Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

Chuck Hagel Criticizes McCain’s Shameful Ad

It seems like recently the most effective surrogate for the Obama campaign is someone who isn’t technically part of it.

On McCain’s allegations of Senator Obama’s political expediency:

BOB SCHIEFFER: He said this morning that Senator Obama’s strategy was based, basically, on political expediency, that he chose-and these are Senator McCain’s words-”a political path that would get him the nomination.”

CHUCK HAGEL: Well, let me begin by making this comment in answering your question. Both of these men are smart, capable, decent men who love their country. I think we, as a nation, are far better off for these two capable men-one will have to govern this country and bring the country together as well as lead the world and bring the world together-and that’s going to take a bipartisan consensus, to govern. They’re better off to focus on policy differences. I think John is treading on some very thin ground here when he impugns motives and when we start to get into, “You’re less patriotic than me. I’m more patriotic.” I admire and respect John McCain very much. I have a good relationship. To this day we do. We talk often. I talked to him right before I went to Iraq, as a matter of fact. John’s better than that. [snip]

On McCain’s Ad:

CHUCK HAGEL: Let me add to that. As you know, Bob, the congressional delegation that you referred to ended when we parted in Jordan. At that point, it was a political trip for Senator Obama. I think it would have been inappropriate for him and certainly he would have been criticized by the McCain people and the press and probably should have been if on a political trip in Europe paid for by political funds-not the taxpayers-to go, essentially, then and be accused of using our wounded men and women as props for his campaign. I think the judgment there-and I don’t know the facts by the way. I know what you’ve just read. No one has asked me about it other than what you’ve just asked about. But I think it would be totally inappropriate for him on a campaign trip to go to a military hospital and use those soldiers as props. So I think he probably, based on what I know, he did the right thing. We saw troops everywhere we went on the congressional delegation. We went out of our way to see those troops. We wanted to see those troops. And that’s part of our job to see those troops, by the way, and listen to those troops, Bob. And we did.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Do you think that ad was appropriate?

CHUCK HAGEL: I do not think it was appropriate.

The McCain camp obviously thinks they’re getting some traction out of this (either that or they’re desperate to change the narrative of Obama’s trip; certainly could be both) or they wouldn’t keep hammering on it. In any case, kudos to Chuck Hagel, who continues to help Obama out in a major way.


July 27, 2008 - Posted by | foreign policy, Media Strategy | , , , ,


  1. The ad is inappropriate.
    Unfortunately, so far it’s working.

    Comment by Kurt | July 27, 2008 | Reply

  2. Not sure about that. Too early to tell. But the Obama camp needs to push back on this aggressively next week.

    Comment by turneresq | July 27, 2008 | Reply

  3. Yeah, I am not sure about how effective it is. Obama right now is surging in the tracking polls, but it will be a little early to measure any impact.

    I’d like to hear them hit back harder though. They need a response that at least includes one of the following: “low class”, “Disgraceful”, “liar”, or “Rovian”.

    Comment by smashartist | July 27, 2008 | Reply

  4. It’s a bit early in the election cycle for them to go this negative, isn’t it? What type of ads are they going to run post-conventions…that Obama eats babies?
    This so reeks of desperation…they have dropped any pretense of running on issues or their own.

    Comment by maximus | July 27, 2008 | Reply

  5. Agreed Maximus. Obama has really got himself in a good position, having only run positive biographical ads so far. He still has a better overall Positives/Negatives rating than McSame. When he hits him hard this fall (and they will hit him), it will be a real demolition.

    Comment by zenbowl | July 27, 2008 | Reply

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