Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hey Barry, what about that fifty state strategy?

When he started his run, he vowed to run a fifty-state strategy. Today Captain Ed notes the same thing the Wall Street Journal did. That strategy apparently is now under the Obama campaign bus:

A few months ago, the rhetoric coming out of the Obama camp was that the Democratic presidential nominee's victory could be sweeping, coming from flipping deep Republican states in the West or the South. But after the Democratic convention, Sen. Obama made a beeline for the traditional swing state he may need most, Pennsylvania, before quickly moving on to Ohio and Michigan.

Winning two of these three states isn't only key to Sen. Obama's strategy, but also critical for his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain. "I think that what you're going to see settling in is that the race is going to be very close in most of the battleground states, which is really what matters," Sen. Obama told reporters Tuesday.

Tightening voter polls, a more competitive money race than originally envisioned and a McCain campaign invigorated by his unconventional vice-presidential pick are prompting a return to the old political map -- and a grudging concession by some Obama campaign operatives that certain states once deemed winnable may be more of a long shot than once thought.

For Sen. Obama, this has prompted a change in focus: A campaign that visited nine states in mid-August has focused almost exclusively on three this month. Since closing out the convention, Sen. Obama will have held 21 campaign events through Tuesday, 18 of them in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. All three states went to either George W. Bush or John Kerry in 2004 by a margin of less than 4% -- and were won in relative squeakers in 2000.

Why the change in strategy? Two reasons, really. First, John McCain is making inroads in solid Obama country. He is challenging in North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and now in the big three battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Second, he's having money problems, so much so that he dissed girl scouts:

Walsh said she called both campaigns and asked for free trinkets she could give the 7-year-olds to help them learn. If they did well, she explained, each Scout would earn her “Ms. President” patch. The tchotchkes would provide added incentive.

A representative for John McCain responded immediately, sending Walsh a box filled with stickers and signs. The Barack Obama camp wasn’t quite so generous, Walsh said. …

Walsh said the woman at Obama’s headquarters put her on hold. After a few minutes, she returned with the same answer. The woman told her that she sympathized, but the Obama campaign needs every penny it can get, Walsh said.

“She said, ‘We’re up against the machine and we just can’t hand anything out for free,’ ” Walsh said. “She was very nice . . . but I wasn’t getting anything.”

Granted, one of the campaign workers hand-delivered the "trinkets" to the troop, but only after Obama took some heat over it, and that's after Obama was reminded of how much money he's raked in thus far. When the money tree starts drying up you have to cut your losses, and focus on what's needed. He needs the battlegrounds, which is why he's dumping all of his eggs in them.

Problem is it doesn't seem to be helping. With the slipping poll numbers, state-by-state, and the gaffes made -- the smear attacks launched against John McCain and Sarah Palin that has voters thoroughly ticked -- are having their effect, and Obama knows it. Throw in the money problems, and now you know why he's panicked. He's on the verge of losing this election, and it's his fault. This race was his to lose. He had enormous poll numbers against John McCain. But since the inclusion of Sarah Palin to the McCain ticket, and the underwhelmed Democrats yawning at the Biden pick, Obama has seen he's in deep trouble.

That's why the change in strategy has occurred, and we doubt it's really going to help him.

Publius II


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