Tuesday, October 14, 2008

How to Attack Obama

Recently, the McCain campaign has come under heavy criticism for its attacks at Obama and polls seem to indicate that the negative campaigning against Obama has not worked very well.

While attacking Obama for his association with Ayers, Rev Wright, or Retzko may be legitimate, I believe there are better ways to attack Obama that specifically go after the image he has created of being a new type of candidate who will change the way politics is done in Washington.

1) In 1996, Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate in a race where he was the only candidate. He was the only candidate because his campaign team got the Democratic incumbent as well as three other candidates disqualified on a technicality. How is getting your opponents disqualified on technically dubious grounds demonstrate changing a political culture of partisanship?

2) As a senator, Obama was a protege of Emil Jones, part of the Chicago political machine. Obama did nothing as state senator to go after the Chicago political machine or Daly, which everybody knows is corrupt. Why not? Because Obama was more interested in making connections to run for higher office. And now as president, Obama will go after lobbyists and DC corruption? I wouldn't hold my breath. Rather, expect the Daly political machine to come to DC if Obama is elected.

3) Continue to hammer home the point that Obama has virtually no legislative record either as a US senator or as a state senator. The McCain campaign has done an OK job of this, but they need to keep reinforcing the idea that Obama was always too busy running for the next office than for actually getting things done.

4) Finally, and most important attack him on the issues. Really go after his health plan, and explain why it won't work. (Saying it will socialize medicine is just too general.) Explain that Obama will nominate federal judges who will interpret that the constitution guarantees a right to gay marriage or that the interpretation of the U.S. constitution should be guided by European mores. Go negative on the issues, not on tenuous connections to 1960s radicals.

By the way, read a great op-ed by Bill Kristol on what McCain and Palin should be doing over the next few weeks.


Pablo said...

Camerom is right people.

Please try to memorize this messages word by word and repeat them as much as you can. Follow Palin's great example.

Avoid thinking too much by yourselves, we have checked that it does not work. People did not buy that Obama is a terrorist communist, but I am sure they will buy that he is a corrupt black thief.

You guys are missing the point. The problem is not that people did not like the attacks on Obama. The point is that people are fed up of negative campaigning. They want to know why they should vote for McCain and why you think that McCain's plans will work and solve their problems.

Ferny for McCain at Stanford said...

We are still left the question of the support by the "intellectual elites" to Obama unanswered.

One would expect that given their self-proclaimed status as "elites" they would provide thoughtful arguments upon which they base their support. Yet, if the arguments provided by you Pablo are any indication, it can all be summarized in a few words "If you don't agree with Obama, you are stupid".

Indeed, a very thougtful and persuasive argument!

Cameron said...

I'm not sure whether people are fed up with negative campaigning or not. In the past, people generally say they don't like negative campaigning but when candidates go negative they usually see a bounce in the polls. Maybe this year it will be different.