Inside Hardball

Let me just say how glad I am that John Weaver and Mike Murphy are not running McCain’s campaign.
In fact, recent signs from McCain’s message operation, his speeches, his ad strategy, and the whining, complaining and shrieking coming from Obama’s camp in response to McCain’s ads all point to a campaign that has found its voice, hammering consistently on Obama’s weak points: national security, energy, inexperience.
UPDATE: Of course, as Dan Henninger and the WaPo note, McCain himself still has a tendency to go off script and throw bones to the Democrats, which undercuts some of the sharpest contrasts he can draw. That’s the double-edged sword of a guy who is more garrolous and less message-disciplined than Bush. It’s debatable which is really the better approach; as I have noted before, while Bush has mostly shined at staying on message, his inability or unwillingness to say more than the bare minimum creates a news vacuum that his opponents have often filled in ways that create whole narratives that Bush never fights back on.

3 thoughts on “Inside Hardball”

  1. Barack Obama yesterday in Missouri:
    “Nobody really thinks that, that, that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face. So what they are going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know he–oh, he’s not patriotic enough. He’s got a funny name. You know, he doesn’t look like all of those other presidents on those dollar bills.”
    An elegant Sharptonian accusation, pathetic.

  2. Yeah, when this campaign started, I would not have imagined that Obama himself would launch those kinds of racial smears with such regularity. Morrissey and Tapper called him on the totally baseless nature of the response, and Glenn Reynolds summarized concisely what a lot of people are no doubt thinking: “perhaps the best reason to vote against Obama is to spare the country an administration that reflexively characterizes any criticism as racist.”
    Obama is just incredibly thin-skinned and has gotten progressively more full of himself as the campaign has worn on. It’s now reached the point where maybe he can’t imagine any basis but racism for criticizing his thin qualifications and accomplishments, his disastrous national security ideas and economic proposals, or his left-wing extremism on social issues. It can’t be him; it must be us.

  3. Crank,
    I don’t know how far back you go as a general election historian, but can you remember any general election candidate as thin-skinned as Obama? I’m a student of history, and I can’t. I’ve read quite a bit abot Pres. Truman, and he was a pretty sensitive fellow when it came to criticism. Obama rivals him. Can yopu remember a year ago approached a reporter and told him/her he didn’t appreciate the comment about his ears. He told that person not to do it again! That’s just one example! You’d have to think that by now his aides have told him to do a better job of rolling with the punches. His sensitivity to criticism is an obvious character flaw, similar to McCain’s temper. To this point, Obama has not received anything remotely close to the kind of criticism from the press corp that Clinton and Bush did. It makes you wonder how well he will handle this as president (even more so if the mainstream media will have the nerve to criticize Pres. Obama about anything!).

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