The Barack Obama campaign kicks off its leaner, meaner approach today, reports the New York Times, going on the offensive with a New Hampshire speech and new ads in an attempt to wrest momentum back from the GOP. The candidate's strategists say it has long been the plan to get more aggressive closer to November but, as poll numbers have shifted, many Dems are seeing echoes of John Kerry's 2004 post-convention slump.
Obama aides say they have been taken aback by the McCain campaign's newly aggressive tone under Karl Rove protege Steve Schmidt, but they're ready to respond in kind and believe McCain's adoption of the "change" mantra will put the battle on their terms. "John McCain jettisoned his message and his strategy," said campaign manager David Plouffe. "It is now about change. We’re going to lean into that very, very hard.” (Read more Barack Obama stories.)