I read this paragraph today, with a quote from Bill Burton, the Obama spokesman, to Fox News:
“The convention will offer a series of contrasts and comparisions of the McCain record so voters can see how clearly the choice will be in November,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton told FOX News. “The convention will also introduce Senator Obama to the country, but it will make sure to convey strongly the differences and choices Obama’s campaign presents over McCain’s.”
Wow. Mealy-mouthed explanation right there, Burton. That statement written in the passive voice puts me to sleep. How about this instead, Burton?
“The convention will show the truth behind McCain’s so-called “maverick” record, including all the flip-flops he’s given, especially on torture and off-shore drilling. Voters will know who’s the right person to vote for when they’re shown the truth,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton told FOX News. “The convention will tear down this caricature of Senator Obama that’s been painted by the media with the help of the McCain campaign. The differences between Obama’s campaign and McCain’s dishonorable campaign will be made clear to the voters.”
Obama really should rearrange his press shop, fire a couple of his people on his press team, and work on getting their damn messaging straight, from carrying one of Obama’s lines from the townhall throughout the surrogate appearances (whatever surrogate appearances there ARE) on the news shows, and into television ads for the rest of the week. Obama’s finally using the Phil Gramm story, but it’s kind of too late, given they made a single day’s newscycle usage out of it, and then dropped it for the rest of the summer until now.
Don’t trust the media to repeat the soundbite you want heard from Obama’s townhall. Force the surrogates you have on those shows to repeat the soundbite, and have that carried out in a television ad.
Don’t be nice. Be mean. Bust the Republicans’ balls on this one—and ball-busting works in electoral politics, trust me. Just tear their lies apart by using the truth about McCain’s character and how that lies out into his policies.
Sorry, Dan, but I’m completely with Obama on this one. One of the things I hated most about the past two Democratic campaigns was the constant drumbeat of stories quoting “Democratic strategists” telling the campaign what it should be doing. It’s not that they were wrong — both campaigns were horribly run — but that this type of “management by anonymous committee” only served to reinforce just how inept the campaigns were. And when the candidates did finally take the advice, it felt like they had been pushed into it. Remember Gore’s second debate performance, or his public agonizing over whether to allow Clinton to campaign for him? I know crowdsourcing is all the rage these days, but when applied to a campaign it makes everything seem rote and telegraphed.
For the most part, we’ve seen a welcome reversal of roles this year. The papers have been full of anonymous Republican sniping over McCain’s strategy, while the Dems have largely remained silent. I hope it stays that way.