Obama's Cool vs. McCain's AngryWith less than a month to go until Election Day, Barack Obama and John McCain are pegging their hopes on two very different campaign strategies. Obama is waging a ground war to get out the vote, while McCain is lobbing grenades at his opponent’s character. Which tack wins in November will say as much about Americans as it does about the two candidates.

The two camps’ approaches have come into stark relief over the last few days. On Saturday, Greg Strimple, a top adviser to McCain, dimwittedly announced to the Washington Post that “We are looking forward to turning a page on this financial crisis and getting back to discussing Mr. Obama's aggressively liberal record and how he will be too risky for Americans.” Then the surrogates were unleashed on the Sunday talk-show circuit to stoke the fear about Obama’s association with Weather Underground cofounder Bill Ayers. Here’s a quick-and-dirty video roundup from the weekend smearfest by TPM:

Sarah Palin has beaten the same drum on the stump, saying Obama was “palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.” And in Bill Kristol’s column in the New York Times today, she resurrected—at the conservative shill’s prodding—the specter of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

I pointed out that Obama surely had a closer connection to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright than to Ayers — and so, I asked, if Ayers is a legitimate issue, what about Reverend Wright?

She didn’t hesitate: “To tell you the truth, Bill, I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more, because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that — with, I don’t know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn’t get up and leave — to me, that does say something about character. But, you know, I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up.”

And in advance of Tuesday’s debate, McCain unleashed his own vitriol. “Who is the real Barack Obama?” McCain asked a cheering crowd in Albuquerque, tipping his hand to show what will surely be the strategy from now until November 4: Scare people away from this Barack (Hussein) Obama. 

Ron Rayborn
10/12/2008 8:43:28 PM

If Cathy truly is a journalist, then she knows that the problems aren't Democrats or Republicans but the lack of a third party that speaks the truth about the reality that the media is controlled by six, yes six major corporations. Does she truly believe that any of these six major corporations treat news fairly and honestly or due they insure that the public hears what they want them to hear, period. In 1983 there were 50 corporations owning the same media outlets that the six now control. Do you honestly believe we will hear any truths that point the finger where the real blame lies? Especially when that blame lies at the feet of corporate America? One example of how corporations have the power is Bechtal Corporation, after the World Bank told Bolivia that no loans would be given that government for water treatment plants UNLESS it was privatized At that point Bechtal Corp. bought all water treatment rights in that country, including the peoples right to gather RAIN water!! What kind of image of Americans does this give to Bolivians?

Cally Carswell
10/10/2008 4:22:40 PM

As Jonathan Martin puts it: "John McCain is trying to run two campaigns at once." http://www.politico.com/blogs/jonathanmartin/1008/McCain_camp_pushes_what_they_want_to_and_have_to.html?showall Unfortunately, the dirty one is just getting dirtier and aimed at appealing to the worst in us. On a side note, here in Minnesota, Al Franken and Norm Coleman are in engaged in what's been called one of the most negative Senate races in the country. But now Norm says he's pulling all negative ads. http://www.politico.com/blogs/scorecard/1008/Coleman_No_more_negative_ads.html?showall Will he pull all negative ads like McCain wouldn't attack Obama on Bill Ayers? We'll see. It seems a little disingenuous at this point. We've already sat through months of negative ads from both Coleman and Franken. What's another three weeks?

10/10/2008 3:25:15 PM

McCain needs to turn his attention back to the economy and show how the Democrats' social engineering efforts led to the tanking of this economy through demands that Freddie Mac and Fannie loosen their lending standards, with Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Bill Clinton, Franklin Raines and Johnson at the lead of this fiasco. Then everyone piled on. emocrats refused any attempt to regulate these practices and fined those in the banking industry who wouldn't give loans to unqualified buyers. Some, such as Dodd, even took espcially favorable loans for himself. That was probably criminal. This is what happens when government tinkers with the economy to achieve what they see are "good ends" of affordable housing so they can essentially buy votes. Instead, it has the reverse result, destroying the economy and the subprime mortgage home buyers with no assets are worse off than before. And they refuse to take responsibility for it. Frank's parter Moses was even in charge of creating risky financial mortgage loans for multi-family units at Fannie Mae. He made out like a the bandit he was. The media has not done its job covering Obama's background, sweeping it under the rug. Obama doesn't have to attack McCain because he's got the media to do that, while it gives Obama and Biden a pass. I'm a journalist, but I'm ashamed of what the profession has become.

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