Sunday, August 24, 2008

Change Before It’s Too Late

By Libby Spencer

Frank Rich has a column worth reading in full today. It's short but I'll give you a few key quotes, not necessarily in order of appearance.

What we have learned this summer is this: McCain’s trigger-happy temperament and reactionary policies offer worse than no change. He is an unstable bridge back not just to Bush policies but to an increasingly distant 20th-century America that is still fighting Red China in Vietnam and the Soviet Union in the cold war. As the country tries to navigate the fast-moving changes of the 21st century, McCain would put America on hold.

....McCain increasingly resembles those mad Japanese soldiers who remained at war on remote Pacific islands years after Hiroshima.

Rich goes on to offer some sound advice on presentation.

Obama’s real problem is not a lack of detail but his inability to sell policy with “an effective story.” ... How we dig out of this quagmire is the American story that Obama must tell. It is not a story of endless conflicts abroad but a potentially inspiring tale of serious economic, educational, energy and health-care mobilization at home. We don’t have the time or resources to go off on more quixotic military missions or to indulge in culture wars.

In short, it's the same advice I've been giving Obama for months now. Skip the long winded explanations. Keep it simple. Low info voters buy into sloganery. Sadly the wonkery we obsessives thrive on, glazes the average voter over.

But perhaps the best advice Rich offers is to need to reframe the mythical maverick narrative. As he points out, "McCain is not nearly as popular among Americans, it turns out, as he is among his journalistic camp followers. Should voters actually get to know him, he has nowhere to go but down." So true.

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share