Friday, August 22, 2008

It's Gonna Get Ugly, Folks!

TPM's Josh Marshall discusses his "bitch slap" theory of electoral politics. For McCan't, the caution here is to avoid hitting so hard so early on that he leaves himself vulnerable as having no ideas behind the attacks. The ads his campaign keeps churning out are creative enough and make use of Obama's vulnerabilities, to be sure, but he's not scoring direct hits.

Obama needs to keep up the attacks and force McCan't into making too many mistakes or tiring himself out, leaving himself open and vulnerable to those occasional jabs and hooks, the way George Foreman did against Muhammad Ali in 1974. Money quote (emphasis mine):
What we'll see now is whether Obama keeps McCain on the run with a continuing line of attacks or whether they'll let up after this one reactive pick-up from McCain's mistake. The House? gaffe exposes two of McCain's biggest vulnerabilities -- 1) the contrast between his old soldier pseudo-mystique and the pampered life he's lead for almost 40 years and 2) the age-related wobbliness which has his campaign aides keeping him largely off limits to the traveling press. These dovetail with his loose-cannon approach to critical foreign policy questions.
For his part, also, Obama needs to be a man about the McCan't onslaught, and do all the blocking and deflecting without breaking a sweat, even going so far as to taunt McCan't: "Is this the best you've got?" I'm reminded of the Neo vs. Morpheus fight scene in The Matrix between Lawrence Fishburne (Morpheus) and Keanu Reeves (Neo), when Morpheus exhorts Neo to "Stop trying to hit me and HIT ME!" Neo then makes with the dizzying hands and shows Morpheus what he's capable of doing, but that runs counter to my message: the old, wobbly McCan't is clearly not Neo, not The One.

Watch it here. The moment is about 3:30 in.

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