Karl Rove, former senior advisor to President George W. Bush, is loved by the right and hated by the left for his savvy abilities when it comes to campaigning, earning the nickname 'The Architect' and with just cause.
Rove's column in the Wall Street Journal sums up the points we've been making at home. Some of the key points:
If Mr. Obama wants to win, he needs to remember he's running against John McCain for president, not Mrs. Palin for vice president.
If Mr. Obama keeps attacking Mrs. Palin, he could suffer the fate of his Democratic predecessors. These assaults highlight his own tissue-thin résumé, waste precious time better spent reassuring voters he is up for the job, and diminish him -- not her.
A debate between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Palin over executive experience also isn't smart politics for Democrats. As Mr. Obama talks down Mrs. Palin's record, voters may start comparing backgrounds. He won't come off well.
Mrs. Palin did seek earmarks as Wasilla's mayor. But as governor, she ratcheted down the state's requests for federal dollars, telling the legislature last year Alaska "cannot and must not rely so heavily on federal government earmarks." Her budget chief directed state agencies to reduce earmark requests to only "the most compelling needs" with "a strong national purpose," explaining to reporters "we really want to skinny it down."
Mr. Obama has again started a debate he can't win. As senator, he has requested nearly $936 million in earmarks, ratcheting up his requests each year he's been in the Senate. If voters dislike earmarks -- and they do -- they may conclude Mrs. Palin cut them, while Mr. Obama grabs for more each year.
Mr. Obama is already finding it difficult to win over independent women and Hillary Clinton voters. If it looks like he's going out of his way to attack Mrs. Palin, these voters may conclude it's because he has a problem with strong women.
If Mr. Obama keeps attacking her, the odds of Gov. Palin becoming Vice President Palin increase significantly.
Rove gets it right, even if the Obama supporters don't want to hear what he has to say. Of course, the McCain-Palin supporters obviously hope it continues.
When you're on the defensive in a campaign, you're losing.