What an AMAZING strategy for hyping the VP pick but it's too good. I can't take it anymore I will accept anyone as long as they know how many houses they own.

Really I got up at 4:30 A.M. in Tokyo because I was sure I would know who the pick was. Now 6:21 and I know if I go back to bed Obama will announce as soon as I shut my eyes.

As someone mentioned earlier Ms Kennedy has been outstanding and the campaign has been disiplined to the point that all "leaks" seem to be deliberate.

If Obama keeps choosing people like Ms Kennedy we will reach all of our goals.

The Obama campaign has "played" us and the media to perfection.

So help me out here what time will Obama announce his pick?

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Hit him on his strengths: McCain *is* a maverick!

For months now the Democrats have been trying to paint John McCain as a toady of the Republican party, voting for Bush 97% of the time over the past two years, attempting to erase his maverick image. But as we've seen over the past several elections, what works best is hitting your opponents on their perceived strengths.

What if we embraced the maverick motif and just made it look dangerous?

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"There is time to do it right"

When I grew up, my father owned a computer consulting firm. On each of his business cards was his firm's slogan. In that slogan is an idea that many people, especially in today's age of high speed internet and rapid response blogging, fail to understand. It's a simple idea.

There is time to do it right.

It's a slogan that reasonably explained my father's idea about his work. He believed that it is better to spend more time on a project and get it right than try to push something non-functional, bug-ridden, etc. onto a customer. It has had the effect of maintaining an incredibly dedicated customer base to his company.

Note that this slogan does not imply there is an infinity of time to get the job done. It implies that you can rush and put in a patch job that makes a bigger mess of things in the long run, or you can work solidly and get the job done right the first time. You can overreact to an issue and hack something together that deals with it in the short term, or you can lay out a plan of action and follow through on it and have a fix that lasts longterm.

So what does this have to do with political strategy?

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Hello, I'm John McCain, and I'm an Asshole

So I was really discouraged recently over the turn the campaign was taking.  I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who felt this way.

I made the mistake of staying glued to the news broadcasts and talking head shows as wave after wave of political dysentary washed out of the ether and into my little existence.

Being demoralized kinda sucks, however I tried to wash it away by donating my time and money to the Obama campaing this week and that helped a bit.

Some folks have epiphanies in the shower, others gain insight on a long walk, My bright moment cam while choosing oranges at the market near my house:

McCain has decided that to win he has to be an asshole.

I'm not referring to the freindly, lets go have a beer, but he's my kind of asshole.  Rather McCain has decided to be the sneering overcompensating dick that pretty much everyone tries to get away from as fast as possible.

To throw even more levity into my realization, he's also decided to throw petulant child into the mix as well.  My four-year old starts to act out when she's not getting enough attention also, it just took me a little while to recognize McCain's behavior for what it is.

The trifecta is that unlike the swift-boat saga from four years ago, McCain is taking the asshole role onto himself.  Bush for all his myriad faults was smart enough to let someone else be the asshole in the campaign.  McCain either couldn't find anyone else willing to embrace their inner dick, or just couldn't keep his contained anymore.  

Will it fail, who knows?  But I gotta believe that a majority of the populace will grow quickly tired of the Sneering Petulant Asshole persona that has possessed Grampy as of late.

Just my two cents.

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Offense, Defense and Capitulation

A reader at TPM just made possibly the best comment I've read all week:

I agree with the points of your "Please, please, reporters with brains" entry, but I think you might need to be included in the group of reporters/bloggers/etc. that is following the McCain script. As usual, there will basically be two responses to this story - both favorable to McCain. The first will be the hoards of dutiful reporters parroting whatever interpretation McCain feeds them. The second will be the righteously indignant Obama defenders with all their nuanced facts decrying his innocence. So, what we get is a strong and offensive position versus a correct, but overly cerebral and defensive argument. Strategy versus tactics? Come on - the wingnuts must laugh their asses off every time they see this script play out.

Why cede the offensive position? The offensive rebuttal is to first completely ignore the way McCain framed the position and then just flip it around - "why does McCain so desperately want to convince the public that his Iraq policy is just like Obama's?" Because the public long ago figured out that he was stuck carrying Bush's turd and McCain damn well knows his campaign is swirling the drain along with it. What's more to be said than "John McCain would LOVE to convince the public that he and Obama don't differ in their Iraq policy - why is that? Because McCain and Bush got us into this Iraq nightmare and the public knows that Obama will get us out." Repeat after me - McCain and Bush got us into this Iraq nightmare and Obama will get us out. Repeat. Repeat.

Completely accurate. What we tend to think of as playing defense is all too often simply conceding the touchdown and trying to block the extra point. What we think of as playing offense is simply trying to hold them at the 20 yard line. What we are NOT doing often enough is trying to score.

This means that simply counterattacking is not enough. We need MORE stuff like the Wesley Clark remarks, not less. Perhaps not on quite as personal a level, but we successfully defined the narrative for the campaign the first half of the week, and the GOP didn't get it back until McCain announced a campaign shakeup that actually had been going on for a few weeks. If we continue to shove McCain back, it won't be pretty, but we will completely knock the legs out from under the Republicans, who appear ready once again to campaign entirely on the premise of Republicans being much stronger than the Democrats.

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