Monday, August 25, 2008

A race between between a Democrat and a Republican

By Creature

Krugman:

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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