Much commentary today on the increasingly “nasty” turn of McShame’s candidacy.
Several bloggers have suggested that Obama must strike back hard against this negative campaign, citing Dukakis’ and Kerry’s failure to do so in prior campaigns. I disagree.
This candidacy is distinguishable from the others. Here, the electorate is already energized based on the economy and the war (which, leaving aside morality issues, are ultimately the same issue–the economy is bad because of the war). McShame is turning to a nasty campaign very early. Why? Because he doesn’t have much to run on: any time he is asked to detail his plans he falls apart in a shambles because his plans are unreal and unrealistic. Continued spending with no source, no workable plan on the economy.
The problem with an early nasty campaign is that, after awhile, it is ineffective and makes the party doing it appear to be just nasty. At some point, someone’s going to ask: “well and good, Sir, but what is your plan?” Even more scary: “how will work?”
McShame’s campaign is egregiously bad and laughable. As it is a joke, Obama is correct to laugh it off, at least until some substantive attack is made.