Obama Goes on Offense: McCain Is “Out of Touch”

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With his supporters increasingly grumbling about what feels like a campaign perpetually fighting back against John McCain’s attacks, Barack Obama began an offensive assault today.

The Obama campaign is seizing on a statement by McCain Thursday night on CNN in which the Republican senator said, “It’s easy for me to go to Washington and, frankly, be somewhat divorced from the day-to-day challenges people have.”

In a conference call with reporters Friday morning, top Obama surrogates hammered McCain for the statement. Dick Durbin, senator from Illinois, said, “[McCain] wants to continue with George Bush have failed. If he would, you know, be in the real world of American families in New York, Illinois or Florida, he would understand that.”

Rahm Emanuel, a representative from Illinois and part of the Democratic House leadership, added, “[McCain is] removed from the day-to-day challenges people have faced in their lives. And you see it manifest itself in the thing when he says, you know, I don’t use a computer. I don’t use e-mail. There’s a whole economic revolution going on. And it fundamentally changed the economy, and fundamentally changed people’s lives, and he is removed from it.”

An unnamed Obama campaign official told Politico that the campaign’s message is simple: “Out of touch, out of touch, out of touch.”

The campaign also released two new advertisements Friday morning, one of which hits McCain hard for being behind the times. In it, the narrator says, “Things have changed in the last 26 years. But McCain hasn’t. He admits he still doesn’t know how to use a computer, can’t send an email. Still doesn’t understand the economy. And favors two hundred billion in new tax cuts for corporations, but almost nothing for the middle class. After one President who was out of touch, we just can’t afford more of the same.”

The Obama campaign is also releasing a decade’s worth of Joe Biden’s tax records in the hopes of pressuring a similar move from Sarah Palin.

While the Obama campaign has a number of messaging options available to it that may be more effective than the ones it has chosen in recent days — “same as Bush,” for example — supporters will likely be happy that Obama is on the offensive at all. Obama seemingly spent the summer parrying attacks from the McCain campaign, mostly on the subject of his celebrity. The defensive posture has only become more entrenched since the selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s vice president.

But now that period may finally be over. The media loves a comeback story, which may mean that next week is dominated by “Obama regains his swagger” articles. If that’s the case, Obama may blunt the recent polling swing toward McCain in time for the first debate later this month.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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