Well, the stretch run is here. If the grueling Presidential election were a basketball game, Obama would be heading into the final 2 minutes with a seemingly insurmountable 9 point lead. Even the latest Karl Rove electoral map has Obama with a stunning 273 delegates to McCain's 163, which would ensure the win if the election occurred today.
So, with Palin no longer helping, the economy in the tank, and the American people craving real change, what's the McCain campaign to do?
It's Hack-A-Shaq time.
For those of you unaware, the Hack-A-Shaq was a junk defense opposing coaches used to employ on Shaquille O'Neal, back when he was under 350 pounds and still mattered. Basically teams would foul the notoriously poor free throw shooter repeatedly, knowing that this would slow down the clock and guarantee them more possessions. This tactic occasionally worked, or at least forced Shaq's coaches to pull him from the game.
I'm not saying the McCain campaign announced they're about to pull a Hack-A-Barry™, but when a Senior campaign advisor comes right out and tells the AP and Washington Post they're about to start attacking Barry's character, I wonder what they're smoking.
John McCain and his Republican allies are readying a newly aggressive assault on Barack Obama's character, believing that to win in November they must shift the conversation back to questions about his judgment, honesty and personal associations, several top Republicans said.What sort of idiot actually announces to the press that his campaign's going into full attack mode? Wouldn't it be smarter to just attack first? Doesn't this give the Obama campaign the proof it needs to announce to the American people that such a smokescreen is on the way?
"We're going to get a little tougher," a senior Republican operative said, indicating that a fresh batch of television ads is coming. "We've got to question this guy's associations. Very soon. There's no question that we have to change the subject here," said the operative, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Being so aggressive has risks for Mr. McCain if it angers swing voters, who often say they are looking for candidates who offer a positive message about what they will do.
Two other top Republicans said the new ads are likely to hammer Mr. Obama on his connections to convicted Chicago developer Antoin "Tony" Rezko and former radical William Ayers, whom the McCain campaign regularly calls a domestic terrorist because of his acts of violence against the U.S. government in the 1960s.
On Saturday in Colorado, Sarah Palin accused Mr. Obama of "palling around with terrorists," a reference to Mr. Ayers.
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright appears to be off limits after Mr. McCain condemned the North Carolina Republican Party in April for an ad that linked Mr. Obama to his former pastor.
Here's Tina Fey trying out a couple of sample attack lines just this weekend on the stump. She says she actually read this information in the New York Times. It's amazing that she goes from not being able to name a single newspaper, to reading the Gray Lady in the span of a week. I suppose we should just be happy that she can apparently read, period.
Apparently, she cannot read well, however. The very New York Times article she references completely debunks the notion that Ayers and Obama had anything more than a working relationship from having served on several boards. The nature of the boards in question: school reform. Hardly the madrassa you'd think it's been made out to be. But what's a little white lie between political foes?
The oh-so-obvious Grand Hu$tle here is to put the Obama/Ayers issue front and center, which will inevitably result in some naive question during Tuesday's town hall. I guess I should give the McCain campaign some credit for this. I just wish someone would ask McCain about The Keating Five while they're at it.
I don't believe McCain for one moment that Wright is off limits. We've heard that one before, and McCain did little to have such an ad pulled when it ran back in the Spring. Besides, Barry's already dealt with Wright. The Rezko card's already been played in an ad, to little avail. So, that leaves the infamous William Ayers, about whom I'm sure Spool32 has a boatload of URL's that he's just dying to post here.
Spare me to the trouble of deleting those comments, please. I definitely have better things to do, but I will find time to erase them immediately.
Look, reality is, the Obama campaign has successfully linked McCain's policies to Bush. It wasn't really even that hard. Despite their concerns over Obama's relative lack of experience, the American people seem to not want another 8 years of misery. Attacking Obama by bringing up flimsy and half-baked examples of guilt by association isn't going to change the fact that the economy just shed another 159,000 jobs last year, that we're locked in an unpopular war, that McCain doesn't differ from Bush in any substantial way, or that Palin indeed can't debate and chew gum at the same time.
Sorry GOP, it is what it is.
That said, I wouldn't put it past them to throw caution to the wind and just start makin' sh*t up. They could concoct some story about an extramarital affair, but well, McCain's vulnerable there. A love child is always a good one, but McCain got slurred with this himself in 2000, and something tells me even he's got too much dignity to resort to that sorta nonsense. Drug use? Obama already disclosed that. I'm really at a loss for what exactly they could conjure up at this stage that would actually make a difference.
Face it Conservatives, your brand of politricks just isn't playing well this year. You've had your 8 years. Now give someone else a chance to screw the country up.
Question: How wise is it for the GOP to publicly announce that they're going into attack mode? What sort of lie will they conjure up to try and derail Obama? Cyber CapriSuns to the first person who tells me who Bubba Wells is?
McCain to throw tougher jabs at Obama's character, top Republicans say [AP]
Obama and ’60s Bomber: A Look Into Crossed Paths [NYTimes]