POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Page (Chicago Tribune): Obama’s debate strategy has worked

Posted by Lew Weinstein on October 1, 2008

Clarence Page writes in today’s Chicago Tribune …

  • John McCain and Sarah Palin have been doing so much to help Barack Obama’s presidential campaign lately. I wondered, as I watched Obama’s debate performance, why he was doing so little to give them a hand.
  • Then it dawned on me: Maybe Obama was pulling his punches. Maybe he was trying to pull off a debate team version of rope-a-dope, a boxing strategy made famous by Muhammad Ali in which you can win by appearing at first to be losing.
  • Already ahead in the polls, Obama could afford to play the first debate straight, without frills. Like Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky,” Obama had to show he could go the distance.
  • With that settled, Obama can turn to the wider ranging domestic policies about which Americans care a lot more these days.
  • And voters are tired of anger. That’s especially true of the independent swing voters that both candidates are trying to woo.
  • So when the McCain campaign criticized Obama for allegedly agreeing with McCain too much, they may have been playing into Obama’s hands. Voters would like to see a big more agreement these days, if it gets something done that helps them. It beats endless arguments.

LMW COMMENT: I have been saying exactly this since watching the debate, including the reference to Ali’s rope-a-dope. The polls since the debate have shown Obama to be right. I am looking for Obama, from his now established position of having proven his Presidential credentials, to be more aggressive in presenting his own policies and contrasting them with those of John McCain.

Read the entire article at … http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/10/this_nice_guy_may_just_finish.html


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