When you look at it up close, it appears that McCain has Obama on the ropes these days, and Obama's taken a month to really start responding. Looked at from a distance, though, it appears that the Obama campaign always had a very specific plan and timeline, and nothing that McCain has done has really altered it.We'll see. I don't think there is any question that the panic from Obama's supporters is a tad overblown.
Obama wrapped up the nomination, gave some tough speeches about McCain and foreign policy, then went to Iraq, Afghanistan and Europe, then went on vacation while the stump speech and the message were re-tooled to be more economically populist and also more aggressive against McCain's economic statements/policies.
This hasn't happened because McCain has been attacking; this seems to have been a deliberate strategy, one that could have been easily predicted in advance.
So, rather than allow himself to get sucked in to a lose-lose dynamic during the summer, where he and McCain could hack each other to pieces while making no appreciable gains, the campaign decided: the summer is for shoring up the foreign policy/national security cred. The fall (beginning with the convention, and going through November) is all about the economy. Now, poll-wise, it's true, Obama made no appreciable gains, but I'm sure they feel that the foreign trip was was absolutely vital to the campaign, and the summer was the only time such a trip would make sense. He had to go. I'm sure they anticipated taking some small hits in the polls, especially with the trip and with Obama's vacation, where McCain had the campaign trail to himself. Now, it's campaign season.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Obama sticking to his game plan?
From "plugged in reader" of Marc Ambinder,