This morning, Barack Obama’s campaign woke to a headline that might have made the strategy guys nervous. Roll Call ran a piece entitled "Lobbyists Give to Obama Campaign" with the even better subtitle "Despite Policy, Their Checks Clear".
"So what?" you might ask.
When Obama was busy with his post-February primary losing streak, he ran ads against Hillary Clinton attacking her over this issue. "Obama doesn’t take money from lobbyists, but Hillary does. Not in the pocket of special interests." I never understood how this was supposed to help him win the votes of people who support corrupt machine politicians like Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA). Working class Democratic voters don’t care about this issue. But they care about liars.
So now, imagine the response ad that McCain would run.
First it starts with one of Obama’s statements about not taking money from lobbyists. Perhaps even using Obama’s own ad.
Then, put up headlines about him taking — and asking for — money from the spouses of lobbyists. (by the way, that’s another brilliantly titled piece "Obama’s K-street Project’)
And then one his former staffers emailed DC lobbying firms demanded contracts.
And now it turns out that he even takes money from lobbyists. "despite policy, checks clear."
And then you flash up the headline "Obama’s Lobbyist Connection", from Michael Isikoff’s piece earlier this year.
And then throw in Obama breaking his pledge on public financing. (I am sure that there’s a good headline here)
Then it ends with something like "Barack Obama: You can’t trust what he says"
The words need to be improved, of course. But the point is that the material is there to undermine his character and his trustworthiness, Obama’s only real assets in this race. And you do it at the same time as you rip off the "reformer" mask, a fundamental part of his "change" mantra.