Phillip Martin of Burnt Orange Report posted this comment to my last report from the Republican convention. Martin, of course, is a devoted Democrat. I think his concern about the Democrats running a lackluster campaign thus far is right on target: Since I’m living in Boston, I get to see a lot of Presidential ads for NH. Obama’s are all positive, and they make sense, but they aren’t very memorable. McCain’s are ridiculous and filled with hypocrisy and “political truths” — but they are memorable, as illogical as they are. NH polls on any issue would show that Obama is in the lead. But the two memes of each candidacy — “eight is enough” vs. “ready to lead?” — are being driven home much more forcefully by McCain and his local surrogates in New Hampshire than by Obama. I had a similar feeling yesterday when I saw that Obama had attacked Palin for accepting earmarks. It is a huge mistake for Obama to be attacking Palin’s credentials. Why is he playing small ball? It is beneath him. He ought to be talking about the big themes of the campaign, about what would distinguish an Obama presidency from a McCain presidency. Obama is best when he is talking about the big picture. The last Democrat to run a good start-to-finish political campaign was Bill Clinton in 1992. That was Carville and Begala. They’re commentators now, and the Republicans clearly have the advantage in consultant talent. Steve Schmidt is a Rove protege. These guys know what they are doing. Obama’s team knew how to win a primary–they outmaneuvered Hillary–but they don’t seem to have a clue about the general election. Big edge to McCain right now.
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