Yesterday, 9/10, Barack Obama found his voice again. In response to the manufactured controversy (aka, "manufactroversy", Google it for definition) over the lipstick remark, Barack Obama replaced the somewhat bewildered responses to McCain's choice of Sarah Palin with a heartfelt clarity accompanied by genuine anger.
He rightly stated the McCain campaign's continued avoidance of the key problems created by the Bush-Cheney-Rove-McCain axis--disappearing high wage jobs, insecure healthcare, dependence on foreign oil, global climate change, unaffordable college tuitions, growing poverty, decline of the middle class, a war-without-end costing $10B per month, loss of US prestige among allies, overstretched military, rising Islamic terrorism, not to mention equal pay for equal work--this time by manufacturing a controversy about his use of a phrase "lipstick on a pig" that has been used on multiple occasions by John McCain.
But, that statement alone would have been insufficient as a theme if it were not accompanied by anger. Not Barack's anger, but his anger on behalf of the American people. That works. It is good. It is genuine.
It will count for nothing, however, if he does not keep it up. Over-and-over-and-over until he gets bored hearing himself say it, and then he needs to continue. And, when the McCain campaign changes its tune, he still keeps it up.
And, the anger on behalf of the American people must remain. Barack is cool, and I look forward to having an intelligent AND cool head in the White House. Cool is good for governing, for managing people.
It is not so great for campaigning, as people do not get the feeling that he is on their side, that he will fight for them even if the going is tough.
It is not just that they want to know you are a fighter, Barack could explain logically how someone with his background does not get to where he is if he were not a fighter.
The key is, that he is a fighter for them.
That is where the anger, the indignation comes in. It also links McCain even more closely to Bush--Bush is a failed Presidency that broke faith with the American people, and now McCain is trying to cover that up using Bush henchmen (Rove et al) to screw the American people again. [He could even work in McCain's revelation, in his book Worth Fighting For, that his only reason for running for President is personal ambition--a narrative I have tried to push several times but, as yet, not adopted].
But, Obama is, like you and me, angry, and he is not going to let that happen to the American people again. Obama will make healthcare a right, not a privilege--McCain offers another market-based approach that has not worked to insure everyone or control costs for 50 years. Obama will make a living wage the right of anyone who works a 40 hour week--McCain votes against the minimum wage. Obama will make college affordable--McCain has done nothing for education in 26 years in DC, except to support closing down the Department of Education. Obama will find and kill bin Laden--McCain and Bush cut and ran and did not finish the job in Afghanistan.
McCain will have the government decide whether a woman carries a pregnancy to term. Barack Obama trusts women to make that decision. Sarah Palin will use the power of government to force a woman who has been raped to carry the rapist's child to term.
Obama should use some humor and ridicule, it lightens the mood but the message still stings. For example, the McCain campaign feigned "shock, shock" that Obama is doing some opposition research on Palin. Suggested Barack response: "McCain chose her on a whim, so someone had to do his vetting for him"....
So, Barack--you've found your voice and your anger/indignation. You need both. The substance, the tone of voice, and the body language. You need all three (53% of communication is non-verbal, only 8% is the words alone!). Go across this country, into small towns and hamlets and ex-urbs and suburbs and cities, and take the side of the American people who, like you, are fed up and disgusted with the performance of the last 8 years and now the attempt by McCain/Rove to cover it up.
And, do not leave your feelings at the studio door when you debate.
Remember, Barack, Harry Truman's response when a man from the crowd yelled, "Give'm hell, Harry"? Truman said, "I don't give'm hell, I just tell the truth, and they think it's hell."