It's Time to Ignore The Moose In the Room

10/11/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

If I get another email ranting about how Sarah Palin is the devil, I am going to scream. This is precisely what some people cannot stand about the Democrats. The panic in the trenches. For god sakes, with all the hysteria about Sarah Palin, you would think that Reagan himself has come back from the grave to steal this election. Chill out people. Nobody wants leaders who are desperate and hysterical. Have a little courage. Keep your heads down, breathe deep, and carry on with a smart, effective, cogent strategy as to why Americans should vote for Obama/Biden.

First, as for Palin, pick one precise and focused criticism of her and stick to it. The current shotgun approach of attacking Palin with everything under the sun is not working. It merely reinforces the sense of panic and disarray on behalf of the Dems. And while we are at it, neither Obama nor Biden should be attacking Palin. Leave those attacks to the second/third tier surrogates and other outlets. That's what they're there for.

For Obama, it is becoming increasingly (if not outright) un-Presidential for him to be seen rolling in the political mud. Specifically because his attacks of Palin run completely counter to what Obama stands for -- the politics of change. Obama needs to check his ego at the door and recognize that he is not the only person who can give a good speech and steal the spotlight. He also needs to remember that Palin is merely the Vice Presidential nominee and nothing more than that. Let her implode on her own. Just you wait and see.

As for Biden, he should keep his laser focused solely and squarely on McCain because I haven't heard a damn meaningful thing lately coming from the Dems as to why John McCain would make a lousy President. Please, just let the second/third tier surrogates compete with Palin and make the "lipstick on the pig" statements. Remember that old saying about not sinking to the level of your adversaries?

Second, get back on message as to why Americans should vote for Obama/Biden. Think cool, calm and collected statements. Leadership-quality, It's safe to follow me-type statements. Tell us specifically about how Obama/Biden will be the new blood injected to govern and fix our anemic country. Spell out how bad the economy, the war in Iraq, the environment, education, healthcare, etc. are (with no thanks to the Republicans and people like John McCain) and then tell us what we all want to hear: "We understand; We have the solutions; We can fix these problems; We are firmly rooted in reality; and most importantly, We know what we are doing."

In short, Obama/Biden need to tell us what we all want to hear after the last 8 years of Bush/Cheney, "It's OK, You Can Trust Your Government Again."

Because isn't that what we all want to hear?

For example, as someone who fought against the Bush administration for several years, I did not support laws such as the Patriot Act. To me, it was unconstitutional and placed far too much power in the hands of the President. Not to mention that the basis for needing the Patriot Act (preventing terrorist acts) was a total farce. But, as someone going up against the Executive Branch, it gave me a very uneasy feeling knowing that the administration had such sweeping power to violate my privacy. Suffice it to say that I don't think I am being ridiculous to think that somewhere there is a pretty thick file on my 9/11 activist work. How can I think that? Because I did/do not TRUST George Bush or Dick Cheney. At all.

My point is that perhaps laws like the Patriot Act might be more palatable if I had trusted the President to not abuse them. In addition, perhaps I would not be so uneasy about the continued presence of terrorist groups in countries like Afghanistan, Syria, and Pakistan if I trusted that my President knew how to properly handle such situations. Moreover, maybe I would not be so concerned about potential growing escalations in places like Iran and Russia if I trusted that my President understood the meaning of a real risk and/or a real threat. Also, maybe I would not feel so anxious about Iraq if I trusted that my President knew how to end such a complicated conflict. Finally, perhaps I would feel more comfortable buying a new home, investing in the stock market, or simply going Fall school shopping if I trusted that my President knew what he was doing when it came to our floundering economy.

For me, it all comes down to trust. I want a President and Vice President that I can trust again. I want to know that I can finally take a moment to exhale and stop worrying about what sort of havoc Bush/Cheney might unveil or unleash next. It's been 8 long years of untrustworthy leadership and I am exhausted.

So yes, we all want change, but it's got to be change we can trust. Obama/Biden ought to recognize that.