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A warning to the right - stick with the issues
Posted by: McQ on Monday, February 25, 2008

Rick Moran, at RightWing Nuthouse, points out that the way to go after Barack Obama has nothing to do with him being "a closet muslim" as the emails circulating on the net constantly claim. And it is a strategic mistake to go down that road. That's been a familiar refrain from Kevin Whalen at Pundit Review and other conservative sites. Stay away from the silliness of this argument because all it is going to do is turn off and drive away voters that the right both wants and needs. And that goes for questioning his patriotism and all the other nonsense the right seems so apt to try to trot out in these sorts of situations.

Oh, and lay off his wife - that's just as bad a road to travel.

There are a wealth of legitimate issues on which the right can take on Barack Obama. The obvious strongest issue for Republicans is national security. Obama has no background there. None. Nor can he boast of much in the foreign policy arena - the principle arena in which a president works.

I heard Donald Luskin last night essentially characterize the way to attack Obama on Pundit Review Radio. He said that the left's plan is to take a guy who has a couple years as a US Senator (with no meaningful accomplishments), a few years in a state legislature and the bulk of his experience organizing communities in Chicago and give him the most powerful and complex political job in the world?

That should raise a big "whoa, wait a minute" in everyone's mind.

Yes, it is the "experience" vs. "inexperience" argument, but with a twist. It actually works in this case. Whatever you may feel about John McCain, he has real experience in national security, not the pseudo-experience of Hillary Clinton. Military background, commanded tactical and strategic units, war hero, etc.

This isn't Hillary claiming her gig as first lady provided, by osmosis I guess, "experience" for the job. This is real, actual, honest-to-goodness experience which can't be denied, and, for Obama, can't be matched. And I think that experience gap, if properly presented (see Luskin argument), can cause many of the swing voters to rethink their vote.

And then there's the recent George Stephanopolos statement that Obama is a "reflexive liberal" which provides more grist for an even broader "contrast" - on the issues.

For example:
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama champion fiscal responsibility on the campaign trail, but both Democratic presidential hopefuls are promising massive new spending without providing details on how they'd pay for it.
Instead of worrying about Obama's middle name, whether he wears an American flag pin on his lapel or attends a Afrocentric church, Republicans need to be spending their time researching the issue differences, which are stark, between their candidate and Obama and begin now framing the discussion for the campaign.

The key to victory is to frame the argument, put your opponent on the defensive, and make him or her defend the indefensible.

That's what they ought to do. But, after observing the GOP for many years, I have little faith that's what they'll actually do. Instead, I expect the weird right to keep the conspiracy theories flowing and to see it leak out into the open campaign with questions about his faith and patriotism.

If so, and if that's where the campaign ends up going, the Republicans are toast.
 
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If anything, his personal connections to Islam will be a selling point to those who’ve already jumped on the bandwagon. After all, who would best understand our "terrorist friends"? Clinton? McCain? or Barrack Hussein Obama.

If I were him, I’d start printing my middle name on the yard signs.
 
Written By: Ronnie Gipper
URL: http://
Run a political campaign based on the actual relevant qualifications?

We can dream, can’t we.

No one has experience being President, except the President, it is the ultimate OJT. Conventional wisdom suggests that people with executive experience are more suited to the job, of which all candidates with that kind of experience have been eliminated. So we can’t care much about that.

We have no idea who will actually be a good President, McCain might be great, or he might be totally incapable of processing the information in a fluid, fast changing world. Obama might be brilliant, able to grasp the tiniest intricacies of foreign policy issues and make, quick, good decisions... or, he might be completely one dimensional and treat every problem from a single perspective. Hillary would almost certainly be competent in many ways, but I still could not cast a vote for her because I just don’t want to have any part of a 1990’s redux.

McCain will campaign on his competence in doing it the way it always been done, ie; experience.

Obama will campaign on McCain’s promise to do it the way it has always been done.

It all depends on who is successful in framing the question, and of course charisma.

Obama is leading in both at the moment, and I don’t think McCain is going to suddenly become charismatic.


 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
This is actually pretty funny.

Are you seriously implying that the Republicans and right wing political activists in general have NOT been campaigning on issues all this time? and that instead they have been campaigning on fear mongering, mud slinging and character assasination?

To quote a cliche, from a famous Republican president - you can fool some of the people some of the time, and you can fool all of the people some of the time, but....

 
Written By: Mitch
URL: http://
McCain already started campaigning against Obama.

That’s where the incentive to turn a suspicion of disgruntled former employees into a story came from. It was designed to put McCain on the defensive and stop attacking Obama.

Whether they felt it was unfair for McCain to attack Obama before Hillary/Obama thing is settled or they resented that he attacked Obama at all, I don’t know. But it didn’t take much, did it?

They are going to be looking to attack anything from cheepshots to slips of the tongue. I believe even Hillary to talking heads in the News have slipped and said Osama. Its not impossible that won’t happen by accident by McCain. People make mistakes even though we like to pretend we can have a mistake free President.

The Political Correctness standard is going to be set ridiculously high. And acknowledging that can be dangerously close to validating it.

If we accept that if McCain makes a PC mistake of even a minor magnitude, he should lose, then he’s already lost.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Instead, I expect the weird right to keep the conspiracy theories flowing and to see it leak out into the open campaign with questions about his faith and patriotism.

If so, and if that’s where the campaign ends up going, the Republicans are toast.
And I would hazard a guess that the MSM will trot out examples of the extreme right nutjobs just to prove that all Republicans are racist. No matter how far away they are from mainstream, or even the candidates views.

I would also guess that we will have quite a number of "fake but accurate" conjecture driven hard news stories, about how some anonymous bloggers are being so mean to Obama, and calling him names, etc.
I don’t think McCain is going to suddenly become charismatic.
Actually, I don’t think the press is going to show how charismatic he actually is when he’s on the campaign trail. I was watching the live feed of him, when he was here in Indianapolis last week. He’s a funny guy, and very passionate. And that is definitely not the portrait you see in the press of him.

So, I would go to the raw tape if you want to see what he is, rather then simply relying on what the press shows you.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
If we accept that if McCain makes a PC mistake of even a minor magnitude, he should lose, then he’s already lost.
I’m not talking about "PC mistakes". I’m talking about dumb tactical and strategic campaigning mistakes that would give any opponent an advantage by distracting from the real issues and providing a beneficial backlash.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
And I would hazard a guess that the MSM will trot out examples of the extreme right nutjobs just to prove that all Republicans are racist. No matter how far away they are from mainstream, or even the candidates views.

I would also guess that we will have quite a number of "fake but accurate" conjecture driven hard news stories, about how some anonymous bloggers are being so mean to Obama, and calling him names, etc.
I don’t doubt that a bit, Keith. In fact, I’d be willing to bet on it. What the campaign has to do is keep its distance from the same sort of tactics and memes if it wants to have any credibility when it rejects them.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
They’ll make the same mistakes about strategy too. But the media will make sure they take McCain off message anyway.

I mean McCain has to talk about terrorism which means talking about Islam. I can already see him being asked about Islam and/or Islamic terrorism with the following question asking him about Obama’s views on the matter. Bait.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
I mean you’re right, he should stay on message as much as possible, but the media will drag him or his staff off into the ditch eventually.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
A vote for OBAMA is like tossing the keys to a Ferrari Testarossa to your five-year old.
 
Written By: coolpapa
URL: http://
my guess is the republican party views campaigning on foreign policy and military experience as an advertisement for more war and fire stoking with the "axis of evil"

 
Written By: mac
URL: http://
At least McCain seems to be on the right page...

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D8V25VQ80&show_article=1
"Now we have a hack, Chicago-style Daley politician who is picturing himself as change. When he gets done with you, all you’re going to have in your pocket is change," Cunningham said as the audience roared.

The time will come, Cunningham added, when the media will "peel the bark off Barack Hussein Obama" and tell the truth about his relationship with indicted fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko and how Obama got "sweetheart deals" in Chicago.

McCain wasn’t on stage nor in the building when Cunningham made the comments, but he quickly distanced himself from them and the talk show host after finishing his speech. McCain spoke to a couple hundred people at Memorial Hall in downtown Cincinnati.

"I apologize for it," McCain told reporters, addressing the issue before they had a chance to ask the Arizona senator about Cunningham’s comments.

"I did not know about these remarks but I take responsibility for them. I repudiate them," he said. "My entire campaign I have treated Senator Obama and Senator (Hillary Rodham) Clinton with respect. I will continue to do that throughout this campaign.

McCain called both Democrats "honorable Americans" and said "I want to dissociate myself with any disparaging remarks that may have been said about them."
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
McCain will NEVER, would NEVER, campaign on the Muslim Issue, nor on the wife issue, nor on the patriotism issue. He is a man of honour and these are not honourable issues!

Honourable men do not belittle the religion or question the patriotism or besmirch the reputation of the wife of their opponents.

Mccain will campaign on the important issues; health, abortion, campaign funding, the economy, the war, terrorism. Most of all the direction of America; does it maintain its leadership of the Free World, or cede its power and influence to a super-national body!

He will saddle Obama with the "Change" and "Hope" mantras, and then show that what Obama is offering is nothing new, only something radical.

Tearing things up root and branch,"radicalism", appeals only to those who feel, rightly or wrongly, desperate. A desperate person goes to bed at night wishing it were morning, and wakes wishing it were night.

McCain will ask the American people if this is what they feel—desperation, hopelessness, alienation.

If the answer comes back as a YES, McCain is done for.

If it comes back as a NO, and I believe it will, McCain will win!



 
Written By: eliXelx
URL: http://

 
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