Get ready for Bill Ayers.
Get ready for Reverend Wright.
Get ready for Independents to hate this stuff.
Sen. John McCain and his Republican allies are readying a newly aggressive assault on Sen. Barack Obama’s character, believing that to win in November they must shift the conversation back to questions about the Democrat’s judgment, honesty and personal associations, several top Republicans said.
With just a month to go until Election Day, McCain’s team has decided that its emphasis on the senator’s biography as a war hero, experienced lawmaker and straight-talking maverick is insufficient to close a growing gap with Obama. The Arizonan’s campaign is also eager to move the conversation away from the economy, an issue that strongly favors Obama and has helped him to a lead in many recent polls.
“We’re going to get a little tougher,” a senior Republican operative said, indicating that a fresh batch of television ads is coming. “We’ve got to question this guy’s associations. Very soon. There’s no question that we have to change the subject here,” said the operative, who was not authorized to discuss strategy and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Also, get ready for Obama to hit back hard and often. Much like Clinton in ’92, and unlike Gore and Kerry, Obama won’t just stand around. We’ve seen his ability to get in his own jabs when attacked, and while his may not be as effective as McCain’s, they’ll probably be enough. And in a race like this, “enough” may be all he needs to win the Oval Office.