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View Full Version : Elections Obama Under Fire For Ignoring Advice (Lots Of Dem Insider Quotes About What's Wrong)


RINGLEADER
09-13-2008, 12:39 PM
The Democratic presidential candidate's slump in the polls has sparked pointed private criticism that he is squandering a once-in-a-generation chance to win back the White House.

Party elders also believe the Obama camp is in denial about warnings from Democratic pollsters that his true standing is four to six points lower than that in published polls because of hidden racism from voters - something that would put him a long way behind Mr McCain.

The Sunday Telegraph has learned that senators, governors and union leaders who have experience of winning hard-fought races in swing states have been bombarding Obamas campaign headquarters with telephone calls offering advice. But many of those calls have not been returned.

A senior Democratic strategist, who has played a prominent role in two presidential campaigns, told The Sunday Telegraph: "These guys are on the verge of blowing the greatest gimme in the history of American politics. They're the most arrogant bunch Ive ever seen. They won't accept that they are losing and they won't listen."

After leading throughout the year, Mr Obama now trails Mr McCain by two to three points in national polls.

Party leaders and commentators say that the Democrat candidate spent too much of the summer enjoying his own popularity and not enough defining his positions on the economy - the number one issue for voters - or reaching out to those blue collar workers whose votes he needs if he is to beat Mr McCain.

Others concede that his trip to Europe was a distraction that enhanced his celebrity status rather than his electability on Main Street, USA.

Since Sarah Palin was unveiled as Mr McCain's running mate, the Obama camp has faced accusations that it has been pushed off message and has been limp in responding to attacks.

A Democratic National Committee official told The Sunday Telegraph: "I really find it offensive when Democrats ask the Republicans not to be nasty to us, which is effectively what Obama keeps doing. They know thats how the game is played."

Mr Obama tried to answer that critique on Friday when he responded in kind, issuing an attack advert depicting his Republican opponent as out of touch and mocking the 72-year-old Mr McCain's confession that he does not know how to use email.

He rammed home the point during a rally in New Hampshire, pointing out Mr McCains recent admission that he was divorced from some of the challenges of ordinary Americans.
Mr Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, called it the first day of the rest of the campaign.

But that was the fourth time in the last nine months that Mr Obamas team have been forced to declare that the gloves are coming off. And Mr Plouffe's dismissal of Democratic doubts as hand-wringing and bed-wetting only served to reinforce the growing doubts about what some see as a bunker mentality among Obamas inner circle - where outside advice, even from highly experienced people, is not welcomed.

The Democratic strategist told The Sunday Telegraph: "They think they know best. They don't return calls. There are governors and senators calling them up with ideas. They don't get back to them.

"These are senior people from the border states and the South who know how to beat Republicans, and they're being ignored. They ignored everyone during the primaries and they came through it, so they think they can do the same again."

Mr Obama has never won an electoral contest against a strong Republican candidate. David Axelrod, his chief strategist has been hailed as a political genius for beating the Clinton machine, but Democrats now point out that he has never run a successful campaign in the heartland states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Virginia, which will decide the election. His expertise is in mobilising young, educated and black voters in urban areas.

Mark Cunningham of the New York Post summed up the private views of many: "If it suddenly seems like the Obama campaign doesn't have any idea what it's doing, maybe that's because it doesn't."

Party elders are also studying internal polling material which warns the Obama camp that his true standing is worse than it appears in polls because voters lie to polling companies about their reluctance to vote for a black candidate. The phenomenon is known in the US as the Bradley effect, after Tom Bradley, a black candidate for governor of California who lost after leading comfortably in polls.

The strategist said: "I've seen memos where they've been told to factor in four to six points for the Bradley effect, but they're in denial about it.

They say the polls also underestimate the enthusiasm of young voters and African Americans and they believe that balances things out. But that's a wing and a prayer stuff. There's previous evidence for the Bradley effect."

Other Democrats are openly mocking of Mr Obama's much vaunted "50-state strategy", in which he spends money campaigning throughout the US in the hope that it will force Mr McCain to divert funds to previously safe states. Critics say a utopian belief in bringing the nation together has trumped the cold electoral calculus that is necessary to triumph in November.

Doug Schoen, a former pollster for Bill Clinton, last week declared it insanity not to concentrate resources on the swing states.

The Democratic strategist said: "My Republican friends think its mad. Before Sarah Palin came along we were investing money in Alaska, for Christ's sake, that could have been spent in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

"It assumes Republicans are stupid and, when it comes to winning elections, they're not."

The one thing everyone agrees the Obama camp have woken up to is the toxic effect on their chances of Mrs Palin's arrival on the national scene. Polls show that white women voters, attracted to her down home virtues, now support Mr McCain by a margin of 12 points, the same lead among white women that George W. Bush enjoyed over John Kerry in 2004. Until recently, Mr Obama led among that group of voters by six points.

A senior aide to one of the most powerful Democrats in the House of Representatives voiced the fears of many: "Palin doesn't just play to the Republican base. She has much broader appeal."

The aide said that her repeated mockery of Mr Obama's boasts about his time as a community organiser in Chicago are "the most effective criticisms of Barack Obama we have yet seen." He said: "Americans in small and medium size towns dont know what the hell a community organiser is. Real Americans graduate from high school or college and get a job that pays a wage. Campus radicals go off and organise a community."

Peggy Noonan, the former Reagan speechwriter, blamed the defection of women voters from Mr Obama on the atom bomb of ritual abuse by left-wing bloggers and Democratic officials, painting Mrs Palin as a bad mother and religious weirdo.

Ms Noonan wrote: "The snobbery of it, the meanness of it, reminded the entire country, for the first time in a decade, what it is they don't like about the Left."

The Republican strategist Dan Schnur said that the effect was to repel blue collar, family-oriented voters. "They didn't like Obama in the primaries and voted for Hillary. And they still don't like him now so they're voting for Palin.

"Obama can still win these voters over, but his difficulty in establishing an emotional connection with them is probably his greatest challenge between now and election day."

On Thursday Mr Obama did take advice from Bill Clinton, who is understood to have suggested ways to show those workers that he cares, an area where the former president excelled.

But it is a measure of his plight that the man who derailed the ambitions of Mrs Clinton, the most powerful woman in Democratic politics, now needs help from her husband to overcome the popularity of another alpha female who may be an even greater risk to his White House ambitions.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/uselection2008/barackobama/2909844/Barack-Obama-under-fire-for-ignoring-advice-on-how-to-beat-John-McCain.html

RINGLEADER
09-13-2008, 12:44 PM
I would give the Obama credit for at least acknowledging this problem BEFORE the election (unlike Kerry), but according to these Dem insiders they'd remarkably DON'T REALIZE that they've got a problem (despite taking the gloves off, as this article says, for the fourth time in the last nine months).

ChiefaRoo
09-13-2008, 01:24 PM
Barry is going to eat the sidewalk. Then he can regroup and fight it out with Hillary in 2012 and she'll win.

Ultra Peanut
09-13-2008, 01:25 PM
Yes, Obama should completely change course now because McCain got an entirely predictable bump from a convention and cheap pop. These people clearly have a better idea of what his plan is than his own campaign.

kcvet
09-13-2008, 01:31 PM
In the DNC War Room...

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/qwwaIqC-aeE&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/qwwaIqC-aeE&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

HolmeZz
09-13-2008, 01:33 PM
Because if there's anybody who knows how to win elections, it's Democratic insiders.

kcvet
09-13-2008, 01:45 PM
Barry is going to eat the sidewalk. Then he can regroup and fight it out with Hillary in 2012 and she'll win.

Gigantic Fail

ChiefaRoo
09-13-2008, 02:21 PM
In the DNC War Room...

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/qwwaIqC-aeE&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/qwwaIqC-aeE&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

That was pretty good. You pass.

ChiefaRoo
09-13-2008, 02:21 PM
PLOUFFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

memyselfI
09-13-2008, 04:37 PM
It could be such an insanely satisfying feeling seeing the smug moron lose and the Democrats peeing their pants...

if it weren't for what it might mean to the country long term. Still, for a brief moment the feeling will equal, if not surpass, that of seeing Tom Brady after last year's SB.

jAZ
09-13-2008, 04:54 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/uselection2008/barackobama/2909844/Barack-Obama-under-fire-for-ignoring-advice-on-how-to-beat-John-McCain.html
Yet another conservative paper trying to set the poltical framing and jake and denise bighting down hard.

I would like to formally welcome back the RL of old.

jAZ
09-13-2008, 04:55 PM
It could be such an insanely satisfying feeling seeing the smug moron lose and the Democrats peeing their pants...

if it weren't for what it might mean to the country long term.
Country Second, eh?

wazu
09-13-2008, 05:05 PM
Yes, Obama should completely change course now because McCain got an entirely predictable bump from a convention and cheap pop. These people clearly have a better idea of what his plan is than his own campaign.

I gotta agree with your point. Obama shouldn't do anything crazy. He's only down 2 percentage points and that'll probably come back down to 1 or none on it's own. The reality is that Obama still has way more cash than McCain and an army of offices and grassroots campaign help. It'll be down to the wire, but I think Obama still has the edge.

wazu
09-13-2008, 05:06 PM
By the way - has anybody, anywhere, yet seen a McCain/Palin yard sign? (In a yard, not at a rally.)

kstater
09-13-2008, 05:12 PM
By the way - has anybody, anywhere, yet seen a McCain/Palin yard sign? (In a yard, not at a rally.)

Yup(thanks UP)

http://i36.tinypic.com/2iuzslt.jpg

alnorth
09-13-2008, 05:13 PM
The reality is that Obama still has way more cash than McCain

Thats actually not completely true. Its what we assumed would happen a few months ago, but Obama's fundraising has slowed to the point where it now looks like he made a mistake by not accepting public financing.

Its not like McCain and Palin have stopped fundraising, now they are doing it for the GOP. If you go to their website, your donation is split between the national GOP, some kind of legal compliance fund, and the state Republican parties of a lot of states, who can presumably support downticket candidates and run ads that are complementary of McCain but not from his campaign. It really takes a lot of money for a Republican doner to be "tapped out".

Obama could have done the same thing, taking the free money and bundling any contributions after his convention into many allied DNC and state party organizations. He probably figured that his fundraising potential was so huge that it was worth it to reject the public financing. He will probably still come out with more money than he would have with the limits, but he'll have to work a lot harder than he thought for it, wasting lots of precious time leaving the campaign trail to host fundraisers in some of the bluest states in the country.

jAZ
09-13-2008, 05:13 PM
By the way - has anybody, anywhere, yet seen a McCain/Palin yard sign? (In a yard, not at a rally.)

I haven't, and it hadn't occured to me. And I just moved to a heavily Republican area of town with lots of signs from lots of Repubilicans running for local/state office.

irishjayhawk
09-13-2008, 05:14 PM
By the way - has anybody, anywhere, yet seen a McCain/Palin yard sign? (In a yard, not at a rally.)

I was thinking that too. But I live in Lawrence which is pretty liberal. Still, Kansas is a Red state overall, so I should see SOMETHING. A bumper sticker, one yard, something.

I've seen eleventy billion Obama signs.
I've seen - no joke - 1 McCain sign. And it was a bumper sticker. And it had W04 on it still.

jAZ
09-13-2008, 05:16 PM
Thats actually not completely true. Its what we assumed would happen a few months ago, but Obama's fundraising has slowed to the point where it now looks like he made a mistake by not accepting matching funds.
There has been a lull, even I haven't donated yet. But there is no way to know if it was a "mistake" yet. That's wild speculation and not even reflective of the wild speculation that's made it into print.

My guess is that Obama's campaign is managing expecations for a big annoucement on the 20th (or whatever date that they announce).

alnorth
09-13-2008, 05:23 PM
There has been a lull, even I haven't donated yet. But there is no way to know if it was a "mistake" yet. That's wild speculation and not even reflective of the wild speculation that's made it into print.

My guess is that Obama's campaign is managing expecations for a big annoucement on the 20th (or whatever date that they announce).

That is true, his campaign is being coy. Republicans might think they dont want to admit their problems, but Democrats could reasonably think they dont want doners to get lazy and complacent. ("oh hell he has eleventy billion dollars, I dont need to send another grand")

All we have to go by are the figures the two campaigns have been forced to release by law, and they seem to indicate the money race is a lot closer (http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/stumper/archive/2008/09/09/was-obama-right-to-opt-out-of-public-financing.aspx) than we would have thought possible.

Bill Parcells
09-13-2008, 05:28 PM
Yes, Obama should completely change course now because McCain got an entirely predictable bump from a convention and cheap pop. These people clearly have a better idea of what his plan is than his own campaign.

Did you say Bump again?

http://blogs.chron.com/specialfeatures/archives/beavis.jpg

Logical
09-13-2008, 05:41 PM
Gigantic FailI love watching people on the same side fight.

splatbass
09-13-2008, 06:03 PM
Because if there's anybody who knows how to win elections, it's Democratic insiders.

Like this guy:

A senior Democratic strategist, who has played a prominent role in two presidential campaigns,

Which Dem campaigns, Gore and Kerry? :doh!:

kstater
09-13-2008, 06:12 PM
Yes, it depends on where you live

So he only cares about certain Americans?

orange
09-13-2008, 08:43 PM
Thats actually not completely true. Its what we assumed would happen a few months ago, but Obama's fundraising has slowed to the point where it now looks like he made a mistake by not accepting public financing.

Its not like McCain and Palin have stopped fundraising, now they are doing it for the GOP. If you go to their website, your donation is split between the national GOP, some kind of legal compliance fund, and the state Republican parties of a lot of states, who can presumably support downticket candidates and run ads that are complementary of McCain but not from his campaign. It really takes a lot of money for a Republican doner to be "tapped out".

Obama could have done the same thing, taking the free money and bundling any contributions after his convention into many allied DNC and state party organizations. He probably figured that his fundraising potential was so huge that it was worth it to reject the public financing. He will probably still come out with more money than he would have with the limits, but he'll have to work a lot harder than he thought for it, wasting lots of precious time leaving the campaign trail to host fundraisers in some of the bluest states in the country.

No, I don't believe that's the reason at all.

He didn't want to concede CONTROL of the apparatus.

HolyHandgernade
09-13-2008, 09:20 PM
I won't be concerned until after the debates. Candidates list their "specifics" on their web pages. People complain they don't talk about specifics, but that's a farce and an admission they don't really care. People want to see who looks Presidential, who inspires confidence and competence. Partisans are already pretty evenly split, so swing voter polls are useless until after the debates.

-HH

ROYC75
09-13-2008, 09:46 PM
Obama is doing it his way ....... He doesn't want the help of the democratic leaders, it's his campaign, reason why Hillary is not on the ticket.

ROYC75
09-13-2008, 09:47 PM
I won't be concerned until after the debates. Candidates list their "specifics" on their web pages. People complain they don't talk about specifics, but that's a farce and an admission they don't really care. People want to see who looks Presidential, who inspires confidence and competence. Partisans are already pretty evenly split, so swing voter polls are useless until after the debates.

-HH


Truth in these words, It's close,Sure the McCain camp has made things interesting, but shit happens in elections and something will come up before or during the debates that will determine who wins this race.

RINGLEADER
09-13-2008, 11:17 PM
Because if there's anybody who knows how to win elections, it's Democratic insiders.

:) Good point.

RINGLEADER
09-13-2008, 11:18 PM
Yet another conservative paper trying to set the poltical framing and jake and denise bighting down hard.

I would like to formally welcome back the RL of old.

LOL. I didn't write it Jaz.

jAZ
09-13-2008, 11:20 PM
LOL. I didn't write it Jaz.

You know what it is that you are posting.

RINGLEADER
09-13-2008, 11:24 PM
There has been a lull, even I haven't donated yet. But there is no way to know if it was a "mistake" yet. That's wild speculation and not even reflective of the wild speculation that's made it into print.

My guess is that Obama's campaign is managing expecations for a big annoucement on the 20th (or whatever date that they announce).

Maybe. To make up the shortfall in July he'll need to record about $110m per month between him and the DNC. The DNC already reported $13m for August and Obama's campaign says he'll report the most ever (which would be north of $55m) for a month in August. To keep on pace with the GOP he'll need to have collected something in the neighborhood of $90m-$100m. A penny below that and he'll need to raise even more next month.

I can tell you from some party uppity-ups in California that there is pressure building. Not yet nervousness, but people who have already written big checks are being asked to write new ones. That's where being behind in the polls and having stories like this get out there begins to have an actual impact on what Obama is trying to do.

Time will tell if going back on his earlier promise and skipping the $85m from the government was wise or not.

RINGLEADER
09-13-2008, 11:25 PM
I won't be concerned until after the debates. Candidates list their "specifics" on their web pages. People complain they don't talk about specifics, but that's a farce and an admission they don't really care. People want to see who looks Presidential, who inspires confidence and competence. Partisans are already pretty evenly split, so swing voter polls are useless until after the debates.

-HH

I agree completely with this comment. More specifically, I think after the VP debate we'll all have a pretty good idea of where the race is headed.

RINGLEADER
09-13-2008, 11:26 PM
You know what it is that you are posting.

Um, okay.

whoman69
09-14-2008, 12:23 AM
I think its human to take a one week bump in the polls and say the sky is falling. Not too long ago fivethirtyeight.com gave Obama nearly a 70% chance of winning the election. With the current polling McCain has nearly a 60% chance of winning. Republicans were able to have any convention bump down for the Democrats down to a few days by having their VP choice on a day in which most of the country would normally have been talking about the nomination speech. Their bump has nothing to hold it back. But convention bumps are just those, bumps. It will return to normal.

What I would find fault with is that Obama and company have temporarily forgotten they are running against John McCain. I said it in a post a few days ago. I'm not even going to worry about Sarah Palin. McCain has made her out to be some progressive reformer in the mode of All the King's Men. The truth will eventually come out.

I am afraid that Obama falls into the same trap that Kerry and Dukakis did in not calling the crap levelled against him BS. Its pretty clear that gentlemen John is not going to follow his promise to run a civil campaign. Rovian politics is in. If you can spout lies about your opponent enough times for people to believe it, then it must really be true.

Does anyone remember when the sky was falling in on McCain's campaign because he could not make any headway against the Democrats even though they were beating on each other in the primaries?

RINGLEADER
09-14-2008, 12:36 AM
I think its human to take a one week bump in the polls and say the sky is falling. Not too long ago fivethirtyeight.com gave Obama nearly a 70% chance of winning the election. With the current polling McCain has nearly a 60% chance of winning. Republicans were able to have any convention bump down for the Democrats down to a few days by having their VP choice on a day in which most of the country would normally have been talking about the nomination speech. Their bump has nothing to hold it back. But convention bumps are just those, bumps. It will return to normal.

What I would find fault with is that Obama and company have temporarily forgotten they are running against John McCain. I said it in a post a few days ago. I'm not even going to worry about Sarah Palin. McCain has made her out to be some progressive reformer in the mode of All the King's Men. The truth will eventually come out.

I am afraid that Obama falls into the same trap that Kerry and Dukakis did in not calling the crap levelled against him BS. Its pretty clear that gentlemen John is not going to follow his promise to run a civil campaign. Rovian politics is in. If you can spout lies about your opponent enough times for people to believe it, then it must really be true.

Does anyone remember when the sky was falling in on McCain's campaign because he could not make any headway against the Democrats even though they were beating on each other in the primaries?

Obama needs to get off the McCain = Bush line. I've said for weeks that it won't work and the polls (both national and state) bear that out. McCain has made stronger and deeper gains in the battleground states than he has in the national polls.

They're tied or almost tied in Washington, Minnesota, New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Heck, McCain's even up in Michigan and he's increased his lead in battlegrounds like Missouri, Ohio, and Florida.

tiptap
09-14-2008, 09:01 AM
Eat me RL. You have the much of the same staff from Bush on McCain's staff. You don't get off putting Bush's tail on McCain no matter what. Because they are the same. The differences is that the lie this time is that McCain is different.

NCarlsCorner2
09-14-2008, 09:08 AM
Truth in these words, It's close,Sure the McCain camp has made things interesting, but shit happens in elections and something will come up before or during the debates that will determine who wins this race.

The tape that Hillary wanted Sean Hannity to turn over to her might surface.

RINGLEADER
09-14-2008, 10:24 AM
Eat me RL. You have the much of the same staff from Bush on McCain's staff. You don't get off putting Bush's tail on McCain no matter what. Because they are the same. The differences is that the lie this time is that McCain is different.

LOL. Just saying your candidate is making a mistake. Why do you think this singular line of attack -- which Obama has used for the last four months -- is going to suddenly start working? Believe me, I'm happy he doesn't get it, but listening to his surrogates on television this morning was just painful. I could see the "for the love of God and all that is holy why don't you simpletons get it that McCain is Bush!?!?" thought balloons over the Obama supporters' heads when they were hitting this note over and over and over again.

tiptap
09-14-2008, 10:40 AM
Because your side has shown that if you keep saying enough it sticks and in this case it is true as well. There you go.

tiptap
09-14-2008, 10:43 AM
The only reason the right is raising the claim to stop attacking Palin and tying McCain to Bush is because they don't want to have to answer those attacks when the real push for the election is on. You don't let up here. You go forward. After all there will be plenty of shit that will stick on your candidates. I think ye protest to much.

NoLurkerNoMore
09-14-2008, 01:34 PM
The american electorate wants a candidate there can emotionally connect. I'm not sure thats the best measure for a successful president but what do I know.

Carlota69
09-14-2008, 01:41 PM
The tape that Hillary wanted Sean Hannity to turn over to her might surface.

What tape?

NCarlsCorner2
09-14-2008, 02:08 PM
What tape?

The one that Hillary's team was convinced that Sean Hannity has in his posession.

Ultra Peanut
09-14-2008, 04:58 PM
The choice of Ferraro was viewed as a gamble, and pundits were uncertain whether it would result in a net gain or loss of votes for the Mondale campaign. In the days after the convention, Ferraro proved an effective campaigner, with a brash and confident style that forcefully criticized the Reagan administration and sometimes almost overshadowed Mondale. Mondale had been 16 points behind Reagan in polls before the pick, and after the convention he pulled even for a short time.