Obama's been able to handle the McCain campaign's efforts to define him. They've had some effect, but not enough to be a game-changer.
But it's vitally important that McCain not be allowed to define himself before our side defines him. Once he's established his identity in the public mind, it becomes a lot harder for us to change it.
Fortunately for us, McCain's made his campaign almost completely about Obama, so far, and hardly at all about himself. So there's still a decent bit of time, before the GOP convention, for Dems to define him before he does.
This ad is a good first step. More like it, and soon.
Forget the 1972 election. If I'm going to flip anything from that cycle, it would be the 1972 Democratic nomination. Keep the Canuck Letter from happening, Muskie wins NH easily and goes on to win the nomination, losing respectably in the fall.
After Nixon's impeachment (Watergate happens regardless), Muskie gets another chance in 1976, and wins both the nomination and the election.
It proves a lot harder for the GOP to ridicule Muskie the way they did McGovern and Carter, and the Dems don't flounder nearly so desperately when they lose the Presidency in 1984.
I remember being introduced to this concept a few decades back with respect to television, radio, newspapers, etc. In each of those cases, the advertisers were/are the true customer, and the watchers/listeners/readers are the product.
Sometimes I wonder if it's going to take CEOs dangling from lampposts to change just who this country is run on behalf of.
One of our biggest achievements in 2006 was to turn a lot of state legislatures blue. Like you say, we definitely need to keep that rolling in 2008 and especially 2010, so that Dems draw the Congressional map for the following decade.
That's the thing about actually making them do a talktalktalk filibuster, rather than letting them get away with just blocking cloture without paying a price: it works for us both ways, as long as we're on the side of the people.
When we're in the majority, the GOP's spending hours or days blocking stuff that people want, will make them look like jerks.
And when we're in the minority, if they make us spend hours or days blocking stuff that rich people or corporations want, they'll also look like jerks.