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Campaign update: If you’re not attacking, you’re losing

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"Campaign update: If you’re not attacking, you’re losing"

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Sunday was the first day all year I seriously thought that Obama might lose. Not because he is behind in some national polls (though that is reflective of the two key messaging mistakes he has made), but because of his and Biden’s Dukakis-like performance on the Sunday shows.

Only some of his messaging mistakes involve energy-related subjects, so I have posted it elsewhere: “Obama and Biden Go Back to a Losing Message.”

By the way, if you are a hard-core political junkie who obsesses over every poll and wants to know what they really mean, then you should certainly bookmark fivethirtyeight.com, which will smooth out your highs and lows, just as it does with the national and state polls.

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7 Responses to Campaign update: If you’re not attacking, you’re losing

  1. charlie says:

    what did you expect? Obama can’t fight very well — we saw that in the primaries. The drill-drill-drill mantra captures the public imagination. The real mystery is why Obama isn’t out there promoting REAL change — just like why didn’t Kerry promise to end the Iraq war — and without something real in the race voters will tune out.

  2. Paul K says:

    The HuffPo article is very perceptive. Another strategic mistake was opting out of public campaign financing. On a more mundane level is Obama’s poor off the cuff abilities compared to his eloquent speeches, so much stammering and pausing to figure out what to say next. He is prone to verbal gaffes.

    McCain used his convention to change his message from the negative Obama is not ready to lead to the positive I am the maverick who puts country before party. The Palin pick reinforces that message.

    Obama used his convention to repeat the same old McCain is Bush line. His choice of Biden looks like an admission of his own inexperience.

    It is said that the person who defines the terms in a debate wins the debate. Most damaging to Obama is his inability to clarify the meaning of change beyond withdrawing from Iraq and a nebulous economic justice. This has allowed McCain to seize the word as his own by redefining it to mean reform of corrupt Washington practices.

  3. Ronald says:

    Palin’s pick was all campaign over country. She’s not ready for the job and will be behind an all fossil fuels push with her state. She was for the bridge to nowhere before she was against it, she is a liar about it and her campaign is lying about it. That’s not maverick as much as it is reckless with our future. Sad campaign, sad America.

  4. Rod Adams says:

    Joe:

    Based on the enormous response to your Huffington Post article, I figured it would be easier to get your attention if I made my comment here.

    Your analysis of the political strategy and desire of the American people for leadership behavior is dead on. More and more, I am realizing that my effort to get you on “my side” in the energy discussion is worth the time.

    When an opponent lies through their teeth, the only way to combat that is to continually attack that lie and to obtain the assistance of as many people as possible – your “independent groups” – in spreading the message.

    We do not need another administration indebted to both “big oil”, “big finance” (do any voters that matter remember the Keating Five and the S&L crisis and see the parallels in yesterday’s takeover of Fannie and Freddie?) and “big defense”.

    Rod Adams
    Editor, Atomic Insights

  5. Rod Adams says:

    Oops – forgot to get rid of the word “both” when I added in a third “big” to my last comment.

  6. Paul K says:

    Rod Adams,41
    If you are concerned about big finance, you may want to investigate Sen. Biden’s relationship with the consumer credit industry and his voting record on bankruptcy. McCain has consistently voted against tax breaks for oil companies as well as corn ethanol and alternatives. His record indicates he he not for tax breaks for any energy besides nuclear. There is a legitimate argument whether he is right or wrong in that.

  7. Russ says:

    Here’s an infuriating and depressing Richard Cohen op-ed piece in the Washington Post regarding Obama’s feckless sunday performance.