Provocative comments; take those gloves off!

I've been doing this Democratic political "media" thing--along with the advertising and p.r. and corp. communications "thing"--for a long time.  

30 years.

So, in this diary, I rant a quotes...just me..."just sayin'...."

We're up against some very shrewd, very experienced scumbags this cycle. They know what they're doing. As far as knowing what we're doing is concerned, it's a little bit of a mixed bag. Organizationally, Plouffe's brilliant. He may be the best campaign manager working in our party at the moment--maybe the most brilliant campaign manager in Democratic Party history, IMHO. Media and communications'-wise, as far as Axelrod's concerned, not so much. (This is my "introductory" provocative comment...more follow.)

Provocative comment #1: While the Rethugs have an A-team as far as media's concerned; the truth is the folks running Obama's media have never done a national race until this year (to the best of my knowledge; correct me if I'm wrong, please).

Provocative comment #2: I respect David Plouffe a LOT, professionally. He does have national experience. He knows what type of mofo's we're up against; he has experience working against these guys, specifically. Axelrod, IMHO on the other hand, is overrated. (See #1, above.) I realize this is a little bit of a sacred cow around here.  Apparently, it is an (unspoken) inconvenient truth.

The folks at places like 538 are, at least as far as I know, number crunchers; they're not media guys. They understand measurements; they don't know all that much about what it takes to actually move the numbers, however.

So, when I hear someone quoting a polling group or person telling us the Rethugs are in trouble (especially at this early point in the calendar), I cringe.  And, to some extent, right now I'm seeing something quite contrary playing least for the moment.

Provocative comment #3: There's some obvious and basic strategy at work at the moment, on both sides. You can almost reverse engineer what kind of polling data the two sides are reading simply by seeing how those results are manifesting themselves in the media content and ad buys currently being aired/run by the two respective campaigns.

Provocative comment #4: (Again, many of the comments I'm making here are probably unpopular. But, they are true.) If the quality of Axelrod's work between now and Election Day is going to be similar to the work he produced during the primaries, between Super Tuesday and June 3rd, we're in trouble, at least more than many here would acknowledge.  Face it folks, our side did little more than a respectable job of "hold-the-ball" (i.e.: "beat the clock") from the second week of February on through to the first week of June.

Provocative comment #5: McCain's actually--to some extent--won "the media wars" over the past three or four weeks. There's been a slight "creep" in public sentiment towards him and away from Obama. Most polls that have been published recently either confirm this, or they indicate negligible shift in general opinion.  Either way,  it is fairly apparent that sentiment has not been shifting, significantly, to Obama in the past month. Hold the ball. Beat the clock. Again. (And, yes, I understand there's a large chunk of new voters that are not necessarily being considered as "likely voters" this cycle; but, there is significant qualitative speculation behind that sentiment, without any doubt.)

Provocative comment #6: Everything I'm saying above indicates to me that:

a.) polling done by the Rethugs indicates that a good portion of the public is still learning the basics about Obama; and they're working (somewhat successfully) on raising his negative recognition factor (with early negative ads); this isn't exactly a new concept in political media; it's tried and true; some Obama supporters are blaming this on Hillary (since she did the same thing); but, running negative advertising IS standard operating procedure/response when you see certain types of polling results; it's what you do to win campaigns;

b.) for the same reasons (polling results driving media content from both campaigns) that McCain's running negative content early, that's why we're seeing pro-Obama ads now, too--the public is still getting to know Obama (McCain's been around, and in the public eye, for a much longer time).

Provocative comment #7: the McCain campaign is doing a much better job of playing offense than Obama (at least right now); the concept that somehow the public's going to get a clue here is really just wishful thinking (think: Swiftboating), and it has no bearing on the reality that most voters form their opinions based upon what they see on the news and what they take away from the paid media; if a lie's repeated often enough, a substantial portion of the population will believe it; and these Rethug scumsuckers are world class liars and propagandists.

Provocative comment #8: it seems clear to me that the Rethugs are doing what they can now, pre-convention, to keep from letting the story get away from them, post-convention. (i.e.: a post-convention bounce--of say 6-8 points--on top of a 1, 2 or 3 pt. lead going into the convention is "manageable;" a post-convention bounce of 6-8 points, on top of a 6 or 8 pt. lead going into the convention is a much bigger problem for the GOP'ers, however.)

Provocative comment #9: post-convention polling bounces are quite overrated; what goes up quickly comes back down.

In short, it troubles me deeply everytime I read too much smug crap here or over at DKos; only to turn on CNN or Fox and see that their audience--which is many hundreds of times larger--tells a very different story. Essentially, all of this progressive backslapping and "smuggery" bothers me deeply.

Backslapping and smugness causes me great heartache when I read it at times like this in liberal/progressive blogs. Complacency scares me more than anything else.

The voting public has a civics I.Q. on par with your typical houseplant. And, the typical American voter will not undergo a brain transplant between now and Election Day. There will be no mass epiphanies. The Republican Party understands this. Some Democrats do not.

How else can one explain where the polls are today, given 7-1/2 years of the must fucked-up management this country's seen...perhaps ever? There was a time, not too long ago, when the realities of the day would be spelling a Democratic landslide for November, already. But, that's certainly not what we're seeing within the consensus of polling data now; and that is what's feeding the media content and buys currently being aired, too.

Yes, in a country where barely 20% of the voting population knows the name of their current Congressman, you damn well better believe that John Q. Public is still just becoming familiar with brand Obama. The Republicans know this; and the Dems do, too. Obama is the devil they don't know. McCain--supported by an incumbent administration that is doing everything they can to postpone or delay the mountain of ongoing bad news about our economy that still awaits us--is the devil they know.

How else can one explain Bush's re-election in '04?

This year's presidential race is just like the races of the past few's ALL personality analysis, little more. And, that's the media's fault. Because they know that when it comes to issues-related news--as most issues require rather intensive analysis--the attention span of most Americans is roughly two minutes...maybe three or four if you're real lucky. Just enough time to read the latest bullshit lies and distortions about the economy being spewed forth by the powers that be; and/or just enough time to watch a McCain negative ad on Obama, followed-up by a 501(c)4 spot, totally railroading the Dems, too. Repeat that often enough and you've got a problem; because when it comes to the Rethugs, they never let a little thing like a lie (or two, or three, or four) get in the way of their media content.

People would much rather read about a cat fight concerning personalities than about real issues! It holds the public's attention. The media gives them what they want; and that's also why MyDD and Kos, and all the other players in the progressive blogosphere, have served up their respective blogging-world versions of Jerry Springer, sans the flying chairs, this year, as well. It makes them money, because it's what the people want to read!

To the Rethugs, it's not how you play the game, it is whether you win or lose.

I don't know about everyone else here, but I think it's really, really important that we win this year...whatever it takes...too much is at stake.  

IMHO, this year it is whether we win or lose.

The gloves must come off. Now.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, Barack Obama, David axelrod, David Plouffe (all tags)



In favor of an early-round knockout? n/t

by bobswern 2008-08-11 08:30PM | 0 recs
Re: In favor of an early-round knockout? n/t

In the words of hip-hop pioneer LL Cool J ... M4

Mama said knock you out!

by spacemanspiff 2008-08-11 08:37PM | 0 recs
Oh c'mon, concern trolling?

It's all very well-reasoned (not quite sure about the relative Fox news numbers, but the rest is solid).

And the rest is pure ad hominem.  OK, so say bobswern wants Hillary on the ticket.  How does that matter?  His points stand up for themselves.

There was no Obama-bashing in this post (missing keywords: Wright, Messiah, The One, Barry, unelectable, disenfranchise, inexperienced)  A sober assessment of polling trends and campaign staff qualifications hardly does a disservice to the Obama campaign.

by corph 2008-08-12 07:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh c'mon, concern trolling?

Now I'm a concern troll?

That's hilarious.

by spacemanspiff 2008-08-12 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh c'mon, concern trolling?

There's concern trolling, and there's legitimate concern.  I think the difference is clear.  What's trollish about warning against complacency?  That self-assuredness was one of the reasons we lost in '04.

by semiquaver 2008-08-12 09:52AM | 0 recs

Pictures, illustrations, cartoons, etc.

by susie 2008-08-12 10:02AM | 0 recs
That is a pretty foolish statement

I will take bobswern's "concern" over people sticking their heads in the sand, any day. I know bobswern wants us to win in November. Quit hoping and start doing.

by Hollede 2008-08-12 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: That is a pretty foolish statement

Concur. I can't find anything in bobwern's diary that fails the smell test. And he's a pro.

by Bob Miller 2008-08-12 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: That is a pretty foolish statement

Mojo for you Hollede.

by Politicalslave 2008-08-13 02:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Oh c'mon, concern trolling?

Sorry bro, you missed the point. We appreciate your support of the nominee, but Bob here is right.  Thankfully, it appears the Obama campaign took the gloves off shortly after this diary was posted (See new Obama ad re motorcycles, and the NV one)...which means the diarst was right and there were some strategic spots that need filling in.

This diary may sound "concerny" to you too, but I think the key point is that just because Obama's message of change has reverberated throughout the country does not mean that all potenial voters have instantly found the ability to recognize bs, spin, and outright lies from McCain/Rove, thus Obama really needs to hammer him on responses as well as setting stronger narratives and not just playing defense.  We have the money, the manpower, and the smarts to put together an unbeatable campaign, and Bob here is making some suggestions to attain that based on his lengthy experience.  

You can always tell the concern trolls from real concern, there are lots of baseless histrionics, exaggerations, and innuendo.  I don't think any of those exist here.

I know you are sensitive to trolls Miles, we all are, but please don't confuse Bob with one of them

by KLRinLA 2008-08-12 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: In favor of an early-round knockout? n/t

as you can see this is not OC enough for the Purity Patrol of Trolls...

by zerosumgame 2008-08-12 08:06AM | 0 recs
Re: In favor of an early-round knockout? n/t

Ah, but it's Manna for the UN-PURE Trolls.

by venician 2008-08-12 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: In favor of an early-round knockout? n/t

are you commenting on your impurity or your trolling? got me confused there ;p

by zerosumgame 2008-08-12 12:53PM | 0 recs
In order

Comment 1
David Axelrod's first national race was Simon's campaign in 1988. Axelrod did Edwards' media in 2004 and Schumer's media in his '06 Gov race in New York.

Axelrod is as good as the party has, which isn't saying much.  The old Clinton people are past their prime and have little to recommend them based on the effort in this cycle.

The GOP is absolutely better at media then the Democrats are.
Comment 2
Axelrod is primarily credited with the strategy of emphasizing change.  His decision in this regard was brilliant, and the Obama campaigns ability to execute on it was as good as any I have seen in 30 years of Presidential Politics.

This race is close right now.  The GOP has picked someone from the center extreme of their party who can make a credible case that he is not part of the unpopular GOP establishment.  He was always going to be a tough opponent.

However, right now Obama is in better shape than either Kerry or Gore.  The undecided is very high, though, and I do think the sites like 538 are underestimating what I think is a very volatile electorate.
Comment 3
Comment 4
The reason the race change after March 3 was twofold:

  1.  Iraq no longer was the dominant issue.  If you look at exit polling, by the Penn. primary the economy had become the dominant issue.  I think it IS far to ask whether Axelrod knows how to win a race where economic issues dominate.
  2.  The primaries moved to turf more hospitable to Clinton.  However, the best measure of Axelrod probably is the primaries of May 6th.  Obama blew Clinton out in North Carolina and fought her to a draw in Indiana.  Had Clinton won Indiana by 10 and gotten within a couple in North Carolina I believe she would have a real shot at the nomination.

What I think Axelrod deserves credit for is correctly identifying the places to fight.  That is a critical skill that has not been notable in prior campaigns (eg Gore's pull out of Ohio late in 2000).

Comment 5
A repeat of comment 2.  I do think the GOP is better at ads that leverage the way modern media works - and in particular how drudge drives the campaign narrative.  This is an issue - but you can argue that the celebrity ad back fired.

Comments 6 - 9
Yawn - repeats.

Here is what the McCain people know: since 1976 the lead has changed hands 5 times between July and September.  Only once has the leader on Labor Day failed to win the popular vote.

Elections are decided in August, and NOT by convention bounces, but rather between conventions when a candidate becomes defined.

Finally, you fail to note that Obama has gone seriously negative over the last week.  

by fladem 2008-08-12 10:26AM | 0 recs
both axelrod and plouffe are doing their jobs

which is a lot better than the clintonian backbiting.

I'm so glad that Obama hired numbers people and not the liberal arts cocktail crowd!

by BlogSurrogate57 2008-08-12 11:43AM | 0 recs
Some corrections on your...


I believe Joe Trippi did Edwards media in '04. I'm pretty sure Axelrod was focused on Obama's first Illinois Senate campaign in '04.

The Simon campaign...does that count as a "national" effort? I mean, honestly, how long was he an actual candidate?

Axelrod's media dollars/spending was pretty far from optimal for the entire period between Super Tuesday and June 3rd. Saying he knew where to fight, outspending Clinton something like 3:1 or 4:1 in PA, and outspending her in other states where he lost doesn't sound too optimal and efficient to me.

Apart from the candidate, himself, Plouffe (not Axelrod) deserves all the credit for every campaign accomplishment outside of the media. Period.

Obama has gone negative in a few (3 or 4, give or take) target markets, as far as his media's concerned. The jury's still out on that relatively small effort, too.

There is no overriding effort, IMHO, to put McCain on the defensive, at least on a national basis. With so much content and factual info to choose from, I question why that's the case, in mid-August, given the situation at hand.

by bobswern 2008-08-12 05:06PM | 0 recs
"Corrections to corrections..."

You're right...I conflated Dean with Edwards in '04. That lasted how many days?

And, Simon...was his presidential campaign measured in days, or was it hours?

Didn't Axelrod go back to Illinois to run Obama's first Senate campaign in '04?

by bobswern 2008-08-12 05:39PM | 0 recs
never seen this before :)

bob - i totally agree, the GOP are making the election a referendum on obama rather than the issues.  the first one is impossible to win for anyone - even jesus - the second one a landslide.

the question is, once the blinders are off - what can be done?

by canadian gal 2008-08-11 08:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Provocative comments

I'm not sure what you want from Obama.  He's run several attack ads over the past few weeks.  Most of them seem effective to me.  I think the gloves are off.  I'm not engaging in any bluster, but as a donor I feel satisfied my money is being put to good use.

There's been a little bounce in his favor in Rasmussen and Gallup over the past few days. Overall, it seems to me the dynamics of the race haven't changed a lot since June.  RCP average on 6/11 was 4.6; on 7/11 it was 4.8; today (8/11) it's 4.8.  Remarkably stable race overall.  It's the idea that we're supposed to be up 15 that's misinformed.  That would be bigger than 1984, from memory.  Not going to happen with an open seat.

I'd love to see some polling out of OH and NV, where he is running issue-specific attack ads.

by SpideyDem 2008-08-11 08:48PM | 0 recs
I think you said it best...

Overall, it seems to me the dynamics of the race haven't changed a lot since June.

The GOP be seeing their numbers tanking, just based upon the realities within our society right now.

Instead, they've either made slight inroads, or they've held us to barely staying ahead of them.

The glass is definitely half-empty, IMHO.

All things being equal, we should be doing better than this right now.

It is far too close for my comfort level. That's a big portion of what my diary's all about.

It should be Reagan-Monday/1984 in reverse. But, it's not. We should be kicking ass. We're not. This scares me. It's a legitimate observation.

by bobswern 2008-08-11 09:11PM | 0 recs
Re: I think you said it best...

I hear you.  And I am not suggesting complacency.  However, there are four factors that Obama is still working to overcome that help explain the difference.

1. Black

2. New to the national scene

3. Liberal voting record

4. Black

So the comparison to Reagan, especially in 1984 with incumbency added in, seems a little off.  One of the things that helps me here is that the primaries showed both long-rage strategic planning and organizational acumen.  And the major media you gesture to requires a story at this point, when not much is happening, which colors my reception of their reaction (though some points are valid there.  It just seems premature to me to either panic or celebrate.  It's hard to judge the storm in the relative lull that precedes it.

by Strummerson 2008-08-12 03:39AM | 0 recs
I know someone who bet on Obama

winning the Dem primary three days before Iowa (made a killing).

He gives 5% odds that McCain wins.

Just look at the investors taking the gas prices off the table -- even they hate the republicans!

by BlogSurrogate57 2008-08-12 11:46AM | 0 recs
It's all in HOW you tell the truth!

There are so many realities this year all leading to the same conclusion: George Bush fucked up, bigtime. John McCain, despite him trying to say otherwise, is just more of the same.

Convenient-but-too-infrequently-mentione d truths:

1.) The economy is in bad shape, and it's a lot worse than the current administration will acknowledge.

2.) The original game plan in Iraq included the bullshit premise that the war would not cost us much, since oil revenues would cover a big part of the bill going forward. Iraq has roughly $80 billion  in budget SURPLUS sitting in the bank right now, all from oil revenues. It is projected that in 2008, they will add another $86 billion to that account. That's $165-$166 billion dollars in budget surpluses through the end of this year.

The U.S. continues to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $10- to $15-billion per month in Iraq as I write this.

3.) Meanwhile, on the front page of today's NY Times, theres a story about how most of the private sources for student loans have dried up over the past few months, to the point where more than 10% of the student population that intended to go onto college simply will not be able to do so!

4.) Funds for programs and public financing are quickly following suit. We will not be able to support homeownership, basic services and maintenance of infrastructure in our country in coming months and years, due to: a.) the collapse of our by bond markets; b.) the absurdly skyrocketing national debt, as it's blown out of the water by irresponsible tax cuts, absurd increases in a healthcare system bloated by almost $100 billion per year in unnecessary administrative expenses, and, c.) a population that's rapidly aging.

5.) The charade and myth that drilling for oil will solve our nation's problems is simply that, total bullshit. It is the Republicans typically lying to the public to make an issue out of...vapor. Focus should be on alternative energy.

6.) Oil companies are reaping net profits in excess of $10 billion per quarter right now. Want to redirect some misdirected corporate benefits. Start right here; tax the crap out of these pigs...

...and on and on.

Time to come out punching, bare knuckles and all.

by bobswern 2008-08-11 08:59PM | 0 recs
the notion...

That the Obama campaign is complacent, passive, or holding the fort, or whatever way you wish to phrase a certain passivity is wrong.

Wrong. It's not really a subjective matter... the notion of passivity is based upon the idea that the campaign doesn't recognize exactly the same situation and is NOT responding to it- when indeed they are doing exactly the same thing as they did in the primary.

They have prioritized the ground game over national media.

They have taken advantage of a favorable position and a positive message to allow their opponent to go negative and, hopefully, drive up their own negatives among moderates and independents.

...and then, once the media has recognized and set into narrative the difference in campaign tactics, they hit back on targeted issues meant to provide the greatest number of potential paths to victory.

If one works from this fundamental realization that the campaign is working to a specific strategy then it is a debatable approach. Will McCain antagonize the independents and moderates to the same degree he rallies conservatives and frightens the middle-ground? I'm not sure we have a definitive answer.

But if you begin your strategic analysis under the assumption that Obama's campaign is passive or slow to respond...

...that's wrong.

by Casuist 2008-08-11 09:13PM | 0 recs
You put incorrect words in my mouth.

I believe Obama's ground game may be the most brilliant ground game in the history of the Democratic Party.

I say as much in my diary, too!

His media game...not so much.

It takes a combination of a great ground game and a great media game to win a national election, however.

To put forth the notion that I'm saying Obama doesn't have a great ground game is just plain false.

by bobswern 2008-08-11 09:20PM | 0 recs
Re: You put incorrect words in my mouth.

Obama had a great caucus ground game. In elections - not so much. He outspent Hillary in many states by 3 or 4 times and couldn't win. He is, very simply, a candidate that people like and respect less the more they get to see him.

by Marjoriest 2008-08-11 09:37PM | 0 recs
Re: You put incorrect words in my mouth.

Marjoriest The reason Obama outspent everyone is people aka voters gave him more money. This "inexperienced" candidate was able to win because of a great strategy and because he's a great candidate.I predict that this is the calm before the storm. Next week will bring a lot more positive media buzz Obama's way.

by Politicalslave 2008-08-12 02:31AM | 0 recs
Re: You put incorrect words in my mouth.

The evidence suggests otherwise.  He repeatedly closed double digits deficits during the primaries.  In nearly every case, the MORE voters got to see him, the better he did.  

by Same As It Ever Was 2008-08-12 07:11AM | 0 recs

the media game is part of the plan too.

I'm sorry if I seemed to critical as I was responding to a general theme more than simply your diary... but the ground game is part of the plan, but the media game is too, and they're not unaware of your valid gripes, they just disagree.

by Casuist 2008-08-11 10:16PM | 0 recs
Don't judge smuggery

by attitudes in the blogosphere, for chrissake.  The blogosphere means jack shit.  If the blogosphere reflected anything John Edwards would be the nominee and we'd really be up a creek.

The Republicans aren't popular but that doesn't mean the Democrats are.  Just ask 9 percent Nancy.  It's going to be a close race until the end.

by JJE 2008-08-11 09:18PM | 0 recs
yeah that was really funny.

how jerome was declaring victory on new year's eve, cuz polls said Edwards would win Iowa and then he tried to debunk the Des Moines Register poll when it projected an massive turnout and an Obama win.

by Al Rodgers 2008-08-11 10:38PM | 0 recs
That's the point... really should be 1984 in reverse...but, it's not (at least not at the moment; not yet).

by bobswern 2008-08-11 09:22PM | 0 recs
didn't they?

he's certainly their bob dole

by BlogSurrogate57 2008-08-12 11:52AM | 0 recs
Don't buy into the Corporate Media hype

Carter was ahead of Reagan by a couple of point in early 1980.

The undecided-indie vote broke heavy for Reagan after the debate and he won by 9 pts.

That was one of the worse environments for any incumbent: gas lines, hostages, 14 percent inflation, 21 percent prime interest rate, a recession, a gruesome failed hostage rescue, invasion of Afghanistan, Olympic boycott, with a more polished speaker and an outsider promising change running against a dull incumbent.

Ed ROLLINS (Reagan Campaign Manager 1984): I think a five, six-point lead is something I'd be happy going into at this point in time.  Everybody else thinking it should be 20 or 30 points. It's never been 20 or 30 points.

Errol LOUIS (NY Daily News): Well, that's right. I mean, when the question comes up and it's been asked by some analysts. You know, gee, how come Obama isn't doing better? They say well, how well is he supposed to do this far out. I mean, you don't get a 10-point lead. I mean, this had been a nation that has been divided over the last three presidential election cycles. Nothing fundamentally has changed to tip it all red or all blue.

Hank SHEINKOPF (NY Democratic Consultant): He's doing fine at this time in history. Just keep doing what he's doing. 808/10/ldtw.01.html

ANDREA TANTAROS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Yes, that`s politics.  Someone is going to go negative first at some point.  McCain just happened to do it.

I do agree with Tanya.  I don`t think this is sustaining.  Ultimately, you`ve got to give voters a reason to vote for you.

And I would caution Republicans.  Don`t jump up and start clicking your heels together.  He`s only tied.  I mean, McCain is a known brand.  He`s had years of public service.  He should be way ahead of Barack Obama.

I don't buy into the Corporate Media hype that OBama should be ahead by 20 points, nationally.

This is election is following history and if anything, McSame should be ahead, yet he's getting drummed out of ultra tight swing states like Iowa, Wisconsin, and New Mexico.

by Al Rodgers 2008-08-11 09:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Don't buy into the Corporate Media hype

I'm not buying into the media hype about him being ahead 20 points either. And, I don't say that.

What I do say is:

a.) Obama's ground game is awesome, it is exceptionally/historically well-managed;

b.) Obama's media game is fairly mediocre; it is run by someone with no real national experience managing nationwide political media campaigns;

c.) He shouldn't be winning by 20 points, that would just make him a lightning rod; but, he shouldn't be barely holding an edge, either, with no marked improvement for two months (and, in fact, more than likely, a little loss of traction being the case, instead).

So, again, please don't put words in my mouth. I'm not saying he should be ahead by 20 points.  That would just be bad strategy.

Obama should be doing a bit better than he is. And, when you look behind the scenes at how well he manages his organization and his ground game (and see who's behind that), it's far superior in comparison to how Obama's managing his media (and it makes sense, when you look at the experience--or lack thereof on a national level--of who's behind that in the Obama camp, too).

by bobswern 2008-08-11 10:02PM | 0 recs
based on what?

"Obama should be doing a bit better than he is."

Again, the 1980 climate was worse than today, and Reagan won by 9 points.

And Carter started October 1980 with a lead.

You could even argue 1992 was a worse climate than today, and Clinton won by 5 points, and he was behind until the Democratic Convention.

by Al Rodgers 2008-08-11 10:26PM | 0 recs
Carter in the lead in 1980?

I was a C/M Deputy Press Sec'y in the Primary in '80 (CT), and the Press Secretary in MI in the general. I really don't think we held any significant lead in any poll throughout most of 1980.

"America Held Hostage: Day (Fill in the Blank)," compliments of Ted Koppel, saw to that.

As an incumbent president being attacked from the Kennedy-wing of the party, on the other side of the coin, Carter had his hands full throughout the year.

It was an uphill battle all Summer. Show me a poll (preferably more than one or two) with Carter ahead of Reagan--by more than a margin of error--in the Summer of 1980 please. There may have been one or two, but I'd doubt it. I definitely don't recall that being the case. (I could be wrong, however; but, I was dealing with it, directly, at the time.)

It wasn't pretty. Very different than the situation now, IMHO. A comparison between '80 and 2008 is really quite invalid. (IMHO.)

by bobswern 2008-08-11 10:46PM | 0 recs
The following table

shows the national polling average for every race since 1976 in early July and on Labor Day - the traditional start of the campaign.  The numbers are based on the Democratic margin.  So, for example, Carter had an 18.5 point lead in early July in 1976 and trailed by 10 in early July in 1980.  

Note that Carter lead on Labor Day.  Carter is the only candidate since 1952 to lose lead on Labor Day and lose the popular vote.

by fladem 2008-08-12 10:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The following table

As long as you ignore some basic facts, your comments make sense:

1.) Gore was up on Labor Day according to these numbers, so the comment about Carter in '80 is inaccurate.

2.) Both Carter's and Gore's Labor Day polling results were within the polls' margins of error.

3.) The Conventions are both much later than normal this cycle. There's far less time to redefine/define message/image between the conventions and Election Day than in previous years.

4.) Dukakis was up by 5.7% in '88 in early July; Kerry was up by 3.4% in '04 in early July.

Doesn't look like you have that much of an argument, given all the exceptions to the reality this year, as compared to previous years.

by bobswern 2008-08-12 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: based on what?

Agreed,  but the difference between 1982 and 2008 was Bush was an incumbent and this year it is wide open.  I am just saying i am not sure that is a solid comparison.

In fact i am not sure there is a historical comparison to this race since you have two moderates running who each have some issues with their base voters.


by giusd 2008-08-12 08:40AM | 0 recs
Okay, i can buy the media not as good as ground

that makes sense.

How much of that is his fault? We have a corporate media which unfailingly takes the republican position on everything, unless they'd loose credibility on it.

Also, you are looking a lot at national polls-- how much of that do you think is being biased by a lack of pull in Republican strongholds (aka the South and Appalachia)

by BlogSurrogate57 2008-08-12 11:57AM | 0 recs
An absolutely critical difference

between now and 1980: In 1980 according to a CBS poll June 18 - 22 Carter was below 50% AMOUNG DEMOCRATS.

Carter struggled to put the Democratic Party together all through 1980.

John McCain has no similar problem with the GOP base.  

by fladem 2008-08-12 10:33AM | 0 recs
Obama's either even or lost a little ground... the past eight weeks.

His ground game is--and always has been--stronger than his media game. It's just the truth.

In fact, as I say multiple times here, Obama's ground game may be the strongest ground game in the history of the Party. Period.

On the media side, we have Axelrod. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first national campaign he's run. Correct me if I'm wrong.

Obama hasn't really picked up any ground on McCain since the beginning of June. In fact, according to some polls, he's lost a point, or two, or three...or more.

This is just another fact.

My comments and my diary are based upon facts.

by bobswern 2008-08-11 09:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

As I said above, his ground game was very good on caucuses - but not good on states with elections. He had great organizations and 4 times the money that Hillary had - but lost most elections after February. Not so great results.

by Marjoriest 2008-08-11 09:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...


Check out this persons past comments.

Hint : You'll have to be a trusted user to see them.

by spacemanspiff 2008-08-11 09:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

I see a LOT of 2 ratings there. I don't agree, but this doesn't deserve to get a TR or HR.

by vcalzone 2008-08-11 10:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

Seems to me you didn't see who had given the 2's.

Others have rated this comment as follows:
Radiowalla    2
ghost 2    2
cameoanne    2
dtaylor2    2

A sockpuppet and troll family.

by spacemanspiff 2008-08-11 10:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

It still really sucks, doesn't it.  I'm only lurking here tonight because the WoW server is down for maintenance.  Now there a troll is a troll and you can usually do something about it, at least virtually.  Come to think of it some here seem more 'undead' than trolls, don't they?  Bugger the Horde.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-08-12 03:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

Missed seeing you around here Shaun. Course I havent been spending much time here lately.

by Hollede 2008-08-12 10:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

Thanks for the kind thought.  I must say in the last two weeks I've been lurking here not much has changed, not least of which the sly attempt by some of undermining of our nominee.  But it's the summer doldrums, things will pick up soon.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-08-12 05:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

And hopefully improve as well.

by Hollede 2008-08-12 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

I too have been laying fairly low lately.  My kid got me hooked on Runescape, so my aggression is being taken out there.  :)

by fogiv 2008-08-12 12:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

Yeah, my 13-year old son and I are questing together in WoW most afternoons and evenings.  It's heaps of fun to play with your own kid.  'C'mon, Dad, let's do another dungeon...'  I'm better at the auction house than he is but he helps me from getting lost underground.  I have a terrible sense of direction in tunnels and caves and usually end up dead without him along.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-08-12 05:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

Heh.  I hear you loud and clear.  Actual quote:

"Oh my God, Dad, you have to use the Silverlight sword to kill a lesser Demon.  Stay close to me."

by fogiv 2008-08-12 06:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

Ooh. A fun video game I could get addicted to?

by Hollede 2008-08-12 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

Totally, the f2p (free to play) portion of Runescape is expansive, and pretty fun.  Great time killer, but as Thoreau once said, "you can't kill time without injuring eternity".

Here's to hoping you don't get hooked.  ;)

by fogiv 2008-08-12 06:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

I severely injured my ankle a week and a half ago. I need to stay off of it and see what the NP says next week. I have been working on another RL project and am sick of thinking. So off to Runescape for me.

Thanks forgiv. Heh, it will beat some of the more unpleasant discourse I have seen around here lately.

by Hollede 2008-08-13 02:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

Sarodin speed, Warrior!  Or Ranger.  Or Mage.  :)

by fogiv 2008-08-13 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

Oh, almost forgot:

Feel free to add me there.  Same username.  :)

by fogiv 2008-08-13 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

I read your first comment (and every reply vaporizing it).  Now you're wrong twice.  Nice work.

by fogiv 2008-08-12 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...
Really enjoying your diary. I was wondering about the media aspect. What would you like to see more of in the next 80 or so days? Also if Obama comes out of the convention unified and with high media Ratings what kind of bounce can we expect? I've heard the McCain convention being called a funeral
by some Republicans. REC
by Politicalslave 2008-08-11 10:21PM | 0 recs
More offense, consistently...

...less the point where a good portion of the reaction to certain aspects of McCain's crap are unnecessary.

We should be hammering away in clear talking points at three or four key examples of how pathetically the Rethugs have managed matters for the past eight years.

Example: Former Bush Treasury Secretary O'Neill and Bush SEC Commissioner Donaldson joined Obama's economic advisory group over the past few weeks. This should be front and center with the Obama campaign now and through until Election Day. It speaks more towards the ineptitudes of the Rethugs than just about any other fact that's out there.

Reality: It's barely even made the news, let alone being a centerpiece of the campaign's strategy.

I mean, how much more blatantly pathetic could the Rethugs look than to have their freakin' Treasury Sec'y and their SEC Commissioner endorsing the damn Democratic candidate?

Why isn't THIS front and center right now and until the first week of November?

Case-in-point: How many people reading this comment even realized this had happened (already)?

There are some very basic truths which are not being focused upon which should be repeated a million times...not just mentioned in a press release for one day!

They tell more of our story--more succinctly--than just about anything. But, we're not focusing upon this type of stuff.

That's just plain wrong when it comes to getting out a clear, concise message.

"K.I.S.S. = Keep it simple, stupid..."

by bobswern 2008-08-11 11:20PM | 0 recs
Re: More offense, consistently...

Thanks Bobswern I hope you write more diaries in the future as you speak from experience. I'm very interested in strategy and tactics. Cheers REC

by Politicalslave 2008-08-12 02:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's either even or lost a little ground...

I think the one area I disagree with you is that this ISN'T a national campaign.  It's 50 individual state campaigns - and that's how Obama's choosing to run it, both on the ground and in the media.  He does have negative ads - they're just usually not released to the national press, because they're ads aggressively attacking specific McCain positions for individual states.

If you look at his campaign as 50 state campaigns, the small amounts of movement makes a lot more sense, since according the 538, state campaigns break late.  I'm at least willing to give the benifit of the doubt until mid september.

by NoBlinkers 2008-08-12 08:12AM | 0 recs
As noted above

you are wrong about Axelrod's national experience.  

by fladem 2008-08-12 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Provocative comments; take those gloves off!


Assuming each of these points to be true, though, how much can a media campaign be expected to move the electorate, especially as compared to the ground game?  It would appear that all of McCain's positive media and ads have had very little effect to date - Obama's still up 5 in Gallup, 2 in Rasmussen, and the state polls have essentially remained the same for two months.  It would seem that McCain's "air superiority" has done almost nothing to change the state of the race immediately following the end of the Democratic primaries (though I suppose that Obama has also failed to shift the campaign from that point).  And, since Obama is winning by most if not all credible metrics, a static race works in his favor.

by rfahey22 2008-08-11 10:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Provocative comments; take those gloves off!

The other thing is Obama is still introducing himself at the same time the Repulicans with two new books coming out on Obama are trying to "define" him. I hope that his decisions and actions at the convention will define him.

by Politicalslave 2008-08-11 10:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Provocative comments; take those gloves off!

Phantom rec'd for managing to open up this discussion to a civil debate.  

by snark adam excuse 2008-08-11 10:26PM | 0 recs
Calling the situation "static"...

...would be, perhaps, the most positive thing one could say when spinning the situation the way it is right now. In fact, most polling results average out (i.e.: poll of polls, etc.) to where Obama's lost a point or two, with McCain picking up a slight bit during the past 60 days.

A Dem lead of from 2 to 5 points in mid-August, considering the GOP's track record over the past eight years, is pretty mediocre.

Knowing what's in store, in terms of how historically effective the GOP media-attack machine has been over the last few presidential cycles does not leave me with a warm and fuzzy feeling for the fall.

I have no doubt we'll kick McCain's ass in the field. I can't say that about the communications side of the race, however. All one has to do is take a good look at what happened to Kerry, just four years ago, to realize any sense of comfort here is ill-founded at this time.

That sentiment's further exacerbated by the realities that: a.) this is Axelrod's first, real national effort, and b.) his work in the primaries was so, so, with the real Obama campaign kudos belonging almost exclusively to the truly brilliant field organization (not the media effort, much, at all).

On a personal level, I'd feel a hell of a lot better about all of this if Obama had picked-up 3 or 4 points since June. But, that's not how it's played out, to date.

by bobswern 2008-08-11 10:26PM | 0 recs
Bob, you ask:

How else can one explain Bush's re-election in '04?

And the answer to that is one of the reasons I am more sanguine this year than I was four years ago.

The Republicans won in '04 for a number of reasons, but if I had to choose one, and you might agree with me on this, it was TURN-OUT.  The Democrats turned out in huge numbers.  The Republicans turned out even more.  Even with the country as fucked up as it was.

The Democratic Party has always been dependent on loyal union movements for its GOTV operations, to one degree or another.  Unfortunately, that movement has shrunk over the past three decades. The Republicans in the recent past have become dependent on the religious right evangelical movevement for their GOTV in the same way.  And in 2004, they worked their asses off because they really thought the End of Days was coming.  Oh, not all of them, but many of them, and it was a pervasive sense that you could get reading the millenialist rapture blogs at the time (always fun for a laugh.)  I'm not being facetious when I say that there were a great many evangelicals working their heart out for Bush and Cheney in '04 because they thought they were helping fulfill God's prophecies.  Bush and Rove played them to a tee!

And this is where McCain suffers in a way that the current polls can't show.  He isn't the second coming.  They might prefer him to Obama, but I don't think they're going to work till their fingers bleed when they can't smell that rapture just around the corner.  That's why I try to stay tuned in to what the Republicans are doing to try to raise or maintain evangelical fervor for McCain.  It's not that he needs their votes.  He needs their GOTV apparatus or they are up shit creek.

About excessive optimism and pessimism, the broader point of your article...  Let me say, there is too much of both.  Wow!  What a lame, empty thing to say, eh?  But there is.  Democrats are such incredible wusses that anything unexpected can set them into a panicked stampede.  I don't assume that the people coming on here with gloom and doom predictions based on flimsy evidence are working for McPoints.  I just assume they are typical of the Democrats in every election.  We suck.  (Is that too provacative?)

That, too, has to be balanced against the excessive optimism of those who think we can't lose.  We have NO idea what things are going to be like in late September.  We won't have a pig's chance of seeing the horizon line of this whole thing until after the Republican convention and McCain's bounce has been factored both in and out.  But too many external events can intervene in the meantime for us to become either too gloomy or too optimistic.  The Republicans, if anybody, should be the gloomy ones right now, just based on the facts we do know, and if they are able to keep on marching, we should try to show just as much discipline.

There will inevitably come a moment, perhaps after the RNC convention, where McCain pulls ahead of Obama in the polls.  And that will lead to a chorus of "Oh, we're doomed, why didn't they listen to me..."  It is a guaranteed moment.  I hope we show more backbone and hang together better this time than we did in August of 2004.

by Dumbo 2008-08-11 10:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Bob, you ask:

I have a comment about one of the things you posted.  How did we lose in 2004. Because imho while bush is an awful president he is and was a really fantistic campaigner.  He is always on message and his team had a plan to undermine both Gore and Kerry with negative attacks.

I remember the Gore is a liar and Kerry is an a flip flopper and an elitist.  And they stayed on this the whole Fall until it started to stick even through both narratives were bullshit.

And my guess is Rove is behind the campaign to paint BO as a celeb and lacks substance.  IMHO the GOP is going to keep pushing this narrative and we need a little better response than what we are getting.  And IMHO Axelrod is doing a crap job.


by giusd 2008-08-12 08:49AM | 0 recs

on the day of the election, the polls had been swinging towards Kerry and many were predicting a Kerry victory.  When we saw the turnouts, early on election day, people standing in line in the rain, we thought, oh wow, Kerry's going to win this thing.  And then we were baffled that Bush pulled it off.

What stunned us, I think, was the enormous Republican turn-out.  They got their people out in historic numbers.  

Everything else that happened in that campaign was important too.  Swiftboats was bad for us.  The debates were good.  (Kerry CREAMED Bush).  But at some point, when people have already made up their mind, these things lose their effectiveness and only work to drive up the enthusiasm of the base to go vote for the guy they wanted all along.

by Dumbo 2008-08-12 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Provocative comments; take those gloves off!

You've effectively described the media narrative about this race, a narrative, however, that doesn't really capture the reality of the electorate and the race.  

You give too much credit to McCain and to the Repub media strategy.  Calling McCain's "Obama is Paris Hilton" attack ad an attempt at swiftboating is to give a bad name to swiftboating.  These celebrity ads may have some minimal effect on the numbers right now, but, there is no way that branding Obama as a "celebrity" is going to turn the election around for McCain.  These pathetic attack ads are pale shadows of the repub attack ads of the past (Willie Horton, Swiftboat, etc.).  I'm with Obama when he said, "this is the best you could come up with?"  

The other problem with these ads is that McCain is the one running these ads.  Big mistake.  If Bush had run the swiftboat ads, Bush would have taken a hit and perhaps would have lost the race.  It was key to the successes of the swiftboat ads that Bush could stay above the fray and let his informal surrogates do all the dirty work, especially since Bush was a draft dodger.  

McCain, however, because his campaign put out the celebrity ads, set up himself up for some deadly responses.  I.e., the brilliant Paris Hilton ad and the new Obama response ad.  It's going to be very easy to paint McCain as a hypocritical, nasty, dishonorable, disrespectful, and frivolous candidate for running ads in which his own mother and his own supporters (Paris Hilton's mother) said were frivolous and dumb!

That being said, I do believe stronger responses should be forthcoming, not from the Obama campaign, but from surrogates like Hillary Clinton, Wes Clark, Nancy Pelosi, Ed Rendell, Claire McCaskill, etc.  

by ProfessorReo 2008-08-11 11:00PM | 0 recs
My fear is really fear, itself...

...fear of...

1.) The mideast exploding with changing of the guard in Israel;

2.) Comments I'm hearing about Putin being interested in a more aggressive posture in Cuba;

3.) A Mexican drug/gang violence situation on our southern borders that's just adding fuel to the anti-immigration meme;

4.) A totally irrational belief that inane drilling for oil is the answer to our energy problems!

I mean, just look at this last item. It is truly downright irrational. But, it's gaining more and more traction for the Rethugs with every passing day.

Rational thinking has little bearing on public sentiments these days. If anything, it's this last item on my list which confirms this fact.

Add an undercurrent of exploitable fear to the political mix, and we have a far-too-volatile situation here which indicates that anything's possible these days.

Yes, common sense and reason takes a backseat to all-too-common reality in our country in this day and age. And, at the end of the day, it is the media that's at fault.

Yes. The media. And, that's not Obama's strong suit, as I reiterate this in my diary and throughout my comments.

by bobswern 2008-08-11 11:04PM | 0 recs

what's he gonna do, invade Cuba?

good luck, Ivan.

by Al Rodgers 2008-08-11 11:07PM | 0 recs
Re: My fear is really fear, itself...

If the media isn't his strong suit, then why were you Clinton supports complaining about his unfair coverage during the primaries.

by venician 2008-08-12 10:19AM | 0 recs
nice generalization...wrong...

...on so many counts, however.

"You Clinton supporters?"

Show me one place where I ever said anything about unfair media coverage in the primaries?

by bobswern 2008-08-12 05:28PM | 0 recs
Thanks for all the concern.

If this is how some people act when "their candidate" is ahead, how badly would they act if he was tied?

I remember that during the primaries Obama's supporters never polluted the atmoshere with concern. That's always been the province of those who supported Clinton.

Fortunately, their concern didn't keep Obama from winning then and it won't in November.

by Glaurung 2008-08-11 11:23PM | 0 recs
The Repugs will play every card...

...even the lamest ones...count on it.

by bobswern 2008-08-11 11:25PM | 0 recs
Re: The Repugs will play every card...

This comment is really meant for you Bob.I exoect things to look very good by late October. Bush is just being discounted publicly . He wields tremendous power of the incumbency.  They are already playing every card. Some very well. By the time the Olympics are over the country will be in a pitched nationalistic mode. Some already are. If I hear one more person say that McCain maybe wouldn't be all that bad, I'm going to lose it.  Then again, why Bush is letting Russia steal the Georgian pipeline route is what America has been about for a long time, McCain will make it worse.  How insane is it that McCain is running ads as an alternative fuel advocate. He's an Oil company shill. That's why Russia is wiping their feet on Bush, and McCain will let it hapen even more. The insurance/pharmaceutical/oil/telecom companies are now running all Republican campaigns. They are just trying to get Obama to accede to more favorable positions that make their lobbyists happy. Check out this week's issue of New York magazine. We're not talking about race. October will be very, very ugly. They will conflate Obama's message and intentions with the more radical race agenda of some of his supporters. Obama is fighting that fiercely. If he doesn't convince America his is a post-racial agenda, it will not turn out well. History repeats itself over and over. Hard times equals increased racism. Violence against women and homosexuals increases dramatically. The lower and working classes will be worked to believe Obama is an outsider - the devil we don't know.This is hardwired to most Republican's brains. Frankly, if Pelosi or Kerry start speaking on behalf of Obama, I think we're in big trouble.  I don't think it's about Hillary. But the very positive thing that is happening is that McCain is just mobilizing a burnt out base of voters who would never vote for Obama. There are way more that will. The people will want to see Obama knock out McCain in several fights. He will, but the media is NOT on our side They care about their profits. Ugly cat fights increase them. Expect pointed sticks from all sides. I believe that it will, however, ultimately backfire. McCain is an old devil. Anybody notice the one term bomb he dropped? It's about making people who don't want to vote for him make him palatable.  But Obama is actually right where he should be right now. The timing of a smackdown is his brilliance. As are his policies. We will win, but it will be just like repealing prohibition. We're viral now. It won't take ten years. It will take a lot of compromise of some of our most ardent goals. The second term will be key.

by Jeter 2008-08-12 02:15AM | 0 recs
Re: The Repugs will play every card...

And you Bob will fall for it every time. You're the perfect target for them, AFRAID. I suggest you spend some time at fivethirtyeight. and see how things are really going. Turn off Fox news for the day and take a chill pill.

by venician 2008-08-12 08:20AM | 0 recs
There are quite a few...

...independent comments on this diary that demonstrate that "this is the very opposite of concern trolling."

Is it possible for you to make a comment that doesn't call some other blogger or commenter out?

Truly, you're just about the most offensive person on MyDD.

If you're really interested in positively affecting the outcome of this election, you'll stop being so damn offensive to folks that are supporting the same candidates as yourself.

If you're more consumed with ranting and being the quintessential purity troll--not tolerating any legitimate commentary or criticisms of what we're doing this year--keep doing what you're doing, and you'll keep getting what you got...which in this case is another t.r. (Add it to your collection.)

You are not the change we've been waiting for.

by bobswern 2008-08-12 09:35AM | 0 recs
UnPure Trolls.

Right back at you Bob, for doing what you just accused me of doing. And I'm sorry but your constant stream of concern/sky is falling diaries don't convince me of your supprt for Obama. I have yet to see you write one positive diary about Obama.

by venician 2008-08-12 10:27AM | 0 recs
There have been quite a few...

...positive diaries...take my diary from the evening of June 3rd, for instance....1300 rec's at the top of MyDD and DailyKos on the final evening of the primaries...just about as positive as an Obama diary can get!

by bobswern 2008-08-12 05:31PM | 0 recs
I don't understand why we can't hit them on....

John McCain's military record.  It is terrible. Being a POW does not take either skill or ability.  And everything else about his record is a joke, from his education, to the amount of planes he lost.  If his daddy wasn't an Admiral would he even have been in the military long enough to become a POW?  He crashed two planes, and ran a third into powerlines, before being shot down.  We can't afford him to crash our country, his daddy won't be there to save him.

The drilling arguement, is not about increasing supply and all about securing profits for the oil companies.  Americans won't be helped.   We can't afford another President that cares more about multi-national oil companies then about the American people, we won't be fooled again.

His concept of "win" and "lose"  the war on terror is just as nebulous as the war on drugs. Everytimes he talks about a war that it will be impossible to reach the kind of conclusion he wants , it should just prove his unfitness to lead.  This is not WW2 where we can demand the unconditional surrender of our enemies.  We should hit him on lack of understanding of asymmetrical warfare.   And why he insists on tying up resources thousands of miles away when the 9/11 report showed proper enforcement in our own country would have done more to prevent terrorist attacks.

Terrorist: "Osama why can we go through their borders with our bombs?"

Osama bin Laden:"Because the fools are still playing games in Iraq and Iran."

Terrorist:"But Osama don't they know you are from Saudi Arabia, and based out of Afghanistan? You hated Saddam and Iran."

Osama bin Laden:"This is America, knowing things is considered elitist here.  That is why they elected party animal Bush.  And bottom of his class McCain."

Terrorist:"Sometimes Death to America is too easy."

Osama bin Laden:"If they keep electing leaders that do our work for us."

by Tumult 2008-08-12 01:50AM | 0 recs
Too Risky

I couldn't agree more on your take on McCain's military creds... but I think you're crazy to suggest that anyone should try it use it against him.

The American public is too sensitive to criticizing victims and/or war heros in any way shape or form.  Calling McCain out on being a bad pilot, when he spent all those years as a POW would never fly.  That would be like mocking a policeman who was crippled in a gun fight w/ gang members.  Sure, maybe the guy was a terrible shot, didn't follow procedure, and that's how he ended up getting shot... but the general public would never accept putting that sort of criticism on a hero.

The potential downside of that sort of attack on McCain is just too great to risk trying it.  Look at Clark... he barely touched the subject (being shotdown & captured does not make you qualified to be president) and most in the business still consider what he said to be bad enough to take him out of the Veepstakes.

If he hadn't spent those years as a POW, it might be worth going for the "he was a crappy pilot who thrived b/c of who his father was" mantra might work... but w/the POW experience thrown in, it just won't play well with the American public.

by MikeNH 2008-08-12 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Provocative comments; take those gloves off!

Great diary. This is the exact opposite of concern trolling (some twit above made a snarky reference), this is reasoned analysis of the reality we live in.

I am confident in Obama's ability to win this year, but I am not complacent. We've been down this road many times.

I've seen this movie before, and I know how it ends.

But, as the diarist said, we have to win this year. We are at a tipping point in history more so than the last election.

I am all for laying all our cards out on the table, and doing so immediately. Obama needs everyone's help in order to take our country back from the corporate cronies and warmongers.

Do what you can, whether its phone banking, canvassing, donating money and/or talking to your friends, family and neighbors.

Just remember the motto that is means much more than "Yes we can": Not this time!

by John in Chicago 2008-08-12 06:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Provocative comments; take those gloves off!

These are all reasonable concerns...
However it appears that the Obama is now hitting
hardest in specific States/regions.
Notice last week's Nevada/Yucca and Ohio/DHL ads.
I like the idea of localized impact.

I do not buy into the meme that Obama should be ahead more...In spite of the McCain/Rove attacks on his strength(in this case Obama is more popular)Obama is not behind. In fact here in CO where McCain ads are on all the real difference in the past month.

The changes will more evident after the Tale of Two Cities plays out..

Though I do expect the Obama campaign to remove the muzzle on 527's like moveon.

The biggest difference is Obama will remain in control of himself...
McCain? ...not so much... Qw

by nogo postal 2008-08-12 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Provocative comments; take those gloves off!

Just found this.. PP_Release_Colorado_811.pdf

by nogo postal 2008-08-12 07:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Provocative comments; take those gloves off!
To address your provocative comment #4:
A hold-the-ball or beat-the-clock strategy was all that was needed.  Clinton was too strong a candidate for any kind of knock-out blow. Obama's campaign was designed to gain an insurmountable pledged delegate lead through the month of February and then trade primaries back and forth for the last three months, with each candidate winning those states whose demographics favored them.
This leads into your provocative comment #5:
Obama clearly has a lead of between 2-6 pts, and state polling shows he's currently in place to win the electoral votes needed for victory.  A hold-the-ball strategy is working!  A willy-nilly negative assault on McCain could quite easily backfire on Obama.
Is it time for complacency?  No.  But it's not time to panic and pull out the kitchen sink, either.
by bottl4 2008-08-12 09:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Provocative comments; take those gloves off!

Are there a lot of people claiming the Dems have this thing sewn up or patting themselves on the back? I haven't seen it, although I confess that visiting the blogs more than 4 times a day or for periods more than 2 hours a day make me want to poke my eye out with a spoon. I've seen some pushback to the daily media "OMGZ! Obama is only winning by 4 instead of 5! Sound the alarm!!11"

We live in a 24 hour news cycle. Throw in about 7,563 political blogs and you have a space/time that needs filling with something. In the absence of real news, media will invent it or puff up statistical noise to make it into something insightful. But noise is still noise. Does this make me complacent? Hell no. Rather than complacency the overwhelming feeling inside of me and I'm sure other Dems is apprehension. I've seen defeat pulled from the jaws of victory too often to feel smug about anything.

I disagree that we have anything to worry about regarding Obama's campaign and his people. They went up against the the Clinton machine and won--that's no small feet. More money, name recognition, establishment backing, the most popular politician living, and STILL won. Yes, I agree they sort of backed in across the finish line, but I think of that more due to the demographics of a few of the final states than anything else. But, ultimately, it doesn't matter. Win by 0.5 or by 50, a win's a win. Importantly, Obama has never trailed McCain, whereas he trailed HRC numerous times and came back to win. According to the data the primary was a much closer contest that this has shaped up to be so far.

The Republicans are going to lie, smear, whisper and Swiftboat (tm). Its their thing. I don't see Obama's slow response (which, btw, is lightening quick compared to Kerry's response to the SB'ing) as due to inexperience, but rather a result of being handcuffed a bit by the promise to run a "positive campaign." I certainly like the idea of a positive campaign, however, you box yourself into a corner a bit when the opposition starts a kitchen sink strategy. Respond positively and it could be ineffective or seen as "weak"; respond negatively and it could be seen as you breaking a central promise of your campaign. I think BO's campaign is finding a nice middle ground. Hopefully the pundits and political entertainers will start to point out the McCain hypocrisy and lies (even Fox's Chris Wallace called out McCain's people on the air about Obama raising taxes on people making 42,000 a year).

Bottom line, its early and this thing is going to ebb and flow. We've got money, enthusiasm and a toxic Republican brand all going for us.

by bigdaddy 2008-08-12 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Provocative comments; take those gloves off!

This election is very much in the air, and your diary illustrates why the Obama campaign cannot become complecent. A lot of hard work is still needed to win.

by Zzyzzy 2008-08-12 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Provocative comments; take those gloves off!

Thank you for the diary Bob. I was very glad to see something posted by you, and as usual, you did not disappoint. I think some of our less experienced friends here think winning elections is a walk in the park, and that the best candidate should just,! For those of us, who have been through more than a handful of elections, we have seen what the republicans are capable of doing. And we see how the repugs are able to keep winning elections, by doing whatever it takes, including stealing the presidency.

The inexperienced and overconfident need to pull the cheese off of their heads, quit dissing valuable diaries, and start working for our candidate.

by Hollede 2008-08-13 03:14AM | 0 recs
He'll pay for his hypocrisy...

Smoke and Mirrors
Joshua Frank


A tally of Obama's list of his campaign's 552 large bundlers (those who have collected between $50,000 and $200,000 from different individuals on Obama's behalf) reveals that they have dumped a combined total of $31.65 million in to Obama's war chest as of mid-June 2008.

The bundlers are currently listed on Obama's official website under the guise of "full-disclosure". But as senior researcher at Public Citizen, Alex Cohen, says, one big name is no longer there, that of Robert Blackwell Jr.

On April 27, 2008 the Los Angeles Times published a story that portrayed the relationship between Blackwell and Obama in a not-so-shining light. The Times noted that after Obama lost his run for Congress in 2000, the state senator was strapped for cash, only to be bailed on by Blackwell who put Obama on a retainer of $8,000-a-month for his services as a legal adviser to Blackwell's budding technology firm, Electronic Knowledge Interchange.

The money Blackwell gave Obama would end up totaling $112,000, a nice supplement to the state senator's $58,000 a year salary. Explains the Times, "A few months after receiving his final payment from EKI, Obama sent a request on state Senate letterhead urging Illinois officials to provide a $50,000 tourism promotion grant to another Blackwell company, Killerspin."


by suzieg 2008-08-13 03:17AM | 0 recs


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