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Posts Tagged ‘McCain’

Thought you would all love this. I heard about the blog last week and never had a chance to post a link.

A couple of my favorite things that are younger than John McCain:

1). The Golden Gate Bridge

2). Penicillin

3). Minimum Wage

John McCain is Older than Penicillin

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Count Florida So I Can Be Vice PresidentSenator Hillary Clinton has hinted that she will keep her fight going until the convention, placating potential Florida and Michigan voters and in turn, bolstering her populist stance for a shot at VP.  

On the same day that the Obama camp is whispering to the press that he has moved on and has begun his search for a running mate, Clinton has declared publicly that she is willing to stay in as long as it takes.  Under the guise of counting Florida and Michigan’s primary votes, she is keeping herself relevant in the race and claiming, in no uncertain terms, that Obama is thinking prematurely about Veep candidates before her campaign has drawn its last breath.

You may think differently, but I’m still sold on the idea that Hillary’s camp is making these statements to preserve the overture that she is the only candidate that can begin the healing of the Dems if her name is next to Obama’s on the ballot.  Her immediate shift in messaging, on the same day as Obama’s ‘confidential search’ for a V.P. got underway is what clues us in on her thought process.

On the other side of the Democratic primary fight (you know, the one with the ‘potential nominee’ attacking the ‘presumptive nominee’?) Senator Barack Obama is now taking Sen. John McCain to task on ethics lapses. In so doing, Obama is also tipping his hand on what his strategy is going to look like in the fall.

Employing the Karl Rove tactic whereby a candidate should attack his opponents on issues where they are strong, Obama is going to attempt to get some miles out of questioning McCain’s (seemingly) stellar ethics record. The junior Senator from Illinois is calling McCain out for having lobbyists on his campaign staff, being caught for it and ultimately (and embarassingly) dismissing them.

And though I think that it is good strategy for Obama, and it fits well with his overarching message about McCain being ‘politics as usual’, I have to give credit to McCain’s staffers in their response to these charges. Mr. Obama, they said, still has not disclosed whether his campaign associates might also be lobbyists, which should raise questions about what the Senator might be hiding.

Kudos to you, McCain camp. You’ve properly dismissed the baggage you would carry into the General Election, admitted to it, let yourself be attacked on it but still maintained the moral high ground by essentially saying ‘if we’re willing to fire our lobbyists, why isn’t Obama doing the same thing?’

I hate to admit it. I like what Obama did here, but I like the McCain response better. The Obama strategists and messaging folks might take a good lesson out of this exchange – before you attack, you’d better be able to defend against a similar counter-attack.  

 

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Senator John McCain has launched a new TV spot advertising his new funeral home business. It shows him wheeling out the corpse of his one thousand year old mother to chat with him about his birth during the French and Indian War.

If your reading this Senator McCain (or if any of your campaign staff are tuned in) let me give you some free (and excellent) political advice. If you’re trying not to reinforce the negative stereotype about your age, you’d better not put your white-haired self in front of a camera next your blue-haired mother. Perhaps your intention was to look young next to the woman who so kindly gave birth to you, but I look at this ad and I immediately see two half-dead senior citizens reminiscing about Life Magazine in the crumbling library of a nursing home.

Senator, it might be time that you accepted your age as a disadvantage and stopped trying to remind us that, compared to your mom, you’re as healthy as a horse. Voters overlook things like age if you’ve got a solid message, proven skills and an unimpeachable character. Which you have in spades.

And you’re a war hero. And not just any war hero. One that was continuously tortured for years and as a result, can’t fully use your arms because of the trauma you’ve sustained. If there’s a contrast between your age and Obama’s youth, there’s an even better one between your awesomeness and Obama’s complete inexperience.

Look, if you’re ever going to look young in your ads, this isn’t the way to do it. The only way you can ever achieve that is if you eat nails or shoulder-press a live tiger.

I don’t see that happening. In fact, that scenario is the opposite of what your Mother’s Day commercial is. And that’s my point. If you’re not willing to go to one extreme to pedal your youth, don’t go to the other. Having your mother make speeches introducing you at campaign stops is one thing, but having her appear in commercials seen by millions of voters is quite another. I hope for your sake, your campaign staff has learned their lesson.

And, of course, Happy Mother’s Day.

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In everyday life, If you kick someone while they’re down you usually generate labels like ‘sadist’. But in politics, if you kick someone while they’re down you usually generate votes.

To wit, let’s look at Hillary’s latest commercial now running in Pennsylvania.

We’re entering a unique time in our national debate. The talking heads and pithy columnists floated the idea early on that the rancor created by the Clinton/Obama fight might cost the Dems the White House. I sincerely doubt that, but I will concede that the point they are making puts a more clear focus on this question: What is going to happen to the Democrats in 2008?

At some level, the voting public expects a free exchange of jabs between opponents. But the damage now being inflicted on Obama (the presumed front-runner and, in my opinion, the presumed nominee) will make this General Election race closer than it should have to be for the Dems.

After 8 years of George W. Bush and the easy linking of John McCain to the president’s failed foreign and domestic policies, the Democratic nominee can expect 9 innings of baseball with healthy servings of verbal pitches he (or she) can hit. However, the character assassination going on now in Pennsylvania will only help the GOP in developing clear contrasts to the Democrats and therefore score points with independent voters – especially if Obama or Clinton are cast as John Kerry-like elitists.

I still doubt the nomination will go to Hillary, but Pennsylvania might. And if Clinton and Obama strike a President/Vice President deal to be on the same ticket as a result, it may be even harder to avoid the wedge that the GOP will drive between them and independents.

The Keystone State might be a loss for Obama, but think about what it does if these two high value targets agree to be one large bull’s eye for the Republicans. It’s time to re-think what will happen to the Democratic Party in 2008.

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Like every good public relations effort, the Obama team knows that any press that the campaign is getting is a good chance to reposition its message in the eyes of voters.

After the explosive weekend of ‘bitter’ remarks and the regrettable comments about Pennsylvania voters ‘clinging to guns and religiion’, the junior Senator from Illinois needed some quick damage control. His campaign has realized (rightly) that it’s time for the candidate to expose his status as an Average American while at the same time casting aspersions on his opponents as out of touch with their sinful possession of ‘a lot of money’. Take a look at this video of him today at the AP Luncheon:

Damn is he good. Capitalizing on Hillary’s tax returns while taking heat for a stupid remark he made that has essentially cost him the Pennsylvania Primary, quite honestly, approaches genius.

It’s [Bill] Clinton-esque.

Let me explain. Modern politics allows this type of turn-around talk. That is to say, we expect our candidates to deflect criticism and attempt (however weakly) to turn the tide of negative attention back onto their opponent. No matter what the error or how fully realized it’s costs are on a campaign, any quick turn of phrase or character attack that can be made, must be made . Not to strike back in this manner often spells political death.

Unfortunately, it may not always work. Someone may pounce too quickly and therefore speak out of turn, or simply miss the mark. If it’s not done right, it could cost you more of the voters that you are trying to curry favor with. For instance, had the Obama campaign said his “opponents have been spinning the media and peddling fake outrage around the clock”, it would be inadequate to the situation.

(He did say this in an e-mail to supporter asking for more donations, and in fact, it is inadequate to the situation.)

But for him to come back and draw a telling contrast between himself and Hillary Clinton (that because of his upbringing, he is more in touch with the struggle of everyday Americans than she is) makes it difficult to see the holes in his armor. Hillary quite simply left herself open by coming after Obama after releasing her tax records showing assets of $100 million – not 10 days ago.

Obama is right to illustrate her hipocracy and his campaign team seems to have a gift for turning negative press around on it’s opponents. But it also has that other thing that is so necessary in politics….

Timing.

Without those tax records floating out there so recently, Clinton could have had a fighting chance with this one. The good news for her is that the damage to Obama is done. Let’s see if she can ride the wave to a PA victory.

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