Freedom from Blog

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Briar Patch

Is the Obama camp missing a big opportunity? McCain is bashing Obama again over his rejection of the "town hall" series idea. But doesn't this look a lot like the recent "Obama's hasn't been to Iraq in years" whine? I.e., a good chance for Obama to deflate expectations and then exceed them? Shouldn't Obama play into this a bit more? You'd think his team would be going around telling every reporter who will listen that town halls are McCain home turf: Johnny Mac's best venue and O-man's worst.

Better yet, this is true, if misleading. Although town halls (and debates generally) may be Obama's weakest platform, that's mostly because he's so dazzling in most others, while McCain's "strength" emerges only when compared to his set speech awfulness. In head to head, I'd bet that Obama fares pretty well. But the poor mouthing would still work because it has surface plausibility. Plus, if there's anything to be learned from Bush, it is that in debates expectations are most of the battle. Obama is suffering now from the costs of high expectations, mocked by McCain as "the One." This could be a good way to counter that. Given the recent spate of harshly negative ads from Saint John, Obama might even suggest he's afraid Johnny will go Mike Tyson on him and take a chunk out of those funny ears.

Side Note: please ignore any "race card" tomfoolery from the Br'er Rabbit reference in the title. I know the Disney flick was pretty racist, but the stories were often great and the source material was actually from a southern racial progressive.


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