Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

Is Obama Learning to Pivot and Attack Instead of Being Defensive?

In an interview tonight on the News Hour with Gwen Ifill, Obama responds to the notion that he’s shifted on issues by…pivoting and attacking McCain’s shifts.  Could this be the beginning of a new press response strategy that Slinkerwink referred to in her post today?  If so, it’s a long time coming, and I’ll believe it when his press people start doing it, but in the meantime, it’s a start:

So the broader point, Gwen, is if you compare sort of my shift in emphasis on issues that I’ve been proposing for years, like say, faith-based initiatives, which have raised questions in the press, if you compare that to John McCain –

MS. IFILL: And raised hackles among some of your supporters.

SEN. OBAMA: Well, raised hackles amongst some in the blogosphere, if you compare that to John McCain’s complete reversal on oil drilling, complete reversal on George Bush’s tax cuts, complete reversal on immigration where he said he wouldn’t even vote for his own bill, that I think is a pretty hard case to make that somehow I’ve been shifting substantially relative to John McCain.


July 15, 2008 - Posted by | Media Strategy, Uncategorized | ,


  1. It’s certainly a start…I sometimes wonder if the campaign is bidding their time so that the impact of an offensive will be stronger, or if they really don’t have the stomach to launch an offense.

    Also, I get the sense that they continue to favor a small, grass-roots strategy over a macro-strategy. While everyone’s in Summer Vaction mode, he’s building up a guerilla of highly motivated campaigners…or at least that’s what I’d like to hope.

    Comment by Mikhail | July 15, 2008 | Reply

  2. I definitely think they are building that grass-roots army, but I still think in the end there are just too many voters out there that macro-strategy cannot be ignored. The larger narrative will probably move more votes in the end, but the grass-roots army will help in tight races.

    Comment by dansac | July 15, 2008 | Reply

  3. I also think that there’s some real tension between the Obama campaign and other Democrats, who are complaining that they’re not being brought into the fold. In doing this, surrogates do not have talking points.

    Comment by Suzie Q | July 15, 2008 | Reply

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