Thursday, March 6, 2008

Words of Advice for Barack

With the Obama train slowing down On Tuesday after setbacks in Ohio, Texas, and Rhode Island, it is easy to dismiss this as I have as simply the math doesn't work. Which it doesn't. Barack does need to take a Clinton comeback seriously. So here are 10 suggestions for Barack on how to close out this campaign:

  1. On Tuesday the 11th while Mississippi is handing you a resounding thumping of a victory, move in to your new temporary new home in Pennsylvania. You should not leave the state until the last vote has been counted on April 22nd. I would say move your wife and kids to Pennsylvania too but kids can be distracting. Keep Michelle, she can be useful.
  2. Go on offense. Let your advisers and surrogates unleash on Hillary. Everything should be on the table except Bil's indiscretions. Tax documents and White House papers should be key talking points.
  3. Keep on message. Let your people do the negatives, you need to stay up positive. Drawing policy contrasts in a forceful manner is ok. Criticizing her failures is ok. Letting her make you lose your cool is a mistake. Maybe the best line of attack is coupling her failed healthcare attempts in the 90s and her Iraq vote to show when she has been given opportunities she has failed.
  4. Bring back the rallies. You have a lot of time in Pennsylvania. You can have inspirational large rallies and also smaller scale policy forums. Don't try to be wonky in front of large crowds. People want to be inspired. Don't let Hillary's criticism of "just words" keep you from using your strength to an advantage.
  5. Open up with the media. Your media horde is getting restless. They are tired of no access and are reflecting it in their stories. The media carried the McCain candidacy on their backs in New Hampshire and it paid off. Without the open access and camaraderie with the media, he never would have gotten all the favorable press and he would be playing shuffleboard with his friends.
  6. Make new friends. Having John Kerry and Claire McCaskill stump for you in Pennsylvania won't be as effective as tapping the locals. In absence of local politicians, look elsewhere. What is Dr J and Steve Carlton (he doesn't like the press either)doing these days? How about Franco Harris or Mike Schmidt? Oh wait, Mike Schmidt cries alot, he must be supporting Hillary.
  7. Dial O for Oprah. A few days of Oprah closer to election day may help with women votes and older people show need I remind you are not voting for you in big numbers. Bill Clinton spent much of the last few weeks stopping along the Texas/Mexico border and doing rallies standing on the back of a pickup. I don't think Oprah is going to stand on the back of a pick up, but she can do smaller more personal rallies rather than huge impersonal rallies which are not suited for her style.
  8. Don't forget about Bush. While John McCain is your opponent, he is very well liked and respected. Go after George Bush, draw favorable contrasts to him. It's like fishing out a barrel, it's too easy. Incidentally, this should be the sole focus of the general election. Draw the contrast to Bush and make McCain and Bush policies indistinguishable.
  9. Do not personally respond to every Clinton attack. Let your people do it. When you are on defense, you look defensive. Nobody cares how Axelrod and Plouffe look. Come to think of it nobody knows what they look like so let them handle it.
  10. Draw in Bill. Bait him by occasionally talking about some of the unpleasant stuff of his administration like pardons, Kennedy bedroom, etc. If he gets backed into a corner, he may off the reservation.
Nothing too revolutionary about any of those. Good common sense. You are leading by every account but going into the prevent defense never works. You occasionally need to go on offense. It may also be a good idea to select your VP choice (let's face it, it's not going to be Clinton).

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