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Wednesday, September 10, 2008


The verdict is in: Barack Obama is smarter than the rest of us. Throughout the 2008 campaign, many of us, including me, have wondered whether Obama had the anatomical-metaphor-of-your-choice to give as good as he gets from his opponents, be they the Clintons or John McCain. Two days into the Democratic National Convention in Denver, we were still wondering whether the party was going to play nice or play to win. John Kerry and Al Gore offered fighting words against the Republicans, but Obama saved the hardest blows not for his surrogates but for himself. He not only hit hard but he demonstrated his fire more convincingly than ever before. In that one standout word in his Denver speech—'Enough!'—he announced he was ready to throw down.

Today, amidst all the lipstick traces, he went one better by declaring 'Enough is enough!' Not by coincidence, he has now given the green light to liberal 527's to hit McCain with everything they've got. I, too, was skeptical when he tied their hands earlier this year, but consider the advantages of forestalling the attack until now:

1. By waiting until McCain's attacks reached new depths of disgrace, Obama can claim he was forced to release the hounds: the Republicans made him go negative.

2. By holding all his attack cards until now, Obama has not yet begun to fight, which means the best anti-McCain weapons are all still in the Democratic arsenal and will be deployed in the final weeks, when they count most.

3. Following from point two, the Republicans have exhausted their most potent weapons against Obama: there is nothing left to say about Jeremiah Wright, 'Hussein', 'present' votes, Bill Ayers, and so on. What is left to say against Obama?

Obama may have looked soft up until now, but I predict that all those soft-spoken weeks are about to seem like strategic genius. When the final chapter of this campaign is written in the history books, its title is likely to be 'Rope-a-Dope'.

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Blogger Jeff Hussein Strabone said...

Check it out. A very kind reader has put me in some very fine writing company.

2:06 AM, September 11, 2008

Blogger David said...

You're welcome - though how you found that post I'm not sure.

While we're drawing parallels, you've just managed to invoke an article by Ryan Lizza about Kerry's 2004 campaign. Admittedly his angle was a little different from yours, even if he used the same metaphor.

The link: http://books.google.com/books?id=VxKMI6v5vosC&pg=PA121&lpg=PA121&dq=ryan+lizza+rope-a-dope+new+republic&source=web&ots=aW3vK4Ngza&sig=XlKYs-LMHuKi0RojtfLeDih-vDE&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA123,M1

6:43 AM, September 11, 2008

Blogger David said...

In case that link doesn't work on your computer: http://samizdat.cc/shelf/archives/2004/04/ropeadope.html

9:41 AM, September 11, 2008


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