by John Hawkins | August 20, 2008 9:51 am
If you’re Barack Obama, you’ve got to be starting to sweat. According to Reuters/Zogby, John McCain has gone from 7 points behind you last month to 5 points ahead of you with likely voters. Worse yet, you’re at 41% in the polls, which may even be worse than it looks because of the Bradley Effect.
The news probably isn’t going to get better anytime soon either. McCain is striking home with negative ads portraying you as a “celebrity,” he just ran over you like a truck at the Saddleback forums, and not only is the GOP Convention running after the Democratic convention, the debates are still coming up and you’re not too anxious to go toe-to-toe with McCain.
Still, it’s not as if you’re out of this thing. You’ve going to have a significant cash advantage over McCain, the press loves you, and the enthusiasm level of your supporters dwarfs that of the Republicans.
So, how do you get back on track? With making some sharp moves that can turn this election back in your favor.
1) Select Hillary Clinton as your Vice-President to reunite the Democratic Party and start publicly inviting seasoned old hands to join your administration IF you win (A little humbleness would be helpful here given your reputation for arrogance). Publicly getting men like Colin Powell, Sam Nunn, Joe Biden, John Kerry to say that they would join your cabinet would certainly make the public breathe a little easier about putting you in the White House.
2) One of the core parts of your appeal was supposed to be racial reconciliation. You were going to be the candidate to put race in the country’s rear view mirror. So, live up to that promise and say that you now oppose Affirmative Action and would like to see the policy ended when you become President. There’s nothing that would do more to reassure the public that you mean what you say about uniting the public than getting rid of that racist policy that seems to make less and less sense the longer it goes on.
3) The war has turned back into a 50/50 issue and your attempts to portray John McCain as “another Bush” aren’t working on a guy who has a well earned reputation as a “maverick.” So, your attack ads against him are failing.
Instead, what you should try to do is turn the election from a referendum on you into a referendum on the Republican Party. What the American people think of John McCain isn’t the issue. Instead, what the American people need to think about when they go into that voting booth is: do we want to reward the Republican Party with 4 more years in the White House? John McCain may be a fine fellow, but if the American people put the GOP back in charge, aren’t they saying “keep it up” for another 4 years?
Turn this election into a referendum on the Republican Party, not on you, and it will help your chances immeasurably.
PS: Inevitably, when I write posts like this, I get people in the comments section going, “Don’t give them advice! What if they take it?” But, what you have to understand is that by virtue of my being a conservative Republican, my advice is not just wrong, but probably evil and part of some Rovian plot to liberals. So, they would never consider taking it, even if they thought what I was saying made perfect sense.
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