L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

11 September 2008 Blog Home : September 2008 : Permalink

Cision - Obama's Creek

Who knew that there was a creek called Cision? Not me, but now I guess I do. More to the point I know who's indecision creek and what he's forgotten to bring with him. As Jay Cost writes, Obama's campaign seems unable to figure out a consistent line to attack McCain/Palin, as a result the come across as nervous, off balance and indecisive.

I suspect Obama's indecision is a large part of the message that will sink his campaign and quite possibly McCain has been working to get Obama to show us this flaw right at this time as a key part of his election strategy.

It has been noted by endless commenters that Obama did not so much win the Democratic nomination as Clinton lose it. This remains true even when you bear in mind that Obama's campaign out-organized Clinton in the caucus states. If Clinton had figured that out earlier she'd have found a way to organize better but she didn't and so now she's out of the game. During the primaries the Obama campaign managed to remain on message and disciplined, apart from a couple of nervous twitches, and once it was over there was little to worry about for a couple of months.

I'm actually wondering if McCain or someone on his campaign staff is a reader of Clauswitz or other military strategy books because it occurs to me that McCain's relative passivity in the past few months may have been part of a strategic
plan to lull his opponent into a false sense of security and not give him and his campaign the opportunity to learn how to remain disciplined and on message when being prodded in all directions. The few bobbles in the primary certainly gave a close observer the idea that the Obama campaign was a little brittle and vulnerable to shocks from unexpected directions so it would make sense to plan to produce one at the right moment.

Now with the conventions and just two months to go McCain's campaign may have decided that they had the opportunity to show Obama as a dithering whiner. If so then the pick of Palin was not the desperate last minute gamble that some have portrayed it as (Palin as a pick may have been a bit more spur of the moment, but the plan to choose a VP from an unexpected direction quite possibly was always part of the plan). I can quite well believe that McCain had a number of picks in mind and a decision tree that narrowed down depending on what VP pick Obama made and what messages he seemed to be keenest to make. Thus as Obama and the DNC made their basic campaign thrust clear (boring Biden for VP not female Clinton and message of McCain = McSame = 4 more years of Bush) the tree would have neatly plucked Palin as the perfect pick to throw the Democrats off balance.

And that it certainly has done. Indeed it seems to have been perfectly designed to cause a dilemma for Obama and he's ended up neatly piled on its horns, unable to decide whether to ignore her or attack her.

Looked at it that way the fact that McCain responded to bacon lipstick gate looks like a deliberate tactic in the plan to keep Obama and his campaign off balance and indecisive. If it wasn't it certainly seems to have worked that way.