Barack Obama has a problem. He's letting his opponent, John McCain, set the narrative and gain an edge in the polls by allowing McCain's campaign to frame Obama as a lightweight celebrity and Scary Black Man while his own surrogates meekly roll over and let the GOP's talking points go unchallenged.
There's so much that can be used against McCain:
1. His pathetic showing at the Naval Academy (895th out of 899, and membership in the far-less-than-prestigious Century Club),
2. His performance as a naval aviator (crashing his own planes),
3. His desertion of his first wife in favor of a beer heiress,
4. His publicly calling his present wife a "cunt,"
5. His voting record of slavish devotion to Dubya (95% in 2007, 100% in 2008),
6. His 0-6 record on attending his own committee's hearings on Afghanistan,
7. His pandering to Big Oil,
8. His repeated gaffes and apparent memory lapses,
9. His consistently wrong takes on the Iraq War,
10. And shall we go on?
Senator Obama is being deliberately indifferent to the attacks by the McCain camp, and it is not doing his campaign a lick of good. This posture didn't do Kerry any good at all in 2004, and it won't do any bit of good this time.
My advice - my two cents - is for Obama to come out swinging and to tell his surrogates to do the same. Reframe the narrative and get into the media's faces about it. Tar this Bush wannabee with the Bush brush (four more years of stupidity!) and recapture the initiative.
Now, I know what you're saying, "Oooh, but that's dirty politics. We want to fight the campaign on issues, not negative attacks."
Dirty tricks and negative adds are a part of the America political process and have been ever since John Adams campaigned against Thomas Jefferson and called him every dirty name in the book. But the more Obama remains indifferent to these attacks (or worse, on the defensive), the easier it will be for McCain's campaign to gain on and eventually pass him.
And America can not tolerate another four years of the Bush Administration.