Monday, September 15, 2008

Quote of the Day: Karl Rove

"If Mr. Obama wants to win, he needs to remember he's running against John McCain for president, not Mrs. Palin for vice president."
Karl Rove, in an opinion piece in the September 11 edition of the Wall Street Journal, cites Dukakis's ill-advised focus on Bush running mate Dan Quayle and Adlai Stevenson's attacks on Eisenhower's 1952 running mate Richard Nixon.

Rove's right; the Democrats need to remember that running against Palin is as difficult for the Democrats as it is for McCain to run against Obama. It's bewildering that Palin's hasty nomination derailed the Obama campaign so easily.

Rove continues, "A debate between Mr. Obama and Mrs. Palin over executive experience also isn't smart politics for Democrats. As Mr. Obama talks down Mrs. Palin's record, voters may start comparing backgrounds. He won't come off well."

The real problem for Obama is that dignifying comparisons between himself and Palin puts them on an equal footing in the minds of the public. Democrats should do everything they can to discourage this.

Rove concludes, "Mrs. Palin may be the first vice presidential candidate since Lyndon B. Johnson to change an election's outcome."

So take it from Michael Dukakis, who offered this advice to Obama via The New Republic:
"I think this thing is going to be won in the field, with basic grassroots organizing ... and I don't think McCain has anything out there. Obama is attempting to do that more thoroughly and better, in more states, than I think anybody I can remember, including the guy you're talking to."
Yes, Obama is down in the polls in Minnesota, post-RNC. But how many pollsters call Americans who use cell phones as their primary home line? How long until Palin's utter lack of knowledge of American foreign policy affects the McCain campaign?

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