I know both candidates claim that they want to stick to the issues and stay out of the mud, but let’s get real here, this is a presidential race! Honestly, has there ever been a race without mudslinging? While it’s unfortunate, it’s also a part of politics that will probably be around for a while so I suppose it’s best we get used to it. This includes you Barack Obama!
Lately the McCain campaign has been running very misleading ads, distorting Obama’s record and making mountains out of molehills. Doesn’t John McCain realize that people don’t care what kind of animal is sporting lipstick, whether it be a bulldog, pig or spotted owl? Come on, can’t we just focus on the issues?
Apparently not, and this has to be recognized immediately by the Obama campaign. Clearly, Obama is trying to ignore the fray and stick to his policy proposals, McCain’s record and getting his message across. Unfortunately, the McCain campaign is hitting him hard, and while people say negative ads and trumped up charges of sexism are not what they want to hear, the polls tell a different story. These tactics work. That’s why they remain a staple of the political game in this country.
I applaud the Obama campaign for being principled, but now is not the time. We have a lot at stake during this election and Obama needs to pull all the punches he can in order to have a fighting chance. The problem with Obama’s “focus on the issues and stay above the belt” strategy is that the rest of the players in this game are fully involved in below the belt muckraking. By not hitting back it’s almost akin to Obama removing himself from the game.
Those involved politically see through negative attacks, but the majority of the American public is sadly uninformed. Especially those in the key “no college, working class” demographic. What do you think is going to hold their attention longer and carry on throughout dinner table conversations:
A) a clearly laid out, well defined economic proposal, reformed tax code and energy plan
B) an ad telling them that the only educational aspiration Obama has is to teach their kindergarteners about sex. (A charge so completely untrue that I wonder how it even passed the ‘smell test’)
In an ideal world, we would be all about the issues and both candidates would run clean and truthful campaigns. Sadly, this world is far from ideal and I hate to say it but as the old addage goes:
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em