Almost one month ago, David Plouffe said that the Obama Campaign "will respond with speed and ferocity to John McCain's attacks and we will take the fight to him, but we will do it on the big issues that matter to the American people."
He wasn't kidding, folks.
It certainly seemed like a bluff. After all, the first ad to come out after that email was the one about how McCain didn't know how to use a computer.
But then came this weekend.
It all started when it was reported that the McCain campaign, seeing the polls continuing to tilt to Obama's favor, would be going increasingly negative. Soon after, Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin trying to give the weekend papers something to write about when she told a crowd of supporters that Obama was "palling around with terrorists", referencing William Ayers. And of course, not to be outdone, FOX News continuously filled its "news ticker" with Ayers references, even though cartoonish blowhard Sean Hannity has been trying to hammer the issue for a year now.
*Cue the "gloves are off" reference*
First, Obama hit back at a rally in North Carolina, telling supporters that the McCain campaign would begin to follow through with the kitchen sink strategy, saying "That's what you do when you're out of touch, out of ideas, and running out of time."
Obama then released an ad that played on major networks, including during NBC's Meet the Press, in which Obama pro-actively called out the McCain strategy to "assault" him with attacks as a way to not talk about the struggling economy.
Now comes the exclusive Politico report that Obama will play the Keating Five card.
But he won't just mention it in a "Ha - You have bad associations too!" kind of way.
No, no, clearly the Obama campaign has had an uppercut planned for quite some time, because on Monday at 12pm EST, a 13 minute campaign-produced documentary will be available on the web that explains how, as Politico reports, "the deregulatory fervor that caused massive, cascading savings-and-loan collapses in the late '80s was pursued by McCain throughout his career, and helped cause the current credit crisis."
Fellow Politico member Ben Smith reports of its potential damage because "the story of McCain and Keating is not guilt by association; it's guilt by guilt. McCain's problem isn't that he knew Keating in activities unconnected to his wrongdoing; it's that Keating, in the course of his wrongdoing, gave McCain money and tried, with a bit of success, to use him to influence regulators."
Furthermore, a link on the KeatingEconomics website directs you to a website that slams John McCain's record by telling voters "alarming facts" backed up with accessible and available sources.
Yes, the gloves are off, indeed.
But is fighting fire with fire a good strategy? Some Obama supporters would probably say that it is about time, but any cautious supporters should take notice that the Obama Campaign isn't just slamming McCain for being involved with Keating, but they are making a case that McCain's past judgments and practices have contributed to the economic crisis.
Remember what Plouffe said: "We will respond with speed and ferocity to John McCain's attacks and we will take the fight to him, but we will do it on the big issues that matter to the American people".
It's the economy, Senator McCain.