Thursday, August 21, 2008

'Obama Himself Unleashes Broad Populist Attack On McCain'

At last! From Greg Sargent at TPM.

John McCain's number-of-houses gaffe may well be remembered as an important turning point in the campaign. It's a moment Dems have been waiting for that is serving as a catalyst for a much more intense and unified populist attack on McCain coming from many corners, particularly Barack Obama himself.

On the trail today, Obama unleashed a fusillade of populist criticism of McCain, weaving together a number of different recent gaffes or quotes from McCain or his surrogates: [watch video in previous post]

Among the various points hit on by Obama: McCain's claim awhile back that we've made great economic progress; McCain's (possibly tongue-in-cheek) claim that $5 million is the threshold for richness; Phil Gramm's claim that we've become a "nation of whiners"; and of course the houses gaffe.

Separately, the Obama campaign is apparently planning to deploy surrogates in at least 16 states to press the "houses" attack.

This gift is four-fold: It allows the Obama campaign to reclaim the offensive after a far-too-defensive stretch. It energizes rank-and-file Dems who had been hand-wringing about what they saw as Obama's unwillingness to get tougher with McCain.

It gives Obama the opening he needed to sound a more aggressive populist tone that until now he'd left to others. And it shifts the focus away from national security politics, where McCain was making clear gains, on to domestic economic issues, which are paramount in the minds of voters.

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