Senator Barack Obama, whose "politics of hope" has put him within reach of the presidency, announced a stunning new strategy for the final weeks of campaigning.
With a veto-proof majority within reach in the Senate, and a 100-plus margin possible in the House, party leaders are focusing on what one Democrat who insisted on anonymity called an "occupation strategy" after we "liberate" the Congress.
After a meeting with Sen. Harry Reid, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, Bill Clinton and Chris Matthews (sitting in for Tip O'Neill) Obama said, "Post partisanship has done its job. I won the nomination and we ran the lobbyists out of town on a rail. But now we need post-post-partisanship. Sure, I want to cooperate with Republicans -- after I beat the pants off them."
Added former President Clinton, "To quote Hillary, we have to deck 'em."
Obama said he wanted to pursue ambitious plans for health care reform, tax fairness, ending the war in Iraq and fighting global warming, and that crushing Democratic majorities would help. "If I don't have to compromise, why should I?" Obama said.
In a conference call with reporters, Obama strategist David Axelrod said there was nothing inconsistent with the campaign's stance of first being against partisan politics, and then being for it.
"The Republicans have shown themselves incapable of getting out of the gutter and there's no reason to expect they'll change anytime soon," Axelrod said. "I don't think anyone believed that once Barack got elected, the Republicans would give up their agenda and say, 'you know, we really ought to stop standing in the way of those nice liberal Democrats.'"
Asked for his reaction at a campaign rally in Berkeley, California, (which McCain strategist Steve Shmidt called part of his "Surprise and Confuse" strategy) Sen. McCain said, "William Ayers Osama bin Laden Reckless Inexperienced Liar Tax Tax Liberal Liberal."
He went on to say,
"Maverick maverick maverick maverick maverick."