Monday, August 25, 2008

A race between between a Democrat and a Republican

By Creature


The central fact of this year’s election is that voters are fed up with Republican rule. The only way Mr. McCain can win the presidential race is if it becomes a contest of personalities rather than parties — and if his campaign can instill in voters the perception that Mr. Obama is a suspicious character while Mr. McCain is a fine, upstanding gentleman.

The Obama campaign, on the other hand, doesn't need to convince voters either that he’s the awesomest candidate ever or that Mr. McCain is a villain. All it has to do is tarnish Mr. McCain’s image enough so that voters see this as a race between a Democrat and a Republican. And that’s a race the Democrat will easily win.

Krugman's right, but there's a bigger point here. I don't think Obama is painting this as a race "between a Democrat and a Republican." Yes, they've been effectively tying McCain to Bush, but they need to tie him to Republicans as a whole. The American people, while they are still angry at Bush, have already moved on and tuned him out. At the same time, people don't necessarily think of McCain as a Republican. His maverick image has been sufficiently groomed to allow himself a bit of Republican distance. That distance must be removed.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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