Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

Schumer Chimes In

I thought this would be a worthy companion to the back-and-forth Greg and I had about campaign strategy and “armchair quarterbacking.” My take is here, Greg’s response is here. And now Chuck Schumer chimes in. I’ll present it without comment only because it fits with the theme of a discussion we’ve been having, but feel free to agree, disagree, or think Schumer should keep his trap shut:

“They’re trying to say, ‘He’s not one of us,'” Schumer said.

“I would answer back hard. What do you mean he’s not one of us? It’s John McCain who wears $500 shoes, has six houses, and comes from one of the richest families in his state,” Schumer said. “It’s Barack Obama who climbed up the hard way, and that’s why he wants middle-class tax cuts and better schools for our kids.”

The strategy has produced some questions in Democratic circles as to whether Obama shouldn’t be hitting back more personally – but Obama’s aides argue that the perception that McCain is running a traditional, negative campaign is damaging McCain’s reputation for high-minded independence.

Schumer didn’t directly criticize Obama’s strategy, but he argued for a higher-velocity response.

“When they say,’He’s not one of us,’ you don’t say, ‘Here’s our plan on health care,'” he said.

UPDATE: I lied about the no comment. Crazy theory: is Schumer taking one for the team? He’s basically giving advice to Obama to say “It’s John McCain who wears $500 shoes, has six houses, and comes from one of the richest families in his state,” and in doing so he is saying…”It’s John McCain who wears $500 shoes, has six houses, and comes from one of the richest families in his state!”

Am I crazy? Is he putting this out there as a surrogate in the form of advice?


August 7, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Schumer weighing in lends credence to critics. While Greg correctly pointed out that Obama’s team is shrewd, it does not mean they lack weakness. While Plouffe, Axelrod and Gibbs have a great track record in the early primaries, the New York Senator has considerable experience winning elections himself. In fact, Schumer led the 2006 takeover of the Senate. He knows what he is talking about. Schumer would not have mad a public comment if he thought they were open to advice

    This brings up another issue. The Obama team is too tight-knit and distrusts advice from outside of their tiny inner circle. I think this might orignate from the primaries when Democrats who criticized his strategy were
    simply trying to argue Hillary had a better chance.

    The primaries are over now and Obama needs t expand his inner circle to all of the best progressive strategists. I think this includes Schumer.

    Comment by Paul Sickel | August 7, 2008 | Reply

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