It's not a secret or a surprise that people on both sides of the political aisle try to drive stories and common themes, but one of the things that's especially amusing about the Left is the willingness of Democratic talking heads and lefty bloggers to mindlessly parrot verbatim the talking points handed down by their campaign, in the hopes of driving particular words into the news coverage. And it appears that the word of the moment being slapped on McCain is "erratic" - in contrast to the serene (sorry, "steady") inactivity of Barack Obama.Today the Obama campaign accidentally sent reporters the talking points it intends to press for tonight's debate:
"* This is John McCain's last chance to turn this race around and somehow convince the American people that his erratic response to this economic crisis doesn't disqualify him from being President."* Just this weekend the weekend, John McCain vowed to 'whip Obama's you-know-what' at the debate, and he's indicated that he'll be bringing up Bill Ayers to try to distract voters."* So we know that Senator McCain will come ready to attack Barack Obama and bring his dishonorable campaign tactics to the debate stage. "Obama continues to lead on the economic crisis with a rescue plan for Main Street."Over the course of the campaign, Barack Obama has laid out a set of policies that will grow our middle class and strengthen our economy. "But he knows we face an immediate economic emergency that requires urgent action – on top of the plans he's already laid out – to help workers and families and communities struggling right now. "That's why Barack Obama is introducing a comprehensive four-part Rescue Plan for the Middle Class – to immediately to stabilize our financial system, provide relief to families and communities, and help struggling homeowners. "This is a plan that can and should be implemented immediately. "Obama has shown steady leadership during this crisis and offered concrete solutions to move the country forward – and his Rescue Plan for the Middle Class builds on the plans to strengthen the economy and rebuild the middle class that he's laid out over the course of this campaign. "Already in this campaign, he's unveiled plans to give 95 percent of workers and their families a tax cut, eliminate income taxes for seniors making under $50,000, bring down the cost of health care for families and businesses; and create millions of new jobs by investing in the renewable energy sources. "John McCain has been erratic and unsteady since this crisis began – staggering from position to position and trying to change the subject away from the economy by launching false character attacks."
Now, let's look at some samples from the lefty blogs collected by yesterday's Blogometer under the headline "MCCAIN: Reinforcing The "Erratic" Meme?"
Other liberal bloggers are portraying the McCain camp as "erratic":The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen: "It's almost as if they're trying to look erratic, unable to deal with the pressure of a crisis." MyDD's Todd Beeton: "So, call me crazy but if the number one criticism about you is that you act erratically and it's sticking because, well, you're undeniably acting erratically, wouldn't it be wise to stop? To start acting with purpose, with some modicum of discipline? Wouldn't that just be Politics 101?" AMERICAblog's Joe Sudbay: "Let's just put this in perspective: The McCain campaign knows its being closely watched. Their repeated stunts, combined with the ugly negative attacks, have caused the McCain to drop precipitously in national and state polls. Yet, against this scrutiny, McCain and his campaign honchos only reinforce the idea that erratic behavior reigns. It's quite stunning. No wonder so many Republicans are fleeing from the McCain campaign."
Then we get John Podesta on what McCain needs to do tonight:
McCain needs to change the dynamic of this race, but his erratic responses to the economic crisis aren't the way to do it.