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"Obama's Weakness is Weakness" by Dick Morris

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
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The USA Today/Gallup Poll of late March suggests a strategy for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the general election. The poll compared Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and McCain on certain key variables. Here were the results:

Obama won:

? Cares about the needs of people like you, 66% to 54%
? Shares your values, 51% to 46%
?Understands the problems Americans face in their daily lives, 67% to 55%

McCain won:

? Is a strong, decisive leader, 56% to 69%
? Is honest and trustworthy, 63% to 67%
? Can manage the government efficiently, 48% to 60%

Neither won:

? Has a clear plan for solving the country's problems, 41% to 42%
? Has a clear vision for the country's future, 67% to 65%
? Would work well with both parties in Washington to get things done, 62% to 61%
? Is someone you would be proud to have as president, 57% to 55%

So Obama won the traditional Democratic (and female) virtues of understanding problems and caring about people. McCain won the usual Republican (and male) virtues of strong leadership and efficient management.

In an age of terrorism, weakness is a capital crime. McCain needs to base his campaign on establishing Obama's weakness and his own strong leadership by comparison.

It is in this context that we must analyze Obama's problems with the Rev. Wright and his emerging problems with former terrorist Bill Ayers. The American people are not about to judge Obama guilty by association, even with a lowlife type like Ayers and an anti-American like Wright. But they will see, in Obama's tentativeness in handling these controversies and his "decency" in refusing to cut off his relationships and condemn these men, a sign of weakness that will hurt his campaign.

There is in Obama something of the Democratic candidate for president in the 1950s, Adlai Stevenson. Both from Illinois, they share an eloquence that lifts them above normal political figures and a profundity of thought that lies behind it. But each was seen as weak, and Stevenson as indecisive. Obama's over-intellectualization of issues and of the problems that crop up in his campaign will increasingly harden into a perception of a lack of sufficient strength to deal with America's problems.

The right wing tried to attack John Kerry in 2004 for a lack of patriotism and commitment to American values, just as it is now doing to Obama. It likely fell short of its goal. But the pressure it brought to bear on Kerry, through the Swift Boat ad and other attacks, led people to conclude that Kerry flip-flopped on issues and led them to discount what he said during his campaign.

Similarly, Americans will not buy that Obama is un-American. But the pressure the right brings to bear on him will cause him to appear weak in the face of attacks.

McCain needs to hammer away at the issue of strength and leadership and deal decisively with the problems that crop up in the campaign, while Obama dithers, thinks things through and tries to parse hairs in his responses.

Here the Iraq issue opens a real opportunity for McCain, where otherwise his support for the war would be a real negative. Iraq is a lot like Social Security. Everyone knows there is a problem, but any solution is immediately shot down. The issue earned the label "the third rail" in our politics, a status that was underscored when Bush's momentum from his 2004 reelection was smashed against the rocks of Democratic and elderly opposition to his Social Security reform plan.

So it is with Iraq: He who proposes an alternative is doomed. McCain's position, that we have to stay until we win, is far from popular, but it's a lot better than unilateral and immediate withdrawal.

And Obama's opposition to the war begs a host of questions: Shall we retain any presence? What about al Qaeda? What happens if the government falls? Can we let Iran take over? Obama will dither and seem far from decisive as he answers each of these questions. They will make him look terrible, just as Kerry -- in opposing the war after voting for it -- looked like a flip-flopper.

McCain can use the predisposition of voters to see Obama as weak, coupled with the Iraq issue, to make the strength issue his key advantage.
I think the people on here who believe McCain can't win or that Obama can't lose are in for a rude awakening.

Obama has a lot of hurdles to overcome and I think his in experience is going to doom him in the end. Just as Hillary's inexperience in running a contested campaign has killed her.

Also, keep an eye out of the Bill Ayers story. Apparently Obama has admitted to being "friendly" with yet another anti-American radical, one who happens to have been a terrorist.
 

NeoV

Diamond Member
Apr 18, 2000
9,530
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Dick Morris' weakness can be summed up as "transvestites in hotel rooms"

He's a bitter person who was caught in a hugely embarassing situation - sounds like a perfect Fox 'fair and balanced' host
 

Dari

Lifer
Oct 25, 2002
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lol. Bush's strength was strength. Look where that got us. Besides, you and Dick Morris seem to imply that thinking, understanding, and listening to people is a sign of weakness. Well, let's see how that plays out this time. Americans may be slow at times, but we aren't stuck on "retard".
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
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McCain needs to be careful not to alienate independents if he is seen to be supported by the swiftboat crowd.
 

thraashman

Lifer
Apr 10, 2000
10,911
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Obama's over-intellectualization of issues and of the problems that crop up in his campaign will increasingly harden into a perception of a lack of sufficient strength to deal with America's problems.
There's an unfortunate point made pretty accurately here. Obama is intellectual. I'd say he comes of more intellectual and more level-headed than any other candidate seen in my lifetime. And unfortunately that doesn't relate well to the American people. It seems highly likely that there is a larger amount of stupid Americans than intelligent Americans. And stupid votes for stupid. Because seriously, what even minorly intelligent person would have voted for Bush (dumber than most inbred dogs) for re-election. I can understand voting the first time, as really who could have known how bad it would get. But by the second time, he'd shown his true stupidity and fucked up so much, that really only an idiot could possibly have voted for him.

This is a bit unfortunate for Obama, as many of those stupid people have not gotten any smarter, and will be turned off by someone as intelligent as Obama. So they'll go with McCain. Sure, he's smarter than Bush. But he's not even approaching the level of intelligence of Obama.
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
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Obama is not an intellectual. He is a demagogue. There is a big difference.
If he is such an intellectual, where is his record of writing and intellectual work?
 

jman19

Lifer
Nov 3, 2000
11,169
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Originally posted by: yllus
In an age of terrorism, weakness is a capital crime.
I don't think that tactic is going to work this time...
We can only hope so. I think people are tired of being scared in to voting for a particular candidate, but time will tell.
 

Red Dawn

Elite Member
Jun 4, 2001
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McCain's weakness is that he belongs to the same political party as Bush.
 

OrByte

Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2000
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Dick Morris is in for a rude awakening.

oh but I like how he starts his article with statistics to try and persuade the reader that the rest of his writing is grounded in fact.

When in fact it is all just opinion, and all recycled opinion at that.

I think he wrote the same thing about Kerry...
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
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Oh no, the empty suit monkey is also an intellectual. I guess when he gets to be as worthless as Bush, he will pass America's test and be eligible to win.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
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Originally posted by: yllus
In an age of terrorism, weakness is a capital crime.
I don't think that tactic is going to work this time...
Indeed, stupidity should be the capital crime and for big government big security Republicans we've proven how stupid the neocon type can be. McCain's weakness is that he's GWB for a third term. I don't view him as any other way and I despise him for it.
 

OrByte

Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2000
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Originally posted by: Moonbeam
Oh no, the empty suit monkey is also an intellectual. I guess when he gets to be as worthless as Bush, he will pass America's test and be eligible to win.
Don't forget that FIRST he needs to be able to speak to god.

THEN he passes the test!
 

Robor

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
16,991
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Obama may not have the lengthy political career of McCain but IMO McCain is *TOO* experienced. He would be 72 to start his term as POTUS.

I could be wrong but I think you're reaching on the Bill Ayers affiliation. If every person is held responsible for everyone they befriend over their life no one would be 'clean'.
 

Harvey

Administrator<br>Elite Member
Administrator
Oct 9, 1999
35,052
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In an age of terrorism, weakness is a capital crime.
By that logic, the entire Bushwhacko administration should already have needles in their arms. Not a bad thought, but not until after they're tried and convicted for their treason, murder, torture and crimes against humanity.

Even then, I'd prefer to see all of them given lifetime vacations at the beautiful downtown Guantanamo Hilton with free dailly passes for the exciting waterboard ride. It's not torture... They said so, themselves, and we can believe them... Right? :roll:

Originally posted by: senseamp

Obama is not an intellectual. He is a demagogue. There is a big difference. If he is such an intellectual, where is his record of writing and intellectual work?
For a start, Obama graduated from Columbia University, and he was President of the Law Review at Harvard. The fact that you didn't bother to check even that much raises questions about your own intellectual ability to understand his qualifications, let alone challenge them.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
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Originally posted by: NeoV
Dick Morris' weakness can be summed up as "transvestites in hotel rooms"

He's a bitter person who was caught in a hugely embarassing situation - sounds like a perfect Fox 'fair and balanced' host
Oh dear, sounds like a Dick Morass.
 

Harvey

Administrator<br>Elite Member
Administrator
Oct 9, 1999
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Originally posted by: Moonbeam
Originally posted by: NeoV
Dick Morris' weakness can be summed up as "transvestites in hotel rooms"

He's a bitter person who was caught in a hugely embarassing situation - sounds like a perfect Fox 'fair and balanced' host
Oh dear, sounds like a Dick Morass.
Sounds like there was at least one extra dick in that hotel room. :shocked: :laugh:
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
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I see we've entered the PJ posting propaganda phase of the election cycle.

Barack is stronger than McCain, IMO. McCain has acted cowardly constantly on political issues in the Senate. How 'strong' was he to play the game and hug not attack Bush for Bush's terrible treatment of McCain's family? How strong was it of McCain to go from attacking the radical religious right to pandering to them? There are many more.

On the other hand, Barack has taken issues more head on - opposing the Iraq war when it was much more popular, and his recent race speech are good examples.

The poll in PJ's post doesn't say who's stronger, it simply reflects the fact that the public is still caught up in the McCain myths.

And it plays back to the same old desperate Republican line about how they're the 'strong masculine party' - an idiotic and dangerous line insulting to its target audience.

It reminds me of the most pathetic advertising campaigns, like where they try to show the guy who drinks the right beer as getting the cute girl, when of course you can easily see through that to understand that it's the guys who don't get the cute girl who are susceptible to that sort of ad. It's the guys who are not secure in their own masculinity who are most susceptible to being sold a 'strong' candidate.

Social research has shown that there is a percent of Americans who are susceptible to authoritarianism - some as leaders of it, and many as followers, who crave having a 'strong leader' they can passonionately back and be led by. Oddly enough, practically all the authoritarians in America are on the right, these studies show.

So here you have the classic sales pitch to these sheep - it's why they are always trying to paing the democrat in feminine tones, from John Edwards' fancy haircut and even claims he's gay (recall Ann Coulter's line about him being a 'lovely human'), to the connections of John Kerry as being too 'French' and not having really earned his war medals, saying he was only scratched by the enemy shrapnel (sissy!). And it's really just showing how little they have to run McCain on compared to Barack. It reminds me of the Bob Dole candidacy.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
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I like how our good friend Dick Morris thinks "that thur Obama just THINKS too darn much!"

This explains a lot.
 

apoppin

Lifer
Mar 9, 2000
34,902
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alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: senseamp
Obama is not an intellectual. He is a demagogue. There is a big difference.
If he is such an intellectual, where is his record of writing and intellectual work?
He can't even unite his OWN party
:roll:

He is not a Great Leader as his sheepies say he is or Hillary would be Shut Up by Now ... he will be mutton by the time McLame's Right tears into him.
- he will finally get the experience he so needs .. too late :(
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
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I've heard Morris speak about this issue several times. IMO, he confuses ruthless self-interest with strength. Not surprising given his long years with the Clinton's.

Where is the 'strength" in throwing your pastor under the bus at the first sign of controversy? Strength is standing up for what you believe in the face of adversity, not caving immediately for political expendiency.

Strength is too easily associated with authoritarianism; let McCain play that card if he wishes. I think it's a loser this election cycle.

Fern
 

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,826
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Originally posted by: Moonbeam
Oh no, the empty suit monkey is also an intellectual. I guess when he gets to be as worthless as Bush, he will pass America's test and be eligible to win.
the political problem is that intellectualism can come off as a mix of condescension and blowing smoke up people's asses.

(not that the second coming of Jesus cares about such petty concerns like "getting elected," he's obviously above that tripe and is busy with the salvation of humanity)
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,037
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Originally posted by: senseamp
Obama is not an intellectual. He is a demagogue. There is a big difference.
If he is such an intellectual, where is his record of writing and intellectual work?
You mean like his 2 highly-praised best-selling books? Or maybe when he was President of the Harvard Law Review? Or what about his tenure as a professor of constitutional law at the University of Chicago?
Yeah, there's no record of any of that....

You are a liar. Or an idiot. You choose.
 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
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Originally posted by: Red Dawn
McCain's weakness is that he belongs to the same political party as Bush.
Not to mention that all of his public stances on policy and issues are EXACTLY the same as Bush's.
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,520
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Originally posted by: loki8481
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
Oh no, the empty suit monkey is also an intellectual. I guess when he gets to be as worthless as Bush, he will pass America's test and be eligible to win.
the political problem is that intellectualism can come off as a mix of condescension and blowing smoke up people's asses.

(not that the second coming of Jesus cares about such petty concerns like "getting elected," he's obviously above that tripe and is busy with the salvation of humanity)
I think intellectualism only looks like that to people who adopt the sour grapes attitude because they weren't the smartest kid in the class. Intelligence is, unfortunately, something you either have or you don't...and I think the people who don't have it are pretty easy to get on board with the idea that intellectualism is the same thing as elitism. Republicans mock intellect because they get a lot of mileage of out doing so, and they get mileage out of it because you gain a lot of favor with the average person telling them that not being smart makes them better people.

Personally I find the claims of pragmatism and reason coming from some conservatives to be pretty suspect when coupled with anti-intellectualism. You can be one or the other, but you can't be both.
 

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