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McCain, take the media focus off Obama

(Credit: Politirazzi)

By Jeff

What should McCain do to start getting more positive press? Well, for starters he could talk about himself more than he talks about Obama. There’s no question that Obama is getting more press than McCain, but even McCain’s own site talks about Obama more than it talks about McCain. The Boston Globe’s wordpile shows a pretty good picture that McCain’s strategy has been largely anti-Obama rather than pro-McCain.

His media advertising strategy is all about Obama as well; and it’s a weird one. The visuals are at odds with the content — where if you watch the ad with the sound off, it looks like an Obama ad showing how people love him all of the world because he’s got such an engaging personality and demeanor. How is that supposed to dissuade a potential voter?

McCain may not be getting much press, but the press that Obama has been getting is largely negative. The major stories the last couple weeks have been issues that have hurt Obama. Whether it’s the weird Obama advertising strategy or those major stories or a combination of both, it looks like it’s working as the national polls have shown.

(Photo: AP)

(continued) The energy debate is an issue on which Republicans are winning. People don’t understand the economics of the issue, they just know that gas prices are way up (even after falling 20 percent in the last month) and that the Republicans are in bed with the big oil companies. But somehow, the Republicans are still winning the issue because the Democrats have not been able to explain why they are against drilling in ANWR, the Outer Continental Shelf, developing oil shale or expanding nuclear capabilities.

Clearly, it would be a long time before we saw any tangible benefit from these advances, but that is no reason why we shouldn’t be exploring them now. The Democrats cite their “environment” trump card, but offer little explanation. People see the Republicans on the floor of the Congress “protesting” and looking like they are trying to address this “energy crisis” while the Democrats are on vacation and refusing even to put the issue up for a vote.

The other big issue recently was about race and which was the side that brought up the “race card." It was absolutely the Obama camp, and it made them look bad. He was the one who brought up the issue in Missouri when he said:

Nobody thinks that Bush and McCain have a real answer to the challenges we face. So what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, ‘he’s not patriotic enough, he’s got a funny name,’ you know, ‘he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.’

He attributed racial undertones to “they” without naming them, making it seem like it was McCain’s camp who is trying to scare people about him not looking “like all those other presidents” when it never occurred. McCain and his camp not only never had brought up race (though they have brought up a bunch of petty points — it’s impressive that they haven’t pandered to the racist element yet), but when Obama introduced the issue, McCain rejected it, and it was an issue which made Obama look bad, and has been quickly dropped.

Though I still can’t see how Obama doesn’t win this election. I think the entire election rests on the Rust Belt states (Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio), and right now McCain is about six to seven points behind in Pennsylvania and Michigan, and even in Indiana and Ohio. That geographical area accounts for 69 electoral votes, and looking at the rest of the map, even if McCain splits those states, Obama probably still wins.

Tags: john mccain , media coverage , jeff akston , talker of the week

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