Benny's World

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I Hate It When Karl Rove May Be Right

Today, I took the bus to work (which I do more frequently these days). Whenever I take the bus, I grab the Wall Street Journal from the driveway, and look at it. Generally I glance at "What's News Section" on the FP, then if the human interest story below the fold gets my attention, I read that next. Otherwise, I skip to the Opinion pages to see what my favorite Conservatives are yapping about.

On page A11, a header at the top of the page grabbed my attention: Conventions Need a Believable Script. The opinion piece was about McCain and Obama, and what they needed to do to define themselves, and Mr. Rove had some suggestions. His premise was using the upcoming Conventions as the vehicle. Here are Mr. Rove's hints:

For McCain:

Mr. McCain's handlers must achieve three things. First is a greater public awareness of the character that makes him worthy of the Oval Office. Mr. McCain's warrior ethic makes it difficult for him to share his interior life, though his conversation with Rick Warren did provide moving glimpses into it. To win, Mr. McCain will need to show more.

Mr. McCain's second goal is to persuade Americans he can tackle domestic challenges. The doubts are whether he understands their concerns about their jobs, their family's health care, their children's education, the culture's coarseness, and their neighborhood's safety.

Third, Mr. McCain must show voters he remains a maverick who will, as president, work across party lines as he has as senator. Naming a Democrat or two he will draw into his cabinet would remind people of his bi-partisanship.

As though three things take up a bit of column space, Mr. Rove nails it about Obama with this comment:

Mr. Obama, on the other hand, needs to reassure Americans he is up to the job. Voters recognize he represents change, yet they are unsettled. Does he have the experience to be president? There are growing concerns, which the McCain campaign has tapped, that Mr. Obama is an inexperienced celebrity-politician smitten with his own press clippings.

Then he points out the obvious, but most of us overlooked:

Mr. Obama's performance this summer has added to voter doubts, putting a large burden on his acceptance speech. There are challenges in a speech staged with 75,000 screaming partisans at INVESCO Field. Will it deepen the impression that he's more of a rock star than a person of serious public purpose, or can Mr. Obama have the serious conversation he needs to reassure Americans?

Mr. Rove also suggested that demonization of each other would not work in this election. Ironic considering that was Mr. Rove was particularly good at when advising the Chimperor in Chief. But you know what? He's right for this reason:

Voters want to learn more about these two men, their personal values and their public vision. Every possible minute should be spent on these.

Read the rest here.

Damn, I hate it when Karl Rove may be right. Obama's team could benefit from reading this free piece of advice.

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  • Benny,
    I tend to agree, but why didn't Geoerge W. Bush's lack of experience in foreign policy among other things matter to Mr. Rove back in 2000?
    Of course he's only speaking politically, but some of the doubts being raised around Sen. Obama would have stuck even more strongly to our current President, for whom Karl Rove worked.

    I also have to laugh a bit about his comments about character attacks....

    By Blogger Chancelucky, at 1:40 PM  

  • CL, my guess is that Dubya had already announced that Cheney was going to be his VP and Colin Powell would be in the administration. That's why no one worried, except those of us across the aisle.

    What hurt Gore was Gore himself at the debates. I also think Lieberman hurt him too.

    By Blogger benny06, at 3:53 PM  

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