Obama's Strategy for Campaigning Against McCain-Palin, the POW and the Mom

Obama must penetrate motherhood-and-military armor the Republicans have devised.

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"You do not do anything to degrade the Obama brand of a new kind of politics," he says.

One Democratic consultant not affiliated with the Obama campaign says that the Democrat's message should be simple—and can be boiled down to a 15-second ad: "Thanks, John McCain for your sacrifice. But no thanks for a third Bush term." And then, he said, beat that—and the economy—like a drum.

With only 53 days until Election Day, Obama, the strategists say, has to draw better character contrasts and break through the daily news cycle that has been dominated by the governor of Alaska since the morning after Obama's acceptance speech. And with the McCain-Palin roadshow showing no sign of slowing, that breakthrough needs to be tough and sharp. But Obama would be advised to leave the military and motherhood out of it.