Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

May the Force be with CNN

I can’t decide if this is hilarious or ridiculous.



November 5, 2008 Posted by | Media Strategy | , , | 1 Comment

Sarah Palin Pranked by Montreal Radio Hosts


Uh-oh. The Canada Press (the Canadian version of AP) reports:

MONTREAL — A Quebec comedy duo notorious for prank calls to celebrities and heads of state has reached Sarah Palin, convincing the Republican vice-presidential nominee she was speaking with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In the interview, which lasts about six minutes, Palin and the pranksters discuss politics, pundits, and the dangers of hunting with current vice-president Dick Cheney.

The Masked Avengers, who have a regular show on Montreal radio station CKOI, intend to air the full interview on the eve of the U.S. elections.

McCain won’t be happy with this.

November 1, 2008 Posted by | Media Strategy, Veepstakes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lawrence Eagleburger Blasts Palin: ‘Of Course’ She’s Not Ready

This is NOT how you stay on message. Lawrence Eagleburger, a McCain advisor and one of the fave five Secretaries of State he remembered has gone on the record absolutely BLISTERING Sarah Palin. This is unbelievable. Below the jump for the details.

HuffPo with the story:

A former Republican Secretary of State and one of John McCain’s most prominent supporters offered a stunningly frank and remarkably bleak assessment of Sarah Palin’s capacity to handle the presidency should such a scenario arise.

Lawrence Eagleburger, who served as Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush and whose endorsement is often trumpeted by McCain, said on Thursday that the Alaska governor is not only unprepared to take over the job on a moment’s notice but, even after some time in office, would only amount to an “adequate” commander in chief.

“And I devoutly hope that [she] would never be tested,” he added for good measure — referring both to Palin’s policy dexterity and the idea of McCain not making it through his time in office.

The interview was with NPR which was apparently supposed to show off how qualified Sarah Palin is. Of course, we know that’s not the case:

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October 31, 2008 Posted by | Media Strategy, talking points, Veepstakes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ratings for Obama Campaign Commercial: 26.4 Million Viewers on Networks

Not bad at all:

On average, Obama’s 30-minute primetime infomercial managed to outperform the usual broadcast programming in the 8 p.m. time period.

The Obama special was seen by about 26.4 million viewers across broadcasters CBS, NBC and Fox, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings. If you add Spanish-language broadcaster Univision, that total climbs to 30.1 million.


October 30, 2008 Posted by | Battleground States, Media Strategy | , , | Leave a comment

The Obama Infomercial

For those who missed it:


October 30, 2008 Posted by | Media Strategy | , , | Leave a comment

McCain Now Running Robocalls Attacking Obama In Arizona

File this in the “this can’t be good” department:

John McCain and the Republican National Committee are now running robocalls attacking Obama as weak on terrorism — in McCain’s home state of Arizona, according to multiple readers from the state.

The call signals genuine worry about McCain’s home state at a time when several polls show the race to be much closer than expected there.

McCain’s robocall, which was played to us over the phone by Mary Joe Bartel, a retiree who lives south of Tuscon, attacks Obama as unprepared to defend the country from terrorism, singling out Joe Biden’s recent remarks about the likelihood of Obama being tested by an international crisis early in his first term.

Flatly, this is disastrous for McCain. There is absolutely no reason Obama should be competitive in a right-leaning state (admittedly not as red as say Tennessee when Gore lost it) where the GOP presidential nominee makes (one of) his home. It will be interesting to see if this gets any media play.

October 29, 2008 Posted by | Battleground States, Media Strategy | , , , , | Leave a comment

Al and Tipper Gore to Rally for Obama in Palm Beach Friday

We’re obviously in the home stretch here, and Flordia, while giving Obama a slight slight lead, is still very close and will likely be decided by a few points in either direction.

Senator Obama has been going full bore in Florida, spending much of his time this week in that crucial state. In addition, he’s bringing Bill Clinton to Orlando for their first joint appearance.

Given the tight race there, it’s great to see that he is bringing out all of the big guns:

Former Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic presidential contender in 2000, will be joined by his wife, Tipper Gore, at a rally for Barack Obama on Friday afternoon at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach.

Convention center officials announced the event today. It will be held in the Center’s Grand Ballroom, and is expected to be limited to about 2,000 attendees.

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October 29, 2008 Posted by | Battleground States, Media Strategy | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SNL Tonight


Absolutely devestating:

FERRELL AS BUSH – “Good to see you, John. Hey let’s get a photo of this; it’ll really help your campaign out. Now let me do this: I, George W. Bush, endorse John McCain and Sarah Palin with all my heart…”

(MCCAIN tries to drift out of frame but is pulled back by BUSH)

FERRELL AS BUSH (cont’d) – “John was there for me ninety percent of the time over the last eight years. When you think of John McCain, think of me, George W. Bush. Think of this face. When you’re in the voting booth, before you vote – picture this face right here. A vote for John McCain is a vote for George W. Bush.
(to MCCAIN) You’re welcome. So, I want to be there you, John for the next eight years.”

FEY AS PALIN -The next sixteen years!

October 24, 2008 Posted by | Media Strategy | , , , | 3 Comments

McCain Nearly Down to the Felt: $12 Million left to Spend

As any good Texas-Holdem poker player (like Barack Obama) knows that when your chips get low and you are almost out of the game (down to the felt in poker terms), you wait for the best hand you can get and move all in an attempt to “double up”. Translating that to politics, with McCain constrained by taking public financing, that decision is turning into potentially a fatal one. And it explains his decision to move his ad spending out of a number of battleground states.

We have news today that McCain is drastically cutting his ad spending in a number of states:

In another sign that John McCain is on the defensive as time runs out, the McCain campaign is shifting its ad money out of blue tossup states and into red tossups and even traditionally red states, according to ad maven Evan Tracey.

McCain has dramatically slashed his ad spending in Wisconsin and New Hampshire and reduced it in Pennsylvania, suggesting that he’s either losing hope or giving up hope in winning in three states that went for John Kerry in 2004, or that he doesn’t have ample enough resources for them.

He’s also reduced his spending in Colorado, which went for Bush but is showing a lead for Obama, suggesting he may be losing hope there, too.

“There’s definitely a scaling back in those states,” says Tracey, who tracks national ad spending for the Campaign Media Analysis Group and gave TPM some numbers so we could flesh out and synthesize disparate reports about various spending shifts into a big picture.

It’s a curious decision to move out of some of these states, especially Colorado where Obama has a solid but not insurmountable lead. Of course, if Obama wins Colorado along with Iowa and New Mexico and holds the Kerry states, he wins. But Colorado is not an outrageously expensive state, so throwning some coin there seems like a no-brainer. Until you get a look at how much money McCain has left to spend:

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October 24, 2008 Posted by | Media Strategy | , , , , | Leave a comment

Hey, McCain: Stop Telegraphing Your Punches!

I realize the McCain campaign is unlikely to ask me for advice, nor would I want them to take it, but imagine for a second that they asked my thoughts on the best way to inject Rev. Wright into the campaign. The first thing I would tell them is don’t do it, since it would look like a transparently desperate gimmick. But if they insisted on it, I would advise them to, as much as possible, keep it under the radar. Rely on robocalls, radio ads, email campaigns and the like. Basically, get the message out to voters but try to avoid alerting the national media. (Of course, I doubt they would be able to pull that off, which takes us back to my first point.)

What I would not advise them to do is loudly hint that they might bring it up, and rationalize it with the transparently bullshit figleaf of John Lewis’ comments. That’s the exact opposite: alerting the national media without actually getting the attack in front of voters. Now, if voters do hear about Wright, it will be via the MSM in the context of a bunch of process stories that emphasize McCain’s desperation and flip-flopping.

I don’t claim any great political wisdom for this insight. All you need to do is notice that they tried the exact same approach with Ayers, and we all know how well that’s worked out.

October 21, 2008 Posted by | Media Strategy | , | 3 Comments