The Plank

Should Obama Attack Mccain?

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If you watched even a few minutes of the Democratic debate on
Thursday night, you're well aware that many of the biggest applause
lines were swipes at Republicans. Clinton had a good (though recycled)
line about the president, and Obama took shots at Romney and McCain.
Obama continued his attacks on McCain yesterday by saying:

“There was a time when Senator McCain courageously defied the fiscal
madness of massive tax cuts for the wealthy in the midst of a costly
war,” Obama said.  “That was before he started running for the
Republican nomination and fell in line.”

Generally I think it's good for Obama to be a little harsher in his
condemnations of the GOP, but I am not sure that attacking a Republican
who happens to be extremely popular with independents is a good
strategy. In California, for example, a state where he has a lot of
momentum, Obama most likely needs the independent vote to put him over
the top (independents can only vote in the Democratic primary). In
short, it's probably more effective for Democrats to attack the
president--at least until the nomination is sewn up.

--Isaac Chotiner

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