The news came out this morning that, for at least the fifth time now, Barack Obama is mad as hell and he's not going to take it anymore. One of Obama's most reliable bobos, Adam Nagourney of the New York Times, read the scroll in this morning's edition:
Senator Barack Obama will intensify his assault against Senator John McCain, with new television advertisements and more forceful attacks by the candidate and surrogates beginning Friday morning, as he confronts an invigorated Republican presidential ticket and increasing nervousness in the Democratic ranks.
Obama campaign manager David Plouffe was ready to reassure the fretful faithful, although he chose an interesting turn of phrase in his remarks:
“We’re sensitive to the fluid dynamics of the campaign, but we have a game plan and a strategy,” said Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, David Plouffe. “We’re familiar with this. And I’m sure between now and Nov. 4 there will be another period of hand-wringing and bed-wetting. It comes with the territory.”
And sure enough it came this morning, the opening volley in the only war that really matters to the Obama campaign. It was an ad that chided McCain for being out of touch because he can't use a computer!
That's right, Grandpa Cancer is so out of touch that he can't use a computer! How could anyone vote for a guy who can't use a computer?
It's a brilliant riposte, except for a few little details.
- The primary reason McCain can't personally use a computer is pretty simple - his arms don't work well because of the injuries he suffered as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Given the frequency that McCain mentions that part of his life, it might have occurred to someone in the Obama braintrust to think about that. And it's an especially risible charge to make given McCain's clear understanding of the power of computers and the net, as documented in this article from Forbes concerning McCain's 2000 campaign.
- What's more, sneering at some for not being able to use a computer is especially misguided considering how many people in this country still have difficulties using a computer. There are a lot of seniors who don't use computers regularly and who are frankly embarrassed about it. I wonder how they might feel about a presidential candidate rubbing someone's nose in the dirt about that. I might also share this experience: when I was between jobs a while back I spent time at the Minnesota Workforce Center. Every day I would see people who came there who had absolutely no idea how to use a computer and needed the staff to basically do everything for them. These people were not doddering idiots; they simply needed help. I wonder how they might feel about this ad.
- One other point regarding e-mail. Do you know how many e-mails a typical executive sends? Not many. You know why? Pretty simple -- e-mail is forever and in our litigious society any correspondence from an executive on any topic can be grist for the lawsuit mill. Perhaps Bill Clinton could have explained that to Obama yesterday, considering he only sent two in his entire 8-year term.
Another unforced error from Sen. Obama.