Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

How To Attack McCain On The Economy

Right now, John McCain is trying to undercut Barack Obama on the economy, as this is McCain’s major weak point (one of the many weak points, but I digress…) in the presidential campaign since Obama is outpolling him by seventeen points alone on this issue.

Greg Sargent at Talking Points Memo posted a radio ad by the Obama campaign, that I think is going to successfully undercut McCain on the economy and other issues. Listen to the radio ad, and then check the transcript behind the cut along with my thoughts:

(click to hear) Barack Obama Attacks McCain Over Loss Of Harley-Davidsons

Transcript of the radio ad (for the hearing-impaired like me and sound-impaired computers):

(Motors revving)

Announcer: Listen to John McCain speaking to motorcycle enthusiasts in Sturgis, South Dakota, on Tuesday.

McCain: Not long ago a couple of hundred thousand Berliners made a lot of noise for my opponent. I’ll take the roar of 50,000 Harleys any day…

Announcer: But when it comes to his record, American-made motorcycles like Harleys don’t matter to John McCain. Back in Washington, McCain opposed the requirement that the government buy American-made motorcycles. And he said all buy-American provisions were quote “disgraceful.” Surprised? You shouldn’t be. This is the same John McCain who supported billions in tax breaks for companies who ship American jobs overseas.

(More motors revving)

Announcer: It’s time to hear the roar of the strong American economy again — and stop John McCain from shipping our jobs overseas.

Obama: I’m Barack Obama, candidate for president, and I approved this message. Paid for by Obama for America.

I think it’s a great approach for Obama to link McCain as being in the pocket of foreign interests since McCain is running on the theme of patriotism as his major strength. Saying that McCain cares about foreign interests more than the economic plight of Americans is going to work–because it’s TRUE. Make McCain into being “just another Republican” who doesn’t care about Americans just like George W. Bush. That way, McCain has to own the Republican brand, which is now badly damaged due to the cute little foibles of the Republican Party during the past eight years.

Link McCain to loss of American jobs:

  • DHL jobs being sent overseas
  • Budweiser now in control of the Germans since his wife didn’t care enough to keep Budweiser in American hands
  • The Boeing-Northrup-Grumman issue
  • Phil Gramm “America is a nation of whiners”

McCain doesn’t care about us Americans, how we’re suffering while he runs a $100,000 tab on his credit card, and plays vacation at one of his eight houses in his $500 dollar pair shoes. Make McCain into the elitist Republican that’s married to a rich heiress. He really doesn’t give a damn about us, and it’s about time the Obama campaign is making Americans aware of this issue.


August 11, 2008 - Posted by | foreign policy, Media Strategy


  1. Hey Slink – just posted this at DKos (and here, but deleted since yours essentially covers the same thing)

    Comment by dansac | August 11, 2008 | Reply

  2. Also, wanted to add that this is part of the strategy of hitting McCain harder locally than nationally. Nationally run more positive ads. Locally, hit him on issues of local substance.

    Harley Davidson is, of course, located in Wisconsin where this radio ad runs.

    Comment by dansac | August 11, 2008 | Reply

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