For you, the dress code is casual.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oh, Goodie! Fight! Fight!

I actually feel really uncomfortable writing about American politics most of the time. I'm an outsider, my knowledge is peripheral, and I know it.

But I have to say, I'm absolutely thrilled to see this story in the Times tonight.

I have been surprised at the restraint of the Obama campaign. I suspected they had some gritty hard-fighting mentality behind 'em, but that it just wasn't the right time.

I got to thinking about it and I figured it'd be wisest to save the hard-hitting punches until the convention kicked around, or even just after Labour Day. There's enough ammunition to take McCain apart.

Really, I don't think this election's going to be as close as everyone thinks. I think Obama can take it by 8 or 10 points, depending how shrewd he plays this.

I said a while back that I think, if you keep giving McCain rope, he's going to hang himself. He's not Bush's carbon-copy like everyone alleges, but he's close enough, and that's a liability.

Obama's biggest detriment right now is that he has NOT been fighting back. When it's the "Leader of the Free World", polite and articulate isn't what it's all about. It's also about kicking ass, taking names, and protecting the American brand. When Obama's being all polite and accommodating, that's not going to be something Americans think he can do.

But you go back and you look at certain moments in Obama's career, like his anti-war speech in late 2002, some of his more candid moments, his political skullduggery getting elected in Illinois. This isn't a Boy Scout, and it's a mistake to think he is one.

Which is the mistake made by the McCain camp.

I was thinking about making an allusion to Obama reminding me in some ways of a boxer who allows his opponent to have at 'em in the early rounds of a fight, to wear him out, like Muhammad Ali often did. Let them show you their strengths -- and weaknesses -- and all the while you figure out just how to beat that strategy.

McCain has been desperate. His ridiculous turn-about on offshore drilling is a good example. Sending his lapdogs to Georgia on a "fact-finding" mission is another example. He wants to call Obama a flip-flopper and presumptuous, yet adopts both those tacts himself? And he doesn't think this is going to contribute to insanely good fuel for Obama?

This week is when everything gets interesting. Summer presidential campaigns? A yawn and a snooze. Labour Day weekend? Giddy fun!

Obama's going to come out fighting. He's got the piss and vinegar, now he needs to show it. Gloves will be off.

And McCain's best month of fundraising, July, was still half of Obama's $51-million haul that same month. The Times observes that the attitude will be "Sure, let's spend it, let McCain try to keep up."

Yeah. Good luck with that. Like I say, fun times to come.

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