Saturday, May 03, 2008

The GOP's Advice For Obama: Follow It At Your Own Peril

Here's another good catch by Glenn Greenwald. Last December, in a 'Memo To Obama', Karl Rove wrote oh so sincerely and helpfully that the Senator must-
"First, stop acting like a vitamin-deficient Adlai Stevenson. Striking a pose of being high-minded and too pure will not work. Americans want to see you scrapping and fighting for the job, not in a mean or ugly way but in a forceful and straightforward way.

Hillary may come over as calculating and shifty but she looks in control. You, on the other hand, often come over as weak and ineffectual. In some debates, you do not even look at her when disagreeing with her, making it look as if you are afraid of her. She offers you openings time and again but you do not take advantage of them. Sharpen your attacks and make them more precise."

In the newest issue of Newsweek-- the lettuce vs. beer one-- Rove writes in his column-
"Stop the attacks. They undermine your claim to a post-partisan new politics. You soared when you seemed above politics, lost altitude when you did what you criticize. Attacks are momentarily satisfying but ultimately corrode your appeal."

Gosh, it's almost as if he's not giving the most honest advice here!

I've blogged about this before, but this is the cold, hard fact about Democrats and the media in general (whether Rove or any idiot pundit)... damned if you do, and damned if you don't. For instance, the media in 2000 ripped Al Gore apart for running a campaign that was too stuffy and wonky. They found his command of the issues, and his focus on detail and policy, to be boring and lame. They demanded he appear more down-to-earth and human, like that delightfully folksy governor from Texas. This resulted in the Gore campaign putting him in ridiculous situations, like when Gore kissed and pawed his wife at the Democratic Convention that summer. And now, when they have the inspiring, charismatic candidate they demanded of the Democrats eight years ago, they started complaining that... he needs to be more stuffy and wonky.

Another example. In 2006, Vice President Cheney, of all people, decided to give 'advice' to the Democrats insisting they not criticize the awesome war in Iraq-- funny since President Bush has since admitted they were lying about the war at that time-- if they wanted to take back Congress. The Democrats shockingly told him to piss off, and lo and behold, the Speaker of the House is no longer a fat crook named Dennis Hastert.

Lesson learned? Just ignore the media's mumblings, and focus on your strengths. It's when they allow themselves to be caught off-guard and flustered by this purposely contradictory advice that Democrats lose. I hope that Sen. Obama remembers this, especially as the campaign hits this rough patch.


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