FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Obama again promises “new” campaign, but hits same old notes
Can you just give me the keys to the White House already? I'm tired of this game, and I want to go jump on the bed in the Lincoln Bedroom!
On September 12, Barack Obama declared he was going to “take off the gloves” (at the least the fourth time he has made that claim this campaign season) and begin his campaign anew, dedicating himself to the home stretch with a renewed purpose and an eye on the November 4 prize.
The “final stretch” was beginning, and, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe declared in an email, the campaign was going “to aggressively claim the “change” mantle,” in part by “respond[ing] with speed and ferocity to John McCain’s attacks and….tak[ing] the fight to him” (taking care, of course, to “do it on the big issues that matter to the American people”).
As a show of his new resolve and dedication, Obama released an ad that same day which made the brand new claim that John McCain is old and out of touch because he doesn’t use a computer or send emails. (Never mind, of course, that the reason for that isn’t McCain’s age or in-touchness, so much as it is the fact that the injuries inflicted on him by his Vietnamese captors over thirty years ago rendered him permanently unable to type.
Never fear, though — there was more to this strategy than the single, faux pas-ridden ad released on the day Mr. Obama declared was “the first day of the home stretch.” Not only was McCain to be ridiculed for the fact his war injuries left him unable to use a computer, but he was to be exposed as having voted with President Bush 90 percent of the time! That’s new, right? Well, only if you call “a factoid Obama has only made 7,000 times before” a new message.
In fact, the more Mr. Obama’s “new” campaign themes came out, the more it became apparent that what the Democrat nominee’s campaign strategy is going to be this last two months before the election is simply this: talk about John McCain, and continue doing his best to convince Americans across the spectrum that their lives are, in fact, terrible.
The former isn’t even close to being a “new” theme in the Obama campaign. As Josh Trevino has documented, Barack Obama has invoked John McCain’s name on the stump almost twice as often as McCain has mentioned Obama.
That fact doesn’t change with ratcheted up rhetoric, like Obama Press Secretary Bill Burton’s Saturday declaration that McCain is “cynically running the sleaziest and least honorable campaign in modern presidential campaign history.” (Quite the post-partisan New Tone statement there, yes?)
The latter is even less new, having been a key page in the Democrat playbook for decades — but, with nothing but a heavily marketed personality to offer outside of traditional liberal fare, Obama knows he will have to rely on his powers of persuasion to convince enough Americans that their lives are in a shambles and will get worse under McCain if he is to win in November.
No matter what the truth may be, Obama promised today in Manchester, New Hampshire, Americans “will not be diverted from anxieties over the economy, health care, education and war,” Obama said.
In other words, “we’re going to keep telling you your lives suck, and that they’ll only get worse unless you vote for Obama.”