I agree. There is a danger here that Obama starts playing prevent defense, trying not to lose instead of trying to win.
Going on the attack would also help negate the McCain camp's narrative that he is aloof and gutless. Or as John Aravosis contends, they are doing a subtle gay-baiting of Obama. He can hit back at McCain without crawling in the gutter with him.
He can start by pointing out that the man calling him an elitist wears $500 shoes, and his wife has a private jet to travel to their seven homes.
It was bad enough that John McCain blatantly lied about Obama's canceling of a visit to see wounded troops in Germany. But now we find out he was going to get hit with an attack even if he did visit the troops:
What the McCain campaign doesn’t want people to know, according to one GOP strategist I spoke with over the weekend, is that they had an ad script ready to go if Obama had visited the wounded troops saying that Obama was...wait for it...using wounded troops as campaign props. So, no matter which way Obama turned, McCain had an Obama bashing ad ready to launch. I guess that’s political hardball. But another word for it is the one word that most politicians are loathe to use about their opponents—a lie.
The Rovians are now in charge of the McCain campaign. The once-honorable senator who suffered at the hands of these slime artists in 2000 has now sold his soul to the same detestable people. It's clear his ego is overriding any sense of principle or honor.
The Straight-Talk Express is caught in a tailspin. Pick a side, Senator. Will you raise taxes, or won't you?
"The study by the nonpartisan Rand Corp. also contends that the administration committed a fundamental error in portraying the conflict with al-Qaeda as a 'war on terrorism.' The phrase falsely suggests that there can be a battlefield solution to terrorism, and symbolically conveys warrior status on terrorists, it said.
"'Terrorists should be perceived and described as criminals, not holy warriors,' authors Seth Jones and Martin Libicki write in ' How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al-Qaeda,' a 200-page volume released yesterday. . . .
"The authors call for a strategy that includes a greater reliance on law enforcement and intelligence agencies in disrupting the group's networks and in arresting its leaders. They say that when military forces are needed, the emphasis should be on local troops, which understand the terrain and culture and tend to have greater legitimacy.
"In Muslim countries in particular, there should be a 'light U.S. military footprint or none at all,' the report contends.
"'The U.S. military can play a critical role in building indigenous capacity,' it said, 'but should generally resist being drawn into combat operations in Muslim societies, since its presence is likely to increase terrorist recruitment.'"
An excerpt from the report: "A key part of [a successful] strategy should include ending the notion of a war on terrorism and replacing it with such concepts as counterterrorism, which most governments with significant terrorist threats use. The British government, among others, has already taken this step and abjured the phrase war on terror. The phrase raises public expectations -- both in the United States and elsewhere -- that there is a battlefield solution to the problem of terrorism. It also encourages others abroad to respond by conducting a jihad (or holy war) against the United States and elevates them to the status of holy warriors. . . .
"Our analysis suggests that there is no battlefield solution to terrorism. Military force usually has the opposite effect from what is intended: It is often overused, alienates the local population by its heavy-handed nature, and provides a window of opportunity for terrorist-group recruitment."
That makes a lot of sense now. I doubt any of us would have thought that way seven years ago.
I hadn't thought about Daschle being in the running for VP. But it does kind of make sense. I interviewed Daschle last summer, and he's a pretty good fit for Obama, a veteran politician who can drive Obama's agenda through Congress. In some ways, he's the new Dick Cheney. He doesn't have any presidential ambitions, is very loyal to Obama and already has his ear.
But Trapper also makes a case for Kathleen Sebelius. She has all upside and little downside. After the bruising campaign with Hillary Clinton, I think Obama needs to make some more outreach to Democratic women. Some are saying that a black president and a woman VP is too much change for Americans to handle. I'm not so sure. What else could Obama do to give women a voice and combat those still sore about Hillary losing?
I keep hearing about conservative African-Americans who are vowing to cross over and vote for Obama because of what his being president would mean for race relations. Could we see the same dynamic if there was a woman on the ticket as well? Might Sebelius' gender be enough to pull over independent and moderate Republican women voters?
Could have something to do with the fact that he has basically abandoned his day job.
* 63% - How many votes in the Senate McCain has skipped during the 110th Congress (since January 2007).
* 96 - The number of Senate votes McCain has missed since his last recorded vote on April 8.
* 111 - The number of days since McCain last attended a committee hearing (of the Senate Armed Services Committee, on April 9).
* 25% - How many full SASC hearings McCain has attended during the 110th Congress.
* 89% - How many full SASC hearings McCain has skipped since April 2007 (32 out of the last 36 hearings).
* 2007 - The last year in which McCain attended any Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee hearings or subcommittee hearings.
McCain now seems to think Gen. Petraeus is chairman of the joint chiefs. You would hope that, as president, he would know who to call when a war breaks out.
Look, nobody is perfect, but war and foreign policy are McCain's best subjects, according to him, and he keeps messing up. He can't tell the difference between Sunnis and Shias, doesn't know that Iraq and Pakistan don't share a border, claims he never said the word "timetable" when he's on video doing so, etc. etc. etc.
But when will the big media outlets start to question his competency to be president? John McCain could claim to have dug the entire Panama Canal with a spoon and reporters wouldn't ask a question.
Maybe the Democrats are holding their fire on McCain until after the GOP convention, so there's no chance of them finding a replacement.
They decided to stick with Sen. Tom Coburn, who has personally blocked 80 bills in the Senate using holds that prevent unanimous consent. So today, Sen. Harry Reid brought up a bunch of those bills together, and most of Coburn's GOP allies refused to let the Senate vote on these measures, even though it kills some of the legislation they sponsored and supported.
Why? Because they have successfully used the filibuster to try and paint Democrats as ineffective. So, they are willing to let kids and sick people suffer in order to score cheap political points.
This Cash for Clunkers idea is very intriguing. You take old, polluting cars off the road, put money in the hands of people who will spend it, and spur demand for new cars.
John McCain's complaints about Barack Obama's tour of Iraq, Jordan, Israel, France and England (plus Afghanistan and Germany) -- meeting with leaders and acting presidential -- would go over a lot better if McCain hadn't taken his own tour of Iraq, Jordan, Israel, France and England -- and met their leaders -- just four months ago.
So who is being presumptuous, and taking a premature victory lap? Thou thinks McCain protests too much, probably because he couldn't get 200 Germans to hear him speak unless he gave away free beer.