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Note to the Democratic Presidential Candidate: Man-Up and Start Swinging

(NOTE FROM PAM: I added my two cents to Victor’s post, along with the Obama ads — they are out now — below the fold.)

As of this morning, the Obama campaign will begin unveiling two new ads aimed at reclaiming momentum from the McCain campaign and challenging the republican’s credentials to be President.  The Obama camp will begin criticizing John McCain for, among other things, not knowing how to send e-mail.

WHAT?  I’m confused.  The line we are being asked to swallow is “Obama takes tougher stance” but the campaign is talking about how “John McCain doesn’t know how to email.”  WTF!Who in the Obama camp signed off on this drivel?  This is a presidential campaign, not a bake sale.  Barack — man up and start swinging.  Where are the attacks on McCain’s LACK of foreign policy experience?  He was a POW, great, but what has he done for us lately?  The answer is: backed a surge that cost American lives and delivered nothing but Iraqi political squabbling, a promise to send America into a war with Russia – over Georgia!, and an American economy in tatters.  Why are you not attacking him on this?  Why are you wasting your time, and our campaign contributions, on this “email” ad?

Where are the photos of Americans in body bags interspersed between images of Iraqis in suits divvying up the spoils of their oil profits?  Where are the photos of little old ladies being frisked in security lines?  Where are the ads featuring headlines about an overstretched, over used, under staffed military being called to expand its presence in Afghanistan (and now Georgia)? Where are the images of soldiers, living in substandard housing and coming home to rundown hospitals?  Where are the images of children crying as their mothers and fathers deploy on a 4th and 5th tour of duty?

The point of this campaign is change, correct?  So, what are we changing?  I need you to remind me.  I need you to pull at my heartstrings.  I am scared and I need you to be reminded of it.  I am angry and I need you to feed it.  I want, I need, change…so give it to me.

To do this your campaign needs to stop being clever and start being visceral.  Enough about “email,” this campaign is about war, the economy, and change.  Now get out there and win this damn thing!

NOTE FROM PAM: First, the ads are now out of the box, so you can weigh in on the content:

Real Change

We’ve heard a lot of talk about change this year.  The question is, change to what? To me, change is a government that doesn’t let banks and oil companies rip off the American people.  Change is when we finally fix health care instead of just talking about it.

Change is giving tax breaks to middle class families instead of companies that send jobs overseas. Change is a president who brings people together. Read the Obama Plan for real change (

I’m Barack Obama, and I approved this message because this year, change has to be more than a slogan.  


1982.  John McCain goes to Washington. Things have changed in the last 26 years.  But McCain hasn’t. He admits he still doesn’t know how to use a computer, can’t send an email.  

Still doesn’t understand the economy. And favors two hundred billion in new tax cuts for corporations, but almost nothing for the middle class.  

After one President who was out of touch…

We just can’t afford more of the same.

BARACK:  I’m Barack Obama and I approved this message.  


Here’s my “on the one hand…on the other hand” response to Victor’s post…

I think the first ad is weak, because it is obvious, but vague. As Victor said, this is a perfect opportunity to go after McCain on Iraq and foreign policy — not only has he blundered by saying he’s willing to stay 100 years there, but his vice president’s grasp of the issues (bombs away on Russia) is reckless. Is this the promised McCain foreign policy — endless wars, dangerous lack of diplomacy and more of embarraassing shooting from the hip on the world stage?

The GOP knows how to play the fear card; what we’ve been hearing from McCain/Palin should frighten every family with a draft-age child. This is an easy one that Obama missed an opportunity to capitalize on.

On “Still”, I’m not sure how you make the best use of McCain’s pathetic lack of computer skills in 30 seconds. What it appears to be on one hand, is a stab at saying the man’s too damn fossilized to be president without actually saying it. What it doesn’t do is articulate why a presiden’ts lack of ability to read email and understand basic computing technology that most Americans understand will have a direct impact on his decision-making — and by extension their lives will be affected by that deficit.

I can easily see a lot of Luddites out there who could care less about whether McCain can email. After all, GWB knew how to use email, and he chose not to because it leaves an electronic paper trail. Obviously many at the Bush White House also knew enough about email and technology to use RNC email domains and that if you just “lose” or destroy the hard drives, you can cover your political and legal asses. The commercial just doesn’t give the legitimate charge a laser focus.

The problem is that the latest Obama commercials are not “home stretch” commercials. The Dems seem to make the same fatal mistake in presidential elections — appealing to people’s heads, not their hearts and emotions. We want to believe that the majority of Americans are political junkies, when in reality a sizeable chunk are low-information voters. It’s not like these folks are going to flip a switch and watch newschannels 24/7 till election day to bone up on the policy positions of the candidates at this point.

For instance, where is the commercial about the future of the Supreme Court and the trashing of civil liberties under Bush/McCain? Certainly the bright folks on Obama’s team can craft an easy to understand message of the perils of giving in to emotions and fear mongering. There is ample footage of McCain and the GOP using “9/11” and the terror alert as a fear card to sway voters. Call them out on it, because if you don’t, they will use it again.

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Victor Maldonado

Victor Maldonado