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While the Obama campaign has planned and executed a brilliant political primary campaign on the 50-state strategy front, his campaign is doing very poorly on the front lines of the media battle.

Every day we see a parade of clowns on TV: republicans, Clintonoids, and pundits, but rarely does an Obama supporter ever seem to appear.
This is eerily reminiscent of Kerry's awful media (non)campaign in '04.
There were countless oppurtunities for Kerry to rip the Bush administration a new one, on every issue, but the Kerry folks shirked at every oppurtunity.
Consequently, the rightwing dominated the news and spin, giving people the impression that Kerry was unable to respond because he either had no effective response to begin with, or he was afraid to...

Obama's team is making almost the same mistake. There are simply very few Obama surrogates on TV, and it makes Obama look like he doesn't have very many important supporters, nor does it look like he is trying to win the spin wars.
This is vitally important; even though we look down upon 'spin', there is meaningful, truthful spin, and there is bullshit spin.

Right now, the Clintonoids have been hugely successful at pushing their bullshit spin simply because the Obama campaign has failed to get their surrogates in front of the media like the Clintonoids have, and the McCainiacs will start doing soon. I hope this is because Obama's team knows enough supers are behind Obama and will make sure he gets the nomination, but still, this is not a good sign. In fact, it is extremely troubling.

Winning elections is often about getting the most positive attention - and spin - for your candidate.

By far, Obama's biggest problem with alot of voters isn't negativity or perceptions of elitism or even racism, it's unfamiliarity; not just with Obama as an individual, but unfamiliarity with Obama's friends, supporters and ideas.
This remains an issue because there is a noticeable lack of Obama surrogates on the cable TV shows. This has become glaring ever since Obama more or less became the presumptive, but the Obama campaign is making a huge tactical mistake by not getting as many of his supporters on TV as possible.
Why are there so many different Clinton supporters on TV every day, but hardly any from Obama? Where the hell is Richardson? Edwards? Sebelius? etc etc etc...?
While Clinton and McCain have literally dozens of high-profile surrogates on TV every hour of every day, Obama has hardly any at all.
He will lose what should be an easy victory unless the Obama supporters start coming out and talking about Obama, his platform and also ripping McCain on the economy (that's another story)...NOW. Time is of the essence. It is not a very long time until November.

Originally posted to sean oliver on Thu May 29, 2008 at 10:42 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  But here's the problem (12+ / 0-)

      They have a candidate who is disinterested in the "game" and doesn't really care. Therefore the staff thinks this crap is unimportant (and to some extent it is, but if stuff goes unchallenged long enough, it sets perceptions). If the staff thinks the boss doesn't care, the staff doesn't pay much attention to the task. They need a person who has the sole job of organizing their cable tv message/surrogates. It's not work Obama will notice or care about, but it's important work none the less. The best staffers do what is right for the candidate regardless of whether the candidate cares about it/will notice it, or not.

      Obama/Casey, my personal dream ticket.

      by The Bagof Health and Politics on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:00:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is a tricky situation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Two things: Having people out there to argue non-issues like the latest gaffe-gate increases the risk that one of them will put their foot in their mouth.

      Second, there's the issue of a credible, grass roots campaign, versus a bogus, PR driven, made for TV campaign like Mark Penn, Terry Macauliffe and the Clintons have been trying to run.

      To the public, television has severely diminished credibility. Polls I am too lazy to fetch for this comment show that the average public is not nearly as trusting of information they get from their TV as they used to be.

      Footage of Obama speaking to tens of thousands of real people has far more impact than another bloviating head on cable news. And the way the cable news narrative, on any given issue, frames these various debates, really isn't favorable to any Obama advocate, no matter how good they might be.

      Where is the value in chasing the tail of bullshit like whether Obama can win among white working class voters?

      Nothing, of course, is absolute and I'm not suggesting that Team Obama try to circumvent the corporate media. They reach a lot of people and have a great deal of power over public opinion. I am merely saying that having our own equivalent to Terry Macauliffe out there playing cat and mouse with Wolf Blitzer every day would not be entirely useful.

  •  good points. (22+ / 0-)

    Thanks.  His ground game is excellent in just about every way, but he does need to have more surrogates getting his back on the tube.

    JOHN McCAIN = George W. Bush's 3rd term.

    by chumley on Thu May 29, 2008 at 10:45:30 AM PDT

  •  How would you suggest he get his surrogates (11+ / 0-)

    on TV?  The media hand-pick their list of puppets for these shows, they are the tried and true of the corporate media.  Is he going to call all the networks and cable stations and insist they put his people on?

  •  PPl need to stop being lazy. They want to be (5+ / 0-)

    spoon-fed, you see that in the "I want Obama to court me diaries", but we need to break that habit.  That was one reason we got Bush.  

    Yea Bush was good at working the MSM and framing issues, and making up a story about who he was, but if any person actually did research they found out it was not true.

    A Democracy needs an informed electorate not a spoon fed lazy ass electorate like we have been.

    That is why the ppl get the leaders they deserve.

    The definition of insanity is voting the same way and expecting a different result. I'm talking to you FL,OH, KY, WV!

    by Shhs on Thu May 29, 2008 at 10:46:30 AM PDT

  •  I agree, somewhat (3+ / 0-)

    At least compared to Hillary. Not as much Mccain, though.

    HILLARY's team is on TV spinning away EVERY SINGLE DAY. The Obama camp is not like that at all. That said, it didn't help Hillary win.

    We have to remember that cable news has a tiny audience though. Most people watch their local news.

    •  actually, whatever's on cable (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pandoras Box

      makes its way to the internet, and that has an audience of over 100 million Americans.

      What's madness but nobility of the soul at odds with circumstance?

      by slinkerwink on Thu May 29, 2008 at 10:48:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They're spinning because that's all they can do (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anton Sirius, sovery

      You need to see "the media" not as a monolithic power or as a spectacle.  Instead, look at it its content as the result of strategy and tactics that adapt to circumstances. There are news cycles, not one cycle.

      Clinton's surrogates seem to dominate because they are available and willing. They need media exposure to keep alive the sense that she is still viable. Having effectively won the nomination, and waiting for the DNC R&B committee meeting on Saturday, Obama surrogates don't need to play-argue against Clinton surrogates, it would only inflame already high feelings. Obama's campaign isn't mismanaging the media, far from it. Playing this round costs more than any possible gain, so they sit out.

      Obama's clearly running against McCain not Clinton now.  That is covered by the media as news, and is starting to shift what the media can focus their opinion analysis shows on, regardless of their overt or covert allegiances. After June 3 (less than a week), after a final act organized around the theme of "what went wrong" the supply of Clinton surrogates will exceed the media's demand for them, and the focus will shift.

      It's refreshing that politics is finally engaging large numbers of people after so many years of resignation and alienation, but a more critical, analytical attitude would improve things.  

    •  It didn't help her win (2+ / 0-)

      but it helped with giving the impression of a "deeply" devided party vis-a-vis the daily narrative of the Florida and Michigan recount.

      Nobody from the Obama team is providing a point-by-point counter argument to Clinton's talking heads.  And if they do, they do a horrible job at it.

      There are so many things that they can do and say but they don't and they need to get into that state of mind if they're going to take on the Republican attack machine.

  •  Who're his most (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    John DE

    effective surrogates?

    Not Axelrod. Susan Rice? I've seen her say some stupid things, although overall she seems good.

    I saw that Linda Douglass is working for O. Are we gonna have to watch her spin for him.

      •  She's good, but not GREAT. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jaime Schulte, mjd in florida

        She keeps repeating "inspires people," "Change," etc. but doesn't go into "took the lead on trying to keep nukes away from terrorists" and "has a real plan to keep people in their houses."

        I like her and she teevees well, but she needs to salt in some more specifics.

        One Vor's opinion.

        Damn, I think my old sig line was better.

        by Crashing Vor on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:05:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think she's good, but agree that she doesn't (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ybruti, Crashing Vor, Sleepwalkr

          have the depth on every issue. Senator Kerry has been far more effective as a surrogate because he has the gravitas and command to speak on every issue and does a great job contrasting Obama's (or the Democratic) position vs McCain's wrong policy. He makes a very solid case while never attacking McCain personally.

          As to the diary, the problem is that the media now and in 2004 has invited mostly Clinton people as the "Democrats".

          In 2004, on cable the two most prominent Democrats were Carville and Begala, who in the general election spent their time attacking Bush, in a fashion that likely was appealing only to those already extremely against Bush and whining about the Kerry campaign. I watched a substantial amount of news and NEVER heard them speak of Kerry's environmental plan or healthcare plan or his Iraq plan. I doubt either spent a second reading his positions.

          I hope that once HRC is completely out of the picture that the media will use other Democrats or that the Clinton people will decide to be team players for once when it is not a Clinton leading.

        •  She tends to waffle n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Crashing Vor
    •  Good question. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti, jarotra, Sleepwalkr

      There are essentially 3 types of surrogates:

      1. Campaign staff/advisors
      1. Elected party officials
      1. Media supporters

      I get the feeling the staff wants to project the same above the fray image as the candidate.  They (Axelrod & co.) seem to be unlikely to mix it up very much with adversaries on the air.  Perhaps they will find a good attack dog or spinster, but most of the team doesn't seem to fit this mold.  

      Party officials:
      I would love more visibility here.  HRC seemed to get a lot of milage out of Rendell, Rep. Tubbs Jones, Rep Wasserman Schultz, etc...  I would like to see more of Biden, Webb, Kerry, McCaskill, Napoliano, Richardson...  I think we will see more of them as the campaign fully pivots away from Clinton and all the focus is on McCain.  I'm sure it will be much more comfortable for them to attack McCain than to attack Sen. Clinton.

      Media supporters:
      I'm not a big fan, but Ed Schultz, for one, does great in debates with wingers.  He should be the de facto Fox surrogate. MSNBC is covered with Maddow, Gene Robinson, Lawrence O'Donnell...

      Bottom line - I think the party faithful will come around and do their share once the General Election is in full swing.  There are probably enough media cheerleaders to hold their own for Obama.  And we will have to wait and see if the campaign finds some effective voices for some of the dirty work and spin that Wolfson, Davis, McAulliffe types thrive on.

      This comment has been crossposted at AT&T: 611 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA - Room 641A.

      by ManahManah on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:32:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re: Media Supporters (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Maddow is OK.  Gene Robinson and Lawrence O'Donnell are horrible.   CNN has that Martin guy who is much better.  Schultz is probably the better of bunch.  Has a folksy way of saying things which can look good with the type of voters that Obama needs.

        •  I agree about Maddow and Schultz, (0+ / 0-)

          especially Maddow. Schultz's style is indeed very compelling - a non-"elitist"/overly academic liberal from the heartland - also a pretty commanding presence. Sometimes I feel he could coordinate the talking points a little better with the campaign though.

          Also, there is the group of "strategists" and in-house "contributors" like Paul Begala and (yikes) Jamal Simmons. We could surely do better there. We need someone incisive and disciplined to go against the likes of Ari Fleischer in the General.

      •  Not if the meme that Hillary won the most votes (0+ / 0-)

        Gets bought into...

        Obama/Casey, my personal dream ticket.

        by The Bagof Health and Politics on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:54:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I would add elder statesmen (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sean oliver, ManahManah, Sleepwalkr

        who add much appreciated gravitas to Obama's positions.

        I have seen Zbigniew Brzezinski speak for Obama.  At 80 years old he is as deft and nimble in his analysis as he ever was, and he demolished all the childish points TV pundits were trying to make against Obama's foreign policy experience with effortless ease and some humor.  One pundit said Hillary has had more time on the national scene - Zbigniew's reply "Mamie Eisenhower spent 8 years in the White House also, no one suggested that gave her sufficient experience to be President."

        Another good surrogate on the economic front could be Paul Volcker.  Also 80 years old, he was the Federal Reserve Chairman before Alan Greenspan. (yes, there was such a time).  I know he endorsed Obama, and I know he still gives speeches.  It would be very valuable if he could be persuaded to appear for Obama, say on the Sunday morning shows.

        Sam Nunn is only 69, (lol), but is another ideal voice to shut down those who complain of Obama's lack of experience.

        These people have been around the block.  If they choose to do so, they can easily outmaneuver the self satisfied media pundits and their agendas.

        * "If you're going to play the game properly you'd better know every rule." - Barbara Jordan

        by jarotra on Thu May 29, 2008 at 12:02:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  On the plus side... (19+ / 0-)

    ... he also doesn't have surrogates on TV making asses of themselves and going off message.

    I will consider it a personal failing if, by November, the name 'McCain' doesn't cause the American voter to immediately think of Bush's smirking grin.

    by droogie6655321 on Thu May 29, 2008 at 10:51:45 AM PDT

    •  Yes, but that still happens, too ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... I don't remember the guy's name, but I saw an Obama superdelegate supporter being interviewed (on CNN or MSNBC I think) just about the time of the Ohio/Texas primary and caucus double header. He was asked to give examples of Obama's legislative accomplishments in the Illinois or U.S. Senate, particularly when it came to working with Rethuglicans, and the fellow couldn't name a single one.

      Geez, I could have given the interviewer at least three examples off the top of my head. And here this professional politician, who had just announced his endorsement of Obama, could not do it. That looked really bad for our guy. We will have to perform much better in the general election campaign.

      •  That's why Obama's media team (3+ / 0-)

        has to get cracking NOW and find effective voices. The rightwing will eat him for lunch if they don't.

        Just being 'right' on an issue isn't enough; he has to push his message relentlessly by employing all kinds of different Obama surrogates; men, women, liberals, conservatives who support him, southerners, northerners, farmers, lawyers etc.. Every demographic group in America.

        This will familiarize himself with low-information voters.

      •  Definitely the wrong choice (0+ / 0-)

        I think this guy was a local TX politico. It was hard to watch Tweety mess with him. But he didn't seem to have a lot of gravitas on anything. Still, we remember him and that is enough of a warning sign for me.

        Lamont also made this mistake. He didn't aggresively work the media. He trusted quotes from his speeches at his hugely popular rallies vs. Lieberman's empty campaign stops. Lieberman used to have a shill, probably a paid staff member greet him as he got off the bus. The people who voted for Lieberman are sitting at home waiting to vote for McCain.

        •  I believe it was a local Texas pol ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... but that is no excuse. If anything, it looks worse when someone who just announced his support for Obama and agreed to a TV interview on the subject cannot answer such a simple question.

          Part of me suspects that the Obama campaign is leery of providing talking points for its supporters because the chief advisors/managers don't want to appear too scripted. And there is a certain case to be made for playing up the candidate's grass-roots, populist appeal. However, as Bag of Health and Politics points out, above, such an approach undermines the kind of message discipline Obama needs to define himself to the many Americans for whom he is still unfamiliar now.

          If he does not get on top of this problem soon, the Rethuglicans will be first out of the gate to introduce him to the low-information voters in the worst possible light. Both Gore and Kerry had the same problem. Obama needs to find a way to beat the GOP to the punch.

    •  True That (0+ / 0-)

      Every time Lenny Davis appears on the screen, if you listen carefully you can hear a multitude of tiny tinkling bells. Each one of those is a Clinton supporter switching sides.

      But seriously, folks, I agree with the general sentiment in this thread, with the exception of the MI-FL issue, which is the only question left in the nomination fight. I think Obama is much better off leaving that one alone. The last few times I've seen Davis and Wolfson discuss this on CNN, they were rebutted by the journalists, which was effective. If they had been sparring with an Obama surrogate, it would have become a legitimate issue with two sides.

      No doubt the McCain fight requires a different tack in terms of media presence, I agree with y'all.

  •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jaime Frontero, robinseggblue

    Network and media exectives are in control of who gets on their "news" shows.  If everyone would just stop watching news shows except for KO, then the executives would have to reassess their lineups.  But everyone keeps watching, even FOX for god's sake.  So - STOP WATCHING!  

    * 4084 *

    by BDA in VA on Thu May 29, 2008 at 10:52:21 AM PDT

  •  Important Point - Good Diary (9+ / 0-)

    You are making a powerful point.  I happen to love Claire McCaskill as a surrogate.  She's funny, warm, down-to-earth and as non-elitist as you can be.  They should use her more, and get plenty of other surrogates out there as well.  Axelrod has gotten a bit better at TV, but he ain't telegenic and it's not his forte.  Communications Director Robert Gibbs is outstanding -- quite funny and knowledgeable as well -- but he only appears extremely rarely.  

    I am recommending this in the hopes the Obama people will see this.  

  •  Claire Mccaskill should be on TV more often. (6+ / 0-)

    She is a great Obama surrogate.

    When the rich wage war it's the poor who die

    by JohnAdams999 on Thu May 29, 2008 at 10:56:25 AM PDT

  •  Clinton surrogates (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, iowabosox, sweetliberty, sovery

    are a small group really:

    Lanny Davis
    Kiki Mclean
    Debbie Wasserman-Schultz
    Geraldine Ferraro
    Howard Wolfson
    Ed Rendell

    Who have I missed? And Ferraro seems to only venture onto Fox.
    Sure, they make a lot of appearances but it is really a gang of five.

    Obama surrogatesz;

    Claire McCaskill
    David Axelrod
    Adam Smith
    David Bonior
    Ed Schultz
    Tanya Acker
    Stephanie Miller
    John Kerry
    Chris Dodd
    Dick Durbin
    Bill Richardson
    Artur Davis
    Robert Wexler
    Bob Casey
    Tom Daschle
    Ted Kennedy
    Caroline Kennedy
    Maria Shriver

    Ok, the folks on this list have all done TV appearances on behalf of Obama, but not very many.
    I know what you are saying but sometimes I think just having those same ''gang of five'' make many,many appearances loses its impact. Has anyone not turned off Lanny by now?

    Again, Axelrod is not a novice..and party unity would dictate not having waves of dems out hammering another democrat. HRC can do that..nothing to lose. Obama needs to play the game with more nuance. And he is keeping his powder dry. Once the general really starts, look for Obama to unleash the above folks.

  •  I think a smug confidence crept into his (2+ / 0-)

    campaign after winning "11 states in a row," then came the SNL sketch, the ABC debate/debacle, the Rev. Wright blitz. They're losing the media war.

    •  They've always been losing the media (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sean oliver

      war, that is and always has been my biggest complaint. They get outspun repeatedly.

      There is nothing naïve about your impulse to change the world. ~Barack Obama-5/25/08

      by Muzikal203 on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:08:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        it's just that news has become entertainment and HRC's campaign and it's inanities have become farce whereas as Obama retains a not as entertaining seriousness.

        "How can I go off and join FRELIMO, when I've got 9 more payments on the fridge?" Mrs. Conclusion Monty Python

        by Sansouci on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:12:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well he can be "serious" and not get outspun (1+ / 0-)

          he needed to be more forceful with the truth than he was.

          There is nothing naïve about your impulse to change the world. ~Barack Obama-5/25/08

          by Muzikal203 on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:13:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Have you ignored (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden, geejay, sovery

            the "gas tax" debate, his head to head with McCain over the G.I. Bill, lobbyist influence in his campaign and his taking McCain to task over Foreign policy credibility? From what I am seeing, HRC dodged a bullet considering how Obama is going after McCain (critiquing him from the well of the Senate).

            "How can I go off and join FRELIMO, when I've got 9 more payments on the fridge?" Mrs. Conclusion Monty Python

            by Sansouci on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:28:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not talking about that stuff (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sean oliver

              I'm talking since the beginning of the campaign in his dealings with Clinton, he's largely let a lot of stuff PASS from her for the sake of "party unity" he could have been more forceful when he responded to her. Not go ultra negative, just more forceful about getting his message out there.

              There is nothing naïve about your impulse to change the world. ~Barack Obama-5/25/08

              by Muzikal203 on Thu May 29, 2008 at 12:25:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you project (0+ / 0-)

                that she is nothing more than a gnat on an elephant's ass, than people will begin to treat her like a gnat on an elephant's ass. That's how she got away with the "inevitability" meme, she acted like she was inevitable and people bought it. The more Obama engages her, the more serious she seems. As my father always says, "Who is more the fool? The fool himself or one who argues with the fool?"

                "How can I go off and join FRELIMO, when I've got 9 more payments on the fridge?" Mrs. Conclusion Monty Python

                by Sansouci on Thu May 29, 2008 at 12:33:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not talking about RIGHT NOW (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm talking about throughout the ENTIRE primary.

                  Never argue with an idiot, they drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. (same thing is true for rabid Clinton supporters)

                  by Muzikal203 on Thu May 29, 2008 at 12:37:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's a little late (0+ / 0-)

                    to spend too much time on what has passed. If he has rectified the concern, let's move on. The uppercse emotions of your subject line suggests some stress. I don't mean to upset you. Let's be friends.

                    "How can I go off and join FRELIMO, when I've got 9 more payments on the fridge?" Mrs. Conclusion Monty Python

                    by Sansouci on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:05:13 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  These are good, but we (0+ / 0-)

              need to see more of it.

        •  It doesn't matter (0+ / 0-)

          what he thinks of the merits of the media...he needs to play the game and that's an adjustment that he needs to make for the General.  He can't depend on the media to take the high ground or do the job for him.  He needs his campaign to be there to respond, attack or spin on his behalf.

          •  I didn't make the above (0+ / 0-)

            statement as a description of Obama's campaign's view of the media . . . my question of who controls booking on these shows has yet to be answered.

            "How can I go off and join FRELIMO, when I've got 9 more payments on the fridge?" Mrs. Conclusion Monty Python

            by Sansouci on Thu May 29, 2008 at 12:44:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  They're having trouble but not losing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      A majority of it could be contributed to the MSM's overcorrection for alleged bias towards Obama so  what do they do - they run stuff like J. Wright ad naseum.  That, plus there are several Obama surrogates who are not getting out or are not being asked by the MSM.  People like Lanny Davis, James Carville, Paul Begala are more well known which makes a difference.  Hopefully this will change after next week and if not there had better be some hell raised with the MSM.
      Finally, media surrogates are fine to a point but Obama needs to get out to meet voters, as many as he can one on one with hopefully his VP nominee, if the fight over the nomination ever gets over.  IMO, that's what Kerry didn't do, besides the damage which was done by the "Swift Boat Liars".

  •  Maybe it depends on what you watch. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, askew, Mote Dai, neroden

    Sen. McCaskill was on "Colbert" last night.  Axelrod or Gibbs appear on "Morning Joe" almost every day.  It seems that these folks are on cable quite a bit, along with other Obama surrogates.  Seems to me that they do a fairly good job of getting coverage.

    But you're right -- it would be nice to see some of the higher-profile surrogates appear more often.  Perhaps they're saving it until the primary is over.

  •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)

    The balance is way off--tilted toward Clinton.  An unbelievable amount of stuff being swallowed and then "reported as fact" by these talking heads.  As awful as they are, though, Obama's campaign should do whatever they can to sit there where the rest of them.  Higher road is great, but things can get away from you if you're not careful.

    All serious daring starts from within. ~Eudora Welty~

    by livjack on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:01:30 AM PDT

  •  Obama knows what he's doing (9+ / 0-)

    It's kind of amazing to watch all the gloom and doom.  The campaign has defied conventional wisdom and armchair quarterbacks from the beginning.  Have a little faith.

  •  About the media. Look at this video (0+ / 0-)

    over on Talk Left
    Its from Obama church and some guest preacher. Over on the other side they are calling it a breakthru.

  •  Good, thoughtful diary! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pandoras Box

    You made good points and I agree.  We also need to see Senator Obama's folks on some of these "stupid" shows.  I hate the idea, but that's how the message gets to the masses.

    Like it or not, we probably need to make sure Senator Obama's message gets out there.

    OBAMA 08!!!!  GOBAMA!!!!

    Love long....laugh often!

    by RO45 on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:02:32 AM PDT

  •  This may be part of a primary strategy (14+ / 0-)

    The campaign wants to:

    1. marginalize HRC's claims by not acknowledging them and focusing on general election issues;


    1. keeping their surrogates quiet so HRC can "have her say" and cannot colorably claim to have been "bullied" or "forced out" of the race.

    I wouldn't count on this strategy continuing into the general election with McSame.

    •  my thoughts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:


      At this point, unless something drastic happens, the democratic primary is essentially over.

      When Obama secures the nomination, I think that we'll see a rise in the number of surrogate appearances, all the way through November.

    •  Or maybe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      iowabosox, sovery

      the Obama supporeters have better things to do than engage in a useles back and forth over a nearly dead issue with HRC suppoprters. The media commentators seem to be doing a fairly decent job of revealing the innocuous nature of HRC's extravagant claims.

      "How can I go off and join FRELIMO, when I've got 9 more payments on the fridge?" Mrs. Conclusion Monty Python

      by Sansouci on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:10:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I was going to say that, but now I don't (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      have to. I think a lot is going to change as far as running for the general. They can't go too hard on Hillary because she's the ultimate victim and has no problem being one.

      McCain will not get nearly as much sympathy. Also, once the party consolidates around him, the Clinton surrogates will hopefully disappear. CNN is the worst, I can't even count how many times I'd cruise by there and see a clinton supporter, a "neutral democratic strategist" who sounds like a clinton supporter, and a republican with no Obama supporter.

      There is nothing naïve about your impulse to change the world. ~Barack Obama-5/25/08

      by Muzikal203 on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:11:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think that this is a good point. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sweetliberty, sovery

      What happened when Bush made his comments before the Knesset?

      Kerry, Daschel hit right away.

      Followed forcefully by Biden, who isn't even a surrogate for Obama (yet?).

      Followed even by Clinton herself.  

      There will be a big difference in drawing contrasts with and responses to McCain and Bush than we've seen at the end of the primary campaign.

    •  Could be; It's what I think too, (0+ / 0-)

      but I'm worried about the fact that Obama is allowing the Clintonoids to dominate the argument over MI & FL, even if it doesn't really matter regarding the nomination.
      What does matter - a lot - is the undecided voters' perception of how the Obama team "plays ball" against an opponent. He will be seen as weak...

  •  I think once Obama is the nominee (6+ / 0-)

    this will change and there will be a parade of Dems and Obama supporters.

    Obama/Webb '08 or Obama/Clark '08

    by Drdemocrat on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:03:37 AM PDT

  •  The media battle is only a small part of it (9+ / 0-)

    And quite frankly, McCain's people aren't nearly good enough at it to counteract Obama's behind-the-scenes strength. The reason why Hillary Clinton lost the primaries (yes Clinton supporters, it's time to give up the delusion that this isn't over) is because he out-performed her in GOTV and other ground game work which tends not to be covered by the media. Clinton's people are out in full force because they need to be in order to stay relevant. The general election isn't until November, right now the thing which should be priority #1 is building up infrastructure to start a GOTV operation. Winning individual cycles is nice and all, but until you get a lot closer to the general it's value is extremely limited.

  •  whew! for a second there... (7+ / 0-)

    ... I thought Obama had gone wind-surfing!   Thank god...

    "I am a comedian and poet, so anything that doesn't get a laugh ... is a poem." - Bill Hicks

    by shadetree mortician on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:03:54 AM PDT

    •  heh! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shadetree mortician

      "Lets not run out to meet trouble; it might not be coming to our house." - Something the Dog Said's Grandfather

      by Pandoras Box on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:04:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  OMG! The Obama campaign is not perfect (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shadetree mortician, shayshay

      in every way.  We are doomed. The drama in the diary title really threw me for a loop. You gave me quite a start.  Wind surfing came to mind just like fellow commenter 'shadtree mortician'.  

      Basically, I agree more needs to be done to get more and better surrogates on the TV.  I have already advised the campaign about this issue.  I also told them that my favorite and most effective surrogates are:

      - Senator Joe Biden - Senator Claire McCaskill - John Edwards - Senator Dick Durbin - Senator John Kerry - Senator Chris Dodd - Rep Adam Smith

      I am confident that the Obama campaign is aware of this need and will take care of this problem. No worries.

      •  Windsurfing wasn't Kerry's biggest problem; (0+ / 0-)

        His wimpy rhetoric is what lost him them election. That's what the Obama camp needs to address, because it appears to happening again, although Obama's rhetoric is a considerable improvement.

  •  Many many people (6+ / 0-)

    freaking hate those back and forth bs shows and resent the hell out of the people who play those games.  

    I'm not saying Obama doesn't need to be able to reinforce his messages in media.  But the different style we've seen from him in handling the media has actually been very effective.  

    Notice that he somehow beat two of the toughest politicians in the country for the Democratic nomination.  Notice that he's already polling even or ahead of the Republican nominee even as millions of Democrats are still intentionally deflating his numbers thinking it could get Hillary the nomination.

    What often happens is that they let the media circus and opponents go goofy on an attack for a while.  Everyone is pretty used to political attacks and they're suspicious of it anyway.  So once people have really stuck their necks out Obama tends to just neatly cut their heads off.  

    What you wind up with is someone who gets attacked a lot for a time but eventually opponents will become increasingly wary of sticking their necks out.  

    What Obama has been doing is giving people credit for seeing through the bullshit.  It's basically the foundation of his campaign style.  He actually puts faith in the electorate.  Once people sense that, they appreciate it greatly.  

    Look at how Hillary and McCain's gas tax pander was very calmly turned back on them.  

    Fear is the mind killer

    by Sun dog on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:04:15 AM PDT

    •  I agree. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sun dog, sovery

      I think people are sick and tired of this bullshit. And analyzing this bullshit, and having that analysis of the bullshit reanalyzed by more bullshit peddlers. If this were not the case, Wright would have destroyed Obama 2 months ago. He is playing the September media game, and most people are still caught up in May. Let Hillary and her ilk embarass themselves. It only makes his job fighting McCain easier.

      In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

      by alkalinesky on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:52:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama should be polling alot better right now. (0+ / 0-)

      That's one of my concerns. Something is lacking from Obama's campaign and it's his media game. But it's not a permanent weakness.


      •  He should be polling a lot better? (0+ / 0-)

        What do you base such a broad assumption on?  I can say it's expected he'd be lagging some when the GOP sewed up their nomination months ago and Obama is getting hacked hard by many in his own party.  

        Seems to me it's surprising that he's still as strong as he is with Democrats going on NPR repeating lines about Hillary losing the nomination because of sexism and her telling the country that Obama is trying to disenfranchise people and he should have quit his church and such.

        Hillary is in a stronger position than McCain in a lot of ways to depress Obama's numbers.  She's helping cause the very thing she points to as proof that she needs to be in the race so she can keep causing it.  

        Until it's a one on one fight with McCain for a while, these numbers are pretty misleading.

        Fear is the mind killer

        by Sun dog on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:22:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This comment is way off base. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sun dog

        Obama is only just emerging from an intensely scrutinized primary in which 2 sides of the party have been going at it.  

        He has been parrying attacks from both Clinton AND McCain for over a month and a half now, and in the middle of it all he took on Jeremiah Wright, the bitter fiasco, etc.

        And yet in a great many polls, including some out today, he still LEADS McCain.  

        The party fractures will heal once the primary is over.  He'll get a bounce, and he'll get another one after the convention, and meanwhile he'll be campaigning in all these states.

        His poll numbers will go up, but considering all that's happened, they are surprisingly good.

        You snooze you lose, well I have snost and lost, I'm pushing thru, I'll disregard the cost... -Mike Doughty

        by Sean in Motion on Thu May 29, 2008 at 01:27:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Based upon the GOP's approval (0+ / 0-)

          ratings, Obama - the presumptive nominee, should be at least 10-15 pts up on every poll...
          Some of Obama's problem here is due to HRC's idiocy, but really, Obama should be trouncing him easily right now.

  •  The media wants Clinton/Obama to play out (3+ / 0-)

    It's good for ratings. They are going to keep putting Clinton people on to stoke the story and keep it alive.

    June 4th the tide will turn.

    There will be nothing else to wait for.
    The primaries will be over.
    Michigan and Florida will be decided for the most part.
    Obama will be ahead in pledged delegates and supers.

    He will be the nominee.
    Then the Obama surrogates will be getting lots of face time.
    They will be free to speak without fear of offending Clinton/her devotees. Everybody can quit tiptoeing around and say what they want. The general election will begin.

    The media will be seeking Obama out. The narrative will have moved on. Right now, Clinton has him boxed him. He has to play out the clock.

    Today's problems are yesterday's solutions. Don Beck

    by Sherri in TX on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:04:30 AM PDT

    •  Good point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mjd in florida

      does the media encourage HRC supporters (i.e. promote them more) in order to keep pouring gasoline on the fire?

      "How can I go off and join FRELIMO, when I've got 9 more payments on the fridge?" Mrs. Conclusion Monty Python

      by Sansouci on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:07:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  JUNE FOURTH IS TOO LATE (0+ / 0-)

      How many times to I  have to say this before people get it? Hillary Clinton is making an argument that Obama is an illegitimate nominee because she supposedly got the most votes. Whether it's true or not (it's not), many of her supporters believe it. If it's decided on June 4th, those supporters will see it as men in a back room pushing Obama out. IT MUST BE A PLEDGED delegate which puts Obama over the top--with that comes legitimacy. Without it, he's up the creek.

      Obama/Casey, my personal dream ticket.

      by The Bagof Health and Politics on Thu May 29, 2008 at 12:03:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Try saying it coherently (0+ / 0-)

        Then, maybe will get whatever it is you think you're saying. Then all of American will listen to you, no doubt...Yours will be the most famous, sagest voice on the internet. You will rule!

        Of course, you['d have to be making a point that is worth making. This one isn't.

        Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

        by FischFry on Thu May 29, 2008 at 12:29:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's pretty obvious (0+ / 0-)

          Unless people want to willfully be oblivious to the truth:

          Hillary Clinton is building a bullshit popular vote case which relies on selective counting, but works because it is the AP's "official" count.

          If a Super Delegate pushes Obama over the top after the elections are completed, it'll appear like it was "stolen from Hillary by the men," to some of her supporters.

          Hence June 4th is too late!

          Really not that complicated, unless you want to live in a fantasy land where the Obama campaign can do no wrong, and where Hillary Clinton will be gracious and accept defeat...

          Obama/Casey, my personal dream ticket.

          by The Bagof Health and Politics on Thu May 29, 2008 at 12:34:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  right on the money (3+ / 0-)

    It's been bugging me, too. The one thing Clinton's team is the absolute best at is spin and determining the media narrative. How is it that a candidate with zero chance of winning the nomination turns a meeting by an obscure party rules committee into 1968 Chicago redux? Her people understand the weaknesses of the media and how to exploit them. Obama's people need to become much more aggressive in pushing their people onto cable. It's like with the 527s -- don't shut them down, use EVERY option available to win. No matter how much I despise Hillary at this point, I can't help admiring her refusal to lose. I'd be shocked if she quits next week. I want to win in November, and I don't care if Obama's campaign does some things that aren't 100 percent virtuous. Obama is from Chicago. Time to start bringing a gun to a knife fight.

    •  It's all about winning the (0+ / 0-)

      rhetorical argument. Surrogates have to be fast on their feet; they have to internalize everything good about the candidate and once they are in front of the cameras, be able to effortlessly argue any point no matter what. They have to be able to demolish the other side's argument quickly with a minimum of words and as witty as possible.
      That's how you win elections.

  •  Can campaigns "place" people on shows (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    or do they have to be booked (i.e. invited to appear). I've often thought this same thing, who is in control of who appears on these shows?

    "How can I go off and join FRELIMO, when I've got 9 more payments on the fridge?" Mrs. Conclusion Monty Python

    by Sansouci on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:05:29 AM PDT

  •  This, again, is how Clinton is hurting Obama (4+ / 0-)

    Shouldn't the DNC be jumping all over McCain's Iraq weakness and Phil Gramm and Renzi and other lobbyists rather than preparing for a RBC meeting on Saturday in an effort to placate Veruca Salt and her can't-come-to-terms-with-losing supporters?

  •  On the flipside... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama isn't getting caught up in the MSM 24 hour news cycle, which is now an hourly news cycle, and shrinking by the day.

    McSame and Billary have their surrogates out there-- but they spend more time explaining what their candidates "gaffe" of the day really meant, and how it was misconstrued.

    I too want Obama to win so badly, that everytime I read something negative about him, i get stomach turning flashbacks to John Kerry in 04.  And I want to see his top people on the news one second later defending him.


    Obama & Co. are playing by their own rules. While that is usually not a good thing for most, he and his advisers are winning and raising money at record-breaking rates.

    He dealt with Reverand Wright seemingly in a perfect way.  He has, but "officially" about to take down the Clinton machine.  He is gearing up to take down McCain and the entire republican party by doing more for down ticket candidates than Kerry, Clinton, or anybody else has done ever for that matter.  Not only does his campaign want the house, they want a bigger majority in the house and senate.

    So, I think it is serving him well not plastering himself or surrogates in the MSM every twenty minutes.  Just my 2 cents.  Cheers.

  •  Jamal Simmons is horrible at his job. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    royalscam, hakunamatata

    Don't get me wrong. He seems like a charming, intelligent, and amazingly telegenic guy. At first glance, it seems like people would just automatically tune out a Lanny Davis or Paul Begala to hear what this guy has to say.

    But on pure debating points, they kick his ass every single night he appears on CNN. If, even one more time, I hear a Clinton advisor go unchallenged in his presence after asserting that she is leading in the popular vote, I'm going to explode.

    If being a surrogate was merely about conveying a style, an attitude, a brand, then Simmons would be ideal. But it is irreducibly about getting out a message.

    Moreover, catching Ari Fleischer's appearances discussing McClellan this past week has reminded me of first, precisely how loathesome he is, and second, how truly effective loathesome people can be at this media game. I mean, listening to Chris Lehane in 2000 made me want to go take a shower he was so sickening. But now...I think even Chris Lehane would be better.

    •  Yep I agree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sean oliver, andydoubtless, royalscam

      decorum is not the job of the surrogate, that is the preserve of the candidate. Hate Carville, Begalla, Davis if you will but they are junk yard dogs who get the job done.

      Last night I caught the last few minutes of Campbell Brown on CNN, Begalla was on for the Dems and some columnist for the Was Times seemed to be giving the GOP slant. When the Was times shill mentioned that Obama has never gone to Iraq Brown weakly tried to counter that he had been then (albeit a while ago).
      The Was Times shill mentioned it again and this time Brown didn't say anything and through the whole exchange Begala offered no defense for Obama (big surprise).

      However where in the world was the Obama surrogate? Begala's non-support was just another example of the damage being done by HRC staying in the race since he really wasn't interested in defending Obama.

      "When all is said and done, more is said than done" ..Barney Kremenko creator of the modern business meeting.

      by polticoscott on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:44:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  of all his surrogates that I feel stayed on point (0+ / 0-)

    and was never flustered by the questions
    CLAIRE MCCASKILL. Excellent speaker.

    "Bigotry dwarfs the soul by shutting out the truth." - Edwin Hubbel Chapin

    by kenjisan on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:14:16 AM PDT

  •  He's ALWAYS Had a Weak Air Game (2+ / 0-)

    Very weak.

    Successful as he's been till now, I can't possibly accept that he can win in Nov. without a much stronger one.

    There isn't time during an entire Presidential term to win an election by live rallies.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:14:32 AM PDT

  •  Problem is media WANTS Obama talking (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, neroden, sovery, kocoabrown16

    and he can't be on every show every freaking day - Obama's brand is so strong and folks want to HEAR directly from him more than his surrogates. I think alot of viewers are tired of the partisan talking heads like Lanie Davis jabbering on endlessly, they tune them out.

    Clinton has tons of surrogates, had all primary season and some so annoying that turned off viewers. And a Clinton interview wasn't the sought after prize, Obama WAS and that remains true.

    Media wants Obama on their show way more than McCain - their supposed golden boy.

    So not sure that surrogates will really sate the public or media interest.

  •  Strategy (0+ / 0-)

    Do you think Obama needs to be front and center? People know Obama wants a compromise on FL/MI. The Clinton campaign is doing a great job at kelling their own campaign with their whining and bending the rules. McCain is campaigning with Bush, having lobbyists on his campaign, taring himself apart as well.

    Obama is not needed on the news networks. His opponents killing themselves on their own. Just wait until he gets enough delegates. Then they will be out in full force.

    To Care is to Hope. To Hope is to Risk. Thank you Senator Obama for allowing me to understand what my grandfather had been telling me most of my life.

    by Hercegovac on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:16:21 AM PDT

  •  the TV audience is shrinking anyway (0+ / 0-)

    People will always pay more attention to what the guy next door says than to what the guy on TV says.  The Obama campaign is aiming to get the guy next door talking.

    Here's the solution to this:

    Turn off your television.

    Doesn't that feel better?

    Guns don't kill people. Giant mutant insects kill people.

    by VelvetElvis on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:16:57 AM PDT

  •  One good thing is that we have (0+ / 0-)

    great National figures who can really slam or charm the media:

    1. ***Biden***
    1. McCaskill
    1. Kerry
    1. Jackson, Jr.
    1. Casey
    1. Dodd
    1. Edwards
    1. Webb
    1. Hillary if she decides to cross over from the dark side and put some of that fighting power to work for good.

    We have a lot more star power going for us. On the Republican side, many of their would be soldiers are wounded from scandal or in close election races.

  •  Obama's doing great! (0+ / 0-)

    The Republican "clowns" who appear all the time are further discrediting the Republicans. Only the (insane) small and shrinking base believes their crap.

    McCain will win ONLY if the Republicans steal another election...a real possibility.

    But, to the degree that we have a fair election, Obama is doing everything correct to win BIG.

    The best way to lose is to react defensively to the crazy their nonsense unearned credibility.

    Instead, Obama will keep people's attention where it belongs...on substantial issues that affect people's lives.

    People are afraid...not of terrorists under the bed...but of losing their jobs, their homes, and their healthcare.

    If the Republicans won election on manufactured fear, Obama can win - BIG - by putting the attention on real ones. Ones that Republicans created and Democrats can work to solve.

    When a government violates the unalienable rights of the people, it loses its legitimacy.

    by Rayk on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:24:05 AM PDT

  •  We need more aggressive media presence (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and rapid response. That's what I've been saying since the day after the WI primary. It didn't happen and the results have been obvious: since then, Clinton camp has been able to inject and cement every one of their talking points into public debate (at least long enough to matter) and that's exactly how and why Obama's momentum stalled after WI.

    McCain & Clinton = WAR Authorizers | Sen. Bob Graham (FL) for Obama's VP?

    by NeuvoLiberal on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:24:15 AM PDT

  •  Sorry, but part of your problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is the incredible, obstinate ignorance displayed in your criticism of Kerry's campaign that: THE MEDIA WOULD NOT CARRY ANYTHING BUT PRO BUSH PROGRAMMING.

    Have you not paid any attention to "Blinded by the Right", Media Matters, "Lapdogs"?

    How about the millitary 'force multipliers' used as unbiased analysts for all the cable and broadcast networks?

    Does the name Scott McClellan ring a bell?

    Using this kind of false premise will not get you viable conclusions.

    Now try RESEARCHING your topic.

    Character and the Primaries of 2008

    Why does Clinton get so many surrogates on the networks?
    Because Clinton is McCain's only hope to win.

    Can McCain Overcome the Triple Whammy?

    And because Clinton's fight is the story that they want to sell.

    The best contribution we can make for Obama until 6/3 is phone
    banking. After that, give him a little time to refresh before he takes off again. He's just pulled off the biggest upset in modern politics.

    •  A candidate's media team has the reponsibility (0+ / 0-)

      to do whatever it can to get favorable coverage - that is the reality of mass-media.
      Right now, the Clintonoids are doing a very good job of it, despite the fact that they are 100% full of shit.
      Kerry's team did not do a good job; excellent oppurtunities for rhetorical attacks on Bush were never exploited, or the attacks were very wimpy. Rightwing talking points were left unanswered, and Kerry never really attacked Bush hard - ever.
      Obama seems to be playing too nice, just as Kerry did.

  •  Let's see if this changes (0+ / 0-)

    When/If Hillary drops out.  Despite what the Clintons have said, the TM is filled with Clinton supporters who have not been helping Obama out.  When/If Clinton exits stage left, I think the media narrative will change.

  •  At this point (0+ / 0-)

    it doesn't really matter - he's got the nomination.

    •  My concern is (0+ / 0-)

      yes, he may have the nomination, but Obama needs to start fighting like he's in a life or death struggle with McCain. He needs to attack every level of GOP philosophy from Iraq to the economy to corruption - all of it.
      So far, we have not really seen it.

      •  You sound like Rachel Maddow (0+ / 0-)

        whom I find overly pessimistic - if the party rallies around Obama within the next couple of weeks, things'll be fine.

        •  No (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sean oliver

          that's just wishful thinking.  Repugs are relentless and he'll need to be on top of it.  He can't just evade and hit back.  He needs to keep McCain on the defensive at all times to take him out of his game.  Obama and his team needs to dictate the daily narrative not the other way around.

          This story with Iraq is a good, early example.  McCain has picked up on it and Obama is just responding.  It should have been the other way around.  Put McCain on the defensive and keep questioning his approach.

        •  Obama has an uphill battle (0+ / 0-)

          Face it; he does. I think he can win, but he can't let McCain get away with anything, nor can he commit anymore stupid bullshit gaffes like "bitter".

  •  One big edge Bush had was the fear (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    machine. Do you remember the threat level codes. All summer long we kept going back up to orange, then back down to yellow. Oh no, orange again.

    So, there were so many elements that played into the Kerry loss, not just the media war.

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Unlike Kerry, who just lost the media war and looked at times like he was facing a firing squad, Obama seems to have an actual strategy:    He's staying out of the daily tit-for-tat and gotcha politics, and appears to be trying to move beyond it - rather than acquiescing to what the media wants.  

  •  I agree with this and I wonder if (3+ / 0-)

    it isn't a little like the Clinton campaign not having a strategy beyond Super-Tuesday.

    There has been a noticeble lack of Obama media initiatives since the Edwards endorsement.

    Perhaps they are waiting for the end of the primaries .....just the same waiting is not aleawys a good strategy in politics.

    Say what you like about the Clintons (and I have very little positive to say) they did perfect the art of the rapid response.

    "When all is said and done, more is said than done" ..Barney Kremenko creator of the modern business meeting.

    by polticoscott on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:36:58 AM PDT

  •  i see lots of surrogates (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have rarely, if ever, seen a newsprogram on CNN or MSNBC that doesn't have at least one surrogate from each campaign when they do their analysis.

  •  Gee, I surprised he's even winning... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden, sovery, shayshay

    Really people! I know everyone here is concerned and want this primary race over, but do you really think we know better than his campaign managers? I can only speak for myself and say I have never ran any campaign in my life, and for me to play not just "Monday morning quarterback" or "predictor of all outcomes", is a little out of my league. The campaign hasn't been perfect but effective. Besides, the only thing the MSM would have and have tried to do to his surrogates is to bait them into giving Hillary more foder to whip up her die hard supporters into even more of a frenzy for higher ratings. So, I'm not too concerned.

    "Give me where to stand, and I will move the earth." Archimedes

    by dtruth on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:40:08 AM PDT

  •  My gut feeling.. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cixelsyd, neroden, jarotra, cacamp, shayshay

    is that after Tuesday and the numbers are in, there will be a barage of people willing to not only endorse Barak, but at the same time totally wail on Bush/McCain.. and I'm talking about the long hitters, like Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and others.  I wouldn't be surprised if there is an "event" being planned to get them all together and make thier BO endorsements and Bush/McCain rebukes together.

    "He was a drinking man with a guitar problem." James McMurtry

    by lzyltnin on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:41:53 AM PDT

  •  I thought Durbin was weak (0+ / 0-)

    against the macho man Lindsey Graham on the recent show with Bob Schieffer.

    He was unprepared to deal with the McCain 'offer' of a joint trip to Iraq, which Obama correctly smacked down as a publicity stunt.  Durbin stumbled over schedules and came across as weak and unprepared.

    All he needed to say was "photo op" and "Mission Accomplished".  That's it!  Meanwhile the 527 VFF ad that was played just gutted our man.


    Having said that, it's naive to think that Obama can pull this off with Hillary, the Whore Media, and the ReThugs all pounding on him.

    Hillary lost and needs to go.  NOW!

    It's the fascism, stupid!

    by lastman on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:47:49 AM PDT

  •  Obama Should Hire George Clooney or Brad Pitt... (0+ / 0-)

    The talk shows are such a complete farce and joke.  Obama should just hire George Clooney or Brad Pitt to go on these shows.  People would want to look at them, while at the same time Obama's message would be put out there.  

    Someone should contact Clooney.   Seriously.

    "Don't look back... something might be gaining on you..." -Satchel Paige.

    by npb7768 on Thu May 29, 2008 at 11:50:40 AM PDT

  •  after tuesday (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pithy Cherub, Cixelsyd

    I agree somewhat with the diarist but I'm hoping that once the primaries are over he can pivot to face McCain and it will be 50-50. Right now he thinks it might seem presumptive to begin fully engaging in the GE.

  •  I do agree somewhat, but also it's not 2004 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pithy Cherub, neroden, shayshay

    anymore.  People don't just gets their news from the talking heads on tv.  It's the internet that drives a lot of news and people.  Blogs have become so important in pushing stories.  What Obama lacks in the media he makes up for in internet presence  But that is a problem as well because some folks he needs to reach out to aren't into the whole 2008 way of doing things.

    Though I think they could obviously push back harder on some of Clinton's bullshit.  I do think it will improve when she's out of the race.  McSame's surrogates are nothing compared to Obama's.

    •  The majority of voters (0+ / 0-)

      are over 40-50 and tend to be low-information. They don't get their news from the internet. Relatively few voters are like us, who are into blogging, etc.
      They get their news from the Nightly News and the morning talk shows. They get very small bits and pieces and make up their minds based on simple, slogan-like messages.
      That's the reality.
      Obama already has the high-info voters; they almost all vote liberal anyway.
      Obama needs to reach Americans who don't invest alot of attention to politics, yet vote anyway.
      He doesn't need to pander to them either, like Clinton does. He can get them with his message as long as there are enough of his supporters making newsworthy statements every day. That's the key.

  •  Obama and Reggie Love (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sean oliver, rccats3

    don't watch TV news, but they can't bury their heads in the sand.  The rest of America's watching and forming perceptions.  We need our best surrogates on TV and on message.

    We are not as divided our politics suggests -- Barack Obama

  •  I disagree. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden, jarotra, sovery

    While you do make some valid points, I thnk what you have to remember that we aren't seeing the general election campaign.  

    Obama's strategy in the last month or so seems to have been "We are up and we know we are going to win, so just lay low and let the other side get their frustration out."  By not engaging Clinton, even through surrogates, Obama doesn't lend credence to the ridiculous claims she is making and also makes sure he doesn't offend her supporters.  

    If you see Obama people out there mixing it up on a daily basis with the Clinton backers, you get and "Us vs. Them" dichotomy start to develop that doesn't further the unity theme we need to set up for.  Better to simply wait it out and then shift strategy for the general once the primary ends.

    What remains to be seen, is how he goes about this for the GE.  He's already made reference to the fact that he won't be as constrained and won't run his campaign the same way against McCain as he did against Clinton.  I bet we see the attack dogs being placed on the media outlets begining in mid-June.


    In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.

    by Cixelsyd on Thu May 29, 2008 at 12:02:17 PM PDT

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This hand wringing is basically worrying that Obama is dropping the ball.  After running the most sophisticated campaign in history.  After beating the vaunted Clinton machine before they knew what was happening.  After reorganizing and rejuvenating the entire party on a 50 state level.

      Let us take a moment to reflect, and to see quite possibly they know exactly what they are doing.  For instance, making it quite clear that while Clinton supporters plan a noisy demonstration at the rules committee meeting on 5/31, the Obama policy is to stand aside and let the committee proceed with its work.

      To even imagine that all this careful planning and precise strategy will fall apart for the GE is the wishful thinking of Hillary Clinton.

      Don't drink the kool-aid!

      * "If you're going to play the game properly you'd better know every rule." - Barbara Jordan

      by jarotra on Thu May 29, 2008 at 12:43:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No, this is neither Obama's nor Kerry's mistake (0+ / 0-)

    This is media bias pure and simple.  Obama is managing the media as well as he can, but they're in the bag for McCain.

    -5.63, -8.10 | Impeach, Convict, Remove & Bar from Office, Arrest, Indict, Convict, Imprison!

    by neroden on Thu May 29, 2008 at 12:03:02 PM PDT

    •  Stop blaming everything on (0+ / 0-)

      "Media Bias"! Obama could get plenty more media attention if he wanted, and if his team pushed harder for their supporters to appear.
      It's also a question of scoring effective rhetorical points against McCain/Clinton. Obama has all the ammo he needs, he just hasn't employed it effectively, like Kerry.

  •  Well when you figure out how to make the (0+ / 0-)

    right wing media give positive airtime to Obama, I am sure they would love to hear about it.  Now should Rev. Wright rear his head again, I am sure the coverage will be 24/7 again.

  •  he is still dealing (0+ / 0-)

    with a never ending primary..he has to be very careful in his messaging. On one hand, he needs to start working on the GE and you can see it from the back and forth between him and McCain. On the other hand, he can't appear to have completely ignored Hillary, trotting surrogates out in full General Election mode. He doesn't want to disrespect Hillary or further that rift between the supporters.
    So he is walking a fine line right now.
    I expect, once the party falls in line behind him, to see him go into full GE mode and see his surrogates on TV, radio, etc.
    He has people working for him that understand the mistakes made by the Kerry campaign, including John Kerry himself. They will not make similar mistakes.

  •  Every day (0+ / 0-)

    Every day we see a parade of clowns on DailyKos...and  rarely does an Obama supporter ever seem acknowledge balance in the media. Personally, I'm sick of seeing Richardson -- he's on TV so much, you'd think NM doesn't need a Governor. McCaskill was on Colbert last night.

    Besides, if you're concern is familiarity with Obama, surrogates won't cut it. Maybe you should watch CNN's daily live broadcast of Obama's speeches....

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

    by FischFry on Thu May 29, 2008 at 12:25:58 PM PDT

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