Friday, September 12, 2008

Obama Campaign Comes Out Swinging - Sort Of

Obama's campaign came out swinging this morning, sort of, launching two new ads and campaign manager David Plouffe has sent out a stinging memo about gearing up for the rest of the campaign.

In new ads out Friday morning, the Obama campaign makes fun of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) because he “can’t send an e-mail.” And Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) insists in a personal appeal to voters: “This year, change has to be more than a slogan.”

It’s part of a new aggressiveness by the former frontrunner, who’s suddenly scrambling to contain an insurgent McCain-Palin ticket.
Eager to regain momentum, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe cast the recalibrated campaign as a relaunch for the final 53 days: “Today is the first day of the rest of the campaign.”

Obama has been all about change, and polls show this is a change election. But starting at last week’s Republican National Convention, McCain tried to eat Obama’s delicious lunch by claiming to be the real candidate of change – someone who would do it, not just preen about it.

In a memo to reporters and supporters, Plouffe is vowing to seize back that mantle of change after what he called a series of Republican “smears, lies, and cynical attempts to distract from the issues that matter to the American people.”

“We will respond with speed and ferocity to John McCain’s attacks and we will take the fight to him, but we will do it on the big issues that matter to the American people,” Plouffe wrote. “We will not allow John McCain and his band of Karl Rove disciples to make this big election about small things.”

Obama also released two new 30-second ads - "Still" and "Real Change" - that, as the campaign put it, explain “What Change Is and What It Isn’t.”

The first ad tries to put meat on the bones of change by urging viewed to “Read the Obama plan for REAL change –”

Obama says into the camera: “We’ve heard a lot of talk about change this year. The question is, change to what? To me, change is a government that doesn’t let banks and oil companies rip off the American people. Change is when we finally fix health care instead of just talking about it. Change is giving tax breaks to middle class families instead of companies that send jobs overseas. Change is a president who brings people together. I’m Barack Obama, and I approved this message because this year, change has to be more than a slogan.”

In the second ad, an announcer says: “Things have changed in the last 26 years. But McCain hasn’t. He admits he still doesn’t know how to use a computer, can’t send an email. Still doesn’t understand the economy. And favors two hundred billion in new tax cuts for corporations, but almost nothing for the middle class. After one President who was out of touch, we just can’t afford more of the same.”

In a July interview with The New York Times, McCain said aides “show me Drudge,” but said he didn’t e-mail: “I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself.”

Some Democratic strategists were surprised that Obama was on camera responding to the McCain campaigns attack over the “lipstick” remark, and Plouffe’s memo suggested that Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) will be playing the traditional running mate’s role of doing the attacking.

“Senator Biden will be integral to that effort, both in pushing back on the lies that we’ll continue to see from our opponents, and in keeping the debate focused on delivering for everyday Americans,” Plouffe wrote.
On further reflection, I'm sorry guys, but this is not enough.

First of all, the negative ad from Obama, sucks. Seriously. If they are going to do negative ads they need to get someone who knows how to do them. I doubt anyone really cares if McCain can use a computer. This is not going to convince voters of anything.

Second, talking to the camera is fine, but the people who aren't idiots already know that McCain is a fraud. The GOP is beating Obama at the emotional level, and a silly ad about 1982 and computers is not going to change it.

I'm really trying to give David Plouffe continued benefit of the doubt, but man, he's making it hard.

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