Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What He Said

The Stranger at is the person I cite as my own personal blogfather. His "question-mark campaign" of simple flash videos set to music introduced me to the nascent blogosphere and got me interested in reading political blogs. More recently, he pointed out how well-managed Obama's PR outfit is:

Obama and his advisors seem to understand that campaigns run on a very tight wire, and campaign operatives are so ready to spring at any perceived slight by the opposition that they'll often react before they weigh the situation. To their credit, Obama's team has made precious few of these impulsive moves - to the contrary, they're more likely to create the illusion of inaction if it means not making a mistake. And as situations develop, Obama's team will let the tension build to the point where McCain's campaign are ready to pounce at anything.

A good comparison point is the way michael Jordan would play basketball in crunch time. When Jordan brought the ball up the floor, he'd often slow down his motion to draw his defender in. The longer he slow-walked, the more the defender would tense up waiting for Jordan to make his move. And the longer Jordan would wait, the chances of the defender making a mistake would increase. Then all it would take was a head-fake, a feint, or a full step, and the defender would get faked out, commit a foul or move the wrong way and give Jordan the room to make his move. Two points, maybe three with a foul. Worked just about every damn time.

That's how Barack Obama is running this race. His campaign will lay back for days at a time, letting McCain and Palin showboat and level outrageous charges. It drives some of his supporters absolutely batshit. You can see it on the blogs. A week does not go by where Obama supporters are not on a comment thread, demanding that he fight back, swearing that McCain is running away with the race due to Obama's inaction or refusal to fight back or not responding quickly or forcefully enough. These people don't realize that Obama is playing a different game on a different level - certainly at a much higher level than McCain's Boys are used to playing.

He's been slow-walking the ball since the convention, and you can bet money that McCain's campaign has been tuned into every speech, reading every interview, looking for a slip-up that they can capitalize on. And they get so focused on trapping Obama that when he shows a head-fake - 'lipstick on a pig' - that they dive in and whack him on the wrist.

Two points. And it's worked just about every time.
As with everyone I link to, you should read their entire posts, not just my excerpts.

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