A CHEKLIST FOR BARACK
Herewith, a half dozen suggestions of things Barack Obama could do this week to improve his chances on Super Tuesday:
1. For the next week, only refer to the Clintons in the plural, as in “The Clintons” or “my three opponents in this race, John Edwards and The Clintons.” Lines like these will get you a lot of media play and will force Hillary to respond to questions about her independence by asserting that she, not they, is the candidate—a response that will then also get a lot of play, and take her off her experience/ready-to-lead-on-day-one message.Me? I reckon that'd seal the deal, if the deal were actually gonna get sealed.
2. On Wednesday, ask Democrats rhetorically why Karl Rove and other top Republicans (see George Packer’s New Yorker piece last week, e.g.) seem to be hoping against hope that they don’t draw the candidate with the hopeful message in the general, but instead want Hillary to win the nomination.
3. On Thursday night during the Los Angeles debate, remind Latino voters that one of your campaign slogans from both the 2004 senate bid and your current presidential bid--“yes, we can”-- happens to roughly translate to “Si, se puede.” Then make a joke about yourself (humor being your weak spot, as the smart folks at Slate’s “gabfest” podcast correctly observed this week) being a gringo who knows little more than those three words in Spanish--but how those three matter most.
4. On Friday, roll out your wife Michele for a big speech about women’s issues that serves as a powerful reminder that when Hillary Clinton says all the candidates are blessed to have talented spouses, she isn’t lying.
5. Call Al Gore, promise him the Moon if necessary, tell him it’s time to get off the sidelines, and roll him out as an endorsement on Saturday, in time for the Sunday talk shows. Unlike four years ago with Howard Dean (when Gore’s approval numbers were a mere fraction of what they are today), this endorsement would matter.
6. On Monday, talk about how you, as nominee, would make it a special focus not only to campaign hard on your own behalf, but to provide substantial effort and resources to swing congressional states and districts, specifically the two dozen open House seats created by Republican retirements or deaths.