said "I don't do cowarding."

      And you guys are really limping him into being Kerry-esque, Dukakis-esque, and all of that, and I think that is frankly unfair and a shot at Obama. This man outdueled Hillary Clinton, especially in those "step to your death" debates where the mind games each other played was fascinating to say the least. Hillary Clinton, who smacked any challenger in New York, scaried off Giuliani to the point that he didn't want to run aganist her in 2000 for the Senate and used illness as his reason for not running, and seemed all her way assured to being the first female preisdent when 2007 started.

      He showed how tough he is, and if you think he is cautious because of this, you guys haven't been watching at the most maximum conspicuous way as possible.

    •  I Tipped AND DUGG this... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      betson08, martini

      If anyone else wants to DIGG this piece (it's fast and it's free and it'll help spread the word), Click Here.


      by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:47:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama Needs To Re-Frame the Debate.... (4+ / 0-)

      ...instead of allowing McCain and the GOP to frame and drive the debate. I would have thought that after the terrible mistakes made by Michael Dukakis, Al Gore and John Kerry when they sat back and allowed the Republicans to frame and drive the debate; that the Obama campaign would have known better by now.

      What frustrates me is that Obama has so much ammunition to fire against McCain about McCain's flip-flopping on numerous issues and yet Obama keeps holding back his fire, allowing McCain to smear him. The time to strike is now, before McCain's deceptive depiction of Obama as "unprincipled", starts to stick in the voters' minds.

      As someone wrote before: You can't go to a gunfight with a knife. So far, Obama has done just that-he has brought a knife to a gunfight where the GOP plans on throwing nuclear bombs. The GOP slime machine has only just begun to throw itself into high gear and we have really not seen nuth'in yet. Given the slimey opposition that Obama will surely face: Obama needs to be a street fighter and a flame thrower at every turn, in order to get the truth out to the voters and thus win in November.

      Great post! You really told it like it is.

      If Not Us, Who,..... If Not Now, When?

      by VirginiaBlue on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:34:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cenk, you did forget something (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      In the fiercest battleground states of Ohio and Michigan, perhaps some others, the McCain campaign is taking stands on local/regional issues -- promising to boost local jobs, to support area companies, ti secure area development, etc.

      The Obama campaign has become a gargantua and simply is not responding on these issues. Thus, voters are choosing between a campaign that knows the local community and is offering to help, and a campaign that can't think below the national level.

      All politics is local. If the Obama campaign doesn't develop a means to take local initiative, all is lost -- McCain will win.

    •  i'm sure someone else in these 605 comments have (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      pointed this out already:
      it's harder for the "Black guy" and the "new guy" to go negative too soon.
      we know him, we love him, but a lot of America don't (idiots!)
      anyway, he has to play nice b4, he can start playing nasty.
      and by god, i think you're right.
      it's time to start going all "crazy Black woman" on McCain's ass.

    •  You are correct, Cenk.... (0+ / 0-)

      Americans want a politician who is strong. That doesn't mean a politician willing to start more wars or one who mindlessly brags about being tough on national security. It means someone who is willing to stand their ground. This is in fact almost the sole reason why Bush won the presidency twice. This was his only true advantage.

      This has been mentioned before:

      Bill Moyers Journal; Kathleen Hall Jamieson, January 11, 2008:
      If people say a person has integrity and consistency, they may vote for him for president because that's what they're looking for in a president. And they may simultaneously say, "I disagree with you on the issues." And I know this will seem like a strange segue, but that's part of the reason that George W. Bush was reelected in 2004. People went into the voting booth saying, "I don't agree with some of his stands on issues, but I know where he stands.

      Previous to seeing Jamieson in this interview I've mentioned that I saw interviews after people voted, and they said they voted for Bush "because at least they where he stands."  They wanted to vote for the Dem candidates, but had no idea where the Dems stood, 'cuz they were all over the place contradicting themselves, but saying anything they thought the Repuke base wanted to hear.  Since 2000, the Dem strategy is to pander to the Republican base (especially the fundie reichwingnuts), people who would rather eat glass than vote for a Democrat (and/or who would rather eat glass than vote for a woman - which is why the Repukes were pushing for Hillary so hard - she would have been easy to defeat - and the minority demographic that would also rather eat glass than vote for a black person, even if they agree 100% with everything the black person says).

      By now we all know the words "bipartisan compromise" means the majority of the Democrats will - once again! - cave in to whatever the hell the Republicans want (Kucinich and usually Feingold and a couple of other Dem senators are often the exceptions).  Haven't we had enough of "compromising" ourselves out of existence these last eight years?

      Obama has a few strikes against him: he doesn't support impeachment (means he's as weak as Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and the rest of the anti-impeachment crowd who consistently refuse to abide by their oaths of office, and his own waffling reasons don't hold water, means he is going after the unconstitutional and extralegal powers Bush has gained through AUMF, the Patriot Acts, MCA '06, the last FISA fiasco (all of which really need immediate repealing in their entirety), executive orders and signing statements that claim unitary executive ability); he voted for the last FISA fiasco after saying he wouldn't do so if it contained telecom immunity (violates Fourth Amendment); he has proposed adopting and expanding and increasing funds for faith-based initiatives (violates First Amendment), now he's in favor of "limited offshore drilling" (why, when the benefits are so negligible, and he should, instead, push for alternative energy sources, not cater to oil corporations) and if one deconstructs Obama's beautiful speeches carefully, one finds he has the remarkable ability to say absolutely nothing of substance very well, which is refreshing after nearly eight years of Dumbya's stumbling mumbling bad grammar and social gaffes.  All of which implies rather strongly that Obama is willing to toss out his oath of office in favor of being another version of the very weak Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and incessantly cave in to the whims and megalomaniacal and illegal legislation supported by PNAC 'PubliCons.

      This is not a time for a candidate who will offend no one; it is time for a candidate who takes clear stands and kicks ass.
      Molly Ivins (1944-2007)

      Here's what I believe is the Democratic winning strategy for a landslide victory this fall:  Openly support impeachment and indicate he'll sign on to the World Court at The Hague (implies he is willing to abide by his oath of office if/when he becomes prez and that he will hold Georgie and Dickie accountable for their war crimes), adopt Dennis Kucinich's not-for-profit health care plan and his plan to immediately begin to withdraw ALL troops from Iraq and close the prison camp and end torture at Gitmo starting on inauguration day.  Obama should also let us know if he plans to introduce legislation to repeal AUMF, the Patriot Acts, MCA '-06 (which will give us back habeas corpus, since neither of the two conditions for suspending it exist anyway, so that part of the legislation has always been unconstitutional), and the latest FISA fiasco, and then tell us that after careful consideration as a constitutional scholar, he won't support funding faith-based anything since churches already get tax breaks and we need to abide by a strict separation of church and state.

      As things stand right now, the Dems are much too wishy-washy, spineless, and I don't have a good reason to vote "for" any of them, much less support them otherwise (with a few exceptions noted, like Dennis Kucinich and Russ Feingold and a few others on occasion on some issues).  I'm tired of holding my nose and voting for the lesser of two evils, since that's still voting "for" evil.  I would love to vote for a politician who sticks up for the Constitution and won't break his/her oath of office, nor signal his/her willingness to break his/her oath of office in favor of singing Kumbaya and letting bygones be bygones and allowing criminals to roam free... for a change....


      by NonnyO on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 08:57:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cenk, you speak my language. (0+ / 0-)

      Tear the bastards' GUTS out. Make the election a referendum on the Republicans. Go on the attack--and stay there!

  •  I think he should do some negative campaigning (19+ / 0-)

    McCain and his first wife.  His 9 houses.  His pandering to kooky evangelical preachers...

  •  We don't have to fight like they do (7+ / 0-)

    because they supply us with ammunition that they could only pray to have.  In this case, documented evidence that McCain worked his ass off to facilitate the election, agenda, and (this is the key) wars of George W Bush.

    Tagline for Obama's next ad: 'McCain did all of this.  I didn't.  Whose judgment do you trust to lead this country forward?'

  •  Today's ad is a good start. (16+ / 0-)

    The best thing he can do is forget about this new politics of hope stuff.  It's not working.  He's not even ahead in an election that provides the most fertile ground for a Democrat in a generation.

    The American people don't respond to new politics.  The only thing that works is the old politics.  When fear, anger, frustration and resentment are on your side, you exploit them.  To do otherwise is a combination of naivete and myopia.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:54:06 AM PDT

  •  'McCain = Bush' is not enough. (17+ / 0-)

    The 'famous' June 15-19 Gallup poll showing 49% of voters are very concerned that McCain will follow Bush's policies also only showed 50% support for Obama.  2/3 of respondents were at least somewhat concerned that McCain would follow Bush's policies.  Yet, McCain still got 44% in that poll.  That means over a third of those worried about McCain are more worried about Obama.

    That's what we have to fight.  We need to attack McCain for his own faults as well as for being too Bush-like.

    McCain is:

    1. a loose cannon
    1. a warmonger
    1. incompetent
    1. out of touch
    1. a spoiled brat
    1. a cheater
    1. the kind of guy who'd divorce his faithful wife to marry an heiress
    1. losing his edge
    1. getting cranky
    1. kind of stupid
    1. an underperformer (895 out of 899 in college)
    1. McNasty
    1. crooked
    1. cynical

    Stop McCain and the GOP. Support Barack Obama and the DNC.

    by DaveV on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:54:16 AM PDT

  •  "This is the same mistake Kerry made" (32+ / 0-)

    That sums it up. I'm having the same sick-to-my-stomach feeling that I had in August 2004 when Kerry's team waited a criminally long time to respond to the Swift Boat ads.

    John McCain's Straight Talk Express runs on fossil fuels.

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:54:30 AM PDT

  •  One of the reasons the conversation has changed (17+ / 0-)

    is because last week Obama and his team were silent. The quick response team must have been on vacation or sleeping for the week. They have got to do better.

  •  Right on..... (11+ / 0-)

    ...punch back and punch back hard -- and not with a "white paper" on energy. Spend money on an ad and slug him with it. This namby pampby stuff won't cut it. And the reversal on drilling was ludicrous.

    Hey, Cenk where is the Young Turks PODCAST on Air America? (Not the one on the Young Turks website). I subscribe to AA but no one can find your podcast. Pick up the phone and call someone, would ya?

    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 Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:55:09 AM PDT

  •  Cenk you very much! (12+ / 0-)

    Good all-around post. Hope the Obama campaign reads it. We have a mountain of dry powder stored away somewhere. Let's light it up! I can see the whites of their eyes! Doesn't Barack?

    -7.75,-7.54; The GOP stands for three things: thuggery, buggery, and skullduggery. America, watch your backs, and hide your wallets and your sons!

    by erik in grayslake on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:55:27 AM PDT

  •  Why attack McCain when you don't know if (3+ / 0-)

    he is going to be nominated?  Once he is nominated, bash the asshole with everything since the GOP won't be able to get rid of that 72 yo dead albatross.

    There once was a man named mccain, who had the whole white house to gain, but he was quite a hobbyist of boning his lobbyist, so much for his 08 campaign. SC

    by christomento on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:55:36 AM PDT

  •  Why McCain has caught Obama (12+ / 0-)

    Excellent analysis. I hope someone in Obama's campaign is reading the Daily Kos, and your essay,
    in particular. Daryl Davis

  •  Keep bluffing him on the VP choice (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, martini, MikeTheLiberal

    that must be frustrating for McCain, not having a young surrogate.

    Think about it, McCain is the cream of the GrOP, all the others have sharp knives waiting for pronouncement.

    Obama can sit on the VP selection till Denver !!

  •  Agreed. (7+ / 0-)

    McCain is a huge target so put him in your sights Obama! You don't need to get in the gutter but you do need to put some lead in your gloves.

    Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. -Thomas Paine

    by exconservative on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:56:57 AM PDT

  •  True dat, Cenk.... (24+ / 0-)

    If Obama continues lackluster like this, he will lose.

    The public, sorry, is dumb.  They don't pay attention to what they need to.  Politics is a drive by, last minute pick up.

    If Obama don't nail McCain to Bush and the failed Republicans, he loses.

    This is hardball politics, if you want sweetness and niceness you are in the wrong business.

  •  I think he needs to move far... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    left/liberal/progressive on every issue then everything will be OK and he will win with a landslide.../snark

    Obama/Whoever He Chooses '08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

    by dvogel001 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:59:48 AM PDT

    •  Then why is he ok with offshore drilling (0+ / 0-)

      all of a sudden?

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

      by Skeptical Bastard on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:04:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Repeat the Repub meme much? (11+ / 0-)

        As a US Senator, Obama has said that he's willing to consider some limited, well defined and controlled off-shore drilling, IF it is part of a comprehensive plan to expand alternative energy with funding from Big Oil.
        PLEASE understand his position before you make the Repug case for them. Thanx.

        We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

        by BigVegan on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:08:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lose the name calling, bub.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I was responding to someone who thinks Obama needs to move far left.  That's just plain idiotic.  He already has all of those votes.  He's moving to the center, and even to the right, to gain votes he would never gain by a far left stance.

          I understand the position full well.. no need to stoop to name calling.

          "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

          by Skeptical Bastard on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:22:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Obama makes too many long winded, (14+ / 0-)

          nuanced explanations and like it or not, the simple fact is that the media doesn't report long winded, nuanced explanations.

          They report 30 second soundbites and if a statement isn't a 30 second soundbite they'll create a 30 second soundbite and then there's no guarantee that your message is going to reported upon accurately.

          I know we like to bitch and complain that Senator Obama often gets taken out of context... but I honestly think that he and his campaign have had more than enough time to figure out why it is this keeps happening and that's because he often takes too long to get around to what it is he's trying to say and the media's attention span is short.

          Short, concise and to the point... anything else seems to be just asking for the media to take your statements out of context or shorten them to mean whatever they want it to mean.

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

          by MichiganGirl on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:48:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He makes the short, concise statements (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            To actual people in his town hall meetings. So who cares what the pundits report. The best thing is, the more he does these town halls and the more he talks to people directly, the more people are beginning to see that there's a big difference between who Obama really is and how he's portrayed by McCain and the media. And they'll tell their friends about that.

            Obama/Adama '08 | -5.50, -4.97

            by Zelbinian on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:01:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Stop giving the media too much credit (0+ / 0-)

            The media doesn't even report soundbites if they contradict whatever horse shit they've decided they want to report this segment.

            People keep making the mistake of thinking Democrats can control the media by doing X. In reality, doing X will only produce the desired effect until the media decides its purposes would be better served by reporting Y. Glenn Beck has a show on CNN - why behave as if the media is logical?

            BTW, if it takes 30 seconds, it's not a soundbite. "Read my lips, no new taxes" is a soundbite. "New Labour, New danger" is a soundbite. 30 seconds is a campaign ad.

            •  and "Country First" (0+ / 0-)

              is even more powerful, and it's only two words.

              And people will start believing the BS that Obama wants to lose the Iraq War to win an election.

              People can cry all they want about unfair it is, but these strategies will work.  Kerry was toast by the 3rd week in August.

          •  It's simple michgirl. Obama needs to summarize in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            the begginning, then go through his long winded speeches. But he needs to offer highligts at the begginning at the end of his speeches.

        •  The nuance doesn't get reported (0+ / 0-)

          "Obama flip-flops on drilling" is what got reported. And admonishing voters to "dig deeper" into his position isn't going to work.

          Political Expediency: Its The New Black!

          by BentLiberal on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 06:17:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It is funny... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bensdad, MichiganGirl, notrouble

        all you hear is off-shore drilling not all of the other great proposals that would be in a bill that would be acceptable to Obama...and he is not in favor of off-shore is a quote from his MI speech...

        Obama said Friday that he would reluctantly consider accepting some new offshore oil drilling. Obama previously opposed any offshore drilling. He praised a plan unveiled by a group of Republican and Democratic senators to permit limited drilling off Southern states while supporting an effort to convert most vehicles to alternative fuels in 20 years.


        Obama/Whoever He Chooses '08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

        by dvogel001 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:21:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank You (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MichiganGirl, pinkomommy

          The whole "he flip-flopped on off shore drilling" B.S. is starting to get real old. Like all successful politicians he is willing to compromise.

          We need an energy policy that addresses increasing efficiency, supporting alternative energy with more than words, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. If getting one requires an off shore oil development compromise, with limits and regulations in place, its still a lot better than the current 'energy policy' (none.)

          Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. - President Harry Truman

          by notrouble on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:44:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Truthfully I don't think he should have ever (4+ / 0-)

            said anything about being in favor of offshore drilling, even reluctantly.

            It's become clear to me that the media doesn't do nuance and it definitely likes 30 second soundbites...

            The video of Obama saying he would be in favor of offshore drilling is their perfect 30 second soundbite and they won't worry about the other 50 seconds or so of Obama's explanation of the only circumstances where he'd be reluctantly in favor of it.

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

            by MichiganGirl on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:52:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Look if Obama said... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I abohr all off-shore drilling and it is a sham but if those crazy Republicans will only support my sane policies if they get a little off-shore drilling...I will throw them a bone...

              They would still say, Obama Shifts Position and Supports Off-Shore Drilling

              So he might as well be nuanced and keep refining his message until they get it...

              Obama/Whoever He Chooses '08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

              by dvogel001 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:04:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Right (0+ / 0-)

                And when they ask him about that in a debate, that's just what he'll say. Actually, here's my preferred analogy:

                "You've got kids right? Ever gotten into an argument with them? No matter how hard you try to make them see reason, they want what they want. Sometimes you have to be firm, but sometimes you have to step aside and let them make their own mistakes. Then they'll listen to you next time."

                Of course, he can't actually afford to be that honest, which is sad.

                Obama/Adama '08 | -5.50, -4.97

                by Zelbinian on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:03:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  I agree to a point (0+ / 0-)

              I suspect this subject was going to get hammered on this at some point during the campaign. Likely its best to take a position (and the lumps) early.

              Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. - President Harry Truman

              by notrouble on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 06:21:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  what to do about drilling (5+ / 0-)

        Run an ad showing a dentist, from the perspective of the patient.

        Use the sound of the dentist's drill while talking about drilling, drilling, drilling.  

        At some point the dentist says, "you know, I wouldn't have to do so much drilling if you'd brush after every meal and floss at least once a day."

        Then more drilling sounds.

        Then the patient goes "oww!" (don't over-dramatize that)

        And the dentist says, "Did that hurt?"   Patient:  "Yeah uh-huh."

        Dentist:  "OK, we'll just give you some more novocaine..."

        Voice-over:  "More novocaine isn't the answer.  More drilling isn't the answer.  The answer is prevention."

      •  He is being infected with the weakness (3+ / 0-)

        of the Congressional Democrats.

  •  stay above the fray, leave it to surrogates n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "When the powerful say that the price was worth the blood and treasure, you can bet your ass it wasn't their blood, nor their treasure."

    by sceptical observer on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:59:57 AM PDT

    •  You can't sub-out standing up for yourself. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musicalhair, martini, cas2

      The Public isn't looking for reasoning at the point of character assault. They're looking for fire in the eyes if not ice in the heart. Decisive, quick, unapologetic.

      Despite the Polite denials and lulling MSM reporting, People DO look for combativeness in a campaign, some type of delineation justifying a choice in otherwise (mostly) powerless lives.

      They just don't want it as the sole, reckless gear of Government resulting in their kids killed over it. People didn't realize they would actually live under a bunch of Neanderthals with Bush..

      But are people looking for That capacity exhibited in a candidate? Absolutely.
      We've hardly elected a candidate without it or re-elected a President who lacked it.

      •  He risks too much before people know him. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Those of us who support him want him to slam Mccain and the sleazebags he has for surrogates. However, undecided voters, a lot of whom are women, who are still wavering aren't going to be impressed by Obama calling McCain a dog. Obama's softer approach will sway more of the undecided than McCain's old grouch strategy.

        More importantly, many of the undecided are on the fence because Obama is black and an angry black man can't win. A friendly, charming, and humorous Obama with solutions to their problems can.

        I want to rub Republicans's noses in the dirt but I can see the logic of Obama's strategy. We've never seen a candidate like Obama before and he's re-writing the rules. It probably wouldn't work for anyone else but it suits him to a tee.

        "When the powerful say that the price was worth the blood and treasure, you can bet your ass it wasn't their blood, nor their treasure."

        by sceptical observer on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 02:11:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Very simply this campaign will not be won without (0+ / 0-)

          taking on and dispatching  the "race" "issue". In doing so I think we'll find it holds less power than we imagined.

          I don't care if he shames the electorate.
          I don't care if its called playing the race card when he confronts it. But confront it he must.
          What's the point of having an Election if we're not seeking a Referendum on where the Hell we're going?? If not now, when? If not Barack, who?

          Friendly, charming, and humorous Obama with solutions to their problems

          It sounds like a scam. Even though, indeed, he is "All That".

          Nothetheless, such positioning is more suited to thinking that "Black Folk make Great Entertainers" rather than the "Solutions" end of it demanded by true Swing Voters and Independents. These people will show up, and they aren't really undecideds. They're evaluators more than primed for "Real Change".. And Barack will get into some serious trouble with this ultimately decisive voting block if he and his Policy Team keep freaking vacillating on the Issues:  

          --->Suburban Swing voters, many Catholic, can spot the blarney a mile away and will be listening more than closely to the one-liners of a prospective President who can tumble Markets or send Armed Forces to War.. Suburban Swing voters-  many who really Don't give a shit about race itself are looking for authenticity and spine.

          Generally, As for "Undecideds",
          my experience tells me "undecided" usually = (Not votin for The Black Guy AnyWho).

          75% "Friendly, charming, and humorous" + 25% "Solutions" Obama isn't enough.
          To me, that's like stepping right up to slide on the "Lightweight" Suit.

          He got where he is by being the major candidate who came out forthrightly about the greatest issue of our Day, Iraq.
          He'll be fine Addressing "race" "concerns" squarely, legitimitely identifying the racebaiting for what it is, and laying it at his opponents feet where it belongs.
          The Country will certainly be better for it.

          •  I was responding to the attack meme (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Robert Davies

            He does need to talk about the issues more. But, if he's responding to all of this garbage that he's seeing daily, he's off message.
            He needs to stay on message and let others do the trash talk.

            "Nothetheless, such positioning is more suited to thinking that "Black Folk make Great Entertainers"


            In this written world called the net that we live with, "it's the facts and just the facts", but in the rest of America there are a lot of people that get all or most of their news from their tv's. Those people will throng to a charismatic individual that smiles, is humorous, is self-deprecating, and uhh, like Jimmy Stewart.
            He could be serious but people would have paid money to just to listen to him read a book.
            Obama has that same gift. It's not a black gift, it's a human gift.

            "When the powerful say that the price was worth the blood and treasure, you can bet your ass it wasn't their blood, nor their treasure."

            by sceptical observer on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 06:12:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Staying positive must be an idea planted by repub (6+ / 0-)

    strategists into the democratic campaigns.

    •  like bowing & scraping for fake moderates, swing, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      bipartisan & independent voters.

      the truth is people who use those labels either dislike or hate each party, and

      they dislike each party cuz they distrust each party,


      they hate each party cuz they know 1 party is a bunch of corporate crooks and the other party is a bunch of incompetent do gooders, both of whom live VERY well not doing much for much of anyone.

      WHY don't we define 'staying positive' as pointing our fascist fucking lies?


      Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

      by seabos84 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:30:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No responce (6+ / 0-)

    From Obama's camp will look weak to many Americans.
    Many are not as sophisticated as you & I.Most will see a guy not able to respond.

    •  Yup... (6+ / 0-)

      And I think this is the fourth time I have posted this: This is America.  If a man insults you, you are obligated to respond or else you look weak.  Obama is responding somewhat with the latest ad - but we will see if it is enough.

      When Obama visits Europe, they wave American flags and sing America's praises.

      by RichM on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:03:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Its not even about the response... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Uberbah, MichiganGirl, addisnana

        as other poster have said here in the comments, Obama needs to go on the attack.  Let the media be talking about McCain and his Ferragamo loafers.  Or his 43873 houses.  Or his shady personal life when he left his first wife for Cindy.

        Or his temper - "Does he have the temperament to lead?"  could be a tagline.

        Fuck being above the fray.  Fuck being noble.  Some people may not like dirty politics, but they work.  They've worked the last two presidential elections.  

        And if I wake up the morning after election day and McCain has squeaked out a victory with the state of the economy, the state of the war in Iraq and most Americans wanting us out, the price of gas and oil, and everythign else wrong in this country, I am going to blame Obama's campaign for being too stupid or hoity toity to engage in the nasty compaigning that WORKS.  

  •  but where's the Clintons? (7+ / 0-)

    Where are many of the big names on the Democratic side?

    What Obama really needs is strong surrogates, and quite frankly, he hasn't got a lot of them.

    I haven't seen either Clinton on TV talking about Obama in weeks.

    I haven't seen many 527 ads helping out Obama.

    Meanwhile, it seems like the entire Republican apparatus is behind McCain.

  •  i wouldn`t worry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The conservative on election projection said that McCain isn`t really doing any better and has Obama with 338 electoral votes.
    He even said until state polls change,   nothing is different.Also I would stay awy from attacks on marriages and shoes plus he has his own pastor problem, keep it on the issues.

  •  Disagree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ReEnergizer, Oldengrey

    Cenk, we follow politics, and so naturally we're interested in polls, political advertisements, and so on.  But right now it's about creating a narrative.  Both sides are exploring the others weaknesses, poking here, prodding there, testing for vulnerabilities.

    Obama is concentrating on mobilizing voters with grass roots campaigning.  Fortunately, in addition to developing the grass roots, Obama has plenty of money to counter McCain's ads with his own.  McCain is concentrating on developing a media campaign, too.  His ads are all over the place and seem a little incoherent because he's searching.

    So, as interesting as we might find it, Obama is doing the right thing by more or less keeping the powder dry, counterpunching as necessary, and testing McCain in turn.  The timing of the Obama ad on McCain and Big Oil is brilliant.

    After the convention and after the speech in Denver will be the time to pour it on, fully commit resources. and fully commit to a strategy and a McCain narrative.  

    •  Obama isn't testing or counterpunching...... (12+ / 0-)

      Obama is doing the wrong thing by "keeping the powder dry" because he has the money to do otherwise and still do everything else.

      I'm doing voter mobilization, and voters are affected by their general impressions of candidates.  Obama is letting McCain define Obama, and that's a problem.

      The narrative McCain is setting on Obama is one the Rethugs have spent many weeks preparing, just as they did to Kerry.

      In a time of war, is that really the time to be asking whether we should be at war?...When it is over we should ask whether we should leave. -- Stephen Colbert

      by DCCyclone on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:06:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama spent $5 MM in Florida (4+ / 0-)

        to tie it up there.  Obama has never run out of money (like Clinton) because he has smart people budgeting where and when to spend it, not because his money supply is endless.  McCain has spent little to get his ads out there, by making them sufficiently controversial that the media does it for him.  (Somebody ought to make this crap illegal-- there is nothing newsworthy enough about the ads themselves to make the free exposure fair.)
        There will be plenty of exposure for Obama from the Olympics ad buy through the convention, and by September we will see a clear message, I am sure, controlled by Obama, I am sure.  It's they way he operates.
        Meanwhile I would like to see better surrogates and a competent VP nominee.
        Summer!  It's not the heat, it's the stupidity!

        •  to add to your budgeting point (0+ / 0-)

          i read that they are really cheap, meaning people pile on in hotel rooms, take cheap train rides, cabs, etc. so yes you are right, they save for the important things

        •  Florida has been a mystery...... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Obama has played Florida brilliantly, no doubt.

          It's a mystery, though, why McCain and the RNC have failed to spend a dime there.  Yes it's expensive, but McCain has to burn through all his money before the last day of his convention, and the RNC fundraises real well.  They've let their very real lead disappear for no damn good reason.

          I'm not complaining, I'm happy as a clam that we now have another path to electoral vote victory.  I always expected the demographic realities of Florida to return to form and make Obama competitive.  But I never imagined such a quick Obama recovery based on a completely one-sided campaign effort there.

          That's not what's happening in other traditional battlegrounds.  McCain is playing hard elsewhere, and it's working.

          In a time of war, is that really the time to be asking whether we should be at war?...When it is over we should ask whether we should leave. -- Stephen Colbert

          by DCCyclone on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:03:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  A lot of people assume that McCain is (15+ / 0-)

    known to the American people and can't be redefined. I say horse-puckey to that. Obama should be, should already have been, defining McCain to the American people in the same way McCain is trying to do to Obama as we speak. Hard hitting ads, everyday, that define McCain as the old, out of touch, flip-flopping Bushite that he is. Ignore McCain's feeble ad buys. Go after him on offense.

    The "low road express" is lower than slug-slime beneath a dung covered rock.

    by Rumarhazzit on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:06:48 AM PDT

    •  taking your point even further (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rumarhazzit, Scubaval, addisnana

      McCain's current line of attack is undermining what people thought they knew about him (honorable maverick opposed to cheap game-playing politics, etc.)

      These very things are what differentiated him from BushCo in the past -- and now that he has thrown them aside, he has given Obama a huge opportunity to redefine him that Obama may not have had otherwise.

      Frankly, as much as I am hating this current cycle of the election, it is providing a shitload of ammunition for Team Obama, and it could very well be that Team Obama is letting McCain continue these attacks -- had in fact known and planned for them -- because they have the potential to pay great dividends for Obama down the line...

    •  You remind me of Sherman Potter with the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "horse-puckey" remark.  I love it.

  •  I also expect Obama to regain what the ads lost (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    him in the polls, if it was the ads. It's just a feature of the guy. Not to detract from Cenk's main point in any way, Obama should be on the offensive, and given mccain as a person and his record, doing that without being negative is almost impossible.

  •  You're 10% right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edwardssl, Jersey Jesus

    however I'm not very optimistic that the Obama campaign will do what you have outlined...

  •  no tip (6+ / 0-)

    In the past few days, Obama has come out swinging and stuck to his principles.  Yet here you are, a day late and a dollar short, saying that Obama needs to learn to fight.

    It is time for us: you, me, all of us, to change the narritive and talk about the punches Obama has landed.

    PARAPHRASED QUOTES (look up the real ones yourself, correct me below, and add to the list)

    "I'm not going to insult McCain, I'm not going to compare him to celebrities, I'm going to compare our ideas"  jab

    "The oil industry has made record profits, and John McCain wants to give them more tax breaks as a reward.  McCain will give $4 billion of your money to the oil companies, and the oil companies are giving back to John McCain."  bam

    There are more.

    Hey ABC Who Lied To You About the Anthrax?

    by math monkey on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:08:37 AM PDT

  •  The McCain campaign boils down to two things: (5+ / 0-)
    1. Obama scary
    1. McCain will give you free money

    All Obama has done to refute the first trope is to call out McCain on having said it.  The assumption being people will find that as unfair as he does.

    He needs to show that McCain is far scarier than he is, and why.  Needs to be forceful and clear about it.  Talk about how his advisors have called for immediate attacks on Iran.  Talk about how his intended occupation of Iraq will not allow us to afford things like research into renewable energy, and infrastructure investment (visual: Twin Cities bridge in ruins).

    He may not want to do these things.  They might make him feel dirty.  But he will if he wants to win.

    "I've waited all my life for a Republican Barack Obama. Now he shows up and he's a Democrat." - Frank Luntz

    by The Termite on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:09:34 AM PDT

  •  McCain has found his "Swift Boat" (9+ / 0-)

    and I believe the "celebrity" meme is going to be extremely effective. I told my wife last night to expect a bump in the polls for McCain and she said I was crazy. Until she saw the headline at TPM this morning.


    I bet the lead will be even bigger by the end of the week.

    •  It won't be just one thing though: Chaos (0+ / 0-)

      Chaos is going to be their operative strategy. They are more than willing to take a weak rebutal that mcCain changes his story or is a harpy.

      They are going to throw as much varied provacative shit on the wall to freak the shit out of people and leaving no room for methodical dissembly.

      This is the very reason why its important for Obama to go on offense and

    •  but do not lose hope as remember there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      were times when Hillary went way up in the polls and Obama still won the primary.

      So it is early August, anything can happen from here on out.

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

      by wishingwell on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 01:43:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gallup has O up by 3 and Cenk does not know (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Kroning, Yumn, Antacid

    what he's talking about. he's a bit too young

    •  With respect, defend that remark (28+ / 0-)

      I'm sick to death of ppl telling worried supporters to calm down? Why should we calm down? Because the Democratic Party has a long, proud history of winning Presidential elections? Because you can cite to clear, authoritative evidence that Cenk's position is unreasonable? Because Obama has defeated 437 strong Republican opponents in his time? What??

      People aren't worried because they're "a bit too young," or concern trolls. They're worried because we've seen this movie before. The Dem nominee, whoever it is, chronically gives the electorate too much credit. This election will be decided by folks currenty stumbling around a Wal-Mart in purple stretch pants humming along to "Man, I Feel Like a Woman." Those voters don't care about four-point energy plans. They care about personality; they pick their presidents like they pick who is or isn't their favorite movie star. You'd think it'd be based on the quality of their work but it's actually a whole host of factors unrelated to their ability to, like, act. Same goes for their political picks. And by not responding last week, Obama has allowed the celebrity impression to sink in.

      •  so now, young people are dumb and don't know (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pager, demoKatz, StuckBetweenStations


        I guess that's why we're so heavily for Obama then?

        Really, your comment was probably meant well but, it came off as a bit condescending.

        The McCain campaign's new slogan: Get that IL Senator off my lawn!

        by krwlngwthyou on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:23:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  sorry arquebus, I meant to respond to delphil (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in that comment, not you.

        I agree with your point.

        The McCain campaign's new slogan: Get that IL Senator off my lawn!

        by krwlngwthyou on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:24:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Im just saying wait and I agree with you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Knockout Ed

        The reason we are so freaked out is that we dont want to lose another election. Im just saying its too early to make a conclusion. I also have a trust in the Obama campagin.  All I have is Obama's strategy vs Clinton and why he won:

        Through the summer and the fall, journalists underestimated the importance of these because they used the opinion polls to create a horse race out of whole cloth. In reality - the opinions expressed to pollsters were not stable enough to support the idea that there was an actual race going on.
        Voter opinions were based on little information and even less interest in the campaign. Obama's activities were never going to register with these uninformed and uninterested voters in the summer; they were always meant to yield dividends in the winter. So, Obama was seen to be a weaker candidate than he really was. Accordingly, Clinton was seen to be stronger than she really was. She was always the frontrunner (she still is), but the overuse of opinion polls made her appear "unstoppable" and "inevitable" to the press.
        Like the press, the Clinton campaign clearly underestimated Obama - it over-looked the money, the message, or the organizing. Perhaps the Clinton campaign did this for the same reason as the press. Perhaps it relied so heavily on the opinion polls that it could not see that Obama was preparing to launch a viable campaign later on.
        Axelrod maintains that doubts about Clinton will grow as the primaries draw nearer, and that Obama’s cautious campaign will ultimately prevail. One important advantage Obama has over insurgent-idealists who preceded him (like Hart and Bradley) is that he has the money to keep pace with the front-runner.

        •  I understand your point, but (0+ / 0-)

          Kerry was great against Edwards and Clark in 04. Gore was fabulous against Bradley. Dukakis was even good against his primary foes. That's not an indicator of success as a general election candidate. Granted, Obama took down a bigger opponent than did the others. But that still doesn't mean much.

          •  I think Clinton was much harder than McCain (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wishingwell, Yumn, fieldmarshal

            but might just be me. I thought Clinton or Edwards would win. I was shocked that Obama did. Other positives:

            1. field organization and organizing background. I think he knows how to get to voter's self-interest,etc.
            1. disciplined, long term strategy
            1. GOTV with increase in votes. If Obama matches Kerry's turnout (which I think he will) or increase it. I dont think McCain can match Bush's turnout (people just wont feel like voting)
            1. Money matters. He has money. One reason Kerry lost he couldnt match Bush's money.
            1. 50 state strategy. See 4 above
            1. Gruesome primary helps Obama while McCain had a relatively easier primary
          •  Kerry won the primary race (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            before it really got started. He did not build ground organizations all over the country like Obama has. He was not battle tested against the Clinton machine. He lacked money.

            And Gore didn't exactly have it too tough against Bradley, either. Of course, Gore actually WON the national popular vote. It's the Electoral College that counts.

            As for Dukakis, the circumstances in 88 were very different than the circumstances today. No war, an OK economy. The leftover Reagan popularity.

            In the end, I think pocketbook issues will overcome the racial and inexperience issues.

            As for national polls in early August, they're not particularly relevant, IMHO.

            "It's no wonder more people call themselves Democrats; it's easy to identify with a party that identifies with you." --srmjjg

            by Dragon5616 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:56:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes in 00 and 04, the economy was in pretty good (0+ / 0-)

          shape. People were not losing their homes, losing their jobs, losing their healthcare and paying sky high prices for gasoline and heating oil. The price of food has also increased dramatically.

          It is hard to compare the economy of 2000 or 2004 to now..there is no real comparison.

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

          by wishingwell on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 01:48:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I have not seen a person in purple stretch pants (0+ / 0-)

        in a good 15 years. While I somewhat agree with your point, I also agree with those who say that in previous elections ( Dukakis, Gore, Kerry), the economy was nearly in the bad shape it is now. People were not losing their homes and healthcare costs were not this high nor was the price of gas.

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

        by wishingwell on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 01:45:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Polls are bogus Cenk, you should know that. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TenthMuse, Black Mare, Yumn

    The latest polls I have seen show McCain in trouble in Maricopa county in Arizona.

    Obama need not do anything different, McCain is burning his own bridges with the negative ads.

    "If the answer is infinite light why do we sleep in the dark?" Paul Simon

    by shpilk on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:11:27 AM PDT

  •  "This isn't some... (5+ / 0-)

    ...campaign of Barack Obama versus history."

    Yes it is Cenk.  Yes, it is.

    Try as you might, you cannot spell HOPE with the letters GOP.

    by David Kroning on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:11:36 AM PDT

    •  Isn't it just amazing the response in this diary (4+ / 0-)

      vs the response in Midwesterners' diary.

      I was terribly disappointed in the behavior of my fellow Kossacks in Midwesterners' diary.  

      I'm still trying to figure out why everyone isn't trashing this diary as well.

      Both diaries seem to be making similar points.

      I think the points being made are valid and are being made by people who really, really want to see Obama elected.

      •  its popular to trash those who are concerned. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TracieLynn, blueocean

        I got told to "get the f*ck up" by somebody, even though they failed to listen when I mentioned I was attending more O volunteer activities tonight.

        concern doesn't mean we're doing nada.

        The McCain campaign's new slogan: Get that IL Senator off my lawn!

        by krwlngwthyou on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:22:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It doesn't mean your doing nothing... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          in2mixin, Black Leather Rain

          on the contrary, you're doing something useless and maybe even harmful because you're contributing to the false perception that we're losing when nothing can be further from the truth.

          It is nothing but non-sensical panic and it stems from irrational fear.

          Try as you might, you cannot spell HOPE with the letters GOP.

          by David Kroning on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:27:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Tell that to Kerry. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pager, Uberbah
          •  David, I like you. I value your opinions and (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TracieLynn, Pager

            I've always looked forward to your comments.

            So when you tell me that I am not only helping, but hurting...that I just don't get.

            If I was running around saying he's a muslim or making a diary for every new rumor...sure I could see it then.

            But when I'm talking about tracking polls...I don't see how that is hurting him.

            The McCain campaign's new slogan: Get that IL Senator off my lawn!

            by krwlngwthyou on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:41:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  irrational fear has won R's elections (5+ / 0-)


            Political compass: -5.50 econ, -5.79 libertarian/authoritarian

            by billlaurelMD on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:51:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I think you are truly blinded by (9+ / 0-)

            your unwavering support (which is a good thing) for Obama. The writing is on the wall and this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that in more than a few states, Obama is falling behind in every poll.

            He can win this. I absolutely believe that. But to continue to deny that there are some things in this campaign that need serious and immediate attention serves no good purpose for those running this campaign.

            I want to win, godddamnit. I want to fucking win. I can't do four more years under the same type of regime I have lived under for the last 8.

            So, if some of us are starting to become strident, it is because we are desperate for someone to hear us. Just as we begged someone to hear us four years ago. And that is an apt comparison, David. Kerry's campaign ignored the warning signs and we have all lived with the results of that arrogance.

            Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn't mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar. Edward R. Murrow

            by Pager on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:06:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  whimpy bullshit campaign go back decades. High (0+ / 0-)

              road tactics are the fast road to LOSING.

              so, um

              what is NEW about Barack is that he's gonna learn NEW versions of the SAME lessons Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry learned the hard way, too?


              Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

              by seabos84 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:35:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  That is exactly what the Obama campaign has.... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, housesella, wishingwell, in2mixin

    been doing. Nothing new here. Tie McCain to Bush in every ad. Obama does need to convince people he is a leader of substance. And he is doing just that with the foreign policy tour last week and a midwest tour this week. Right on track.

  •  "This is genius"? (0+ / 0-)

    You have a really low threshhold for genius.

  •  I'm not sure how you fight a pukey lie-ridden (6+ / 0-)

    campaign if the people are willing to buy into it, and the media is more than willing to help spoon feed it.

    I can't for the life of me, despite the overwhelming evidence available, believe that America is this stupid.  But I could very well be wrong.  If John McCain wins this election, I will for the first time ever, consider moving my family elsewhere.

    •  Although it would be interesting to see (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jazminecat, addisnana

      Obama go after McCain in a similar manner, exposing his scandalous affair, divorce, and re-marriage as well as the real circumstances of his heroic imprisonment and the Anti-American statements he made while living under those conditions.

      I don't know how it would fly with the electorate, but it would be interesting to expose McCain for what he really is in front of all of America.

    •  Ditto (0+ / 0-)

      Not living in a country that's comfortable with falling into the fucking sea.

      All forms of Conservatism belong in the trash heap of history and not anywhere near our schools, government or society.

      by Brad007 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:15:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama should work like he's tied, but (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndySteve, delphil, Jampacked, Yumn

    Polls taken during the summer are the least reliable. The only ones paying attention to politics are the political junkies. I'll start taking the polls seriously come mid-September.

    "The thought of McCain being president sends a cold chill down my spine," "He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me." - Thad Cochran (R)

  •  We are freaking out over one week of polling (10+ / 0-)

    ... in fucking August. Before the convention, before anyone has a veep. Everyone needs to get a collectively and firm GRIP

    If at first you don't succeed, your name is not Chuck Todd.

    by Larry Madill on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:16:07 AM PDT

  •  He needs to deliver a hard punch (9+ / 0-)

    I'm hearing all over the place from Dem and moderate Repub friends alike, that Obama is being too passive; it's turning people off. Enough with taking the ultra high road--that doesn't resonate with middle-America. Obama needs to get aggressive and shine the negative spotlight on McCain, or he will be perceived as weak and not able to handle the gutter politics that shape public opinion. Attack ads work; that's why McCain is using them.  

    "We, two, form a multitude." --Ovid

    by CanyonWren on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:17:32 AM PDT

  •  I agree with your point that Obama needs to get (7+ / 0-)

    people to take a long hard look at McCain and his policies and ask themselves if he's the guy they want in charge of the country.  McCain wants all the attention on Obama, and none of the scrutiny on himself. McCain wants to be the default choice. This is exactly how Bush won.

    This is where the media actually works against Obama. Because McCain is so damn boring, and nobody wants to see him on tv, the media doesn't cover him, whereas they cover every minute detail of Obama. Obama needs to shift the spotlight onto McCain to let people know just how terrible he'd be in the oval office.

  •  Most important diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jim in Chicago, Bensdad, Jersey Jesus

    on this site in years.

    Those who ridicule you or disagree with you are in denial.

    Winners, unite.

  •  The "Angry Black Man" will lose the election. (12+ / 0-)

    Obama must be very careful; Republicans are hoping against hope that they will find some way to make Obama appear angry and aggressive.  Footage of Obama saying something negative about McCain that can be construed as angry, outraged, aggressive or indignant will lose him the election.

    I don't disagree with you about changing the conversation, though, and I think Obama's new ad fits the bill.  But as someone pointed out, it's not going to get all the free air play that McCain gets from his negative ads with Paris Hilton and such.  Facts just aren't as good for ratings as smut and negative inuendo.  That's something the Democrats will have to get around.

    McCain is not the opponent, he's just the latest messenger.  The opponent is Republican incompetence, Republican greed, Republican corporate patronage.  

    Attacking McCain will backfire. He's a very sympathetic figure.  Attacking the Republican record will win.

    This is chess, not checkers.  Instead of constantly attacking Obama and his campaign, and generating negative energy, if we want to win we've got to stay positive, DONATE, and turn off the computer and do the hard work of getting out the vote.  

    "We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America." Barack Obama

    by keeplaughing on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:18:46 AM PDT

  •  No, No, No. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Knockout Ed, Antacid

    "You undermine all of your arguments, all of your surrogates and give away your strength when you agree with the other side."

    Please don't continue playing this game.  Obama doesn't play this game, he told you from the start that he doesn't play this game, and there's no reason for him to start playing Us vs. Them now.

    Obama did not get where he is today by drawing lines in the sand.  He is a collaborator, a negotiator, and a diplomat.  To expect his campaign to start playing Us vs. Them American Football Politics is not only counter-intuitive to his personality, it's political suicide.  Does he need to ratchet up the rhetoric a bit?  Sure.  This doesn't mean that he should start treating the Republicans as the enemy for the first time in his political career.  THAT is playing old school politics.  It is not what his campaign was about, and I doubt he's going to change that now.

    It has to start somewhere. It has to start some time. What better place than here? What better time than now?

    by Black Leather Rain on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:19:22 AM PDT

    •  i see it as like cooperation theory (3+ / 0-)

      Sort of like the prisoner's dilemma game. If you count on the other side cooperating once, and it works to both's advantage, then you might be wise to try to cooperate with them again. But if you cooperate, and the other side tries to jab you with a knife to their selfish advantage (the current republican white house and congress), then you would be most unwise to try to cooperate again with the same people that just tried to stab you.

      Since 1994 (and maybe since Reagan), the Republicans have been taking advantage of the courtesy, "bipartisanship", and compromising by the democrats, responding with full-throated attacks on their integrity for "flip-flopping", not having principles, or making them look weak with dirty attacks on their patriotism. In order for cooperative behavior to work, the other side must show at least some small bit of cooperation itself. I see only selfishness at this point, and it needs to be punished, in my opinion. I realize Obama and I likely disagree on this point.

      •  Honestly, he and I disagree on this, too. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Recently, I reached the part of AoH where he talks about one of his first meetings with President Bush and how well they got along, and buddy-buddied up for the few minutes they spent chatting.

        Considering everything I think I know about this administration and all of the evil it's done to this country, its people, and its future, I can't fathom being polite - much less FRIENDLY - to the man steering that particular ship.  I cannot reconcile political expediency in the name of bipartisanship to wanting to see Bush and Cheney and their cabal at Hague.

        Obama's readiness to kiss an enemy on their cheek and welcome them to sit and talk makes me incredibly uneasy, but I also think it's one of his best qualities.

        It has to start somewhere. It has to start some time. What better place than here? What better time than now?

        by Black Leather Rain on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:46:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Misapplying market theory (0+ / 0-)

        to every human situation - besides being a classic case of playing smack-dab within a right-wing frame - is akin to misapplying evolutionary theory to every human situation.

        The latter results in social Darwinism, among other atrocities. The former results in a downward spiraling of our political culture, a cynical detachment from the consequences of public policy and a devaluing of the common good.

        Both are cases of the logical fallacy of generalizing a particular explanation of the primary dynamics of a particular system to the entire world.

        One day posterity will remember, this strange era, these strange times, when ordinary common honesty was called courage. -- Yevgeny Yevtushenko

        by RandomActsOfReason on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:17:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  come on, social darwinism? (0+ / 0-)

          If you want to talk about right wing frames, saying application of evolutionary themes to humans results in social darwinism is a great start. Humans have eccentric properties but also have behaviors that are greatly influenced by evolutionary history (including within the environment of modern society). Do you disagree with this?

          How was this analogy misapplied? In my view, most republicans are currently dishonest brokers in a cooperative framework. It does not pay to compromise with them if they take selfish advantage every time. Do you disagree that they are dishonest participants?
          Or do you think it is still a good idea to attempt cooperation even if they are stabbing you in the back?

          I would also suggest the common good is sometimes better served by refusing to compromise.

    •  Yes. Yes. Yes. (0+ / 0-)

      Adopting the Republican position is a losing proposition, period.  Look at Max Cleland and Tom Dashle - both voted for the Iraq war and the Patriot act 'take the issue off the table' - and both were booted from office.

      So Obama voted for telecom immunity and supports offshore drilling - the Republicans will still demonize him as weak on national security and energy policy.

  •  Voters dont know Obama yet (6+ / 0-)

    and most voters dont care now. I dont think any of these stupid ads will stick on Obama come September October. Slowly as the information shifts, they will get to know him more.

    Here we are election junkies and we follow polls daily because we have nothing else to do.

    A good exercise is not to follow the election for a week and then check back a week later and do this over some time.

  •  The purpose of a political campaign (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exconservative, rhetoricus, demoKatz

    is to defeat the opposing campaign.

    Period, end of story.

    Get with the fucking program, Obama.  Your job is to bury John McCain.  Do it.

    •  I think he will and reading his book (0+ / 0-)

      The Audacity of Hope helps me understand more where he is coming from and the type of campaign he is running and what he intends to if elected.

      I think he has run a brilliant campaign thus far. And except for one week of little response to McCain's ads, I believe the campaign will continue to be a very smart one.

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

      by wishingwell on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 02:06:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  THANK YOU. (6+ / 0-)

    Obama can hit McSame's record (and would he PLEASE draw a parallel between McSame's Savings & Loan bailout and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac and call it corporate socialism?), and still finish up with a positive message. McSame wants another 8 years of exactly what we're doing. The campaign against him writes itself.

    McSame doesn't know the difference between Sunni and Shia. He doesn't know what borders what in the Middle East. He doesn't know Czechoslovakia hasn't existed for years. This is freakin' dangerous for a guy who STRONG suit is foreign policy.

    How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

    by rhetoricus on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:22:17 AM PDT

  •  Hit him hard and kick him when he's down (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seabos84, MichiganGirl, MantisOahu

    These assclowns have no business in government.

    All's fair.

    •  Bingo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And after he's down and kicked until he's spitting blood, pull out his eyes and make him eat them.

      I am fucking sick to death of Dems who campaign like Fraser Crane in a fight in a biker bar.

      If you don't want to play with the big boys in the roughest game in town, then don't waste our mother fucking time and money and emotional energy by getting into the game and letting us down by not fighting.

      Since very early in this cycle I've been saying I wanted a Brass Knuckles Democrat.  As of this moment, I'm still looking for that person.  I hope Obama and his camp wake up before it's too late.

      •  Yikes your imagery was hard on my stomach (0+ / 0-)

        Note to self: never eat anything while reading stuff on the computer during Election Season.

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

        by wishingwell on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 02:07:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I agree that Obama's team is letting McCain (11+ / 0-)

    define him, with ample help of course from the MSM. The ads of McCain's wouldn't have gotten anywhere without all the free ad time and support from the talking heads in the blogosphere.

    The Obama's team was pathetic last week. Really. And I have come to agree with someone who said that Robert Gibbs had to go. He wasn't Keeping It Simple, Stupid and he response to saying that Obama was playing the race card was obviously disingeneous, and weak and because it was so obviously false, it opened up the Obama side even more.

    And where are Obama's surrogates and why aren't they on point, knowledgeable and hitting back? Kerry was a great example of what to do, Dashle was an example of what not to do.

    As for ads, Obama has the money and to me it should be really simple, not just the ones you put forth, but ones that are so simple, even Paris Hilton gets it. That say at at time of people losing jobs, high gas prices, people losing their homes, that John McCain would rather talk about celebrities, rather than trying to help Americans. McCain would rather be negative, trivial and dishonest, rather than trying to do something to help Americans.

    I hope this weeks is a huge wake-up call for Obama's response and media team. They might have been trying to rope-a-dope McCain, or taking the high road and they can still not be negative. But they have to stop being passive and start being aggressive.

    Oh and the flip-flopping about off-shore drilling was stupid of him. Just like his flip-flopping on FISA. It doesn't get him any votes from people who would have voted for him and loses votes from people who might have.

    Today better be the start of a stronger week than last, or this goes from Obmaa's to lose, to Obama's losing it.

    Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson

    by ElizabethRegina1558 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:23:42 AM PDT

    •  John Kerry is good, Biden is good (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We need Kerry, Biden, and Hillary Clinton out there as surrogates.

      Speaking of which....

      Paging Hillary, come out from behind the curtain and hit McCain hard...we need ya.

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

      by wishingwell on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 02:09:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why do people keep saying this is a "brilliant" (6+ / 0-)

    strategy by the McCain camp as if they came up with something that none of us saw coming months ago!?!? I mean really...

    "The time for justice, freedom, and equality is ALWAYS right now."- The great debaters

    by sillycilla on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:28:03 AM PDT

  •  We're doomed! Doomed, I tells ya! n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ivan, Dragon5616, Antacid
  •  Obama not attacking is a bad move IMHO (5+ / 0-)

    though today's ad re: McCain sucking up to big oil is a broadside against the old man.

    Obama needs a lot more of those types of ads.  It'll make the difference between a squeaker and a landslide.

    Don't be so afraid of dying that you forget to live.

    by LionelEHutz on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:31:27 AM PDT

  •  More Troubling than One Rasmussen Poll - (5+ / 0-)

    Is the fact that Obama has been consistently losing the "Leaners" since the July 4th weekend.

    When "Leaners" are pushed, they break about 55% to 45% for McCain.  They have been doing this for a month now.  In the past 29 days, only twice have leaners given Obama a larger lead - never by more than 1%.  On 14 occasions leaners have given McCain a greater lead, three times by an additional 2%. And if you pooh-pooh that 2%, remember that it is as much as 2% out of 6% or a two to one split of undecideds in favor of McCain.

    That's the Rasmussen info that is more troubling than a one day burp.

    •  Leaners by definition can be pushed the other way (0+ / 0-)

      I believe the Obama camp believes its too early and I agree with them. They spent very little in July saving for August onwards

    •  many of those so-called "leaners" are repubs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      A huge number re-registered as independents recently, but that doesn't mean they aren't still conservative. I would bet Obama loses leaners in November too, but he can win without them.

      •  No - - (0+ / 0-)

        He can't.

        If Obama is ahead 46/44 in the last poll.
        He will lose with a 55/45 split of "leaners" -
        And a 1% Bradley Factor.

        I think it more than prudent to plan for, at least, some Bradley Factor.

        •  disagree, state-by-state, turnout, party ID (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Currently, the national polls are misleading imo. Party ID has been swinging around so it'd be interesting to know the models pollsters are using to weight their samples, turnout may be unusual this year, and Obama could still lose the popular vote and win the election as evidenced by strong leads in the state-by-state polling. But closet racism may be an issue. That doesn't change the fact that more of those "leaners" are actually republicans than in past years, so they will be tough to win outright. IMO, he has to win without them.

        •  Incorrect. (0+ / 0-)

          The polls don't mean anything unless they accurately reflect turnout. There's a lot of evidence, with multiple reasonings, that suggest the turnout models being used by polling companies at the moment will wind up underestimating Obama's numbers.

          That's even more true of national tracking polls, the ONLY thing being used to justify this hysteria.

      •  Yes what I call Lou Dobbs Independents who were (0+ / 0-)

        Republicans. But Lou advises his listeners to register as Independents. And Lou is very anti Obama.

        I know a few Republicans who are not Independents. I was going to applaud him but they go off on Obama all the time and talk about Democrats being too liberal. All they do is spout Lou Dobbs talking points.

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

        by wishingwell on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 02:18:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If I could "tip/rec" this 10000000000 times, (10+ / 0-)

    I would....

    But going after your opponent's record isn't negative campaigning; it's explaining why it's a bad idea to vote for the other guy. That is part and parcel of a political campaign.

    great diary!!!!!!

    Gimme an "O", gimme a "B"...oh hell, just gimme some "OFFENSE"....

    by left my heart on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:33:59 AM PDT

  •  Young Turk (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Dead on.

    Be an asshole- run negative ads, I wont hate you obama. You cant be peace loving like MLK- he wasnt running for office.

    Dont give in- even when you're wrong. it just flip-flop ammo.   I mean if McCain cant admit he's wrong on iraq- nobody shoudl admit anything less.

    •  Cenk isn't for NEGATIVE ads, just Hard Hitting... (6+ / 0-)


      He made that distinction in this piece. Negative is just making up stuff to smear your opponent.

      Hard hitting is sticking to the damaging facts and bludgeoning your opponent over the head with them.


      by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:38:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I dont think so (0+ / 0-)

        Negative isnt a smear. A smear is a smear.

        A negative ad is anytime you put down th eopponent, even if its legitamite.

        I'm not advocating smears, but negative ads.

        I'm also aware of what facts are, even if they aren't in bold font.

        •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

          It really does depend upon the tone and nature of the criticism.

          You have to point out why people shouldn't vote for your opponent in addition to why they should vote for you.  

          We can have a reasonable disagreement about the ratio of those things but there should be no disagreement that some level of opponent criticism is required.


          by ihavenobias on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 08:55:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Or we're a "Nation of Whiners" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and have a baby crying and say that's what John McCain's top "guru of economics advisors"  thinks the U.S. people are and have ordinary people say that McCain is out of touch.  (Kinda like the one Hillary did in PA with Barack's "people cling to guns, religion" statement)

  •  Timing (0+ / 0-)

    If Obama does attack my question would be when is the best time. Probably a bad analogy but in College Football it is better to lose early so you can still win the Title at the end of the year.
    Would attacking now get lost on the electorate by the fall?

  •  Well said. Hope the "see/hear/speak no evil" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    musicalhair, frandor55

    clowns in Camp Obama read this.

    Even the McCain=Bush on gas is too soft in my opinion. Obama needs to start hitting hard and take the initiative. NOW!

    He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire ::Winston Churchill::

    by Jeremy10036 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:37:42 AM PDT

  •  McCain-Bush (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    McCain-Bush, McCain-Bush, McCain-Bush.

    On and on through 11/4 and Obama wins. Because, duh-people. hate. Bush.

    John McCain: The only mavericky straight-talker surrounded by corporate lobbyists

    by atrexler on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:38:03 AM PDT

  •  Great diary (4+ / 0-)

    I hope they're reading it in Chicago.

    Call 1-866-675-2008 (press 6) and demand that Obama go on offense!

    by jenontheshore on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:38:29 AM PDT

  •  Just as importantly, what WE can do about it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is make these points when phonebanking (which makes more of an impact than writing here, IMHO)

    In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.

    by Zach Alexander on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:40:24 AM PDT

  •  If it makes anyone feel better, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yumn, bobscofield, addisnana

    I had dinner last night with an Indian friend, a devout Hindu who really knows his astrology charts and believes them wholeheartedly, and he said that the planets have aligned for big positive changes around early November of this year, and January of next year, especially in world events. He is sure that this means Obama will win.  For what it is worth.

    I, not being Hindu, say go on heavy heavy offense, paint McCain as 4 more years of Bush, and as a bumbling, forgetful, angry, scary old guy who will age even faster in the White House.  

  •  The Surge (0+ / 0-)

    Watch what Iraqis think about the Surge.  An Iraqi documentary.  I emailed a link to a documentary to Feinstein once and received a response that indicated someone on her staff watched it.  There are 3 or so small videos.

  •  I personally (7+ / 0-)

    don't always agree with Mr. Uygur, I have always respected his passion for what he believes in. I do believe he is right on this case. I personally am tired of all the crap that Dems allow happen to them and the country.

    I will do my best to quote Lewis black who was in town on Friday, he said "for 8 years the GOP went around farting everywhere and the Democrats, the opposition party went behind the GOP and said 'oh let me smell more of that'"

    we need more than any other time in our history to stand up and shout down the lies and shout down the spin and shout into the nations ears why were are in the shitter right now. we all need to be going over the wall and doing all we can to make sure the truth is heard, if we don't McSame will win. End of Story.

    "we think about it, we talk about, we dream about, all the time because we are afraid that the world will implode on it's on evil nature otherwise"

    by red states blues on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:41:43 AM PDT

  •  Nice guys (5+ / 0-)

    finish last.

    Average Joe likes to parrot republican talking points cause they think it makes them appear like they know what's going on.  Remember, 98% of the population aren't political junkies like us.

    He who controls the conversation/topics wins the election.  John Kerrry's swiftboating was much ado about nothing but the lack of response solidified in the public's mind he was weak.

    Never before in American history is there so much material to nail Bush/McCain but then again I thought that in 2004 and Kerry blew it.

  •  On August 29 (0+ / 0-)

    hammer home the birthday cake photo op of Sydney with bush while NOLa drowned.

    Russ Feingold: cooler than Batman.

    by yojimbo on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:45:17 AM PDT

  •  Great diary, thanks - how many times can I rec? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama is listening to the same people who advised Kerry, apparently.
    And here was me, feeling pretty good, all things considered, under the impression he and his people are smarter than that.
    You couldn't be more right. I hope they listen.
    My God, what do they tell these people?

  •  One simple thing Barack can do (12+ / 0-)

    is stop praising McCain. It seems like whenever Obama mentions McCain he prefaces it by saying, "I respect John McCain for his bravery and his service to the country..." Why? Are there people out there who don't know John McCain fought in Vietnam and lived in a POW camp for 5 years? McCain and his supporters certainly mention it every chance they get. To the extent that it may have been necessary for Obama to make such a statement to deflect the inevitable bogus retort that by criticizing McCain on other issues you are somehow disrespecting his service to his country and therefore unpatriotic, that time is now over. Obama has praised John McCain's military service more than enough times by now. So just stop. McCain never prefaces any of his attacks by saying, "I admire Barack Obama and his selfless decision to forego a high-paying Wall Street job and work as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago in an effort to help unemployed steel workers..." So why should Barack constantly be heaping praise on McCain for his war record, which by the way isn't even relevant towards who is more qualified to be President.

    "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent". - Thomas Jefferson

    by bobscofield on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:47:52 AM PDT

  •  A McCain administration = G. W. Bush's third term (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Iberian, RaulVB

    It's that simple.  Repeat this mantra over and over and over again.  Make campaign ads saying exactly just that.  Don't beat around the bush with this attack (no pun intended), just say it plain as day.  McCain = GWB's third term.  Is that what you want.  Point out all of the similarities.  Bush is an oil man, McCain is an oilman.  Bush used fear and cynicism to win, and McCain is trying to use fear and cynicism to win.  Do this on every single issue.  Run ads mocking McCain for claiming he is anything other than a Bush clone.  Run ads asking where McCain was when the city of New Orleans drowned while Bush was twiddling his thumbs, and show McCain smiling and eating cake with GW Bush.  Run ads showing McCain and Bush hugging.  We need to play hard ball for a change!!!

  •  Here's the commercial Obama needs: (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, RaulVB, Robert Davies, Yumn

    Clip of McCain saying, "I just don't know that much about the economy," or whatever the actual phrase was.

    That's it.

  •  Proud to have Feingold as my Senator (0+ / 0-)

    The best this country can offer.  

  •  I like the nice guy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't want the asshole to be President.

    I want the nice guy to be President.

    That's why I like the recced diary about losing the pundits and winning the election.

    In a country where shitheads conspire to derail investigations into deadly anthrax attacks, right after sitting around doing nothing while America gets attacked, the shitheads, for personal political gain, the fuckers, it's time for a nice guy to win.

    Fuck the shitheads.

    Let the nice guy win it for once.

    Not that The Nice Guy would run his campaign any other way.

    "Only the PTA? You know what the PTA stands for? Three things I respect and fear: Parents, Teachers, and Associations." [Rob Petrie]

    by eroded47095 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:50:03 AM PDT

  •  Shades of John Kerry, Obama is mistaking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Robert Davies

    A good natured guy is not what the voter wants to see.

    Regular folks want to hear a candidate speaking in a firm manner, pointing out the things that need to be pointed out, if the other candidate has a negative record behind him.

    Obama ignoring the load of mistakes and lack of judgment of McCain, because he wants to run a "positive campaign" will give the election to him (McCain).

    •  he already convinced US (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      those who want a smart, creative mind.

      Now he's gotta get the mouth breathers who don't give a crap about making things better...just fightin' and taxin'.

      If we cannot elect this man, we don't deserve him.

      by lisastar on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:53:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Barack Obama needs Wes Clark as VP (3+ / 0-)

    That's the ticket to smashing McCain's faux distractions.
    Plus Clark would be a great executive partner for President Obama on economic, environmental and foreign policy!

    •  Not so much (0+ / 0-)

      As someone who contributed to Clark in 2004 on the basis of his smarts and resume, its clear that he's gotten better as a public stumper, but he's still not nearly ready for prime time -- and probably never will be.  I wouldn't want to see Clark debating Romney on national television...

      For the record, we still have more than enough petroleum to trigger runaway greenhouse effects before the stuff runs out for good.

      by Minerva on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:06:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's just one poll. (0+ / 0-)

    for starters

  •  Positive Schmozitive (6+ / 0-)

    Americans are spoiled children who need a good talking to. They don't need or respond to a positive campaign. They need short sound bites and the hard facts. There are plenty of hard facts about McCain and his wife that they need to hear more about.

    If we rely upon our wonderful dems in congress (except for a very few) we will lose AGAIN. They seem just fine with the status quo so they can complain they never have a real majority. Well, we might except for the blue dogs who will hand this election over on a plate.

    I hope Obama's camp hears your message, Cenk.

    If we cannot elect this man, we don't deserve him.

    by lisastar on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:50:27 AM PDT

    •  That's the one good thing about Clinton (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lisastar, scrubjay, fantanel

         The one thing I worried about with Obama as the nominee(and I voted for him) was his toughness. Clinton would be bashing McCain non-stop if she'd won. I admire her fighting spirit-even if she takes it too far.

      And before anyone troll rates me I'm not a Clinton supporter. I want Obama but I want him to take the gloves off, or at least let his surrogates do it.

      •  I hear ya (0+ / 0-)

        I did not support Clinton either but I have more respect for her today after Obama caved in on FISA (not because she voted against but just because he did not live up to expectations)

        If America could get by the "Bill" issue I would be fine with HRC as VP.  She CAN fight.

        If we cannot elect this man, we don't deserve him.

        by lisastar on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:53:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Still, seeing McCain at +1 makes me want to HURL (0+ / 0-)
  •  Someone needs to hammer home McCain's failures (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, scrubjay

    5th from the bottom of his Class at the Academy
    saved only by his name clout -fail

    Wrecked 5 expensive jets - fail

    Dumps wife for rich girl - fail

    Keating 5

    fails to show up for votes in the Senate - fail

    Sleeps at work - fail

    A cooler head failing to prevail

    Can only lash out at Obama instead of portraying his own strengths and ability to lead - fail

    He is unfit for the Presidency and someone clearly needs to point that out on a national level

    He is as bad as Bush, maybe worse.

  •  This is the kind "ignore-evidence" mentality (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that the corporate media and the Rethugs stick in our faces, must our own do it as well?  This is the sentence I am talking about:

    Secondly, Obama has not attacked at all.

    All one has to do is to listen to Obama's speeches, his townhalls and/or his surrogates -- they have all been attacking the Thugs relentlessly; it is just that the RWNM (comprising of the Thugs and their media lapdogs) will not comment on it, ever.

    So, a tree falls in the forest, even for die-hard lefties, who cannot be bothered about finding out the truth and amplifying that.

    Instead, they play the same game as all the thugs on the other side and pretend our folks are not doing their jobs.  Sad.

    Don't let them define Obama (NOT a muslim, NO whitey remark): Fight the Smears

    by DraftChickenHawks on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:51:52 AM PDT

    •  Precisely, the connect with media job is not done (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I mean, if the media is not making comments about it, what does that says about your campaign's PR and press staff?

      For how many years people here have said that the lack of objective media has decided presidential elections for the GOP?

      •  It is like the saying "you cannot wake up a (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        person pretending to sleep"; the media will not cover Dems unless it is from the reThug perspective (or if your name is Clinton, this is more for salacious/train-wreck attraction reasons than any noble sentiments) -- there is nothing the Dem can do, except to go over their heads directly to the people -- which is the genius of the Obama operation.

        Ignore the media, we have nothing to gain from them and everything to lose by focusing on them and fulminating.   Follow the lead(er) and work around them: right now, register, register, register.

        In September, pump out information.  In October, GoTV.  Forget the media, the polls and the Thugs.

        Don't let them define Obama (NOT a muslim, NO whitey remark): Fight the Smears

        by DraftChickenHawks on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:36:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Stupid and tough beats Smart and nuanced (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Historically, since after JFK

    then again,

    there was the Bill Clinton phenomenon

    How did he win with out going negative?

    Primarily, if I recall correctly, it was the female vote that put the Big Dog over the top/

    •  Ross Perot (n/t) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Minerva, wishingwell
    •  Agreed. As for Clinton, (0+ / 0-)

      "It's the Economy Stupid." was the hammer.

      Painting Bush as clueless, out of touch, shopping for socks, no idea about the price of milk etc...Plenty of willingness to jab him.

      I'm a huge critic of the Clinton policy Agenda that was DLC /'Pub-Lite.

      Politically,however, they were and are sharp, had no prob "going there" to the matresses as it were, LOL, and as we've seen recently in the primaries..

      Also, The Clinton's willingness to "Go There" (Negative/Attack)  in 1992, '96, or 2008 NEVER  ate in to public perception of them as  "Smart" or "Qualified".

      It should be noted Hillary did not Lose because they
      went Negative on Barack.
      In fact, they almost recovered the Nomination. They Lost (Tacticly) because the underestimated him and blew their dough early on bullshit. The "Coronation" was their overarching Strategic error.

      As shitty as it was intramurally, the Negativity per se, was not their demise. They had a stone around their necks in a change climate the minute the went with Mark Penn. ....And I say this as a strong critic of the Clintons: Killed by their own presumption well  beforehand, the Negativity was all they had after the opening act..

  •  Veep Importance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    McCain has basically confirmed that he will not announce his Vice-President until Obama announces his.  Obviously, this is because McCain will base part of his decision on what Obama decides.  This is probably as simple as:

    1)  If Obama picks a man, McCain will pick a woman.

    2)  If Obama picks a woman, McCain will pick a man.

  •  Americans want Obama to dumb it down on occasion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Obama should leave McCain with a hot potato (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, RaulVB, Jaboo, addisnana

    The only viable strategy is to talk about McCain as if he IS Bush. The ads should not impugn or attack McCain's record -- because no one gives a shit about that. If McCain can be discussed in terms of Bush's disastrous terms, McCain will be stuck in the horrible position of having to defend Bush. In order to get away from it, he would have to turn voter's attention to his own record -- distinguish himself. And he won't be able to. Also, no one will care about "minutae" votes.

  •  Gee thanks Barack (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Coincidentally, I had just started changing my parents minds on the absurdity of off shore drilling....until you pulled a cowardly 180. Now my Dad is like, "See?! I was right!"

    "The truth may be puzzling. It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true. But our preferences do not determine what's true." -Carl Sagan

    by astronautagogo on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:57:10 AM PDT

  •  Rovians refocused discussion in media (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, martini, addisnana

    with their negative attacks on Obama, IMHO.  As I watched the "punditocracy" over the last week or so on CNN and on MSNBC, the discussions mainly revolved around the negative McCain ads & whether they were "over the top" or not & what was the Obama camp's reaction to the attack ads.  The McCain campaign succeeded in steering the conversations away from the Economy, the Iraq war, and basically every other important issue.

    IMHO, media prefer reporting the sensational over the positive, and political campaigns are no exception.  A good brawl between the candidates will always get their attention, even if the fight only involves one candidate slugging away at the other one in political ads.  

    So, I believe the Obama campaign can choose to keep taking the positive high road only, and still have the media "anaylsts" continue to focus on whether McCain is drawing blood with his nasty ads--or they can slug back at least a bit on McCain's multiple negatives.    

  •  We eat our own, then we complain when we lose. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Inertia is Obama's problem (0+ / 0-)

    A year ago Hillary had what looked like an insurmountable lead in the polls but they only showed people weren't ready to prefer him in public. They didn't care that W had little experience but he did have a pedigree. They need to feel they won't be laughed at going for Obama.

    McCain is the superficially safe choice but he looks ripe for collapse.

  •  This thing about Reagan vs Carter (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RaulVB, AndyS In Colorado, addisnana

    in one of yesterday's featured diaries ithink the comparisons were made of Obama to Reagan and McCain to Carter...

    but if you read further down the story, when it describes how Reagan won, it mentions that he "frequently ridiculed Carter". That is what McCain is doing. Flat out ridicule.

    The question is, How will Obama counter? Does he need to go Jackie Robinson style and just take a beating or should he go all in.

    I recall reading an Abraham Lincoln biography and seeing that Lincoln had NO PROBLEM getting NASTY on the campaign trail.

    Obama needs to heed the basic reality that Americans need to see that their president will fight for himself hard. How else can they be sure that he will fight for them?

  •  Yeah, I saw one poll (3+ / 0-)

    that had a one point difference from a few days before! That was clearly because of the McCain "celebrity" TV ad!

    Well, not the whole ad. I mean it was just one point. So okay I'd say that one point was caused by the last eighth of the ad. The little wiggle of the day before was caused by the middle part of the ad, and when it actually wiggled BACK in favor of Obama the next day by almost a point, that was because there was a part about two-thirds of the way through the ad that wasn't so great.

    Can everyone stop obsessing over little vibrations in the "polls", it's beyond meaingless this far out. Dukakis was way ahead at this point. Ross PEROT was leading in all polls during the primary often.

    It's getting like string theory or something, these arcane analyses. And guess what? It's not string theory. I mean I don't know if string theory is correct or not, but "polls" are neither scientific nor any indicator at this point.

    I think the best thing about it being tied right now would be that the media doesn't then develop some underdog narrative for McCain. Give them a tied race to play with instead, it will keep them occupied.

    We can occupy ourselves with things that matter while they're busy.

  •  I agree (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RaulVB, MrJersey, demoKatz, fantanel

    I have grown very weary of watching the Dems make the same mistakes over and over again. No Obama isn't Kerry, but I fail to see why that makes adopting Kerry's failed strategy a good idea.
    For years, decades in fact, the constant dig at the Democrats is that they have no spine, that they can't even fight for themselves so what reason is there to believe that they would fight for me.
    Obama promised to bring a gun to the knife fight, and all I see is a pea shooter.
    There is plenty of stuff to legitimately attack McCain on. His hostility to not only abortion, but even birth control, his lobbyist filled campaign, his overwhelming support of the disatrous policies of the last 7+ years. The "maverick" persona has to be challenged hard.
    Obama has the money, he has the issues, he has the rhetorical skills, it's past time for him to get in the fight.

  •  Media's Said Since Feb It Must Be About Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Dave925

    if either Hillary or McCain were to win.

    This was always the only contest it was ever going to be.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:04:05 AM PDT

  •  thanks, Cenk (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RaulVB, MantisOahu

    and this is why Wes Clark fits the bill perfectly to crush McCain's faux mythology:

  •  For my part, I will trust the Obama (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mierts, wishingwell, roycej, cavebird, Antacid

    team to make the right decisions. I watched them from January to June in the primaries and I didn't see too many mistakes.

    If I were as smart as Axelrod and Plouffe, I wouldn't be blogging at DK, would I?

    "It's no wonder more people call themselves Democrats; it's easy to identify with a party that identifies with you." --srmjjg

    by Dragon5616 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:04:35 AM PDT

    •  They were hired because they are "smart"? (n/t) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave925, Dragon5616
    •  cruise control is best in my opinion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I think that if Obama starts running up the score now, he's going to become the inevitable president elect.  I don't know if I want that. There are numerous senate and congressional seats up for grabs.  I don't want people going to the polls just for the sake of splitting the ticket.  I might be wrong, but it seems like if they knew for a couple of months that they were going to lose the presidency, they would begin concentrating their attention on the congressional and senate seats, and they may get motivated to vote in order to make sure they block the democratic majority in congress.  whereas if the polls start to break much later, we may be able to keep a lot of them at home on election day.


  •  A little silly for this diary today, no? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, keeplaughing, roycej, lookit

    Perhaps, just perhaps, the Obama campaign knows a bit more than you give it credit for.  Your diary is a day late, as Obama came out blasting this morning.  Perhaps, just perhaps, there was a timing plan behind this--let McCain go negative first, then attack in response on a key issue, and then have the strongest message out there during the Olympics lull, when he is the one running the ads.  Sounds like a decent plan to me.  And he came up with it without our help.  Amazing.  ;)

    I guess I am a #2 from the early post.

  •  I think it is natural (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The way politics and the media is set up there is just no way anyone can pull out and maintain a big lead.  Once someone does the negative attacks come from the candidate and the media puts more scrutiny on whomever is ahead.  While I believe the media has a bias in favor of JmcCain, I also think it is just a natural tendency to more greatly scrutinize whomever is in the lead. And this leads to a narrowing over time.  At some point Obama will have an expanding lead and then it will narrow again and this will continue through the election.

  •  Well done...Right on! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, RaulVB

    Obama doesn't really need to respond to McCain's attack ads for the most part...he just needs to remind people of how the last eight years have been a miserable failure that was enabled by a Republican Congress (for the most part)which included John McCain.  

    McCain really is not a strong candidate.  I think thats why their campaign seems to making it (for better or worse) all about Obama.  
    McCain isn't a straight shooter anymore,
    he's not a Maverick,
    and his recent behavior should be alienating the traditional media who seem enthralled for some reason.

    McSame has flipped and flopped so much his new nickname should be McSalmon.

    Another bitter, blue-collar, gun owner for Obama.

    by Rumour95 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:05:24 AM PDT

  •  Obama should put McCain into a cartoon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RaulVB, Dave925

    commercial.  Doddering fool McCain can be presented with proper dignity as Mr.potato-head.

  •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dark daze

    for your concern.

    Politics isn't everything, it's the only thing.

    by tc59 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:06:54 AM PDT

  •  Hell, yeah!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Obama had better start punching NOW!!!

  •  I hope Obama is not keeping his powder dry until (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, demoKatz

    after the convention.

    He should go on the attack now!

    If McSame is going to throw dirt clods from the gutter at Obama, then Obama should throw them right back at McFossil....and aim for the head.

    "We are a Plutocracy, we ought to face it. We need, desperately, to find new ways to hear independent voices & points of view" Ramsey Clark, US AG

    by Mr SeeMore on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:10:10 AM PDT

  •  I don't believe it (5+ / 0-)

    Pollsters are committing polling malpractice and I don't think the numbers reflect the reality.  I totally agree that Obama must seize the initiative, but the c(wh)orporate media are working the edges to create a false horserace when people are anxious for real change.  The 24 hour news cycle is 'the last throws' in real time.  

    Disclaimer: Any resemblance to actual robots would be really cool

    by Mike E on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:10:30 AM PDT

    •  EXACTLY (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike E, perkinwarbek

      if the real polls numbers wont change and make it a horse race,  FIX the polling indexes and variables and weights in order to create the numbers you want.

      NO WAY IN HELL these polls are real.  

      I find it amazing people put so much trust in the media and their polls.  When will you EVER learn?

    •  Polls are not exact but the trend is not positive (0+ / 0-)

      Who can take ten days of pounding negative ads, no matter how moronic, and not be affected in this country. Obama needs to be faster and tougher.

      "And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night." Matthew Arnold

      by Cantinflas on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:36:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uh, actually... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Obama is now up by 3% in the gallup tracker. McCain never went over 44% despite all the ads - and never has, ever, since the Democratic nomination ended.

        This follows a consistent pattern of Obama being damaged in the short term by attacks (Wright, NAFTAgate, Wright 2) and then bouncing back within a week without having to go negative.

      •  Tough to say this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and I need to follow my own advice at all times, but, relax.  I've been working on my family since April to NOT vote for McCain even if they don't vote for Obama.  Outreach/peer-to-peer marketing is a must during these media-infested times

        Disclaimer: Any resemblance to actual robots would be really cool

        by Mike E on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:46:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Elephant in the Room (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RaulVB, Yumn

    My patience is running out. Obama has the one big thing that he can use and he's shying away from it. Why? What is is so afraid of?

    It's time for us to stand up to these low-information backwards voters and stop letting them push us around. The main opposition to Obama is because he's black.

    Look where all the Democratic pandering to the Bushies has gotten us! Clearly it's not working. It's time for us to instruct those people and call what it is. Racism. Nothing more or less.

  •  Republicans own the polling companies, dude (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dnamj, anotherCt Dem

    You do understand, the Republican hard right has made a concerted effort to:

    A. Buy up all the major media outlets
    B. Buy up all the polling companies
    C. Buy up/create all the voting machine manufacturers

    They view this as investment, and the returns on their investments are control over all the messages (and if that doesn't work, they'll fix it in the count).

    Google "presidential race polls" or some simile, and observe the ideological bent of the majority of the sites who purport to report on the race: they're all running McCain propaganda.

    Message control....

    "The main enemy of the open society in no longer the communist but the capitalist threat."- George Soros

    by David Mason on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:11:09 AM PDT

  •  Obama's campaign ran out of gas in rust belt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama got to get his eye out off the future and see the 'urgent necessity of now'. Address oil now or there won't be any 'after election'. McCain is stealing his lunch.

    Oil is a big issue to the 'marginal people' who caused problems for Obama among those who Hillary saw but who are oblivious to Obama.

    Obama has to get informed by sitting at their kitchen table where jobs, inflation, children, taxes, drugs and health care are the topics of concern.

    Grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory seems to be the MO for Democrats who want to be more identified with gay marriage and unlimited abortion rather than the family  pocketbook issues that turn elections.

  •  Of course you are right in broad outline (6+ / 0-)

    about the dynamic of attack and defense.  However, you neglect some very important facts.

    First, Obama has promised a "new kind of politics"  It doesn't matter that this promise is not so specific as to rule out attacking. What matters is that it makes him particularly vulnerable to negative blowback when he attacks if he is not extremely careful in the way he attacks.

    Second, Obama is black.  This, in and of itself, makes him vulnerable to negative blowback if he attacks.  This sucks, but it's true.  He cannot afford to be seen as aggressive.  He's on a fracking tightrope, but it's the same tightrope he walked during the primary, and he walked it well there.

    Third, all attacks have blowback.  McCain may be gaining a few points (or not, depending on the polls you look at), but he is also galvanizing Obama's base and boxing himself into a corner and will be easier to characterize as a bitter, spiteful old man later on because of these childish and nasty attacks.

    Fourth, not all successful fighting looks like an attack.  There are different ways of fighting.  It is also not necessary to use maximal force to get the job done.  It is a skill to know how to use as little force as possible to get the job done.  Right now, a lot of people are nervous that Obama is underusing.  All I can say is that he has shown himself to be a master in the past.  McCain is overusing force and it may well hurt him.  Again, not all fighting looks like fighting:

    See also,

  •  I agree -- go negative, but keep it all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    100% truthful -- nothing that can be nitpicked to death by any media with a brain.  Then when McCain complains (as he will) about Obama's "negative campaigning" put up another ad...

    "McCain: Whining Hypocrite?"  In which you take the worst of the whining about Obama's ad and the nastiest of their earlier ads and juxtapose them.

    Nobody likes a whiner.  I would use a strategy of "Emasculate and enrage".

    Then at the end of one of these ads, I would say something like, "McCain wants you to be afraid of an Obama future.  But all you have to do is look at McCain's past."

    The opposite of war is not peace, it's creation - Jonathan Larson (-6.62, -6.26)

    by AndyS In Colorado on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:12:56 AM PDT

  •  There is video of McCain on both sides of EVERY.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dnamj, wishingwell

    ..issue of this election.  I'd use that.  Not all in one ad, but a series: Why McCain is unfit number 11. then a clip of for and against.  As a group they will have the effect of branding him as the angry nasty political whore that he is.

    "A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having." --V

    by moondancing on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:12:57 AM PDT

  •  OUTSTANDING Analysis. NO MORE 1980, '84, '88, '00 (0+ / 0-)




    let's get rid of hte Nancy's and Harry's who f**k up when we do win!


    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:14:37 AM PDT

  •  Meltdown! MeltDown! I understand, but damn. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Except McCain hasn't caught Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama is pulling away on the electoral map.I'm tried of this focus on polls that - quite literally - don't mean anything. Not unless we change the way we elect Presidents.

    Obama is running his campaign by the rules we currently have. Smart!

    •  The electoral map will be defined in the end (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cynic in seattle

      by how the voters view the candidates. Obama is being defined now and that will effect the final votes and the election. Don't think you can sit on the lazy boy with your charts. They can and will change.

      "And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night." Matthew Arnold

      by Cantinflas on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:33:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  looks like he might be on it........... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I just dubbed in a new Obama spot (I work at a TV station) that they wanted to replace the rest of their ads today, and it's a pretty good ad. Calls McSame out on his lying attack ads, has a nice long shot with the Shrub with "same failed policies", then goes into a bit of his energy plan. I like it, simply calling someone out on their BS isn't going negative, it's informing voters of simple truths.

    •  actually (0+ / 0-)

      The problem is that Obama was asked about why pointing out the other sides lies was not going negative?  This is the same problem as pointing out the other side is being racist:  Most people can no longer distinguish between an observation and a judgment.

      •  well, at this point.. (0+ / 0-)

        I don't see why it matters. Obama gets smeared by the MSM for whatever he says, so why bother trying to be nice. I agree he should stay out of the gutter, but make some ads with enough bite that the pundits play them over and over and dissect them like they do with McSames BS ads. There's plenty of material to work with..........

  •  It's time for another great speech. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama needs to dominate the news cycle, and get out in front on the economy.

    McCain is a Chode.

    by dnamj on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:16:59 AM PDT

  •  200,000 recs to Cenk. (5+ / 0-)

    I'd feel much better if Obama hired him to be part of his campaign.

    Take another look: McCain is not a flip-flopper -- he's a pathological liar. Either that, or he's playing Jon Lovitz, Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket.

    by gooderservice on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:24:26 AM PDT

  •  Right on, Cenk, but is anyone listening out there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    Well? Shall we go? Yes, let's go. Defeat John McCain.

    by whenwego on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:30:42 AM PDT

  •  Obama could also turn it around and (0+ / 0-)

    acknowledge that "Hey, ya know, i can be a little bit aloof at times. I'm not perfect., etc

    you know, the HUMBLE, self effacing laughing at yourself kind of thing

    just a thought

    maybe a bad idea

  •  Obama is running a milquetoast campaign (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seabos84, Midwesterners, Greasy Grant

    And is suffering for it.

    In this diary I write about how the McCain campaign is assembling a Frankenstein Obama - an opponent made up of everything they can attack, gleefully.

    And if you don't have the time for the diary - have a look at this video-clip and marvel over the fact that Obama is trailing this guy!

    "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

    by SteinL on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:32:12 AM PDT

  •  Augh... I don't think pointing out that McCain (0+ / 0-)

    did everything he could to get Bush elected helps anything at this point. Tie McCain to the anchor which is Bush yes. But this is too tertiary an approach.

    Time lost is always a disadvantage that is bound in some way to weaken him who loses it. -Clausewitz

    by Malachite on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:36:00 AM PDT

  •  The McCain Rope-A-Dope (0+ / 0-)

    He's going to try and win the general the way he won the primary.  Launch attack ads but stay in the background and let the Obama-backlash take effect.  When people are sick and tired of hearing about Obama he'll be the last man standing.   The problem is the Obama-backlash is happening so far in front of the election it might be over by November.  

  •  It's time to bring out the hatchet men (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    seabos84, Greasy Grant

    Many people here may find these tactics nasty, but I think they'd work well against McCain.

    The first thing I'd do is pay for some good hecklers - the nasty sort. "How's your first wife doing, John?" would be a good start.

    I'd make signs that deliberately misspell his name "John McCane," and I'd show a picture of a walker or a cane. I'd have people passing out prune juice in front of his events and drop innuendo about him losing his marbles. Viral videos and e-mails questioning McCain would be a huge plus, too.

    Then, I'd roll out the howitzers - show him saying that Social Security is a disgrace in one ad, and him saying that he doesn't understand economics in the other. Show him giving Bush a big hug, and ask the voters, "Do you want more of this? Didn't think so." Point him out for the elitist jackass he is - the $500 shoes would be perfect.

    Finally, I'd bring out the surrogates every day to take the hatchet to this worthless Bush-wannabee. Leave Obama to make only substance-infused negative attacks, and get nasty with the surrogates.

    Was I just a mean bastard? I sure hope so, because I'm sick and tired of weak Democrats losing elections that should be cakewalks.

    •  IF I ever hit lottery, we'll set up a campaign (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cynic in seattle

      527 and win, win, win

      and beat these lying sons of bitches,


      by the way, get the effette Sierra Club, Symphony and Planned Parenthood board members to start paying for action instead of writing checks only to noble fucking losers.


      PCO 36-1392


      Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

      by seabos84 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:47:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Russ Used Those #s in April during Cantwell's (0+ / 0-)

    re-elction campaign, April 2006, out here in Seattle. (It might have been May??)

    Cantwell didn't even show up to the treat-voters-like-an-ATM event.

    330,000 Win VS 11,000 Win =

    use the same ol same ol wishy washy stand for nothing DLC Sell Out horseshit

    with 'NEW!' painted in front?



    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:43:32 AM PDT

  •  Read this quote from "Nixonland" by (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Rick Perlstein

    They have no constructive programs to fight inflation.  They have no program to ease racial tensions.  They don't know what to do about crime in the stereets, or how to end the war in Vietnam.  But they do know that if they can scare people, they may win a few votes. (Lyndon Johnson just before the 1966 election when the Republicans won many seats in a backlash election)

    "It is not be cause things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult." Seneca

    by MontanaMaven on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:45:37 AM PDT

    •  And of course, some things never change. (0+ / 0-)

      Same dynamics today. This shouldn't even be a contest, the whole world knows it, except here in the U.S., where the voting is done.
       To win it here, you've got to be tough. It doesn't have to be dirty, but it has to be strong. McCain's a guy who can be beaten over the head with the truth!
        And put Wes Clark on the ticket fer crissakes! He can pound away on McCain, and if the Media take offense, keep doing it anyway! Make it a loud and raucous debate, one for the People to decide!
         McCain vs. Clark on Military/Foreign policy/National Defense issues is a fight we cannot lose!

      "We the People of the United States..." -U.S.Constitution

      by elwior on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:58:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just hope he doesn't let him sniff his (0+ / 0-)


    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:50:37 AM PDT

  •  I sometimes forget Bush is still President (0+ / 0-)

    We need to show the Hug over and over.

  •  I Actually Like Your Diary and I Agree (0+ / 0-)

    That Obama must turn things around and I believe he will. However, I think many people at DKOS panic a little too easily when McCain just happens to have one good week due to massive attack ads. These are daily tracking polls folks. They fluctuate every day. Today's tracking poll isn't set in stone and neither is tomorrow's. It all comes down to three months from now. That's all that matters.  Obama didn't come all this way just to give up this week. He's a pretty clever fellow. Hell, he's already started to respond.

    Beltway Wisdom is an Oxymoron.

    by kefauver on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:54:26 AM PDT

  •  I favor unfair attack ads (0+ / 0-)

    Hit McCain with something unfair and below the belt. Feature his whining about the lack of media coverage during Obama's overseas trip, or do a highlight reel of his many errors on the campaign trail (Sunni/Shi'a, Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic, Iraq/Pakistan border), without actually saying anything about his age. Something that will leave the McCain camp sputtering with outrage, and get pundits wondering whether Obama has gone too far, what the subtext of his new ad is, etc. Shift the conversation to McCain's flaws and weaknesses, and those poll numbers will start to shift back in short order.

    That said, I don't think it's likely that Obama will lose the election in July/August the way Kerry did. I think McCain's whole platform has suffered such severe structural damage that the debates and the all-out air war in October are going to put the election away for Obama. But I would prefer that Obama not take the chance of allowing the McCain campaign to set the agenda even while a lot of voters are tuned out of political coverage.

  •  Okay folks. Get a grip! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, NYFM, kefauver

    Cenk you are terrific in the role of concern troll. trul a remarkable performance. That Feingold/Kerry analogy was precious, but don't you think the fact that Feingold had already been Senator for twelve years, might have been a factor? Could you list for us the number of successful campaigns you've run. What's your track record.

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but these whiny-ass titty baby diaries do not help to elect our candidates. How is your insulting drivel helping the Obama campaign or the Democratic Party?

    Do something useful. Write attacks on their candidate, not ours. Register people to vote. Phone bank, canvass,write a letter to the goddamned editor at every media outlet in the country telling them to stop covering for McCain. Make sure every voter in America sees the video of McCain have a brain-fart in the middle of a press conference.

  •  You know what will really win this for Obama? (5+ / 0-)


    Today's gallup - O 46, M 43

    Hysteria bores me. Armchair quarterbacking makes me want to set fire to something. Get the hell out of your armchairs and go knock on some doors, people.

    •  we can all knock on 50,000 doors (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink, scrubjay, Valhalla

      But it's OBAMA'S job to define this nasty old prick John McCain, and not let himself be turned into what the voters increasingly view as yet another overeducated Democratic tea-sipper.  

      Dear Democratic Party: Win This One or Just Disband

      by Tuffie on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 01:09:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Um, can't we do both? BTW, it's not "hysteria" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NDakotaDem, scrubjay

      Dismissing constructive criticism (in light of the disastrous 2000 and 2004 campaigns) as "hysteria" is insulting and counter-productive.

      Knocking on doors is important, but guess what? In addition to that why diss communicating via email? In all honesty you're more likely to make it into someone's living room via email than you are by knocking (although I think there is a place for BOTH and BOTH are important).

      More and more people are going online for their information. You can argue there are pros and cons to that, but pretending that sharing information and ideas online is somehow a bad thing is pointless.

      PS---People need to know what to say and how to frame arguments concisely and in a way that resonates with low-info voters. Otherwise there's not much point in knocking on all those doors.


      by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 01:35:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As far as I know (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Obama isn't here. I hear he's rather busy right now. As the audience for your criticism isn't here, who are you criticising?

        •  Right, because no one connected to his campaign (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          reads the largest liberal blog in the world?

          Cenk's post was also the most recommended and featured one today, which makes it even more likely (not to mention the fact that it's also on Huffington Post and he's likely to talk about it on his XM show).

          Why does anyone bother to write an op-ed by your logic, unless they can hand deliver it to Obama himself?


          by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 01:58:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  People write op eds to sell newspapers (0+ / 0-)

            There is no other reason.

            They're written to sound like the reporters know what they're talking about because that's what sells. If newspaper publishers could print the telephone directory and achieve the same daily circulation and ad revenue they get for journalism, they'd do that.

            The campaign's take from DailyKos going apeshit is likely "it seems the liberal blogosphere thinks we should be more aggressive" - i.e. a detached view of the big picture. They're not going to actually use the ad suggestions or specific advice people give, because they come up with that stuff professionally.

            Their job is to come up with possible approaches to dealing with McCain and pick the most effective. They have massive resources, including focus-groups of low-info voters, to go on both when judging the effectiveness of Republican attacks and deciding what approach to use themselves.

            That means they're constantly considering and rejecting many possible strategies, including going negative and being 'more aggressive'. What we're seeing is a strategy which is devoting enormous effort to being exactly as aggressive and negative as it needs to be.

            The idea that they're going to read ANYONE'S advice on Kos and go "Oh, yeah, why didn't we think of that?", doesn't take into account the reality of the campaign / blogosphere relationship. We're not even providing feedback on their strategy: we're providing feedback on the the MSM's filtered reaction to their strategy without being aware of the strategic reasons behind many of their decisions. We're like, three degrees of separation away from where the decisions are being made.

            •  Yes and no (0+ / 0-)

              You're acting as if ALL op-eds are always pointless and provide nothing of value, which is flatly absurd.

              I'm not suggesting that Cenk's piece will create some kind of grand epiphany within the Obama campaign (despite your amusing suggestion that that was the case).

              I am however suggesting that part of what they do with their massive resources is to in fact read and filter through information and opinion, and that includes the things that get a ton of recommendations, responses and views on the largest political blog in the world.

              To suggest otherwise is foolish. As for providing feedback on the MSM's filtered reaction, great, THAT'S the point because that frame of reference is the exact one shared by the majority of Americans who get their information through the MSM.

              The point is fine tune the strategy recognizing what it'll look like after it comes out the other side of the MSM meat-grinder.

              The End


              by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 02:47:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What are your goals? (0+ / 0-)

                To get Obama elected, right? And everyone at Kos has an opinion of how to do that. But if as you yourself admit we're not going to affect Obama's strategy, what's the point of pretending like we will?

                I think it's because we want Obama to win so badly, we roleplay what we would do in his position to make us feel like we have the same power to influnce the outcome. But we don't, so it's wasted energy. Why waste energy?

                •  Why waste energy responding to the diary then? (0+ / 0-)

                  If you think it's wasted effort?  Isn't it doubly wasted effort on your part?

                  And I didn't say this diary would cause a grand epiphany, but if it passes across the right eyes it could spur a shift.

                  This isn't black and white, binary code. It's a spectrum. Maybe it moves Obama a little closer to the better side of the spectrum (better being an opinion of course).  If it doesn't, nothing is lost and nothing is gained.

                  But what's wrong with trying? And hell, what's wrong with discussing politics and sharing ideas and opinions? Most of our posts and discussions won't change a damn thing but we all do it anyway, partly because we enjoy it and partly because sometimes they do change things, even if it's not obvious.


                  by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 03:08:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Do something useful to support Obama (0+ / 0-)

                  Write a check, canvass, phone bank, do something useful. Stop whining on Daily Kos.

      •  There is nothing 'constructive' about this diary. (0+ / 0-)

        if Cenk, or anyone else wants to provide the Obama Campaign with tough love, they should do so in private. This shit is shit! It is sad that so many people here at DKos (AND I AM SURE THAT YOU ARE ALL GOOD PEOPLE, I REALLY MEAN THAT, SINCERELY) are taken in by this crap.

        Kos, I hold you somewhat responsible for your ridiculous rant on Barack's willingness to compromise on the FISA bill, You created an ugly paradigm where it is acceptable to excoriate our Party's candidate for any deviation from progressive orthodoxy.

        Stop this shit, now! Please!!! If Obama loses we will only have ourselves to blame.

  •  The theme that needs to be brought forth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    over and over is that McCain is Bush's third term. That's a key message McCain has already tried to proactively rebut. That's also a theme easily supported by facts and a thought that is repulsive to most Americans: Bush's third term. Bush = McCain. McCain is Bush III. Over and over.

    "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." GWB

    by thefretgenie on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 11:57:01 AM PDT

  •  Moreover (0+ / 0-)

    they are running against Bush. I know Obama views himself as a bridge builder who will allow Bush supporters to be able to save face after he takes office, but he has to take office first to get there. Start using the word "Bush," please.

    That said, I simply refuse to believe that Gallup is using polling methodology that does anything but present their clients with what they want to hear. If this kind of tactic works against Obama, Hillary would have cleaned his clock.

  •  many of wanted a cage-fighter... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ... but others in the party selected a candidate who is clearly not a cage-fighter.  so it seems silly at this point to try to get him to turn into one.

  •  General Wesley Clark on the ticket! (0+ / 0-)

    Clark can smash McCain's immunity on National Defense, foreign policy and all things Military. And Clark can do it with a velvet glove if he has to.
     Wes Clark vs. John McCain on these issues is not a fight the GOP would win. Let's not be afraid (Barack Obama) to wage it!

    "We the People of the United States..." -U.S.Constitution

    by elwior on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:05:15 PM PDT

    •  And be smart on Energy Policy (0+ / 0-)

      Replacing oil is the answer in the long term, but for now do everything possible to bring prices down by: drawing on the Strategic Reserve, enforcing (and tightening) the laws governing oil speculation. Encouraging Conservation as being the best way to burst this price bubble, and as a Patriotic thing for Americans to do.
        And repeat the Mantra about the REAL solution being long-term, lest we cycle our way to $10/gal. gas!

      "We the People of the United States..." -U.S.Constitution

      by elwior on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:11:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Running on relief at the pumps NOW (0+ / 0-)

        vs. the paltry relief 7-10 years down the road that MCCAIN's shortsighted offshore drilling policy might bring is an issue the American people would vote for in large numbers!

        "We the People of the United States..." -U.S.Constitution

        by elwior on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:19:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  More armchair campaign strategy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GN1927, kefauver

    I'm underwhelmed.

    Brilliantly blessed are those who walk with courage through the depths of the own fear, for they will Love from the bottom of their heart.

    by Craig Hickman on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:07:42 PM PDT

  •  Exactly! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackGriffen, elwior

    Wasn't the chant at the Bush rallies in '04 "Four More Years".  Pick it up and hammer it home.  There is so much to work with here without getting into the gutter with McCain.  His campaign is a joke but why are the national polls so close?  I prefer to concentrate on the electoral college map on Pollster and here.  I think it is way too soon to worry though.  Most people are not paying attention.  It's not until after the convention and debates that things really get serious. In the mean time, I hope they are collecting all the ammunition that McCain is providing on a daily basis.

    Can't wait to see reports from the Sturgis rally tonight.  Each time he tries to pander to one group, he loses another.

    •  The campaign needs to be about McCain! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, kefauver

       Beat him over the head with the Truth! Let him cry about it all he wants!

      "We the People of the United States..." -U.S.Constitution

      by elwior on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:16:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Every Ad Needs to Begin or End with That (0+ / 0-)

      Those three words, supplemented with pictures of "the hug," need to be driven home. They need to become the meme so that every time someone sees McCain that chant is in their head. It's simple, direct, and can be appended to just about any other ad you'd care to make about McCain.

  •  One Small Quibble (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, elwior

    Instead of explaining "What Obama can do about it," how about "What We can do about it?"

    Beltway Wisdom is an Oxymoron.

    by kefauver on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:17:32 PM PDT

  •  Gallup daily tracking poll is garbage. (0+ / 0-)

    Sorry but I cannot get worked up about a poll that predicts nothing and appears to modulate in response to no external events. On a biweekly basis, this poll fluctuates, regardless of external events.

    I have no more reason to give more credence to this poll than to give credence to the CNN poll from last week that has Obama +7.

    My hysteria cylinders are not just not firing today.

  •  Nope (0+ / 0-)
    no tips or recs from me on this one Cenk.  

    You've missed the boat.

  •  thanks Cenk (8+ / 0-)

    I was making these points over the weekend(and ran into one particularly angry person of note) but you state them better.

    While I don't think McCain has caught Obama, I do think Obama's lead has narrowed significantly. I do agree with you fully on the fact that McCain's attacks are dominating the media narrative and that Obama has failed to fight back hard. Obama has failed to generate ads(substance, not sleaze) that put McCain in a position where he has to respond.

    There has been a lot of denial on this site about how the race has changed. This parallels the denial in the Obama camp. I said that this campaign reminds of of 2004 when Kerry didn't respond and I pray that the Obama camp realizes this.

    •  Amen to that Ivan! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "We the People of the United States..." -U.S.Constitution

      by elwior on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:27:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pardon me, but what the f*** do you know about (0+ / 0-)

      "denial in the Obama camp"? You have sources there? I don't want to become the defender of everything Obama. I think the campaign and the candidate have made a number of mistakes. I just don't see what good comes from trashing them in a public forum.

      •  Distinction Alert: There is a difference (0+ / 0-)

        between "trashing" and constructive criticism.  Often times you need to look at who's offering it and why and in Cenk's case it's someone who is very much pro-Obama and very much anti-McCain.

        In that context it's laughable (and downright dishonest) to suggest that he's "trashing" Obama.

        PS---There's also a difference between supporting out candidates and kissing their asses and pretending that everything they do is perfect. The latter should be reserved for Republicans.


        by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:52:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I say that there is denial in the Obama camp (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        betson08, BlueSue

        because they have not been prepared for this onslaught of absurd attacks. Just take a look at their failure to respond to McCain's charge of playing the race card. [Note that there are many other recent examples] All they had to do was respond with McCain's own ad from a month ago showing Obama on the dollar bill. This shows that they were asleep at the switch.

        I was an extremely early and very vocal supporter of Obama and I continue to be a big and vocal supporter. I have donated $4600 to his campaign along with loads of money to all things that say "Dem Party" so please don't tell me what I can and can not say. When Obama is messing up you better believe I'm going to say it out loud in the hope that he improves his campaign.  By your logic we should never criticize our own leaders. That's absurd.

        And, I'm not "trashing" him. That implies that I'm saying something of no substance with the intent of knocking him down. That's an insult and you should watch your use of curse words- it only belittles you and whatever point you're trying to make.

        •  I disagree with your example (0+ / 0-)

          Getting into an argument about race -- even an I said/they said that Obama would factually win -- is a LOSING proposition for the Obama campaign.

          The more this contest becomes about race, the more it hurts Obama.  Period.  Why do you think so many people thought that Obama's harmless comment about the dollar bill was "racist"?  Because sadly, at this time and place in our country, there are a SHITLOAD of people who have been programmed for decades by the GOP with the notion that minorities get unwarranted, preferential treatment, and whine about their race rather than pull themselves up their bootstraps.

          It is horrifying, ghastly shit, but it is out there -- it is the Ferraro mentality, and it is FAR more prevalent then the overt racism you see in certains corners of the South.  I grew up in the upper middle class Wonder bread suburbs of Northern California in the 80's -- about as far from the Deep South as you can get -- and believe you me, this way of thinking is one of the continued and lasting legacies of Ronald Reagan and the GOP of that era.

          Obama has to avoid this frame being placed around him at all costs, because people will reject him out of hand if they feel he's playing the "disadvantaged because of my race" card.

          The Obama camp's response to McCain's statement -- to attempt to pivot it towards the GOP's overall cynicism and game-playing, and then letting it drop stone cold dead -- is the best response they could have had, and frankly, only one that a patient, measured, disciplined politician could have managed.

          The kind of responses we were all looking for, however, would have played right into the Republican's hands.

  •  Because Gallup started oversampling Republicans. (0+ / 0-)

    What can Obama do about it?  He could try buying Gannett Media.. but that might take away from his Presidential campaign.

    Or he can contact uninquisitive chicken-littles in the party who believe whatever they read, and talk them down from the ledge, and refocus them on the battle ahead.

    A battle which has absolutely nothing to do with national polling by USA Today/Gallup.

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

    by Wayward Son on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:32:24 PM PDT

  •  Why has McCain caught up in the poll? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    geordie, delphil, kefauver, RidleyGriff, tony26

    Because a single poll at this point doesn't mean spit at this point in time.  It would be a mistake to take this as a sign that Obama's campaign is faltering.

    Believe it or not, most people haven't really thought about the election.  After the conventions, and perhaps at least one debate, then we'll want to start worrying about the horse race poll figures, particularly the direction they are moving.   As E-day approaches, then its time to worry about absolute standing.

    Right now, we should be more interested in what the polls tell us about what is on people's minds, not who they think they might vote for.  Remember in the middle of December, 2007, Gallup was reporting an 18 point lead for Clinton.  On super Tuesday, less than two months after that poll, Obama won 14 of 24 contests.

    On March 17, Gallup reported that Obama had edged out a narrow lead among Democrats against Clinton, although the truth is that they were statistically tied through the first three weeks of that month.  On March 25, just about a week later, Gallup reported that Obamahad opened a ten point lead of Clinton.

    Using these polls as evaluators of electoral success is pointless.  They are snapshots of what people are thinking; it's important to evaluate those snapshots in context.   Early on, Obama vs. McCain reflected the public's dissatisfaction with the Republicans.   As it's getting closer to voting, now they're taking a more critical look at Obama, whom they haven't got to know.  naturally, his numbers go down.  Did you really think Obama would cake walk all the way to the Presidency without ever trailing McCain once in the polls?  If, once people have taken a look at him, they decide to trust him, the dissatisfaction factor will come roaring back.   So now is the time for Obama to make a strong impression of trustworthiness on the electorate.

    Throwing a lot of crap against the wall might not be the best thing at this specific point in time, when people are trying to figure out whether they should trust Obama.  Later, in the weeks before E-day, after the electorate has got a good look at him,  maybe that would make sense in that it would stick to McCain before it started to stick to Obama.

    I've lost my faith in nihilism

    by grumpynerd on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:33:46 PM PDT

    •  A must read comment (0+ / 0-)

      I think all of us election addicts should read this comment. Take a break from the elections, do our jobs and maybe check in time to time.

    •  Except that he's not advocating throwing crap (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He's advocating for making a stronger effort to tie McCain to Bush and to go on offense in a fact based manner (notice the distinction in the piece between negative campaigning and hard-hitting ads).

      The good news is that Obama's newest ad does seem to employ #2.

      Finally, no one should look at this election in a vacuum. Yes, it has it's unique qualities and history isn't always an accurate indicator of the future, but still we should remember 2000 and 2004 and we (hopefully) learned some things.

      I try to keep it in that context. It's too easy to get trapped in the tunnel-vision of the present IMO.


      by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:56:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, regarding 2000 and 2004 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NYFM, Wyote

        It's not enough to learn things.  You have to learn the right things.

        There's a lot of mythology about what Gore or Kerry did or did not do.  Let me throw one out that isn't so common: they failed to achieve control the terms of the public debate.  Despite this, they did pretty well; Gore actually won, and Kerry might have won -- we'll never know without an audit trail.   But I think it's fair to say that neither candidate achieved control of the terms or pace of the debate, and that this cost them a decisive margin of victory they needed.

        I'm not saying don't hit back, nor am I saying don't hit first.  What I'm saying is don't panic, or get frustrated when the candidate doesn't panic over something like this.  Obama's great strength as a candidate isn't his oratory, although that is impressive.  It is his cool head.  He's got to do more than strike, he has to strike the right note, the one that says he can be trusted with the presidency.

        Democrats are out for blood.   If the election is a "race", then the runner we want is Alberto Salazar, the great, aggressive, macho marathoner who severely damaged his ability to run a world class Marathon in the infamous "Duel in the Sun" '82 Boston. He drove his body to a six liter fluid deficiency -- which makes the fact he was still on his feet at the finish line something close to a miracle.   It's true that Salazar won, but he'd probably have won by more if he'd taken some water and run more tactically.  He let Dick Beardsley get into his head, and it cost him.  If the race had been a bit longer, Beardsley would have won a race that should have been Salazar's, because of he had tactical control.  It was only Salazar's extraordinary gifts as a runner that allowed him to win, and those gifts should have been used more carefully.

        It's not easy to find the right mixture of responding to the opponent and setting the pace and agenda for the election.  I'm sure I don't know where that is exactly.  But I'm certain that getting spooked over early poll numbers is a bad idea.  I'm no political expert, but I was expecting something like this to happen somewhere along the line.   We've had two successive elections that were the statistical equivalent of flipping a coin and having it land on its edge.   Nobody's going to blow the doors off this one.

        I've lost my faith in nihilism

        by grumpynerd on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 03:02:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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

          I guess the difference is I don't agree with the idea that Cenk (or most of his supportive commenters) are freaking out.

          Controlled and reasonable concern prompted Cenk to offer his opinion and some suggestions. The same prompted many of us to respond with supportive comments.

          We can disagree about the quality of the suggestions but hey.



          by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 03:10:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not that the suggestions are in themselves (0+ / 0-)


            It's that they miss the most important point.  That point boils down to four things we need to convince the American people of.

            (1) Change is needed.
            (2) Change is possible.
            (3) If you don't choose change, you get it anyway, but in a form you don't choose.
            (4) Therefore, it's time for America to buck up and get to work solving its problems.

            That's what this election is about.   If it's not about that, then we're just in a pissing contest with the Republicans, which is a game that they excel at.  How do Republicans win get people to vote against their own interests?  They keep them distracted.

            What's frustrating is the degree to which we Democrats keep fighting the last war.  This is a change year, and keeping the focus on the possibility and practicality of change is the battle we cannot lose.

            I've lost my faith in nihilism

            by grumpynerd on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 03:34:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think there are 3 things we need to convince (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              grumpynerd, Wyote

              people of.

              We need to pound them over the head with the following 3 facts.

              If do we that often, we'll win, period. Because as much as people vote for change, the bottom line is that most low-info voters seem to vote based on their pocketbook.


              by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 03:40:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

                Talk about things that matter to people.

                I don't think people who vote this way are low-info.  Information isn't data, it is data which makes us more informed. Unfortunately, people who have the most data in the current media environment aren't necessarily well informed.

                I've lost my faith in nihilism

                by grumpynerd on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 04:03:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not saying it's wrong to based on money (0+ / 0-)

                  but as you can see from those 3 facts, it's quite clearly wrong to vote for a Republican if money is your primary concern.

                  That is unless you're in the top 1-10% in which case it doesn't matter much either way.  

                  Unfortunately low-info voters (or high info/misinformed voters) assume they should vote Republican if they want to make and keep more money. And they assume that Republicans are more fiscally responsible because they don't know the facts.


                  by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 04:17:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Obama-Clinton was among Democrats (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silverbird, abraxas

      As in, people with brains.  The general election allows the same jackasses who put Bush in twice to participate.  Big difference.  I just can't believe Obama has dropped the ball on tying Bush to McCain.  He did it more often in freaking February.  But oh yeah ... he's released more "policy white papers."  Sometimes I think these campaign strategists were born yesterday ... like the GOP of the past 45 years didn't really exist, and Americans give a shit about "issues." DEFINE THE OLD MAN NOW OR LOSE.

      Dear Democratic Party: Win This One or Just Disband

      by Tuffie on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 01:18:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Since we're using sports metaphors (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        like "drop the ball", let me observe that running the same plays over and over again also gives the other side a chance to adapt.

        It may be your favorite play, it may even be Obama's best play, but it's more effective if he has other plays in his book and runs them too.

        I'm fairly certain if the Democrat in the street were allowed to run this campaign,  Obama would lose because he'd run a campaign that says what Democrats want to hear 24x7.  That message can work with the general electorate, but not as easily and automatically.

        I've lost my faith in nihilism

        by grumpynerd on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 03:10:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Is it really the polls bothering most people? (0+ / 0-)

      Or the fact that we see the McCain crap sticking to Obama in the MSM narrative because he's not doing enough to counter it? That's what's bothering me, not some really early poll.

  •  for the most part, I think you're right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but I feel the Obama campaign set up this problem:

    1. McCain has changed the whole conversation about this election into one question - do you want to vote for or against Obama? This is genius. Obama needs to switch the conversation if he wants to win.

    How long have we been hearing that Obama is a once-in-a-lifetime candidate who is so amazing as a speaker, getting so many new people involved, that he would would win in a landslide?

    I was hearing this from Obama volunteers in Iowa a year ago: "He would win in a walk." "Whatever it is, Obama has it."

    It seems that the Obama campaign wasn't prepared for the possibility that he would lose ground if the election became about whether people want to vote for or against Obama.

    John McCain: 100 years in Iraq "would be fine with me."

    by desmoinesdem on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:43:59 PM PDT

    •  Subliminal Message (0+ / 0-)

      it is 10 times more important than any issue
      more than the msm on any given day
      more than the polls we see and comment on
      more than gaffes by either candidate
      more than the 72-28 split against Bush

      the subliminal message is our worst enemy
      because it is not visible on the surface

      it is
      Obama is black and Mccain is white

      Afterlife? Why would I want that?

      by irrationalbutsane on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:55:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  While I'm not sure he is a once in a lifetime (0+ / 0-)

      candidate, I just wanted to note that even once in a lifetime candidates don't have to win in a landslide, see Kennedy.(Btw not comparing the two, just saying even great candidates can just barely win)

  •  fire Axelrod, hire Power n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Afterlife? Why would I want that?

    by irrationalbutsane on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 12:44:24 PM PDT

  •  Each week - Obama should show a new ad (3+ / 0-)

    Every week from now until November, Obama should not show a negative ad - just an EDUCATIONAL ad.

    You know - an ad where McCain hugs bush.

    An ad where McCain calls social security a disgrace.

    An ad where McCain is stumped and can't respond to the question of insurance companies covering Viagra but not birth control pills.

    An ad where McCain confuses who Iran is training.  

    An ad where McCain sings bomb bomb Iran.

    The hundred years in Iran quote.

    Every stupid thing McCain has done should be rolled out in twenty second ads.   Then the MSM can replay them each week.

    Now how hard would that be to do?    And it would define McCain.

  •  I Disagree (0+ / 0-)

    ...on looping the "I did everything I could to get him elected".  I don't think that's a winning strategy b/c you are trying to diminish McCain b/c he put Bush in office... and wouldn't that also diminish all the voters who voted for Bush in 2004?  Specifically the independant/swing voters... the ones who we are hoping to convince to vote for Obama this time around?

    I totally understand the logic - and agree with it... but I think it might unintentionally alienate the very voters we're courting.


  •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, Phil In Denver

    I'm in "attack, attack, attack" mode. And don't make the ads silly. I completely agree with your approach, having Bush and McCain in the same ad, with McCain saying "I did everything I could to get him elected." excellent idea, and I hope the Obama Camp. catches up.

    If they don't do it now, I'm trusting that they're waiting to throw out those hard-hitting ads for later.

    "We have to win. We have no other choice." -Barack

    by Artchess on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 01:10:31 PM PDT

  •  Not just snubbing them what brung him (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to the dance, but Obama in his desperate race to the right, along with his various flip-flops, is actually telling us to get lost; he doesn't need us anymore; he doesn't want us around; he doesn't want our help.

    So be it.  I shall wake up on election day, gauge whether my vote will be required to keep McCain from winning.  If my vote is not needed, I am not going to squander it on Obama.

  •  Cenk, if you haven't already, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    please send this diary to the Obama campaign.  It needs to listen to your very sage advice.

    •  A diary telling Obama to (0+ / 0-)

      "be a man."  Yet, that'll be well-received.

      •  Stop cherry-picking please (0+ / 0-)

        You keep trying to use that one line out of the context of that entire piece (and Cenk's entire position).

        Stop, it's ridiculous. Thanks in advance! :)


        by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 02:40:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The tone of this diary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          is negative and dispiriting.  That's great strategy?

          •  No, that's *your* minority opinion of it (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink, Wyote

            Most people don't share that opinion, as evidenced by the responses and recommendations.

            The diary is providing constructive criticism. Some people confuse constructive criticism with with "bashing" or "trashing", but that says more about them than the actual criticism.

            Again, take the diary in the context of the person who wrote it. He's very much pro-Obama/anti-McCain.  He criticizes Obama but that doesn't make him any less of a supporter. In fact I'd argue it makes him an even better one.

            Blind support and rah-rah-rah should be left to the Republicans, as should non-productive bashing.


            by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 02:52:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Excuse me (0+ / 0-)

              How is me providing my own criticism of some of this diary's language and the stupid assumption that launching gutter attacks is "strong" equivalent to "blind support" and "rah rah"ing?  And my comment is not about who supports Obama to what fucking extent and why.  My comment is about the manner in which criticism is launched, and whether it makes sense for us to cloak criticism in themes which carry "Dems are weak" baggage with them.

              But you're just being principled so let me shut up and let you and others continue to work your "strategy."

              •  Are you sure we read the same diary? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                slinkerwink, GN1927

                When does Cenk advocate "gutter attacks"?

                He specifically made a wonderful distinction between negative campaigning (i.e. gutter attacks, or made-up smears, etc.) vs hard-hitting ads which use facts to bludgeon the opponent forcefully but truthfully and accurately.


                by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 02:59:42 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You have that point (0+ / 0-)

                  But we can agree to disagree on the larger one.  I'm possibly overreacting to this diary because there is a plethora of strategists running around here screaming and yelling that Obama had better do this or that or the election's lost.  Again, I didn't care for this piece, but I do take your points.  Peace.

  •  I have not yet seen (0+ / 0-)

    a campaign commercial for Obama where I live, so I keep wondering where you all listen to so much that he is supposed to be saying.  I not hearing any of the speaches that have you guys in extasy.  Maybe not having cable keeps me out of the loop, because that is how I missed the sexist remarks flung at Hillary, which primarily took place on cable shows rather than the broadcast shows.  If I watched my TV without listening to the "news," I would never know there was a Presidential campaign going on. the elites...actually believe that society can be destroyed by anyone except those who lead them? - John Ralston Saul -

    by Silverbird on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 01:48:58 PM PDT

  •  Actually: (4+ / 0-)

    If you read some of the other recommended diaries, Obama already has shifted the conversation. He has asked a simple question -- do you want four more years of George Bush, DIck Cheney, and their pandering to Big Oil. It seems like the Obama campaign is taking your advice.

  •  THANK YOU KATHY HILTON! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betson08, bobscofield

    Cenk, hope you and commenters don't mind my note here.

    Thank you Mrs. Hilton for your straight talk, an arrow through the BS Express.  Particularly, because you are a supporter of Desperate McCain's.

    BEVERLY HILLS , CA 90210

    John McCain (R)President  JOHN MCCAIN 2008 INC. - $2,300 primary 04/07/08

    It took, integrity, honesty and guts to make the statement that you did! It's also probably a better advertising message than any ad team could come-up with for Sen. Obama.


  •  Revisiting this shitty diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to say more than "lawd."

    Take a swing, for the love of God. Show the American people you can be a man, a strong leader, someone who can knock an opponent down.

    The GOP thanks you very much for posting this shit here.

  •  YES, YES, YES! - PLS send this diary to campaign! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, betson08, ihavenobias

    Cenk, no one could have said it better!!

    Totally agree!!

    Someone, PLEASE email this diary to Obama's direct campaign HQ!!!

    It's all in the numbers - register voters for Obama, Today!

    by Blue Waters Run Deep on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 02:25:14 PM PDT

  •  The McCain team has somehow concluded that (0+ / 0-)

    McCain is all substance and Obama is all show, and they somehow believe that this message (substance over slickness) will somehow get through to the American people. Regardless of whether their central thesis is true or not, the idea that it will resonate with Americans proves that these people do not live among ordinary Americans who have very little idea of what true substance really is.

    And I only say that because--after all, George Bush is a folksy good man of true substance, isn't he?

    Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

    by upstate NY on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 02:26:16 PM PDT

  •  Simplify. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    1-Republicans are good at campaigning to win at any cost.

    2-Republicans are catastrophic at governing.

    3-Republicans cannot escape that frame.

    That is all.


    The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
    -- W. Churchill

    by USexpat Ukraine on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 02:30:11 PM PDT

  •  Too many people hate the Demo's (0+ / 0-)

    They either don't like the demo's or don't like Obama or both.  Spells trouble.  They don't like what has happened under Bush, but their dislike for Democratic policies and BS trumps that.  I don't think any ads are going to solve that issue in 3 months.  I predict another Rethuglican win, unless McCain dies or something.

    •  Have a Link? (0+ / 0-)

      Democrats hold a pretty sizable advantage in Congressional races. Incumbent Republicans are at risk, not Democrats. Obama is doing very well in traditional red states and battleground states. I think you are confused. The Republican brand is in the shitter.

      Beltway Wisdom is an Oxymoron.

      by kefauver on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 04:31:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think most of what you have to say is accurate, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...I also think the people running Obama's campaign are intelligent political professionals who understand that what you have related here is true.

    So the real question is why don't they act on it and win?

    Not to sound rude to the Nader haters here, but Mr. Nader could give you the reason, in a heart beat, as to why the Obama campaign does not shred McCain's stands on Iraq, the economy and civil rights all of which are little more Bush43's failed policies replayed and they are not attacked with gusto and bone shattering facts know to everyone half bright who has been paying attention.

    It is really not too difficult to figure out...

    It is the same reason the House hasn’t impeached Bus and Cheney or opened any serious investigations into the lies that led us into Iraq or how Globalism has destroyed our domestic economy or any other of the numerous disastrous policies of Bush Inc., which of course are McCain’s positions for the same reason why the Obama campaign does not attack same .

    I guess the answer is just too simple for otherwise bright people to get their minds around...

    The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

    by Bobjack23 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 02:40:47 PM PDT

  •  Right on. (0+ / 0-)

    Positive campaign, my ass.  The only thing McCain has going for him is the perception that he's a principled war hero, i.e. a tough guy.  Barack Obama has shown glimpses of his toughness. I thought the way he handled the Spears-Hilton ad was pretty good really.  But Obama needs spend less time with his nose in the air and more time saying, "Now look, goddamit."  Well, maybe not exactly that.  You know what I'm saying.

    Don't tell me about the "new politics" if you're an asshole.

    by Ms Johnson on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 02:45:28 PM PDT

  •  Two cents (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    IMHO McCain has caught Obama because McCain has been allowed to get away with lying about him by too many lightweight people. I am not speaking about the trip thing so much as that my faithful CNN-watching McCain supporter acquaintance did not believe that Obama has any sort of energy policy and I had to correct him. But when McCain tries to get across that Obama doesn't care about gas prices because he is against offshore drilling, which is of course a boldfaced lie, people don't know that it is a lie. Obama has to convince people in battleground states that he has energy policies, has economic policies, and cares about people like them. Even if he attacks McCain every day for having wrongheaded or no policies, that does not convince people to vote for him necessarily because people will see a choice between two candidates with wrongheaded or no policies.

    -4.00, -5.33 Strange Bedfellows Money Bomb: August 8, 2008 Civil liberties is not a purity issue.

    by 4jkb4ia on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 02:45:29 PM PDT

  •  If the Obama campaign knows that they (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    have to attack McGoo, why haven't they done it?  What are they waiting for, December?

  •  Thank you. You just said, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    much more eloquently than I, what I was trying to say in a recent diary: if O doesn't fight back, we are doomed to another term of McSame.

    Our economy is a house of cards. Don't breathe.

    by Youffraita on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 03:08:01 PM PDT

  •  I agree with this diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, Yumn

    Obama has not been looking tough at all of late. It's a turn off and it gives McCain an opening. We need seem real attacks on McCain and his stream of idiotic statements.

    Donate to the ACLU. Stand Up for Justice In The Military Commissions Proceedings

    by Valhalla on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 03:19:11 PM PDT

  •  Thank god somebody finally said it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, nanobubble, Yumn

    If Obama's ad today was the gun he promised to bring to a knife fight, he didn't pull the trigger.

    Cenk these were all great points and suggestions and I hope you can get them in front of the campaign.

    I don't want to be drying my tears in November saying "you know, it got away from us that last week in July."

    Recommended by:
    nanobubble, Yumn

    I'm sick of our candidates not hitting back.  The GOP has no scruples and will say anything to win--fuck credibility.  W didn't have any honor after his shameful victory--but guess who's calling the shots in the White House?

    It's not dishonorable to hit back when someone attacks you.  Gore didn't, Kerry didn't,

    Barack, it's time to step up.

    The Seminole Democrat
    A blue voice calling from the deep red

    by SemDem on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 03:29:09 PM PDT

  •  Obama will kill McCain at the megachurch (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, betson08, nanobubble, Yumn

    i just heard the organizer of the megachurch Q & A talk about this. he said he's sick of the same questions so he is going to ask more fundamental questions like how will you follow the constitution ? can you imagine the difference in responses. he also said that obama brings faith into conversations very easily. all in all a good interview on NPR. finally !

  •  Is anyone watching Maddow on MSNBC right now? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betson08, Yumn

    Apparently she agrees with much of what Cenk says in this diary! I'm not suggesting one way or the other that she got her points tonight (on Race To The White house) from this diary specifically, just that she and Cenk seem to agree.

    She would also like to see Obama get tougher and go "on the offense".


    by ihavenobias on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 03:53:24 PM PDT

  •  Can 50% Americans be that stupid to vote McCain? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    betson08, nanobubble

    Maybe the whole thing is fixed?  Like it was last time for sure.  I just can't believe that anyone can be so stupid as to vote against their own interests and safety?  We are all in a propagandized fairy tale world of make believe methinks.

    •  Yes. Obama will probably lose (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      betson08, Keone Michaels

      ...because of gas prices. That's what I'm seeing right now. And he's not being NEARLY aggressive enough in highlighting McCain's crazy hypocrisy on the issue. McCain has even said that DRILLING (HERE! NOW!) won't bring relief at the pumps!

      What is Obama waiting for?

      I'm sorry but this thing IS slipping away from us. It is happening regardless of how many people say to stop freaking out - or my favorite lie: polls don't matter.

      "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

      by humanistique on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 04:35:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is a third reason (0+ / 0-)

    Obama is sucking wind....

    since he wrapped up the nomination he has changed his position on a dozen or more issues from energy, to public finance, FISA and seemingly just about everything else. And all the moves have been away from his liberal positions. Is there anything he really believes in?

  •  Don't Panic (0+ / 0-)

    If it were November 1st, everyone here would be in a panic.. it's Not over till it's over...

    But Senator Obama has some kissing up to do..

    Now he's willing to Drill for oil and still blame the other guy for not drilling at all..

    He's becoming confusing at best, unsure about what he wants the American People to believe.

    Flippery do da..Flippery oh my why Obama don't know what to say...

  •  Look It's Barack Obama Leading (0+ / 0-)

    Rosa Parks to the back of the bus.  

    He is insisting they take the "high road".

  •  Flip Flops We Can Believe In (0+ / 0-)
  •  "Fighting Back Is Off The Table" (0+ / 0-)
  •  I See the Chicken Littles are Still Yacking Away (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Instead of posting your sage advice on an internet board, why don't you all contact the Obama campaign, hmmm? I'm sure they're just dying to pick the thoughts of easily rattled DKOS readers.

    Beltway Wisdom is an Oxymoron.

    by kefauver on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 04:49:51 PM PDT

    •  I Called John Kerry. (0+ / 0-)

      He suggested sticking my head in the sand.

      He said that way you can't see you're losing.

      And you can claim ignorance that the campaign is going in the dumpster.

      Then you leave the scene of the crime for months.

      You get the hell out of dodge.

  •  Obama's Campaign Has No Infrastructure To (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    go on the offense against McCain.

    The campaign didn't think it would get like this.

    John McCain assured them he is an honorable man.

    Even Cindy McCain told them there would be absolutely no negative campaigning.

    I mean if you can't trust a person who is running for President of the United States, who can you trust.

    The Obama Campaign believes in the goodwill of John and Cindy McCain.

    You can fault the Obama Campaign for being too trusting but they kept on the high road.

    Let's hear it for the high road!

  •  Obama needs to stop trying to be funny (0+ / 0-)

    That's when he gets in trouble.  The Britney/Paris commercial wasn't funny.  It was an outrage.  We've got real problems here, and McCain thinks it's funny.

  •  Polls have actually been steady for a month. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Gallup 7/3 Obama up by 4%

    Gallup 7/15 Obama up by 3%

    Gallup 8/3 Obama up by 3%

    If you look at the graph of Obama vs. McCain for the last eight months, it's been cycling Obama's way but no great variation.

    We sometimes think the general public pays as much attention to politics as we do when they don't pay much attention at all. Most of the undecideds are still undecided and when they start to move after Labor Day is when we'll get a sense of what is going to happen.

    My own guess is that it is similar to Carter vs. Reagan. People were hesitant on Reagan until he appeared with Carter and looked like his equal. When Obama and McCain are on the stage together for the debates, the contrast will favor Obama.

    He will look like McCain's equal which is a problem for McCain who has attacked Obama as inexperienced so all Obama has to do is be equal to McCain and Obama wins.  The reaction is likely to more extreme than that and it will then break big for Obama.

    Also, watch the state electoral polls. Those have also been stable and it looks bleak for McCain with Obama having a fairly secure base of 238 vs. McCain's base of 163.  Obama needs just 25% of the "tossup" states to win the election.

  •  Obama needs to call McCain dishonorable (0+ / 0-)

    I think that would go right to the point, it would be high minded, but true, and it would attack McCain at his perceived strength - the honorable maverick theme. And Obama has every right to do it now that McCain has played the race card from the bottom of the deck. The MSM is itching to talk about McCain, not Obama playing the race card. Let 'em at it: call him out - don't say "he's attacking me cause I'm different" say "McCain is running a dishonorable campaign". Period.

    McCain is running a dishonorable campaign. Say it, Obama.

    If Bill Clinton was the first black President then Obama is our First Atheist

    by Green Bean on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 05:23:22 PM PDT

  •  What changed? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exconservative, zozie

    Obama sprinted to "the center" (as defined by the Broder-Bund) and tanked in the polls.  Running to the center only works if you're running to the popular center, not the pundit center.  Today the popular center on almost very major issue is to the left of the DC/pundit"left".  However, a Democrat who seems to embrace the public progressivism in the primaries and  drops it like a hot potato once the general begins sets himself up as a target for Rube character attacks.  Every four years the summer seems like a rerun, the formerly populist Dem, holding a substantial lead in the polls, suddenly bolts to the pundit "center", the Rube attacks on character, and the Dem's poll lead collapses.  If they would stick to the principled progressive positions that got them their lead, and didn't come off as blatantly double-talking ambitious climbers, maybe they wouldn't be so vulnerable to the character attacks.  Integrity  is  not a negative the way the Dem party ops would have you all believe.

    A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. ~Edward R. Murrow

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 05:28:08 PM PDT

  •  Drew Westen article on Obama poll slip (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, betson08

    It's been posted elsewhere, from HuffPo (link here), but is worth repeat posting.  One excerpt:

    "Against the perfect storm of an unpopular incumbent, an unpopular war, and an economy that has led banks to close and millions to lose their jobs and homes, McCain's campaign is creating a perfect counter-storm. Each element described above draws power on its own from the worst in our nature--the prejudice, hate, contempt, and stereotyping that have become the bread and butter of Republican campaigns for four decades, intensified since the entry of Lee Atwater and then Karl Rove onto the national scene. But just beneath the surface of each of these elements--enough below to allow plausible deniability ("there's gambling in this establishment?")--is the tie that binds them: race.

    Obama's extraordinary capacity to meet with world leaders on an equal footing wasn't presidential, the story goes, even though McCain goaded him into the trip, assuming he would look and be treated like a novice. Instead, his confidence, competence, and Kennedy-like star-power became an example of his not knowing his place. (Does the term "uppity" come to mind?)"

    "It's only in books that the officers of the detective force are superior to the weakness of making a mistake." (Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone)

    by chingchongchinaman on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 05:36:52 PM PDT

  •  McCain laid down the gauntlet..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and Obama HAS to respond in kind, WITH THE TRUTH.

    I thought there were laws against false advertising.  Clearly, the networks have no problem  airing ads that mislead, lie, and are plainly false.  Blaiming Obama for high gas prices, throwing out baseless cheap shots such as claiming Obama wouldn't see the troops in Europe since cameras weren't allowed, and other lies HAVE to be responded to with the truth.

    Cenk is right-on.  Don't be complacent -  Obama CAN lose.  I felt as confident or moreso in 1988 when canvassing for Dukakis when he had a 17 point lead in the polls.  We all know how that turned out.

    Obama needs to paint McCain as a "right-winger wolf" in a "maverick sheep's" clothing.  Put HIM on the defensive for a change!

  •  For some reason (4+ / 0-)

    though the Obama campaign is brilliant in many ways, they suck at the media game.

    For example, the Britney/Paris ad is so inane and everyone knows it's inane. So why doesn't the Obama campaign put out an ad IMMEDIATELY with Obama speaking straight to the camera, maybe dressed in a casual checked shirt, saying something like:

    "At a time when millions of homes are being foreclosed, gas prices are rising and millions of Americans are struggling with a stagnant economy, my opponent thinks this election is so trivial that we can afford to get caught up in silly ads featuring Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. I believe this election is too serious, and the American people are in too much economic pain, to be treated with such disrespect. These are serious times that call for serious solutions. I propose [briefly list some policy proposals]. I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message. Because the American people deserve a President who will take their concerns seriously."

    An ad like that would WORK! Why is there no ad like that??!!!?

    •  WHAT GIVES (0+ / 0-)

      You giving me a neg... can't handle a question mark on truth.. what I should be kissing A here..?

      The Britney/paris ad though inane as you say, got the numbers up for McCain.. Call it as it is..

      Senator Obama is conceding now his NOPE with a little changeling on the Drilling. his point is as long as it moves the comprised bill to include environment protection considerations. Good way to say NOPE to Drilling.. the Environment controls will be in the courts for years after the vote to allow drilling. NOPE wins..

    •  I like your idea a lot. (0+ / 0-)

      "We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America." Barack Obama

      by keeplaughing on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 10:14:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where are these National Polls Showing A Tie (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Did I miss something? In terms of regular polls (NOT tracking Polls) these are the last 7:

    Qunnipiac: Obama +9

    Reuters: Obama +7

    Washington post (Regsitered Voters-4Way): Obama +10, (2 Way): Obama +8

    NBC/WSJ: (4-way): Obama +12, (2-Way): Obama +6

    Research 2000 (4-way): Obama +12

    Gallup: McCain +4

    CNN/Opinion Research  7/31/08: Obama +7

    Other than that one Gallup poll which was pretty much debunked on this site, the last 6 national polls average out to around an 8 point lead.

    I keep hearing that McCain has caught Obama except there hasn't been one Poll showing less than a 6 point lead in ages. I'm not saying he has this in the bag or that things can't get tighter, but unless I missed something there hasn't been a single regular poll showing a tie (other than that one gallup poll).

    •  Everyone here is in a Tizzy because the Rasmussen (0+ / 0-)

      Daily Tracking Poll has McCain barely up by 1 today, yet Gallup Daily Tracking has Obama up by 3. Regardless, I think all tracking polls are bullsh*t. The national polls are a little more reliable, but not by much.

      Beltway Wisdom is an Oxymoron.

      by kefauver on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 07:29:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Perception shapes uncritical voters' minds... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    not critical thinking, discernment, judgement or any of the other cognitive hallmarks of a an electorate suited to participate in governing itself....

    Anyone care to review the history of the execrable elections of nixon, reagan, bush i and bush ii? Whole country of uncritical thinkers at the polls + voting system "irregularities" = GOoP's in the "white" house.

    "That which you will not resist and mobilize to stop, you will learn--or be forced--to accept." Impeachment for treason IS an American value.

    by Enough Talk Lets Get Busy on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 07:51:01 PM PDT

  •  this is one of the best video's out there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There is so much footage out there in McCain's own words that would shock the average person..Why aren't they using them?!...err!

    McCain I have earned the right to oppose our troops

    by mel70 on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 07:56:15 PM PDT

  •  Tracking Polls To Be Ignored (0+ / 0-)

    I found this on liberal oasis. The month of May was the first month that Obama started consistently polling ahead of McCain in almost every poll:

    CBS/NY Times: Obama, 11 points
    USA Today/Gallup: McCain, 1 point
    Ipsos: Obama, 4 points
    LA Times/Bloomberg: Obama, 6 points
    NPR: Obama, 5 points
    Quinnipiac: Obama, 7 points
    ABC/Washington Post: Obama, 7 points
    Reuters/Zogby (including Ralph Nader & Bob Barr): Obama, 10 points
    GW-Battleground poll: Obama, 2 points
    Investor's Business Daily: Obama, 11 points
    Newsweek: Tie

    Obama was leading in almost every poll and was probably his strongest month of polling against McCain up to that point.

    So where was he in the trcaking polls? Well, on May 25th he was loosing by 1 in Gallup, and loosing by 2 in Rasmussen. That's when I just started ignoring tracking polls. They're meaningless.

    Just think back to Hillary vs Obama. Obama would go up to around a 10 point lead every now and then down the stretch, and then for no reason 5 days later it would be even.

    Bottom line is that over the last 6-7 National Polls Obama is averageing around a 7 point advantage, and certainly seems to have the upper hand in the electoral college. Of course things can change quickly, but as of right now the race seems pretty much the same as it has benn.

  •  Cenk, you're absolutely right. (0+ / 0-)

    A landslide victory and a new New Deal!

    by deepeco on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:05:28 PM PDT

  •  Is Kerry advising Obama - just asking? (0+ / 0-)

    Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. -Thomas Paine

    by exconservative on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:15:47 PM PDT

  •  C'mon Barack - for one last time we need you to (0+ / 0-)

    roar.   Now what the hell are you waiting for?

    "Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one." - Friedrich Nietzsche

    by ActivatedbyBush on Mon Aug 04, 2008 at 09:59:34 PM PDT

  •  Before everyone hyperventialtes, please (0+ / 0-)

    read this story in Time magazine about the 1980 race and how the polls got it so wrong back then.  I think you will see some very striking similarities between that election and this one just in terms of how pollsters missed things:

    •  Fuck the polls (0+ / 0-)
      I don't need a poll to tell me that Obama is running a terriblly flawed general election campaign.

      He needs to knock McCain on his ass and he needs to do it now.

      BTW, whether you believe Carter faded in the final days of the campaign or whether you believe he was trailing the entire time is irrelevant.  The take-away lesson is that being perceived as weak and unwilling to fight, as Carter was during the hostage crisis, is fatal to a candidate.  If Obama continues this idiotic decision to not attack McCain he will get destroyed by NOvember.

  •  Give the man a break! (0+ / 0-)

    He has run a terrific campaign so far and has shown a sense of timing which is nothing short of brilliant.  He turned a republican taunt of very little foreign policy experience on it's head and with that foreign trip of his.  Now they are crying that he is 'too confident'.  

    Today by not attacking McCain in the same vein I think he is gaining quite a bit of political ground. Today only one candidate is talking about real issues, the other one is looking more and more like an attack dog foaming in it's mouth.  

    So sit back, buckle up and enjoy the ride.

  •  In all fairness to Obama (0+ / 0-)
    [blockquote]1) McCain has changed the whole conversation about this election into one question - do you want to vote for or against Obama? This is genius. Obama needs to switch the conversation if he wants to win.[/blockquote]

    McCain didn't do this, the corporate media did it for him.  Over and over, for months now, we've been told that this election is a referendum on Obama.  The media devotes far more coverage to Obama's faults and "gaffes" than it does to McCain.  No stone is left unturned in Obama's past, no policy reversal is ignorned, while the very opposite standard is applied to McCain.

    Obama can no more "switch the conversation" than a salmon can switch the direction in which a river flows.  The corporate media provides the environment for this campaign, and that environment is designed to benefit McCain.  It doesn't require genius for McCain to shine when the lighting is adjusted specifically for him, but for Obama to win, it will require genius and a shitload of luck.

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

    by Subterranean on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 01:04:58 AM PDT

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