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TheGladiator

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: September 12, 2008, 01:02:56 AM

This may get interesting....

 Obama plans sharper tone as party frets
By Adam Nagourney and Jeff Zeleny
Friday, September 12, 2008

Senator Barack Obama will intensify his assault against Senator John McCain, with new television advertisements and more forceful attacks by the candidate and surrogates beginning Friday morning, as he confronts an invigorated Republican presidential ticket and increasing nervousness in the Democratic ranks.

McCain's choice of Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate and the resulting jolt of energy among Republican voters appear to have caught Obama and his advisers by surprise and added to concern among some Democrats that the Obama campaign was not pushing back hard enough against Republican attacks in a critical phase of the race.

Some Democrats said Obama needed to move to seize control of the campaign and to block McCain from snatching away from him the message that he was the best hope to bring change to Washington.

After back-to-back attack ads by McCain, including one that misleadingly accused Obama of endorsing sex education for kindergarten students, the Obama campaign is planning to sharpen attacks on McCain and Palin in an effort to counter McCain's attempt to present himself as the candidate of change with his choice of Palin. The new tone is to be presented in a speech by Obama in New Hampshire and backed up by new television advertisements and appearances across the country by supporters.

In addition, advertising themes will be pay equity for women, an issue that has particular resonance as the campaigns battle for female voters, and a more pointed linking of McCain to President George W. Bush and Republicans in Washington.

But Obama's aides said they were confident with the course of the campaign. They said that, other than making some shifts around the edges, particularly in response to McCain's effort to seize the change issue from Obama, they were not planning any major deviation from a strategy that called for a steady escalation of attacks on McCain as the race heads toward the debates.

That response is characteristic for a campaign that has presented itself as disciplined and unflappable and is reminiscent of the way Obama's campaign reacted a year ago when it came under fire from allies who said it was not being tough enough in going after Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"We're sensitive to the fluid dynamics of the campaign, but we have a game plan and a strategy," said Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe. "We're familiar with this. And I'm sure between now and Nov. 4 there will be another period of hand-wringing and bed-wetting. It comes with the territory."

Still, Democrats outside the campaign suggested Obama should be urgently working to regain control of the message.

"The Obama message has been disrupted in the last week," said Representative Artur Davis, Democrat of Alabama. "It's a time for Democrats to focus on what the fundamentals are in this election."

Phil Singer, who was a press secretary for Clinton in her primary campaign against Obama, said, "The Obama people need to reboot and figure out ways to make the McCain-Bush argument newsworthy again."

The uneasiness among Democrats is the result of a confluence of factors in the week since McCain accepted his party's nomination in St. Paul. The selection of Palin became the defining event of McCain's convention, revving up the conservative base and drawing the spotlight away from Obama.

McCain's increasingly aggressive campaign has sought to put Obama on the defensive in each news cycle, using any development at hand, like Obama's colloquial comment this week about putting "lipstick on a pig," to keep attention away from Democratic messages about the economy and the similarities between McCain and Bush.

And a series of quick polls taken after the Republican convention have suggested that Obama has lost support among white women and independent voters. Polls taken so close to major political events are notoriously unreliable, but Democrats remember what happened in 2004, when Republicans used the period right after Senator John Kerry's nomination to undercut him with a series of attacks.

By every indication, Obama's aides underestimated the impact that McCain's choice of Palin would have on the race. Obama and his campaign have seemed flummoxed in trying to figure out how to deal with her. His aides said they were looking to the news media to debunk the image of her as a blue-collar reformer, even as they argued that her power to help McCain was overstated.

"Everyone was astonished that she drew 9,000 people to Lancaster the other night," said Obama's senior strategist, David Axelrod. "But we drew 10,000 people there last week."

"They got a transient boost from the sort of imagery surrounding her selection," Axelrod said. "But I think things will settle in. She will be a candidate and not just a symbol."

Beyond that, Obama's aides said they had also been taken aback by the newfound aggressiveness of the revamped McCain campaign under Steve Schmidt, who has played an increasingly powerful role since last summer. Even as the aides have denounced the tactics as unsavory, they acknowledge that McCain is running a more effective campaign than he was a month ago.
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In the midst of all this, Obama had a private lunch on Thursday with someone he battled with for much of the year but who knows how to put the Republicans on the defensive: former President Bill Clinton. Discussion topics, aides said, included how Obama might handle Palin in the days ahead.

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http://www.iht.com/bin/printfriendly.php?id=16090072


cyberdude557

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#1 : September 12, 2008, 02:44:51 AM

Obama better do something different....this appears to be McCain's race to lose at this point. A new poll out of Washington state has Obama up by 4 points. Obama will carry Washington, that's not the problem. The problem is that 1 month ago Obama was leading in the same poll by 12 points!
If McCain/Palin closed in 8 points in Washington, Oregon may be a dead heat.

But even more importantly, Michigan is a dead-heat. Pennsylvannia is a dead heat. Wisconsin only has Obama up by 3 points. These are states Obama should have had wrapped up a long time ago in a democrat year like this. So he is definetly struggling.

And you can be sure that Steve Schmidt has had some tips given to him by Karl Rove. Rove's fingerprints are on some of this stuff that McCain has been doing.

Lamond

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#2 : September 12, 2008, 06:07:08 AM

That's why McCain will lose. Karl Rove tactics.


cyberdude557

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#3 : September 12, 2008, 06:11:45 AM

That's why McCain will lose. Karl Rove tactics.

If Im not mistaken, and by all means please correct me if I am wrong, but those "Karl Rove tactics" got GWB elected...twice.

Lamond

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#4 : September 12, 2008, 06:19:53 AM

Care to bet on the hat trick?

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