Saturday, August 02, 2008

Run HIm Off His Feet

Its time for Obama to go on the offensive. This Diary over at Kos reminds us that Obama is his own best surrogate speaker. When he gets out, he gets over. Obama is the best campaigner I've ever seen, the best speaker, the most charming, the most educated and the most charismatic--certainly he's the best dem since Bill Clinton. He comes across well in person and on the air. He has the golden touch. The time for retail politics has begun, and we have the salesman.

John McCain doesn't just have an enthusiasm deficit, he has a major charm deficit. And, though I know the national press will pillory me for playing the "tired old angry white guy card" by referring to it, John McCain is older than sin. He's been badgering Obama to meet with him in faked up town meetings. That's a loser strategy for both of them--McCain because he'd get to piggyback on Obama's popularity but would end up looking like an idiot, Obama because McCain's presence will drag him down and he doesn't need it to get crowds out to hear him speak.

That being said, Obama should seize the initiative and challenge McCain to barnstorm the country talking at venues large and small--he should offer to match and exceed any of McCain's campaign stops. Not at the same time and not on the same stage--but one after the other. He can say that he doesn't want to prevent voters or the local press from seeing him so he can't allow his campaign to go all Cheney/Mccain and threaten to have librarians removed or arrested, or throw out local press that seems to be in the way (today's story on the McCain campaign.) Can't you imagine the press and public reaction "Our campaign isn't about keeping people out, or thousand dollar a plate donor meetings behind closed doors. Our campaign stops are open to the public and the press regardless of who they favor. Come one, come all is our motto."

McCain can't afford to accept the challenge, but Obama can pursue it anyway. If McCain goes to Texas, Obama goes to Texas afterwards and has his own rallies and his own "getting to know the candidate" swing through. And etc... Obama can afford to do this--he can afford to pay for the trips, he can afford the energy, and he can afford the exposure. McCain simply can't. And his campaign knows it. The more people see of Obama and the campaign, the more they like him and it. The more they see of McCain, the tireder he seems and the tireder the audience becomes. Obama should run McCain off his feet, literally and figuratively.