Strategy versus Tactics

27 09 2008

I enjoyed this piece — On Strategy and Tactics by James Fallows — because I saw myself in this bit:

Obama would have pleased his base better if he had fought back more harshly in those 90 minutes — cutting McCain off, delivering a similarly harsh closing judgment, using comparably hostile body language, and in general acting more like a combative House of Commons debater. Those would have been effective tactics minute by minute.

But Obama either figured out, or instinctively understood, that the real battle was to make himself seem comfortable, reasonable, responsible, well-versed, and in all ways “safe” and non-outsiderish to the audience just making up its mind about him.

I wanted a stronger performance by Obama. I was wrong. He was thinking way ahead of me.

How nice. 🙂




6 responses

27 09 2008

Ooh, thanks for posting this! I just saw something similar, as I was thinking how much Barack Obama reminds me of my dad’s gentlemanly, even courtly, style of discussion:

Barack Obama and the Return of Grace:

Those who aspire to lead us are supposed to be the best among us. They are supposed to transcend and rise above those they would hope to lead. McCain’s is the kind of behavior that wouldn’t even be acceptable in a high school debate, let alone one between candidates for the highest office in the land.

Ironically, the very thing the McCain campaign is now crowing about as an example of McCain’s victory — the fact that Obama granted his opponent the courtesy of pointing out the places where they agree — is the very quality of leadership that McCain continues to falsely claim as his own.

“I have a record of reaching across the aisle,” is the repeated line. He claims to have made a career of putting “Country First,” yet we only see him engage in behavior that has divided this country for far too long, effectively putting country second and putting McCain First.

If he truly endeavors to unify us, then the first thing he needs to do is to stop turning every disagreement into a battle between heroes and villains.

27 09 2008

Such a wholesome, happy picture too . . .that’s the family’s only house, I suppose, the one they live in together and all call home? 😉

28 09 2008
Nance Confer

I had to laugh at this morning’s ad from McCain.

Apparently, the big point they took away from the debate is they could catch Obama being diplomatic. They’ve got a whole ad of snips of Obama saying “you’re right about X” to McCain. Of course, they fail to include the next part of the sentence where Obama explains how McCain is wrong about everything but X.

Sort of sad that that’s the best they could come up with. But funny.


28 09 2008
Nance Confer

I guess that’s their house. I just liked it. 🙂

It seems to have been used in one article that was anti-Michelle and on a number of pro-Obama sites.


28 09 2008

By the old rules, Obama lost this first debate. That so many people see him as the winner shows us that something really has changed since 2000 and 2004.

So let’s let Obama be Obama. Instead of asking him to score political points – and to drive home the reality that McCain is a grumpy, sour old man who lives in the past – let’s let Obama call Americans to a new era of decency, civility and realistic, tough-minded optimism.

Obama has clearly decided that America is at last sick and tired of the posturing and chest-thumping. I thought I’d never see this day, but he’s making a believer out of me all over again.

29 09 2008
Betty Malone

Amen, sister. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: