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Robert Schlesinger

Robert Schlesinger

Posted: October 7, 2008 10:45 AM

McCain's Offensive


John McCain is going on the attack. Again.

How many assaults has McCain launched against Barack Obama? There was He's a celebrity egomaniac (this coming from the gang that brought you: We can't solve the financial crisis without me!). There was He's inexperienced (if only Illinois was closer to Russia, he might have had foreign policy experience) ... the list goes on, right?

Now they're on to William Ayers and allegations that we don't really know Barack Obama. Does it remind anyone else of when in late 1992 George H. W. Bush's supporters tried to suggest that not enough was known about Bill Clinton's college student trip to the Soviet Union?

John McCain may, as he often claims, know how to win a war, but he doesn't seem to understand how to win an election.

Here's one way to tell if you're going down: An inability to stick to one message.

Writing in favor of negative campaigning in the current issue of U.S. News, Dick Morris makes a smart point:

Negatives must be thematic. John McCain, in the current campaign, is too scattershot, one day hitting Barack Obama for his Chicago political connections and then accusing him of vapid celebrity the next. It is only when the negative campaign paints a consistent picture that it can work.

Does McCain have the time left to paint such a picture? Doubtful. But watch the mud cake up on the canvas while he tries.