As they map out a strategy against Republican presidential candidate John McCain, Barack Obama and his advisers plan to emphasize big themes and generational contrasts.
First, they will try to bill McCain as "an extension of the Bush administration," which is very unpopular, especially among Democrats and swing voters. Even though Obama has yet to lock up the Democratic nomination, he and his advisers are confident that he will win the nod, so, behind the scenes, they are looking ahead to taking on McCain. "More and more people believe we need to change course," a senior OBama adviser told U.S. News.
Obama plans to emphasize that McCain would unwisely follow Bush's lead in many areas, such as continuing the Iraq war, pushing for more tax cuts for the rich, and taking a go-slow attitude in helping Americans to weather the subprime mortgage crisis.
More broadly, Obama will be using the theme of "yesterday versus tomorrow," with McCain billed as the candidate of the past and Obama as the candidate of the future. This would also bring the age issue into the campaign. McCain would be the oldest person ever sworn in as president, at 72, and many Americans have expressed concern to pollsters that the Arizona senator is past his prime.
—Kenneth T. Walsh