Monday, August 04, 2008

I Say No

The latest national polls show Barack Obama and John McCain in a dead heat after two weeks of non stop negative attacks from McCain. The msm has done a very good job of spreading the McCain message by endlessly replaying them every night. The strategy being employed by the McCain camp is right out of the Lee Atwater/Karl Rove playbook. Turn your opponents perceived strength into a negative. This was how the Republicans managed to turn John Kerry's military service against him. It seemed amazing that the American public would somehow question the service of someone who actually volunteered for war and was injured (twice!) when his opponent used his father's influence to avoid serving in the same foreign war, but somehow it worked. Kerry's bravery was questioned, his injuries were questioned, his patriotism was questioned and a majority of the American people bought it hook, line and sinker.

Obama's greatest perceived strength is his popularity at home and abroad. By accusing him of demagoguery, the McCain campaign is hoping to divert the attention of the American people from the actual issues and make this a referendum on Obama himself. According to the McCain campaign, Obama has the audacity to be popular overseas (because why would we want the rest of the world to actually like our leaders), the arrogance to think that he actually might become President (he is one of two people still left in the running for the job), and is suffering under the delusion that he can actually relate to the common man (clearly no one who was raised by a single mother who actually had to rely on food stamps at one point could hope to understand what the blue collar workers are feeling).

The polls show that this tactic is working. It's almost amusing when the msm makes a statement about Independents being turned off by negative advertising. I would like to see the studies that show that. This is clearly a statement based on anecdotal evidence and the misplaced hope that negative advertising has a detrimental effect on the candidate that runs them. Time and time again, campaigns have turned to this tactic for one simple reason, it works. It worked against Dukakis, it worked against Kerry, it worked against Gore (remember the lie that was perpetuated that he said that he invented the Internet. I'd bet that a majority of the people in this country still believe that he said that.)

Is there anything that the Obama campaign can do to counter this tactic? Truthfully the answer is not much. Obama could respond with attack ads of his own, but he probably won't. Once an opponent starts attacking, you are put on the defensive. Your campaign is forced to answer the charges and you have less time to get your own message across. Obama continues to hold meetings and give speeches about the economy, but the msm is in a tizzy over the fact that the McCain campaign ad that compared Obama to Britney and Paris. Even David Letterman carried the McCain message to the people last week with the top 10 reasons that show Obama is arrogant. As the "Obama is a Muslim" lie that has been refuted a million times but refuses to die shows, once you unleash a story to the public, a percentage of them will believe it regardless of the evidence to the contrary. Now a big reason for that is because people want to believe. There are people who want to believe that Obama is a Muslim extremist, there are people who want to believe that he's arrogant, there are people that want to believe that he's out of touch, there are people who want to believe that he's only gotten as far as he has because of his race. There are a lot of people who are just looking for a reason not to vote for him.

The enthusiasm for McCain among the core Republican constituency has never been very high. He almost certainly get a boost after the convention, but his ability to win this election is based almost solely on his ability to demonize his opponent. The Republican brand has been badly damaged by this administration and the Congress is where that will be felt the most. Democrats are poised to gain seats in both houses of Congress in the November election. The big question is still whether those gains will include the White House. As I have stated here before, I don't think that Obama can win in November. I can guarantee that he will make McCain look silly in the debates, but it won't really matter. Most people will come into those debates with their minds made up and they will see what they want to see. John McCain came into this campaign season saying that he would run an honorable campaign. That clearly wasn't working, so although it took some time for them to get to it, the McCain campaign has finally hit upon the winning theme; "My friends, I am not Barack Obama".


CKAinRedStateUSA said...

The MSM speading McCain's message? You're kidding.

As for the race now being a referendum about Obama?

It appears so.

And that's because the empty suit from Chicago--due to his prevarications, his disingenousness on apparently everything, his ignorance of things such as economics and international relations and nationa security, his consistent playing of his racist card, his inexperience, his entrenched victimhood perspective, his megalomania and more--has created that reality.

Had he anything substantive to say, had he shown any leadership qualities, had he done most anything else--and not done all he could to distract from anyone finding out who or what he is--then we'd see something different now.

But his me-me-me-me theme led his to this inevitable intersection.

And, thank God, John McCain is not Barack Obama.

And if that's what it takes for him to say to keep Mr. Anytime-Anywhere out of office, so be it.

But, then, Obama has not yet been officially nominated, has he? Denver still awaits.

Michael Hew said...

I find it amazing that supporters of McCain seem to forgive his every change of position or missatement of the facts. He admitted that he didn't know much about the economy. Did he give his captors the names of the Green Bay Packers or the Pittsburgh Steelers (who wouldn't become famous until after he was released)? Who knows? Apparently he doesn't. I can guarantee you that if Obama could not keep the Muslim factions in Iraq straight, the press would not let him forget it. And is there an issue that McCain hasn't changed his position on? (the latest being the affirmative action resolution on the ballot in Arizona).

And does McCain have anything substantive to say? All I've heard from him and his campaign staff for the last two weeks are complaints about Obama taking a trip that he himself took earlier in the year and bitching about Obama being a celebrity. If John McCain has a plan to help fix this country I haven't heard it yet.

And accusing Obama of playing the race card is like accusing John McCain of being white. Barack Obama has written 2 books about who he is, what he believes and where he comes from. He's not trying to hide anything. He came from humble beginnings (although I'm sure those on the right would criticize him for being born in Hawaii)and through sheer hard work and determination has put himself in a position to gain the highest office in the land. I dare you to compare the stories of these two men and tell me that McCain's is somehow more inspiring (McCain has received preferential treatment his entire life, he's been sucking on the teet of affirmative action since birth). And Obama has said many times that this campaign isn't about him, but about the hope and desire of the peoople for something better. That message is somehow always lost on those who would think him just a media creation.

And it is John McCain who seems to have the perspective of entrenched victimhood. He complains constantly about the press playing favorites when a recent study showed that simply wasn't true. However if you say it enough times, people believe it. McCain will probably win the election, but you'll never convince me that he's the better man in the election.

Thanks for you comment.

Vivian Berryhill said...

McCain/Obama: It's About to Get UGLY!

While Americans "say" they prefer campaigns based on issues, meaningful debate, and substance, and many claim they abhor mudslinging gutter politics... don't believe it for one second! Quite to the contrary, the American public–– and this includes Democrats, Independents, and Republicans––salivate and literally feed on dirty ads and low-road campaign tactics.

It's unfortunate, but the more obscene, dirtier, and contemptible campaign ads are of late, the more likely a 'win" for the candidate whose campaigns promote them. With that said, look for the next 90-days to be one of the nastiest, slime-riddled, sewer-resembled presidential elections in history. During an earlier blog post, it was noted that Barack Obama and John McCain already had a vitriolic history, and exhibited disdain for each other long before now:

... my hunch is that the next 6-months is going to be brutal. The prevailing wisdom suggests there remains bad blood from the [McCain/Obama] Ethics Reform break-down and the Flak Jacket heated exchange. And any promise by these two of rising above the usual divisive, negative, detrimentally damaging politics of destruction was just the same-old-same-old Washington, DC political posturing in an effort to look noble! 9, 2008

Well, so much for the pretense and promised pre-General Election political posturing by these two. As in any gladiatorial contest, the fight is to-the-death, with the last man standing (bloody as he may be) the victor. It's sad that the primary reason these vile ads and untoward behaviors by the candidates are unchallenged and allowed to pollute the 'spirit' of the electoral process, is the cheering fans/electorates "love" the mayhem and the gore, and the networks make millions of dollars.

Let's admonish the faint of heart, and political do-gooders right now. It's best to turn your televisions off beginning today, as the contest leading up through November is NOT going to be pretty, whatsoever. Both sides know that too much is at stake for a patty-cake fight this year.

So... just as soon as Obama officially clinches the Democratic nomination, and Senator Hillary Clinton has successfully been removed from even the most remote possibility of being the Democrat's representative in the Fall... look for the Republicans to unleash the 'kitchen', 'bathroom' and 'laundry room' sinks––a furor unmatched in the history of politics––on Obama.

And... not to be out done, the Obama camp,, and others will have to get down in the trenches and get 'blood' on their hands as well, or get mowed down mercilessly by the opposition. The Democratic 527's groups will have no choice but to counter with some of the meanest, filthiest ads of their own, leveled against McCain. All while the voters feign repulsion... but talk around the water coolers about who has the best of the worst ads!

You've been forewarned! Just get ready for a long, hot bath from November to swearing-in day, January '09. But... even then, the stench from this election cycle will be too pungent to be permanently removed from our nation's history for a long time...