You wouldn’t expect a political campaign to circulate its opponent’s attack on its candidate—yet that’s exactly what Barack Obama’s media-relations team is doing, observes Andrew Romano for Newsweek. An email linking to stories on John McCain’s latest jabs is part of the “rapid response” squad’s attempt to paint the Republican as “flailing” about and avoiding the real issues.
Why take this gamble? Because polls have shown that an attacking McCain primarily hurts McCain, and makes Obama look calm and serious in the bargain. The attacks listed were mainly familiar—ACORN, Bill Ayers, taxes—so the campaign is taking the risk of repeating them for the larger reward of reaffirming the narrative that McCain would rather bash his opponent than offer solutions on the economy.