Today, I took my always accurate one week pre-polling on my way home. This polling has proven right on point for popular vote prediction in local or national races. It involves driving and counting the bumer stickers for one party versus another. Well, 4 years ago Houston Texas where I lived was awash with W - logo for Bushie..this time, McCain stickers are hard to find. I know, he is not from Texas- but we are also a dark , very dark red state. Well, the margin of the count is usually a good redictor in percentage of vote margin...I came up with 3 point advantage for Barack. I think this is a 52-49-1 election.I had posted these thoughts on how this election is shaping up...
The problem with the McCain camp is that right from day one they have allowed their own sense of inferiority complex drive their tactic, thereby making them lose sight of the larger strategy for winning. It has made their message erratic, their goal at best mendacious and their campaign seriously smacking of amateurish. Here are few examples of this complex manifesting;1. the inferiority complex of McCain campaign-Pushed McCain to try at the first night Obama won the nomination to give an Obama like speech in front of a green ugly banner...let us just say it flopped.2. Pushed McCain to taunt Obama on foreign trips, which Obama made and of course was such an outstanding success it gave Obama the summer stay in polls he needed.3.Pushed McCain camp to adopt Obama's change stance instead of going with something that is authentically McCain; of course, from "leader we can trust", to "change you deserve", to "country first" - one has lost track of McCain's slogan for his campaign....trying so hard to be Obama. - 4.Made McCain taunt Obama as a celebrity while at the same time pushing his own narcissistic "country first" theme and yes, Pushed McCain to try to upstage this celebrity he first loathed, but is of course really envious of by choosing a celebrity of his own as Veep-Palin immediately after Obama's speech just to rain on my man's parade. That strategic blunder is now hurting him with the middle5. .Pushed McCain to taunt Obama on debates and town halls just to highlight his own limted strenght only to flop when the debate held...utter disaster on expectation setting-6. Pushed McCain camp to make an horrible strategic error of building an entire convention on biography at a time of dire economic trouble just to match Obama's larger than life story. I submit that if McCain had spent half of the convention disassociating himself from Bush- he would have been in a much better place today7..Pushed McCain to seek to dislodge Obama from the daily news cycle by creating news with his erratic moves- concentrating on winning daily news cycle instead of getting a coherent message out; well, bad news is not good news.
__A friend also had this running commentary on NVS...similar and a follow up to my thesis; it is a beautiful submission and I enjoyed it..
McCain on the other hand is instinctively dependent on tactics, perhaps because of his military background. He conceived of certain set-piece situations and fashioned reactions and talking points to meet them. The main disadvantage of such an approach is that if you underrate your opponent or assume he’s going to do certain things, if any of these does not happen, you end up leaving your opponent with the initiative and the golden chance of framing the campaign. Obama saw that weakness early and made McCain to be reactive, constantly harrying him away from initiating controllable actions of his own. And when McCain reacts to drag Obama into being defensive, the latter simply ignores him or leaves him and his team to be devoured by the press, with the latter already angered by the unprovoked belligerence of McCain and his posse in their failed attempt at intimidation. One strategic plank of Obama’s campaign has been to continue to lure McCain into meaningless bouts of almighty whining. That is why all the major mistakes McCain had been forced to make, including those Busanga listed have been Obama-induced.
To add to that list, McCain’s Palin’s choice was a mistake induced by Obama’s well-calculated avoidance of the pressure of choosing Hillary as running-mate. McCain left his comfort zone to take the bait of a mythical Hillary 18 million voters and landed an albatross known as Sarah Palin, who today is actually a bigger problem for his campaign than Obama! Another forced mistake was to lure McCain into saying he was going to talk about Ayers to his face at the last Presidential debate. McCain shouldn’t have taken the bait. Once he began to speak about that at the debate, people began to see him as really having nothing else to offer in terms of the real issues facing the nation as per the bad economic situation developing. More importantly, the Ayers angle could not sell because it is linked to the very divisive Vietnam issue. For McCain, because of his personal history with Vietnam, such an angle diminishes him in pursuit of a presidency that is meant to heal those wounds as it places him at the heart of the culture war. The fact that Mr Ayers is an American citizen today contributing positive ideas to the intellectual and social well-being of society does not help McCain.Another thing was the way Obama forced him to make the mistake of ‘suspending’ his campaign. Obama proposed a joint statement on the economic situation then, calculating that McCain would want to undermine the Democratic majority in Congress by doing one-upmanship in an attempt to seize leadership over the issue. McCain fell for it. Joe Klein of Time magazine has recounted how Obama was under pressure to follow suit and suspend his campaign as well. We all know his decision and how that has been the singular most important factor in winning over swing voters who began to see the McCain campaign as more gimmicky than substantive.
In contrast, Obama’s quiet but commanding leadership of the Democratic Congress throughout the episode began to undermine the claim of inexperience. His calmness began to be interpreted as what is needed at a time McCain was seen as disruptive. Once the administration began to listen to his proposals and negotiate on them, people began to feel he possesses the leadership qualities to see America through the tough times. He’s also used real guile to blunt the race issue on his own side while making it an albatross for McCain. Of course, he was aware early that despite McCain’s supposed high idealism at the beginning of the campaign, the old man was going to ultimately succumb to the culture warriors within the GOP. Obama simply left him to the natural adversaries of all culture warriors – the big-city ‘elitist’ press around the coasts. He stoked that fire expertly with well aimed comments as when he talked about not being like any of past leaders whose faces are on the dollar or when he keeps emphasizing the erratic nature of McCain’s campaign or talking about pig and lipstick without mentioning Palin, all of which had the Republicans in all sorts of contortions.
Underlining all this is Obama’s strategy of linking McCain with Bush and the economic and political failures of the past eight years. His much more people-friendly tax and health policies made anything McCain was going to throw at him immaterial. The discipline of his campaign, the solidity of his organization and the way he exploits technology positively contrasts his campaign with McCain. And, of course, his message appeals to the young who wants change and the old who craves a return to economic and social stability.