The contrast between the two fall strategies as outlined to the New York Times by McCain and Obama strategists point up the weakness of the Republican line. Here is the McCain line.
Republicans will seek to portray Mr. Obama as out of touch with many voters on issues like abortion and gay rights. Some of Mr. McCain’s advisers said they also thought that Mr. Obama had displayed a number of vulnerabilities as a candidate that they would seek to exploit: they argued that he was prone to becoming irritated when tired or pressed on tough questions, that he had trouble connecting with voters in smaller settings and that he had run a campaign light on substance.
That they want to fight this election on gays and abortion is completely disconnected from the reality of 2008 America and a pretty weak line. By contrast, here is the Obama strategy.
In the eyes of the Obama campaign, Mr. McCain’s chief weaknesses include continuing to embrace the Iraq war, his support for extending the administration’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans (he once opposed the idea) and his suggestion that the economy had made “great progress” in the last eight years.
Mr. Obama has said he has no intention of making age — Mr. McCain is 25 years older — an overt issue in the general election campaign. Yet in recent weeks, the Obama campaign has made a point of showing their candidate in settings, on the basketball court, as well as surrounded by his young family, that could be seen as telegraphing the message without explicitly raising the issue.
If I was a betting man, I would go for the “oppose Iraq War & tax cuts for the rich and by the way this guy is so old and out of touch he thinks we’ve made great economic progress in the last 8 years” strategy.
UPDATE:Cokie Roberts, who is acting like a first class “convential wisdom” spouting pundit just made the extraordinary prediction that McCain could win a huge proportion of the Hispanic vote in November. What planet is she on?