Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another strategic blunder by the Obama campaign

Sen. John McCain announced today that he was suspending his campaign and returning to Washington D.C. to help the Senate work on the bailout proposal. He invited Sen. Barack Obama to join him.

But Obama said no.

Obama said that unlike McCain, he will not suspend ads, or campaign events scheduled between now and Friday's debate.

"I think it's very important that the American people see the people who potentially could be in charge of this problem within the next couple of months and so my attitude is that we need to be focused on solving the problems, as I have been," Obama said. "It's also important that we communicate where we need to go in getting us out of the situation."

Obama said he will stay in Florida for the time being and will not return to Washington unless asked by Congressional leadership.

"I've told the leadership in Congress is that if I can be helpful then I am prepared to be anywhere at anytime," he said.

I think Obama's answer is a huge blunder when it comes to the campaign. For weeks we've been hearing how the financial issues are a crisis. We've been told that this is the worst economy we've ever had and this bailout will help stabilize the situation. We've also been led to believe that unless Congress acts, doom, gloom and destruction will erupt.

"...my attitude is that we need to be focused on solving the problems, as I have been."

Maybe it's just me, but how can you be focused on solving these problems if you're not in the Senate participating in the discussion and crafting of the legislation???

"It's also important that we communicate where we need to go in getting us out of the situation."

What good is communicating where we need to go if you're not communicating to the people who are making the decision? The members of the Senate are deciding where we're going on this issue - not the candidates out in the field.

Obama said he will stay in Florida for the time being and will not return to Washington unless asked by Congressional leadership.

"I've told the leadership in Congress is that if I can be helpful then I am prepared to be anywhere at anytime," he said

So let me get this straight...unless the leadership in Congress asks him, he's not going to go to D.C. to do the job he was elected - and for which he is getting paid - to do????

What happens if no one asks him to come back? Does that mean they don't think he would be helpful? And if they do ask him to come back, and he goes, would he be contradicting himself?

"What is important is that we don't suddenly infuse Capitol Hill with presidential politics."

I think Capital Hill is pretty infused with presidential politics as it is.

Obama's statements make me think he is somehow afraid of the vote on the bailout and that it would be more politically expedient to not actually cast a yes or no vote on this issue.

Another thought is that he's mad about McCain getting the jump on the issue by coming out first with the idea that they should both be in the Senate doing the job they were elected to do and his only possible political response is to disagree or be on the opposite side. If he agrees, he's following McCain's lead, and he can't be seen to do that.

To oppose the idea provides the contrast - and campaigns are all about contrast. But it also puts Obama on the wrong side of the issue. If this is such a critical issue that it has so dominated the campaign discussion, how can Obama actually say that participating in deciding how the issue will be resolved is not as important - if not more so - than campaigning and debating foreign policy?

For Obama to stay on the road while McCain is 'coordinating the solution,' may eliminate the small lead Obama had gained in the polls over the last several days. And now, after saying he's not going along with McCain, he will look even worse if he decides, tomorrow or Friday, to change his mind.

I think the Obama campaign blundered in how they overreacted - in a negative way - to the selection of Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate. The handling of this issue is, I think, their second strategic blunder.

Will they make a third - perhaps fatal - one between now and election day?

The Next Right has a good look at the issue from the McCain campaign side: On Multi-tasking, Governing and Solutions.

7 comments:

DeeDee Liedel said...

Seems to me that Obama is voting 'present' as opposed to being a leader and working with all sides to help our country address this financial problem.

Jay Ott said...

Maggie,

One explanation which I think is plausible is that Obama thinks that he is "damned if he goes or damned if he stays on the campaign trail".

If he goes, and something he disagrees with happens, he could be partially blamed and lose votes.

If he keeps campaigning, he might lose votes for the reasons you've already outlined OR he could use what's being worked out in D.C. just to get votes.

So, Obama being on the horns of a dilemma made himself available if "they" think his help is vitally needed to find the solution.

I agree with you, that Obama made a bad decision in favor of trying to get votes.

This does raise the question about Obama's decision to not do his job if other crises come up before the election.

Mad Jack said...

I think it's very important that the American people see the people...

As a matter of fact, Obama was in Eau Claire, WI a short time ago and refused to appear or to speak to the general public. Contact with Obama was by invitation only, said invites starting at $2500 a plate.

My opinion is that Obama believes he's just a little better than the hoi polloi who's votes he's trying to obtain.

Lisa Renee said...

Obama is a Senator, or at least he's supposed to be so his place right now should be to be in Washington working on legislation to address what should be done, or not be done.

It seems as if he's trying to give himself plausible deniability - he can later say if it didn't work out - "I wasn't there when they did that".

navyvet said...

For starters...lets be kind...BHO has been gone so long, he doesn't remember where the Senate chambers are...

Also, he will wait for directions and follow if expedient...but not lead....not good for a Pres. wannabe.....

Bad BHO...Bad!

navyvet said...

I use this example to indicate the seriousness of our current situation....

You arrive at work and you need gas..but...no problem...you can fill up on the way home...

But you find that gas on the way home is $1,000.00 per gallon...that was Wed. afternoon on 9/17/08...when T-Bills earned 0% interest....that's zero btw....

BHO....where are you?

navyvet said...

BHO....lead..follow..or get out of the way...

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