Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

I’m Pissed.

There’s another “Shut Your Fucking Piehole” diary on the recommended list at Dailykos. Another diary, just like the one in 2004, telling us to shut up about our concerns about the lack of coherent messaging in the Obama campaign.

I feel like we’re repeating the same mistakes from 2004. They keep talking about how the ground game is more important than advertising, and how polls don’t matter until the polls after the debates.

Well, it used to be “Polls don’t matter until the conventions.” Then it’s “Polls don’t matter until the debates.” Then it’s “The only poll that matters is on Election Day.”

And the same talk about the ground game is there, and the same conversations about trusting in Obama’s team, and that they have some inside information that us rubes don’t know about—like the same talk that went on in 2004.

Obama is no John Kerry–let me make that clear, but he does have Gephardt and Daschle’s people in charge of media and marketing. Those people did great in getting Gephardt the nomination in 2004, right?

It all comes down to consistent messaging, and the opportunity to go on the offense, not the defense. Whoever goes on the offense first is seen as the stronger of the two candidates, and Obama’s not looking like that right now with his defensive reactions.

I keep thinking about the missed opportunities. Like the missed opportunity to turn the attack on community organizers into an attack on McCain and Palin’s “elitism” and inability to connect to average Americans. It would have been great to have surrogates on the networks angrily talking about how McCain and Palin just dissed average Americans, like the ones that went down to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, the ones that went down to Ground Zero after September 11th, 2001, the ones that went into rural communities to help out farms, the ones that helped build homes for people in neighborhoods. And have these community organizers featured in an hard-hitting advertisement, “John McCain and Sarah Palin attacked me. If they make fun of people like me for helping out on 9/11 [or helping out after Hurricane Katrina] then they’re not the people I want in the White House. They don’t care about me, and they don’t care about YOU either.”

That was a missed opportunity. We only have 58 days left before the election on November 4th. At the rate this is going, we’ll see a President McCain and a Vice-President Palin.

Goodbye, Roe V. Wade.

Goodbye, Constitution.

Goodbye, peace.

Hello, high utility bills.

Hello, global warming.

Hello, high gas prices.

Hello, war in Iran.

Hello, no more jobs.

Hello, no more health insurance.

Hello, America under McCain and Palin.

That’s the future we’ll have unless Obama’s team decides to wake up and fight HARD for us.

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September 8, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

11 Comments »

  1. Like I stated in my previous comment, if the American people fall for it again then they deserve what they get. Republicans don’t give a shit about anything and anybody but what they can get out of the deal. “Screw the country and the “regular” people problems” are how the Republicans feel. And yet people will still vote for him, why? Because he picked a female as his running mate, are you kidding me?

    This is the only place I can get good stories because the MSM will not report on things like this because they are in the pockets of big money.

    ***pissed as well***

    Comment by trellskig | September 8, 2008 | Reply

  2. Slink, I appreciate what you’re saying but appreciate the other side, too. And as usual, I fall in the middle.

    Obama is brilliant. I believe he will rise to this occasion and hone his message and speech and whap ’em upside the head with their bullshit. I believe Bill Clinton will hit the trail and be fantastic. I believe the ads will get tougher and even more direct. I believe Obama will enlist excellent economic surrogates who will make all the rounds and speak succinctly on economic issues. I believe McCain will put his foot in his mouth and help out.

    I think all these things need to be done. I actually don’t think the SYFPH diariasts would disagree with that.

    But last night and all yesterday we’ve had a series of “we’re doooooomed” diaries with such overwhelming hand wringing, it almost forces folks to say “ENOUGH, this isn’t helping.”

    and I agree with that sentiment.

    Comment by netrootnews | September 8, 2008 | Reply

  3. Frankly, you should be worried. What’s more scary is Bob Woodward’s revelations about how Bush has been strategizing on how to make sure that we are locked down in Iraq through any administration. This is an outrage, but since the media is controlled by the likes of Murdoch, there isn’t any. I will also be volunteering even more and will have to rely on faith that we will pull this out.

    Comment by Suzie Q (not the blogger) | September 8, 2008 | Reply

  4. Slink: I am as fed up as you!! I mean REALLY FED UP! Indeed, just like you, it seems as if I’m the most exasperated with the liberal progressive bloggers out there who KEEP refusing to see the reality that we might actually lose this election!!

    Just a few minutes ago, I wrote the following comment in response to Dansac’s wonderful diary here at Strategy 08.
    Immediately after I posted my comment to Dansac, I returned to the main page and discovered your great diary. Please forgive me for repeating myself below here, but what I wrote a few seconds ago applies even more to what you just said:

    “I’ve been saying this for a long time now despite so many people calling me a Republican Troll or Concern Troll: The Obama Campaign is TRAGICALLY out of touch with the Real American Society Out There!! What is even more tragic is the fact that McPalin/Rove DOES have their pulse on “Everyday Americans.” I know that Slink and Dansac (along with a few others) have ALSO been trying fervently to get the “Obama People” to see the handwriting on the wall, but overall it seems that most of the Democrats have–and perhaps even still continue–to have their heads buried way deep in the sand.

    I am in my mid-fifties and have seen the horrendous de-evolution of American culture. We are a country that has BECOME raised on Reality TV Shows, is proud of our anti-intellectualism, and thinks that we truly deserve (or are entitled) to have all of the planet’s resources (not just energy) at our disposal. Of course, I KNOW there are MANY exceptions to this abysmal picture that I paint of our American society. But nevertheless, I do not think that any candidate or campaign will ever “win” an election now–other than by some stroke of luck–by continuing to maintain the High Road Express in a society that has come to expect anything but that. Furthermore–as people such as Slink (here) and Nate Silver have repeatedly said–Obama’s commercials and ads are boring, lame and unexciting (at best)–especially compared to the sleek McPalin ads that hit you over the head with their message.

    I have become SO frustrated that the Obama Campaign refuses to change their strategy, tactics and even lack-of-message AT THIS LATE MOMENT IN THE GAME. McCain not only has successfully “defined” Obama and the narrative, but he keeps RE-DEFINING Obama–and is doing so very successfully.

    It devastates me to think that so many people like myself have contributed so much money to the Obama Campaign when the “product” that Fluff/Axelrod/Burton & Company have produced is SO disappointing. Yes, I know that the Republican Corporate MSM ultimately controls the Message; still even the MSM Puppets are happy to take the Dem’s money for advertising. Moreover, these Republican Puppets NEED the Democratss and their Dem Message to fill the seats of their talk shows. How sad that we Democrats squander these golden opportunities when we could be leaving listeners/viewers with catchy sound bites that they actually might remember.

    I know that Burton and the rest of Team Obama still doesn’t seem to get this. What I find more perplexing, though, is why folks like Howard Dean haven’t stepped in to change things by now.

    Anyway: Thank you everybody at Strategy 08 for all of your continuous hard work. Hopefully, your message will get out SOON to the Important Democratic Powers that Be!”

    Comment by Midwesterners | September 8, 2008 | Reply

  5. Slink: Just to add to your list of what will soon be gone (and what’s to come) with a McPalin Administration:

    Good Bye Polar Bears, Gray Wolves and Bald Eagles–Forever.

    Good Bye Rain Forests all over the Globe.

    Good Bye Stem Cell Research and the Teaching of Science in Classrooms.

    Good Bye to American Colleges and Universities attracting the Best and Brightest Minds from all over the World.

    Hello Ignorance, Anti-Intellectualism and the Complete and Unabashed Corporate Control of our Society.

    Hello Dark Ages.

    Comment by Midwesterners | September 8, 2008 | Reply

  6. …Ooops, I forgot to mention (in my list above) one of the most important things we should expect from a McInsane/Palin Administration:

    HELLO DRAFT!!!!!!!!!!!

    And as a parent of two sons (ages 20 and 2l), I expect that the McPalin Draft would still apply to only Young Men who have Reached the Age of Eighteen. (In other words, I’m sure Enlistment will remain only “Voluntary” for women–knowing that girls who reach eighteen today are not required by law to sign up with Uncle Sam the way young men must, even without a current Draft.)

    Comment by Midwesterners | September 8, 2008 | Reply

  7. Great points. All I can say is: don’t let the McCain campaign play on your fears.

    Comment by EvilPoet | September 8, 2008 | Reply

  8. Don’t let fear eat you. There are still 58 days to go and it is not time yet to list what has been lost, instead list what needs to be done and what we will all gain with Obama’s victory.

    Fear is the worst ennemy.

    Comment by SanAntonio | September 8, 2008 | Reply

  9. I would like to ask if anyone in the campaign responds at all to comments and suggestions sent to them. Do they read any of the emails? Today is yet another example of taking a “measured approach” to the bailout of Fannie and Freddie. Obama camp should be using this as a bludgeon and hammering on the current administration as well as the gaffe’s the McCain/Palin camp are making. Tie this back to Phil Gramm, and hammer, hammer, hammer. Instead all Obama has said is blah, blah blah. Yes, I understand their were some Democrat’s involved running these organizations, but the rethug’s destroyed the mortgage environment with no regulation. They need to get tougher and sharper starting yesterday. I am tearing my hair out watching this.

    Comment by pvmuse | September 8, 2008 | Reply

  10. pvmuse – the Obama website is full of people airing their disdain. I honestly think that he will pull it together. I get the sense that, like McCain, he likes being the underdog…like it fires him up.

    With Palin’s first gaffe coming up against the first couple of days she’s out on the trail, something tells me she’ll implode sooner than later. I think that Biden saying that she has extreme views (and saying it again and again), someone in the MSM calls him out and says, yeah how?

    But, we do have to keep volunteering and asking, are you better off today then tomorrow? Do you realize that she and the rest of Alaska have been profiting – getting $1,200 back in their pocket – while the rest of the country has been crippled?

    Comment by Suzie Q (not the blogger) | September 8, 2008 | Reply

  11. It’s very important to focus on issues, and keep pounding on it. Obama wins on issues. As long as the focus is on personality & image, it’s going to keep hurting Obama because people are in love with Sarah Palin (despite her positions).

    Comment by Mike Cohen | September 8, 2008 | Reply


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