Shouldn't Republicans be much more worried about John McCain's numbers? For all his surginess, he's mired in the low 40's, with a new Fox News Nat'l poll with him at 39 (same with a new Michigan poll). After his successful attacks on Obama, McCain is still reaching for 45. Now Obama has his VP pick, convention, and convention speech coming up. Maybe the GOP convention will quickly erase the bounce, but personally, I think the proximity of the conventions helps the Democrats, at least in creating contrast. On Thursday you'll have Obama at Invesco. Monday you'll have Cheney and Bush.
Already, due to Sen. McCain's age, his VP picks is going to be subject to a great deal of scrutiny. But I think, by pursuing the narrative that Obama is a lightweight, Sen. McCain further boxes himself in, for it makes it very difficult to nominate someone who can be described as a lightweight. I think Jindal, Palin, Cantor, Crist, and even Pawlenty can be painted as such.
I can't imagine pro choice Lieberman will fly as VP. Same with Tom Ridge (who I think would be McCain's far an away best choice)
Romney's tough because of the high level of animosity in the primary, all captured on the YouTube.
I still think Kay Bailey Hutchinson makes the most sense.
As for the tightening of the national polls... finally, some good news for Obama.
1. The state by state breakdown, a much more accurate method to assess the presidential race, reveals a much stronger picture for Sen. Obama.
The likely voters screens are going to hugely favor McCain, due to the fact Sen. Obama is targeting those who have past been considered "unlikely" voters - youth and first timers.
Press is more likely to criticize McCain (I said more likely, not like they will do it)
For Obama, he has always been a much better candidate when he's fighting, and much worse when he is the frontrunner and playing prevent defense
For McCain, he gets lured into thinking his short term snark is somehow the winning election strategy. The words that would scare me most right now would be "McCain campaign shake up!!" Right now, McCain's campaign is running the same campaign as Steve Schmidt ran for Arnold for gov in California (referredum on other guy) and I assume that the debate will be very similar to Lieberman/Lamont in 06.
I think both the debates and the convention speech will be big bumps from Obama, and offer a very striking contrast between the candidates. Plus, if the "celebrity" can hold his own with the "maverick", it completely undercuts all of McCain's messaging on Obama being a lightweight airhead.
I think this is a box Democrat candidates have been in from some time...
If he/she is for gun restrictions, he/she are trying to take away your guns.
If he/she is not for gun restrictions, he/she is soft on crime, or trying to help put guns in the hands of drug dealers.
I think Sen. Obama knows this (Willie Horton ad creator has already cut a "soft on gang violence" piece on Obama) and is very conscious of the fine line he has to walk.
But I think it can be said that while competing against Hilary Clinton made Sen. Obama a better candidate, competing against Sen. McCain is making him a much worse candidate. Only June and Sen. Obama is in prevent defense mode.
Kind of embarrassing for Rep. Boren to claim Obama's record doesn't show bipartisan action when Oklahoma's own uber conservative senator passed a big piece of legislation (google for government) with the liberal Obama. '
Also, if he doesn't want to back Obama, thats his choice. However, his use of GOP talking points is very disturbing and worth noting.
To clarify, the 'key' is to break up John McCain's coalition. And this is a guy who was close to defecting to the Democratic Party. We have to make that issue one. While it might be tempting to paint him as a right winger, it does us more good to consistently rub it in the faces of staunch republicans that he is not one of them (like with global warming, immigration, values). He must then choose to pander to the right, losing his maverick cred, which will destroy his mythical standing with media, or choose to play to the center, and spit in the face of the GOP base.
I would suggest pushing immigration, because if we can get Obama and McCain to out do each other on comprehensive immigration reform, I think we could get Tancredo or Dobbs or some other wing nut to run on an anti immigration platform and knock out a significant chunk of the GOP base.
(disclaimer to anyone who wants me to back up my gut with facts - I am an admittedly Unserious person)
Great Post. This is the key to winning in November.
For John McCain to win the general, he must put together a coalition of GOP and Independents, which each group thinking he is one of them and hoodwinking the other for political gain. So we must press him to choose. Global warming is a great example. Immigration is another. The best part, or the reason this can work, is due to John McCain's temper and inflated ego. If we press him, he'll do the rest.
The situation with the NC GOP is a great example. John McCain called the NC GOP 'out of touch with reality'. The DNC should make an ad and play it on a loop in NC. Opportunities like these will be rife with his ill conceived "regional managers" (the political equivalent of the 61-62 Chicago Cubs' College of Coaches). With different messages to different audiences, there will be plenty of conflicting statements.
And if that happens, we can thank Clinton and her supporters for 4 more years of GOP policies. I would like to think that at the end of the day we are all Democrats first, but I guess that would involve putting egos aside for the good of the country.
I agree. I think Todd goes a bit far by tying Wright's interview to the Obama campaign, as if Obama has Wright 'on a leash' at all. I do not think Obama's campaign set up these interviews and Wright went off message, I think Wright is trying to clear his name and doesn't have Sen. Obama's best interests in mind while doing so.
Yes, this is bad for Obama, but I don't think he or his campaign have any control over what Wright does or says, which could be a big ol' problem.
I think the downside to Dodd or Biden is that they are Washington veterans, and step on Obama's change Washington message.
While I can't believe I'm saying it, I think Biden would be a great vice presidential candidate. I think he broke out when he started going after Rudy Giuliani in the primaries, and IMO, played a big part in turning the narrative on Giuliani. Republicans are going to attack Obama for being naive/inexperienced, and Biden can turn the tables around on them. Yes, there are downsides, but I was really impressed with Biden's aggressive posture on Giuliani in his campaign.
The Supreme Court is one vote away from overturning Roe v. Wade, and the next president will almost certainly be appointing another justice. The fact remains, no matter how heated the debate gets, Obama and Clinton, while possessing different strengths and weaknesses, are very similar in their policies, especially when contrasted to John McCain.
On a separate note, these polls are meaningless. Once the general election begins, the dynamic will change, the narrative will change, the contrasts will become apparent. Even more to the point, I think it's time to give up the electability argument. If Obama beats Clinton for the nomination, then he can win the general. If Clinton beats Obama, then she can win general. Each is going to be each other's biggest obstacle. Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton are two of the best candidates this country has seen in a long time, and once the primary is over, there will be a battle tested Democrat running against a senator calling for more of the same when 81% of the country thinks we are on the wrong track.
In my opinion, McCain's meaningless poll gains are great for Democrats, because if he becomes the front runner, the less willing he will become to grovel at the feet of the far right, the right will have less urgency to fundraise, the media will become more critical (ok, that's just for OTHER frontrunners). Expectations will be raised, and when Obama or Clinton (both outstanding candidates) starts catching up, suddenly the narrative turns to McCain's fall. He's peaking too soon, and this early success could cause problems later (See Marc Ambinder)
We need to focus on destroying the myth of Maverick McCain, make a big push in voter registration, and work our asses off supporting down ticket candidates so we can provide either Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton with an overwhelming progressivc governing coalition.