What Works

08USPresGEMvO600%201.png

Chris Bowers critiques the flip-flop line of attack against Barack Obama and observes "In fact, looking at the national poll trend lines at Pollster.com, the only line of attack that has ever clearly damaged Obama was the Reverend Wright flap back in March." Indeed as you can see above that's true. I might add that Wright-based attacks, while in many ways unfair, had the proverbial "grain of truth" advantage in that I think Obama really is more liberal than the Democratic nominees of the recent past in a way that trying to associate him with radical figures drives home.

The interesting thing about the 2008 election is that the political marketplace has responded to the collapse in support for Bush and the GOP in a pretty efficient manner -- with the Republicans nominating someone who's somewhat less conservative than Bush and whose association with the GOP brand is relatively weak, and the Democrats running on a more liberal agenda than they've had in recent cycles. McCain wants to exaggerate how moderate he is and how left-wing Obama is, not recycle attacks on John Kerry. I bet most people wish Kerry had won (actually, it would be interesting to see polling on this).

Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in Politics

Just In