The New York Times ran a piece not long ago that essentially called Obama a girlie-man. In fact one of the Dems interviewed in that story proclaimed that he was so soft and sweet, that he would be America’s First Woman President. Then National Review ran a couple of pieces about how “real men” won’t vote for Obama, one being tongue-in-cheek, the other a more serious analysis about it. Here’s a little of the second.
Obama’s statements, attitude and demeanor as well as his policies suggest a weakness not seen in a presidential nominee in generations— at least since Adlai Stevenson. Even when Obama tries to talk tough it sounds either silly or plaintive.
It may say something unflattering about human nature but everybody gets it. However unsophisticated, it’s as basic as this: any ten year-old kid in my neighborhood in inner-city Cleveland would prefer that Hillary Clinton escort them to the corner Seven Eleven than Barack Obama.
In that vein, today’s Washington Post has a story, “Obama Hits Back, Too Softly For Some.”
The parries come more than a week after his Republican opponent launched a string of increasingly personal attacks on Obama. McCain has said that his rival would lose a war in order to win a campaign, accused him of going to a gym rather than visiting wounded troops, and, while aides asserted that he had “played the race card,” hinted that Obama has a messiah complex and portrayed him as a celebrity comparable to Paris Hilton or Britney Spears. That final line of assault continued yesterday with a new McCain ad, again mocking Obama as “the biggest celebrity in the world.”
Such attacks have raised worries among Democratic strategists — haunted by John F. Kerry’s 2004 run and Al Gore’s razor-thin loss in 2000 — that Obama has not responded in kind with a parallel assault on McCain’s character. Interviews with nearly a dozen Democratic strategists found those concerns to be widespread, although few wished to be quoted by name while Obama’s campaign is demanding unity.
Like that last little part. Obama demands unity. Because nobody criticizes The Messiah. Isn’t there a difference between “staying on message” and “demanding unity.” I think Americans usually prefer the former, but I think Demanding Unity was a favorite political tool of the Soviets, if memory serves.
So the Democrat graybeards suggest maybe Obama should go after McCain on some of his weaknesses.
Obama’s latest ad may be his toughest yet, using words and images to link McCain to President Bush and concluding: “The original maverick? Or just more of the same?”
But Democratic strategists said that it is nothing like the character attacks by McCain, and that the response could be far nastier, perhaps raising McCain’s ethical scrape in the Keating Five savings and loan scandal, mocking his family wealth and designer shoes, or highlighting his age.
Yeah, go after the shoes. McCain is doomed once people realize how much those wingtips cost.
But here is the rub. Looks like Obama, who insists on complete control of the entire Democrat political apparatus, has no one to blame but himself.
A liberal advertising consultant said: “There’s frustration there because they’re watching these childish ad campaigns, and they know exactly how to answer it, but they’re powerless to do so.”
Powerless, that is, because most of the independent groups that would have taken the lead in such an independent campaign have been sidelined by Obama’s insistence that Democratic donors channel their money to him, rather than outside groups. Obama’s efforts have succeeded in maintaining message discipline in a campaign predicated on what the senator from Illinois has called a new kind of politics.
But that has hamstrung what would have been one of the three fronts on which Democrats had hoped to wage the 2008 campaign, said Donna Brazile, Gore’s 2000 campaign manager. [snip]
But the surrogate groups remain dormant, Brazile said, because of Obama’s decision to cut them out.
“There are no independent groups. Everybody’s walked off the field,” said Tom Matzzie, who left MoveOn.org to form Progressive Media USA specifically to launch a massive attack against McCain. The group has since disbanded for lack of funding.
If Obama’s idea of hardball is smacking McCain across the face with fancy white gloves, he’s oblivious as to how hard the former POW may punch him back.