More Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Please

[ Posted Monday, September 15th, 2008 – 17:23 UTC ]

What a difference a weekend can make! Barack Obama's campaign is strongly defending themselves in the air wars, and taking the fight to John McCain. Joe Biden has found his voice on the campaign trail, giving some rousing stump speeches. And Obama himself seems to be learning the "bumpersticker" rule of political slogans; keep it short and simple! But the real highlight of the weekend had to be CBS' Face The Nation, where Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz -- a former Hillary Clinton supporter, it should be noted -- showed everyone else what a surrogate is supposed to do. She had her facts ready, she knew her issues, and she was absolutely relentless in making her points. Her performance was so strong and so well focused that it would be foolish not to immediately send her out on the campaign trail and/or to as many television interviews as she can squeeze into her schedule.

Before we go to that transcript, however, I have a few minor points to make here first. Either someone at the Obama campaign read my last Friday Talking Points column, or the ideas were just so blindingly obvious to begin with (I suspect the latter, myself). I threw out six or seven campaign ad ideas, and I'm happy to say that two of them are now up and on the air. The first was the "McCain/lobbyist" connection -- point out his campaign is being run by the varmints! Obama put out a very strong ad on this subject over the weekend. And the second was the "run some newspaper headlines about McCain's lies," which was actually strengthened by the Obama campaign, turning it into a brilliant attack on McCain's honor itself. This is exactly what needs doing, and the ad is a good one. McCain, of course, is probably going to counterattack in some way, but for the first time in a while, McCain will be the one on defense, and not Obama. That is a big deal, and Obama needs to keep the pressure up this week.

The second general point is that Obama is coming up with some good lines on the stump, which will doubtlessly make good soundbites on the news, and good ad copy as well. The best of these so far is "...if you think those lobbyists are working day and night for John McCain just to put themselves out of business, well then I've got a bridge to sell you up in Alaska." Repeat this line every chance you get. Biden is also doing a great job of coming up with these himself, but both of them are missing a rather obvious one. Last week it was disclosed that the people supposed to be watching over the oil and gas companies were actually getting sex and drugs and other goodies from the oil companies. The derisive line just writes itself: "The Bush/Cheney people were literally in bed with the oil companies!" This is so easy, it actually surprises me that I haven't heard it yet.

And the last general point I have made before, but with only seven weeks left until the election, I have to drive it home every chance I get. MINE MCCAIN'S VOTING RECORD! The Obama camp has been slowly starting to do this over the weekend, but they need to get a lot better at it very quickly. This is basic politics, folks. Look over your opponent's voting record, and paint a picture of him using selected votes. Obama and Biden both need to have a lot more of these at their fingertips when speaking. Maybe they're holding some back for the debates, but they need to lean on this a lot more.

OK, on to the Face The Nation appearance of Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Host Bob Schieffer had four women on the show this Sunday, I guess so nobody could cry "sexism" from any of the comments made. In any case, guests on the show were Representative Debbie Wasserman, a Democrat from Florida; Jane Swift, former Republican governor of Massachusetts; Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano from Arizona; and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican from Texas.

You can download the transcript [PDF] from the CBS site, or watch their video of the show. I've cut some of it down, but kept the key Schultz bits intact. Janet Napolitano does a good job of supporting Schultz, but it is Schultz herself that was the obvious point woman in the exchanges. Most of the Republican response was from Jane Swift, as Hutchison largely (and politely) waited until called upon to speak, rather than join in the View-like fray with the rest of them. The transcript reads a lot cleaner than it was, so if you've got the chance, watch the whole video to see the fur fly.

Schieffer started out by talking about whether Sarah Palin was being treated fairly by the media or not. After Swift's answer, he turned to Schultz.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Congresswoman Schultz, has [Sarah Palin] been asked to clear some bar that a male candidate wouldn't have been asked to clear?

REPRESENTATIVE DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ: That's just utterly ridiculous. When you have a question about a female candidate's family and whether they are going to be able to, you know, balance work and family, then I think that Governor Swift is absolutely right, that that's out of bounds. I've been asked that question as a mom trying to juggle both things and, you know, typically a male -- a male candidate wouldn't get asked that. But all Sarah Palin is being asked to respond to is whether she's up to the task, and it is absolutely fair game. And all I've seen is her being asked about her background, her experience, what qualifies her to be vice president and whether she knows anything. So the tough questions that have been asked of Sarah Palin thus far just have been about the fact that she doesn't know anything and isn't ready to be vice president. That's fair game and it has nothing to do with her gender.

SCHIEFFER: You're saying she doesn't know anything, or you're saying that's what she's been asked about?

SCHULTZ: Well, she's been asked what she knows. She's been asked to demonstrate her foreign policy knowledge, which she clearly has very little based on the Charlie Gibson interview. I mean, she didn't know what the Bush Doctrine was, she really had almost no grasp of America's foreign policy. She really knew very little about domestic policy. Quite honestly, the interview that I saw and that Americans saw on Thursday and Friday were similar to when I didn't read a book in high school and had to read the Cliffs Notes and phone in my -- and phone in my report. She's Cliff-noted her performance so far, and all of that is fair game. The American people deserve better than that. They don't deserve more of the same, which is what they're getting from John McCain and Sarah Palin right now.

Schultz, in case you missed it, is calling Palin ignorant here. Too ignorant to be vice president. Now this is what a surrogate is supposed to do!

Schieffer moved on to a hot issue that Obama has been pushing recently -- equal pay for women. He runs an excerpt of Obama's recent campaign ad on the subject, and then opens it up for discussion. Schultz refuses to be distracted by Republican talking points here, and hammers home the fact that McCain is voting against it, and Obama is voting for it.

SCHIEFFER: Well, that -- all right. But do you believe that [John McCain] supports equal pay for women?

FORMER GOVERNOR JANE SWIFT: I think that he does not believe that that is something that should be determined by endless lawsuits. But we all believe that women have an opportunity to be...

SCHULTZ: He doesn't believe it should be legislated, Governor. He doesn't believe it should be legislated.

SWIFT: He doesn't believe that we should change -- he doesn't...

SCHULTZ: He opposes the bill that would require women get equal pay for equal work.

SWIFT: It -- what he -- what he opposes...

GOVERNOR JANET NAPOLITANO: Yeah, I just -- I think he just said no, he doesn't believe in it, because he has never acted to enforce it.

SWIFT: He doesn't believe that we should...

NAPOLITANO: You know, and you can -- you can't minimize this. His record is very, very bad on this issue.

SWIFT: ...we should not extend -- he believes that we shouldn't extend forever...

SCHULTZ: He's bad on equal pay for equal work.


SWIFT: ...that we...

SCHULTZ: Bad on expanding access to children's health care.

SWIFT: I don't think that we should have...

SCHULTZ: Where is he good for women?

SCHIEFFER: I think we've got a standoff here. Let me -- between Governor Napolitano and Governor Swift. Let me go to Senator Hutchison. Do you think that John McCain supports equal pay for women?

SENATOR KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON: I know he does. I absolutely know it. Because the bill they're talking about is a bill that would extend the statute of limitations, and in this case the person who was alleged to have done the discrimination was dead, and it was years after the discrimination occurred. So what John McCain supports is equal pay for equal work, absolutely...

SCHIEFFER: All right.

HUTCHISON: ...but he's supporting a bill that would have a reasonable statute of limitations so that you can have the evidence for a fair trial. That is the issue here.

SCHIEFFER: Let me let -- let's let Congresswoman Shultz get a word in here.

SCHULTZ: What Senator Hutchinson is talking about is the Lilly Ledbetter case that the Supreme Court just decided against Lilly Ledbetter. And what we're trying to do is make sure we can pass a law that ensures that women, when they have the same job as a man, they're doing the same work, that they are entitled to equal pay. And we want to make sure that that's guaranteed in the law. Equality should be guaranteed in the law, and John McCain opposes legislation to overturn the Lilly Ledbetter decision that was just handed down...

HUTCHISON: No. No, he doesn't. No, he doesn't.

SCHULTZ: the Bush Supreme Court, which has taken a hard turn to the right. Yes, he does.


SCHULTZ: He's been -- he's on the record opposing that legislation.

HUTCHISON: No, he doesn't. No, there is -- no, there's an alternative bill.

NAPOLITANO: Well, I got to tell, you he's been in the Senate a long time.

SCHULTZ: Is he or is he not on the record opposing that legislation?

HUTCHISON: There's an alternative bill that does require the equal pay for equal work and has a reasonable statute of limitations.

SCHULTZ: No, there is no alternative legislation that ensures that women get equal pay for equal work. And John McCain opposes that bill, and that's outrageous.

HUTCHISON: Debbie, it's my bill. I know it is my bill that he supports.

SCHIEFFER: All right, I'm sorry, I have to ring the bell here.

SCHULTZ: That's why -- this was their policies which has continued. More of the same.

At this point, Schieffer (realizing he had completely lost control of his own show) jumped in with "I have to ring the bell here," and sent everyone back to their corners for a commercial break.

When he returns, he plays a McCain ad, and gives the Democrats a chance to respond. But Swift and Schultz aren't done yet on the equal pay issue. And then Schultz directly attacks Palin's honesty, in a highly effective manner.

SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, Governor Napolitano, why don't you head up the truth squad for Barack Obama like Governor Swift is heading up the one for Governor Palin. What about that?

NAPOLITANO: Well, I have to say that one of the disappointing things about this campaign have been John McCain's ad which now have been soundly criticized even by nonpartisan groups as being sorely misleading, taking comments out of context, all the things that in the past the old John McCain used to criticize. We're now seeing the rejuvenated Karl Rove-based John McCain, and we see it every day in these kinds of advertisements that really don't assist voters in making the key decision that's facing them right now, which is who should be the next president of the United States? A man who is standing with Bush 90-plus percent of the time, who has not supported, in 26 years in the Senate, equal pay and other issues affecting women? Should he be the president, or should it be Barack Obama, who has stood for all of these issues?

SCHIEFFER: Governor Swift?

SWIFT: Well, first of all, let me just say that I think that the Democrats and many folks are just outraged that John McCain would actually call them on their words that are inappropriate about Sarah Palin. And we do need to step up and say, listen, when you say things that have nothing to do with her position on issues and with her record as governor of Alaska, we are going to call you on it. And if that's painful, then we're sorry.

NAPOLITANO: Governor...

SWIFT: But I do think that the point is we are trying to determine whether or not we are going to elect John McCain and Sarah Palin, proven ability to change Washington, to bring reform to Washington; or are we going to elect Barack Obama, who on the bill that we're talking about sides with the trial lawyers.


SWIFT: One of the most powerful special interests in Washington.

SCHULTZ: On the bill that we're talking about -- Governor, on the bill that we're talking about, John McCain was the deciding vote to defeat the bill in the Senate, and Barack Obama voted for it.

SWIFT: Which is probably why the trial lawyers are giving more money to Barack Obama.

SCHULTZ: When it comes to putting up or shutting up, of course -- when it comes to who is for equal pay and proved it and who's against it, John McCain voted no and was the deciding vote, Barack Obama voted yes. And you know what? At the end of the day, Governor, the truth matters. I'm a mom, you're a mom. We both have twins. I raise my kids and I'm sure Sarah Palin raised her kids to tell the truth and that the truth is important. But when she lies about the fact that she says she went to Iraq and she didn't.

SWIFT: She...

SCHULTZ: When she says that -- repeatedly...

SWIFT: She did not lie about saying she went to Iraq.

SCHULTZ: She repeatedly -- she did. She didn't go to Iraq.

SWIFT: She visited the troops.

SCHULTZ: She went to -- she went to Ireland...

SWIFT: The general -- the general in charge...

SCHULTZ: ...for a refueling stop.

SWIFT: The general in charge said that they went to Kuwait and they went across the border. They went into Iraq...

SCHULTZ: She did not go to Iraq and the campaign said that she did. But they didn't.

SWIFT: visit troops.

SCHULTZ: They were not in Iraq.

SWIFT: That's what the general says.

SCHULTZ: She's -- outside of North America she's been to Kuwait at the border, and she stopped over in Ireland on a refueling stop. The truth matters, and she's going to get called on the truth -- so is John McCain -- for the entire campaign. Because in this country we have to make sure that we move in a new direction, and the American people are tired of the culture of corruption that has hung over the capital for far too long under Republican control.

SWIFT: Well, first of all...

SCHULTZ: We do not need more of the same.

SWIFT: ...John McCain has spent a stand-up guy on all these issues.

SCHULTZ: We need universal health care, we need...

SCHIEFFER: Let me -- may I just interrupt for a moment just to clarify, because this just came up overnight, what Congresswoman Schultz is talking about. Last night the Obama campaign put out a report that says that Sarah Palin did not go to Iraq as she has stated to visit the Alaska National Guard troops, but that she stopped at a border crossing with Kuwait and that she did not get more than a quarter of a mile inside Iraq. So that is the charge. You're saying, Governor Swift, that that's overblown?

SWIFT: I think it is overblown. The truth is she went to Kuwait to visit the troops who were going to be fighting in Iraq, she was accompanied by a general who will say they traveled into Iraq, and it has been misreported. But to say that she is lying, in all due respect to Congresswoman Schultz, is just not appropriate. She is not lying.

SCHULTZ: They say she went to Iraq, and she didn't go to Iraq. I mean, it's pretty black and white.

SWIFT: She was in Iraq, the general will tell you that they traveled into Iraq.

SCHULTZ: No. What the general said is that she never ventured beyond the border crossing. That's what they said.


SWIFT: Well...

SCHIEFFER: All right.

SCHULTZ: I mean, that's the bottom line. The truth matters.

Schieffer then wraps up the segment (Face The Nation, unlike the other Sunday shows, is only a half-hour long), and asks all four guests whether women will be the deciding factor in the election. Here are the two Democratic responses:

NAPOLITANO: Well, I agree with Senator Hutchison in that when you get to the issues that really affect women and their pocketbooks -- things like equal pay, help with child care, children's health insurance, where Senator McCain time and time again has voted against women and families and their pocketbooks -- those issues are going to begin to penetrate. And when you're talking about selecting the next president of the United States, it's those issues, ultimately, that are going to persuade the voters, and persuade them that Barack Obama really is the kind of change that we need.

SCHIEFFER: OK, Congresswoman Schultz.

SCHULTZ: Look, Bob, the issues that matter to women are, like, the ones that matter to me as a -- I'm a minivan mom. I drive my minivan around with my kids to practices and games. Cost me $77 to fill up my gas tank last week. That's real money. Women in this country want to make sure that we have a commitment from our president to invest in alternative energy research, to truly wean ourselves off our dependence on oil, not just foreign oil. There's no way that they're -- we're getting that commitment out of John McCain and Sarah Palin. They oppose expanding access to children's health care, they expose -- oppose expanding access to universal health care so that every person in America can go to the doctor when they're sick.

SCHIEFFER: OK. All right, I've got to stop you there, because...

SCHULTZ: We need a new direction for this country. Sure. I could go on and on.


SCHULTZ: It's just so important.

Please, please, anyone listening in the Obama campaign -- give us more of this woman out on the campaign trail. The more Debbie Wasserman Schultz appears out there, the better it is going to be for Obama's chances. So deploy her everywhere you can in the next seven weeks.



Cross-posted at The Huffington Post


-- Chris Weigant


18 Comments on “More Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Please”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Schultz has always been a strong debater - she really knows her stuff.

    But, Senator Obama didn't have the best "bridge" line - not by a long shot!

    I guess you must have missed this one where Biden was talking about what McCain's idea of healthcare reform was all about. McCain, you see, wants to treat employer sponsored health plans as employment income and tax it as make $40,000/year and your employee healthcare plan is worth $12,000 then you pay income tax on $52,000...just simple math really.

    Biden goes on to inform that McCain wants to give a tax credit of $5000 for a healthcare plan that may actually cost more than $12,000 and your employer may decide, in view of that, that he or she no longer needs to provide a plan.

    Biden's response..."Now, THAT'S a bridge to nowhere!"

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, ya'all got your negative campaigning... Ya'all got all the attacks and dirty campaigning and mud-slinging ya'all could have possibly hoped for.

    Now we will see if Obama's downward slide continues..

    When it does, we'll know that going negative, slinging mud and always attacking is NOT what attracted independents to Obama in the first place.

    "Ask yourself. Why do you seek the grail? Is it for his glory? Or for yours?"


    Crossposted to HuffPo

  3. [3] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Wow. I hadn't seen that article about the offshore drilling sex scandal. Resisting urge to make horrible puns. Fighting ... can't hold out much longer.

    I wonder if this just got buried in all of the news cycles about Ike.
    - David

  4. [4] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Elizabeth -

    Hey, c'mon, I mentioned Biden! Do you have any links to recent Biden speech transcripts? Call me lazy, but I'm thinking you probably have already bookmarked a few, and I'd like to read what he's been saying...

    akadjian -

    Bonus points for working in the phrase "drill, baby, drill"...

    Heh heh.


  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ya know, I am still an Obama supporter, though not nearly as enthusiastic as I was before Obama went negative..

    But, somethings are just over the top..

    I mean, seriously..

    Is it just me or does anyone else find that picture really "spooky"....


  6. [6] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    I just happened to be off yesterday with some time on my hands and I caught both Biden events in Michigan - live and in their entirety. Obama's website had some other Biden events but they don't seem to be there anymore and, last I checked the latest ones are not there...just a short clip.

    Finding a speech by the Democratic vice presidential candidate SHOULD NOT BE THIS DIFFICULT!!! I won't have much time over the next week or so but I will try to find as many links as I can and post them here.

    I don't mind telling you that I am reaching the point where I'm gonna start tuning ALL of this crap out and just watch the chips fall where they may. I'm sick of it!

    This choice in this election should be a no-brainer but, evidently, it is not. I don't get it. When you get right down to it this is very simple stuff and anyone with half a pea brain should be able to comprehend what's going on here.

    If we listen carefully and understand fully what the debates and talking points are telling us, then it is clear - to this observer, at least - that the choice is unambiguous and comes down to whether or not you want the next four years to be the same as the last eight!

    It is really as simple as that - forget about all of the other extraneous BS that is taking over this election campaign.

    Sorry for the rant - I thought this was supposed to make me feel better... :(

  7. [7] 
    akadjian wrote:


    Pointing out lies in McCain ads is not "negative campaigning." I believe "negative campaigning" is characterizing someone as a Muslim when they are not. Or calling someone a "celebrity" elitist when your families net worth is more than $100 million. Or blaming "liberals" for everything under the sun when your own party has been in charge and running the show for the last 8 years.

    Neither is talking about corruption between the Bush administration and the oil/gas industries. Having the energy companies write energy policy is part of the problem w/ the current administration. When this happens, you get solutions like "drill, baby, drill" which show no positive vision for our country and primarily benefit oil and gas companies.

    Kudos to Obama and Obama-ites for fighting, keeping their integrity, and holding their ground!

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:


    Negative campaigning is trying to win an advantage by referring to negative aspects of an opponent or of a policy rather than emphasizing one's own positive attributes or preferred policies. In the broadest sense, the term covers any rhetoric which refers to an opponent, if only by way of contrast, but can also include attacks meant to destroy an opponent's character, which may veer into ad hominem.

    As to the rest, you seem to be indicating that McCain is also negative campaigning... You also seem to indicate that it's the wrong thing to do.

    So, why is it OK for Obama to go negative, but not for McCain??

    Once again, I have to ask...

    Why must a Democrat campaign like a Republican to win??

    I must also point out that Obama beat the LARGEST political juggernaut ever assembled. And he did it by staying positive and on-message.

    It's beyond me how anyone can logically and rationally think that Obama going negative will HELP him against McCain when recent history has proven otherwise..


  9. [9] 
    akadjian wrote:

    You're a funny kind of Obama supporter. By that I mean, you never really seem to support Obama. You tend to start out with a statement like "Even though I'm an Obama supporter ..." And then you make some negative comment about his campaign.

    Are you sure you're not just telling us you're an Obama supporter so that we'll find your opinion more credible?

    What do you like about Obama?

    p.s. I believe Obama has run a very respectful campaign. He has continually returned to the issues to emphasize what he stands for. You are the only person in this discussion who is saying he is campaigning negatively.

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    You're a funny kind of Obama supporter.

    I am a funny kind of lotsa things. :D

    Why do I support Obama??

    I support Obama because he represents much needed change.. He is (or more accurately was) a new and exciting type of politician. One who doesn't have to scrape around in the mud to prove he's tough.. A candidate who took on the largest political juggernaut ever assembled and bested them. Not by dirty tricks, or mud-slinging or any other same ol same ol political crap, but by taking the moral high ground and rising above the mud.

    THAT is how Obama beat Hillary Clinton and THAT is how Obama will beat John McCain.

    You are the only person in this discussion who is saying he is campaigning negatively.

    Well, as we have established, your definition of what constitutes negative campaigning is flawed and incorrect..

    You and all the other Dems have the attitude that it's not negative if it's true..

    Which is funny, because when the McCain speaks about Obama's connections to Ayers (which are true) ya'all turn around and call that "negative campaigning"...

    But when the Democrats mock John McCain because he can't use a computer due to his disabilities, ya'all say, "It's not negative campaigning, because it's true."

    You see the hypocrisy???

    Man up.... If ya'all want Obama to beat the GOP to a pulp to soothe ya'all's egos, at least have the decency to be honest about it and call it what it is..

    You want Obama to go negative... I'll give ya'all here the benefit of the doubt and assume that it's because ya'all honestly think that the only way that Obama can beat McCain is to campaign like a Republican.

    But, as I said.. At least be honest and call it what it is..

    It's negative campaigning.. Pure and simple..

    And Obama doesn't do negative very well. He doesn't fight well in the mud...

    Here's a real good article on exactly what I mean..

    I just can't help but wonder how ya'all are going to feel if Obama stays in the mud and, as a result, loses the election..


  11. [11] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale and akadjian -

    I have to jump into this fray with my "Grammar Police" hat on. (Or maybe that should be "on my head"... something about ending sentences with prepositions? hmmm... have to check).


    I'm going to neutrally lay out how I define terms, and then if you'd like to use them (so we can stay on the same page, as it were) feel free.

    What I call "negative campaigning" is close to the wiki example Michale quoted. I differentiate this with "attack ads" in a very significant way, though.

    Because "negative campaigning" -- i.e., running ads that negatively point out your opponent's bad points is actually a good thing if done right. Even thought the word "negative" is right in the term, it can actually be a positive for your campaign. If done right. Because the big, bad secret is: negative ads work. Republicans have shown time and time again this is true.

    But there's a flip side to all of that, which is "attack ads" -- ads which are dishonest and which are ad hominem attacks. Now, these CAN work, in terms of winning an election (see: Kerry, Swiftboaters). But if they are exposed as being slime right after they are run, then they can backfire (which I believe is happening to McCain right now... time will tell).

    So, as for the 2008 campaign, McCain has been running some pretty vicious attack ads. Obama has responded with some negative ads against McCain. Again, I see Obama's move as a good thing. You MUST define your opponent, and they only way to define your opponent (assuming you want to win) is negatively. This is where I presume we disagree, Michale, and where I think akadjian and I agree. Because Obama simply cannot win were he to run the campaign Michale wants him to run. He would be buried under the slime and mud. That's my opinion, and it may prove to be wrong, but we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.

    The danger is edging over from "negative" to "attack." Obama's "honor" ad is on the border, I'd have to say, and an argument could be made either way. But I still think it's a brilliant move on his part, since (1) almost the entire media universe is saying the same thing (the ad is mostly headlines), and (2) when you start voters questioning a candidate's honesty, they stop believing everything they say (see: Hillary Clinton, sniper fire). And, MUCH more than agreeing on issues, a LOT of voters vote on who they can "trust." So it's worth the risk, in my opinion.

    Anyway, just wanted to turn the debate back to the essential point: is Obama running "negative" (but not "attack") ads a good thing or bad thing? Because it is an issue worthy of debate here. But let's not get sidetracked into semantics, let's debate the heart of the matter.

    OK, taking Grammar Police hat off now...


  12. [12] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Well, I certainly hope you're right. But I still don't think it's wrong to refute conservative lies or to talk about corruption in Washington.

    I haven't seen any Democrats mocking McCain because of his disability. So not sure what you're referring to. Didn't McCain admit that he's not particularly computer savvy?

  13. [13] 
    akadjian wrote:


    That's an interesting way to put it. If I understand you correctly, negative ads use the truth to contrast an opponent's position. Attack ads are purely ad hominem attacks. Something along those lines.

    It's interesting that Karl Rove says McCain's ads don't even pass the proof test.

    Michale, in my gut, I'll have to admit I'm still not sure I like either. I honestly would like to see the debate stay above the fray and on issues. But perhaps you are right that I feel as if, if push comes to shove, Obama should fight back and not let McCain define both himself and Obama. Though I think Obama has to be careful and stick to the truth.

    It's an interesting discussion and has given me food for thought. Now back to work. More later.


  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:


    Glad ta see yer still kicking!! Hadn't heard much from you lately.. :D

    Thanx for establishing the terms... What Obama IS doing is negative campaigning.

    Because Obama simply cannot win were he to run the campaign Michale wants him to run.

    Yer right. We disagree.. :D

    Obama beat Hillary running just that kind of campaign. And Hillary's a LOT more formidable of an opponent than McCain...

    Obama PROVED that sometimes, nice guys DO finish first. What I can't understand is why Democrats want to throw out that winning formula.


    I haven't seen any Democrats mocking McCain because of his disability. So not sure what you're referring to.

    Obama launched an ad a few days ago mocking McCain for his lack of computer usage, saying McCain was too old to be able to use a computer... But (of course) what the ad DIDN'T say is that McCain can't use a computer because he is disabled.

    So, in one fell swoop, the Obama campaign shat upon disabled people AND seniors.

    THAT is the kind of negative campaigning that is going to sink Obama's campaign. That type of crap is beneath him and he should publicly fire the moron who came up with that ad idea.


  15. [15] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Whoa, Michale. I was with you for a bit, but now you're just making stuff up.

    I watched the ad instead of reading the AP press release titled "Obama Mocks McCain as Computer Illiterate in Ad"

    Here's the link to the video:

    What Obama is trying to do in this ad is to show a pattern of not changing. Especially since the Republican convention where John had a conversion and suddenly became the agent of change.

    What he doesn't do or say in the ad:
    - Say McCain is too old to be able to use a computer
    - Mention anything about being disabled
    - Talk badly about seniors

    All of which you say is in the ad.

    What if I changed the title of that AP article you read to "Obama Gets Tough on McCain as an Agent of Change"? Suddenly, it's a whole different spin on things.

    The AP has taken to putting a conservative slant on news talking about how he's mocking McCain as computer illiterate. This fits the Republican narrative of Obama as an out-of-touch elitist. It's a very conservative spin on the ad:

    I believe this ad is fair play. The point it is trying to get across is that McCain is not going to change any of Bush's policies. I see this as a very accurate portrayal based on the fact that McCain has stated he won't change any of Bush's policies. There is nothing untrue in the ad. And they are taking the fight to him.

    Now it's really interesting to hear, though, from you Michale, an ends-justifies-the-means type of person, that you're asking Obama to not fight back. It has been proven that if you let the other person define you in a race, you will lose.

    Look at how well Hillary faired once she focused on defining Obama more than herself. Barack would probably not have won the race if he hadn't started out with such a big lead. Hillary probably just regrets not changing strategies early enough.

    I think the difference in my mind is that in a McCain ad such as the Paris Hilton celebrity ad, is that this ad makes character accusations that have no basis in fact. The ad is trying to say that Obama is more interested in being a celebrity than running for President. But is there any basis for this portrayal? No. Obama has never stated his interest in being a celebrity. McCain only gains because conservatives blame everything in America on liberals, elitists, and Hollywood.

    So I would agree with CW that there is a distinction in the types of campaigns run. May have to sort out more what that distinction is, but there is a distinction.

    I think in order to win a Presidential election, you not only have to manage your brand, but you have to draw distinctions between yourself and your opponent.

    What really blows my mind is that you, an end-justifies-the-means type of person, are arguing for a principle. When did that happen :)?


  16. [16] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    The way to win a presidential election, apparently, involves fessing up to the fact that a majority of the electorate is the walking manifestation of 'stupid is as stupid does'.

    What does a candidate do to mitigate that?

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Here's one link to a Biden speech in St. Clair Shores, just have to scroll down to it and there may be more Biden events if you scroll further down.

  18. [18] 
    Michale wrote:


    I never said those things were specifically in the ad.. I merely stated that, by mocking McCain for not using a computer, the ad insults seniors who also might not be comfortable using a computer and the ad mocks disabled people because one of the main reasons that McCain can't use a computer is because of his disability.

    For example, let's say that FDR's GOP opponent ran an ad in the 1944 election that said FDR isn't fit for President because he won't change with the times and do the Tango. But, the ad DOESN'T say that he won't do the Tango because he is in a wheelchair..

    You see the point? You don't mock someone who is disable just because they can't do things that others can do.

    And that is what that ad did.

    As to your other point, while I do believe that sometimes the ends justifies the means, I have always said that I am more liberal than most on here.. :D But it IS interesting to see that Democrats are adopting "the ends justifies the means" attitude. One more indication that Democrats are simply a pale imitation of Republicans.

    It's funny how Democrats adopt the ends justifies the means attitude to win elections, but refuse that attitude when it comes to fighting terrorism.

    I guess, for Democrats, saving American lives is less important to them than winning elections.

    Barack would probably not have won the race if he hadn't started out with such a big lead.

    Ex-squeeze me?? Baking Powder???

    OBAMA had the big lead??

    It was Hillary that had the big lead. It was Hillary that had the aura of inevitability.

    And Obama overcame that huge lead by grabbing and holding the Moral High Ground. The one or two times he DID take a dip in the mud, he lost ground in the polls.

    Obama beat the largest political juggernaut ever assembled by running a clean POSITIVE campaign. And THAT is how he is going to beat McCain. If Obama continues to be negative, he will lose.


    The way to win a presidential election, apparently, involves fessing up to the fact that a majority of the electorate is the walking manifestation of 'stupid is as stupid does'.

    What does a candidate do to mitigate that?


    Trust voters to be adults and to know right from wrong, truth from... er... ahem... Moosepoop... :D

    Here is an excellent message on just that theme:

    Obama was supposed to be a different kind of politician. A different kind of leader.. If he runs his campaign with the same ol same ol political machinations, how are we supposed to trust him to be the agent of change he claims to be?


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