Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

How John McCain Just Lost Florida…


DIGG IT!!!!!!!!!

…if the Obama camp engages in some smart, targeted politicking. It’s the Sarah Palin pick, and it might be the thing that pushes Florida into the Obama camp. Why? Follow my logic here, and you’ll see how simple it is.

In the 2000 Presidential election, Sarah Palin supported Pat Buchanan. Not Al Gore. Not George W. Bush, but Pat Buchanan:

Pat Buchanan brought his conservative message of a smaller government and an America First foreign policy to Fairbanks and Wasilla on Friday as he continued a campaign swing through Alaska. Buchanan’s strong message championing states rights resonated with the roughly 85 people gathered for an Interior Republican luncheon in Fairbanks. … Among those sporting Buchanan buttons were Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin and state Sen. Jerry Ward, R-Anchorage.

Now, political junkies such as ourselves can imagine the messaging: “Sarah Palin apparently didn’t think George W. Bush was extreme enough,” etc, etc. But, really, do most people know enough about Buchanan and his platform in 2000? Not most people…except in one place:

South Florida. And particularly Palm Beach County.

Accidentally voting for Pat Buchanan instead of Al Gore is something that brings up a lot of emotion in South Florida. Not just because the people there feel disenfranchised and upset that their vote helped Bush, but also because instead of voting for the ticket with the first Jew (I know, we all know now about Lieberman), they voted for someone they perceived to be an anti-semite:

Several were distraught. There was something confusing about the ballot, they said. They weren’t sure if they had actually voted for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman. In keeping with the demographics of Delray Beach, the town where the mall was located, virtually all of the volunteers were elderly and many were Jewish. They had been especially motivated to support Lieberman, who was the first Jew to be nominated by a major party for vice president. What made the problem especially upsetting was that some of the volunteers thought they had voted for Pat Buchanan, a man they regarded as an anti-Semite. What, they wondered, could they do?

And why would they think Pat Buchanan is anti-Semitic? Gee, I don’t know. Here are some samples:

In a 1977 column, Buchanan said that despite Hitler’s anti-Semitic and genocidal tendencies, he was “an individual of great courage…Hitler’s success was not based on his extraordinary gifts alone. His genius was an intuitive sense of the mushiness, the character flaws, the weakness masquerading as morality that was in the hearts of the statesmen who stood in his path.” (The Guardian, 1/14/92)

Writing of “group fantasies of martyrdom,” Buchanan challenged the historical record that thousands of Jews were gassed to death by diesel exhaust at Treblinka: “Diesel engines do not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody.” (New Republic, 10/22/90) Buchanan’s columns have run in the Liberty Lobby’s Spotlight, the German-American National PAC newsletter and other publications that claim Nazi death camps are a Zionist concoction.

Buchanan was vehement in pushing President Reagan — despite protests — to visit Germany’s Bitburg cemetery, where Nazi SS troops were buried. At a White House meeting, Buchanan reportedly reminded Jewish leaders that they were “Americans first” — and repeatedly scrawled the phrase “Succumbing to the pressure of the Jews” in his notebook. Buchanan was credited with crafting Ronald Reagan’s line that the SS troops buried at Bitburg were “victims just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps.” (New York Times, 5/16/85; New Republic, 1/22/96)

And there is oh so much more (and not just about Jews).

So, put it all together. Pat Buchanan, extremist anti-Semite, ran for President in 2000. Many South Florida residents were disenfranchised because they accidentally voted for this anti-Semite, instead of their intended target. This memory is extremely painful. You have the perfect stew for a targeted outreach via advertising, direct mail, and surrogates. Imagine this message:

“2000. South Florida residents think they’re voting for Al Gore and Joe Lieberman. Instead, the ballot structure forced many to accidentally vote for Pat Buchanan, a well-known anti-Semite who has praised Hitler and expressed doubt about the truth of the Holocaust. We all know how the 2000 election ended up. But John McCain just picked a running mate who didn’t support the Democrats in 2000, she didn’t support the Republicans. Instead, she supported and campaigned for…Pat Buchanan. What does this say about John McCain’s judgment picking this person to be a heartbeat from the Presidency? John McCain, wrong for Florida, wrong for America.”

Targeted. Intense marketing. Make sure everyone in South Florida knows the truth about Sarah Palin’s support for Pat Buchanan, remind them why he was an anti-Semite, and bring up the painful memory of what happened in 2000. Indeed, Robert Wexler may already be onto this strategy, hopefully the campaign backs him up.

It’s tough, it’s true, and John McCain may have just lost Florida if played correctly by the Obama camp.

DIGG IT!!!!!!!!!


August 30, 2008 - Posted by | Battleground States, Uncategorized | , , , ,


  1. I wish I could agree that this would lose him Florida, but, knowing both South Florida (my hometown in Palm Beach Gardens) and the national press, this issue of Buchanan isn’t going to get any coverage unless the talking heads start asking if it creates a Jewish Problem for McCain. It could harm him, but I wouldn’t bet on the reporters doing their jobs on that.

    Comment by Drew | August 30, 2008 | Reply

  2. The more we raise the visibility of this the more the talking heads might pick it up.

    Comment by dansac | August 30, 2008 | Reply

  3. McCain made a big mistake in his choice for VP. Talk around the coffee shop is McCain will loose. He should have picked Mitt Romney or Huckelbee. I am a Dem. and was going to support McCain, along with a group of other Dems. If she would decline the nominations, and drop out it would be a blessing.

    Comment by Jim Roberts | August 30, 2008 | Reply

  4. She supported Forbes in 2000, was on his leadership committee for Alaska. Wore Buchanan’s button to be a polite mayor when he visited town. Support for Forbes easily confirmable in Lexis. Sorry to burst your bubble.

    Comment by DB | August 31, 2008 | Reply

  5. Doesn’t matter DB…this is politics, gotta play tough. She wore a Buchanan button, she may in fact have served as a finance person on his 1996 campaign, she has to explain herself.

    Comment by dansac | August 31, 2008 | Reply

  6. doubt if the issue will be much more than a drop in the bucket in florida. The smart jewish folks have all left the state, the whole east coast is mostly hispanic and they a. don’t vote b. vote catholic (anti choice)

    Comment by swfla | September 2, 2008 | Reply

  7. Another of Obama’s propaganda —


    You are the first candidate the U.S. has had in a long time that has continued to spread false information from the first time you hit the campaign trail.

    I find your technique one of the most offensive I have ever experienced. I find your ethics are on the border of being unethical and your manipulation of the facts most disgusting.

    It is common knowledge that the media will always press United States citizens to vote for the candidate who offers them the biggest kick-backs, pay-backs, and over-all “favors”. That is you, Obama.

    Then look at your over all personas: Your stance, the way you hold your head, your gestures, the clothes you wear, the pronouns and adjectives you use. Everything about you is the personification of an individual, who does NOT, let me repeat DOES NOT, have the United States citizens interests’ at heart. You are an elitist and the persona I just described is living proof — your entire appearance is proof — FACT — of what I say.

    Okay – now let’s talk about education. You have a law degree but did not practice law. Why? Readers – look this one up and you will see why. And, the result is not a positive one.

    Then there is the community organizer work you undertook in the state of Illinois. That, too, has been overstated and turned into something “positive” that it in fact was NOT. Dear readers – check this one out yourself as there are many Illinois citizens who will tell you the “truth.”

    My education – NOBAMA – is equal to or greater than your education. I do have the same ability as you to influence U.S. Citizens: And I certainly am taking the opportunity to exploit you for what you truly are.

    You see I am an educator, who works for a famous “Research One” institution, who has the ability to write Journal Articles that all college students will use for research. The true facts about you will come out and in a place that will most definitely do the most good – to influence voters “young voters” on how to spot an individual who does not represent the United States in the capacity as he states he will. Make no mistake, Obama, people will definitely know the subject of the Journal Articles is referencing you and your 2008 Presidential campaign.

    See you in “honest” fact-finding print.

    Comment by Versailles | October 4, 2008 | Reply

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