Home > America, John McCain, Obama, Obama Supporters, Palin, Sexism > Inside the Republican strategy: Countering Obama’s sexism

Inside the Republican strategy: Countering Obama’s sexism

Obama just compared Sarah Palin to a pig when he said, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig”.

Naturally, any decent human being would be outraged by such a statement. It’s understandable to get angry and call for McCain to respond with equal vitriol in a snappy response to Obama. Understandable, but would it be smart? No.

Try looking back a few months ago. Obama was up in the polls, still enjoying his post-nomination bounce, while McCain seemed to be struggling to keep up. Obama released a myriad of unfair attacks against McCain daily. If there was one cry in the Republican party, it was, “John, fight back!” But John McCain never responded in kind.

Now, McCain is on top in a dominating position with a powerfully transformative new VP at his side. What happened?

1. Palin. McCain tricked Obama into picking a weak vp by forcing the experience argument. McCain then turned around and picked a strong vp by comparison.

2. Little jabs. Ads like “The One” and “Celebrity” were little jabs at Obama, not big attacks, but they developed a theme. They eroded Obama’s lead to nil going into the conventions.

3. Overexposure. According to pew research, 48% of Americans feel they are hearing too much about Obama. Compare that to only 26% who feel the same about McCain. Incidentally, Obama’s biggest selling point was his “newness”. By allowing Obama to hog the spotlight, McCain let Obama to undercut his own message.

None of these strategies required McCain to make a large public attack on Obama, and they WORKED.

With the race effectively changed forever by the introduction of Sarah Palin, the new Republican strategy will look like this:

1. McCain will highlight Obama’s, the Media’s and the far-left’s attacks on Palin, but they won’t allow it to become a central theme of their campaign. Palin is not a victim, and the McCain campaign isn’t going to market her as such. Nevertheless, drawing attention to the some of the most outrageous attacks on her, especially ones that can be traced to Obama, will expose the intellectual and emotional weakness of his ideology.

2. Little jabs. Expect a continuation of this theme from the pre-Palin election cycle.

3. Limit Palin’s direct exposure. The American public is hungry to learn more about Palin. McCain will keep this hunger in suspense, and not risk making Obama’s error, by controlling the venues that Palin speaks in. This will keep the excitement she now enjoys high through election day.

4. September/October surprise. Sorry, can’t talk about this one in detail. Let me just say this – Obama’s got something big coming his way, and he’s not going to like it. McCain and Palin are just getting started.

I understand the impulse to attack back against the slanders coming towards the world’s most famous mother of five, but one must remember – the real goal and best possible response for McCain and Palin is to win.

  1. fredshelm
    September 10, 2008 at 6:00 am

    First time commenters will have their comments subject to moderation before being posted. My rules about commentary are available by clicking the link in the right-hand column.

  2. Brian
    September 10, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Obama never mentioned Sarah Palin when referring to the pig. This claim is easily refuted (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPd4yk0x-eg).

    I see you posted this pretty early in the morning, so that may account for the error. Yet, you probably should have corroborated it before posting jut the same.
    It’s irresponsible. Unless you intend to disseminate incorrect information.

    But this blog is partisan anyway, so I guess it makes sense. I shouldn’t have strayed so far from FactCheck.org.

  3. fredshelm
    September 10, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Brian, I’m afraid you’re quite wrong. First, politicians do not always name their targets by name when they smear or criticize. For you to suggest they do is both ignorant and naive. Second, you assume that because I disagree with you, that I must be “irresponsible”. Arrogance is a very unattractive quality, particularly when it is undeserved. Third, the Obama campaign had ALREADY linked Palin’s NAME to the NOUN lipstick when it made a similar statement (minus this pig) about one of her specific plans EARLIER THE SAME DAY.

    Ironic, also, that you deride the opinionated nature of my blog while expressing a very opinionated view of said theme. Is the hypocrisy deliberate?

  4. September 16, 2008 at 1:28 am

    I think that the McCain campaign strategy is going to go down in history – fingers crossed anyway – it is a thing of beauty to watch for us anoraks who like thinking about those kinds of things. Looking forward to what else he has up his sleeve.

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