Senator Clinton and Senator McCain are reading from the same political playbook as they attack Barack on foreign policy. They have both criticized Barack's commitment to act against top al Qaeda terrorists if others can't or won't act. And they have both dismissed his call for renewed diplomacy as naïve while mistakenly standing behind George Bush's policy of non-engagement that just isn't working.Actually, both of them have a tendency to rephrase the other candidates' statements in their own words, without proving enough information for me to look up what they actually said. But surely McCain and Clinton didn't really criticize "Barack's commitment to act against top al Qaeda terrorists"? And consider this email of March 25:
In February alone, more than 94% of our donors gave in amounts of $200 or less. Meanwhile, campaign finance reports show that donations of $200 or less make up just 13% of Senator McCain's total campaign funds, and only 26% of Senator Clinton's.Wow, it looks like Obama has 7 times as much grassroots support as McCain! That's what Mr. Plouffe would have supporters believe. But if you read closely, he's comparing two very different statistics: the McCain statistic does not measure the percent of donations $200 or less. It measures the percent of total campain funds from such donations, which is a totally different story. Since I don't know where to find the complete statistics, let us assume for the sake of argument that the average over-$200 donation to Barack's campaign is $1000, and that the average under-$200 donation is $100. Let us assume the same thing for McCain's campaign. Now, with some algebra, we can figure out the missing statistics:
- On average, although 94% of Barack's supporters gave $100, 6% gave $1000. So donations under $200 make up 61% of his total campaign funds.
- On average, although only 13% of McCain's funds come from $100 donations, 60% of donators gave $100.
In February, more than 60% of our donors gave in amounts of $200 or less. In comparison, campaign finance reports show that donations of $200 or less make up 61% of Senator Obama's total campaign funds, and only 26% of Senator Clinton's. Yet the democrats claim to be ahead in grassroots support! What the hell are they smoking?Look, I have no doubt that the other candidates use similar techniques. This sort of thing is precisely what I expect from politics. But Barack promised to be different. Barack promised a positive campaign that focuses on the issues. In many ways he has delivered on these promises; for example, Barack's speech "A more perfect union" not only proved his excellence as a speechwriter, but it proved that he could respond to a guilt-by-association smear campaign without crucifying his former pastor Reverend Wright. Had other candidates been attacked in a similar manner, no one would expect them to respond as Barack did.
My point is this. Just because Barack's opponents talk smack and twist the truth into falsehood, doesn't make it okay for Obama's campaign to do the same. David Plouffe needs to speak the truth, be fair, and take the moral high ground. Every time he doesn't, I am disappointed. Every time he doesn't, I wonder whether this campaign is really so different from Washington's status quo.
But the Obama campaign has just announced that it is turning its attention away from Pennsylvania. This is not a strategy that can beat John McCain in November. ... Why are so many voters turning away from Barack Obama in state after state?