Today Barack Obama introduced the next Vice President of the United States to America: Joe Biden. A true American success story, Joe Biden is the right choice at the right time and his speech today should be noted by the Obama campaign as the blueprint for the next 73 days leading up to the most important election of our time. I have watched for weeks now as John McCain has been allowed to dictate the tone and tenor of this race, using distortions and outright lies to further his presidential ambitions. The collegiate Obama has been a bit too timid in his response and the resulting polls show a shift toward McCain.
That shift is quite frankly ridiculous. I doubt the sincerity of any poll that shows McCain close to Obama while the American people are rejecting the Bush policies 70-30%. It is simply not plausible. That said, because the do-little democratic congress chose to ignore the dangers of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and media consolidation, we are again faced with a corporately rigged election and media coverage designed to help the GOP; so we must be very careful how the campaign is managed down the stretch. Joe Biden paved the way today and we all need to stay on this message so the American people can have the truth to balance out the subterfuge from Camp McCain and their corporate media.
That message is simple and it is the truth. John McCain is George Bush on steroids. His campaign has basically been run on continuing the same failed policies we have seen for the past eight years. I have seen candidate Obama try valiantly for weeks now to tell the American people why they should vote for him; a novel strategy. Unfortunately, it has been met with a McCain campaign telling us all the reasons why we should not vote for Obama. The McCain campaign offers no real reason why we should vote for McCain of course because his policies are summarized by the sound bite; “more of the same.” Faced with the reality that his platform will not sell to the American people, McCain has been reduced to asking if Obama is “ready to lead.” Please. Follow the lead of Joe Biden today. There will be plenty of time to come back to the message of the Obama platform after the gutter politics battle is won.
The best thing is that the Obama campaign can undertake this strategy without resorting to living in the gutter because the truth is on his side. There is nothing inaccurate about repeatedly pointing out, as Biden did today, that we cannot afford another four years of the policies that have brought us to the point of economic ruin and disaster across the globe. John McCain’s own words should doom him and Joe Biden used them effectively today. It is John McCain who has proudly claimed that no one has supported and voted with President Bush more than John McCain. It is John McCain who proudly claims that great economic progress has been made during the eight years of the Bush administration. It is John McCain who recently said that the fundamentals of our economy are strong. It is John McCain that has embraced the failed economic policies and tax cuts of the past eight years.
This has to be the message of the campaign. The fact is that the American people are fed up with the last eight years. They are tired of economics that leave so many behind while oil companies post billions in profit per quarter. They are tired of watching their kids die for a war that has now been proven to based solely on lies. They know full well that they are not better off than they were eight years ago. But they can be easily distracted. They can be distracted by phony campaign ads designed to skew the debate. They can be distracted by complete non-issues such as offshore drilling. They can be distracted by silly ads showing Paris Hilton. Every time they try to distract, we need to remind everyone what this election is really about. John McCain has no intention of changing anything. As Biden said over and over again, you cannot change if you do not think change is needed.
The McCain campaign has done a masterful job of dictating the dialogue and reducing it all to a caricature of Barack Obama. They have done a masterful job of distracting the American people from looking at their candidate. Joe Biden set the proper tone today for the home stretch. The focus is now not on whether Obama is “ready to lead” and instead is where it belongs; which is to examine what kind of leadership we can expect from John McCain. The message is real, honest and simple. If you think we are doing well and your life is better now than eight years ago, by all means vote for John McCain. If you think that we should be continuing the failed foreign policies of the last eight years which has destroyed our standing morally and militarily in the world, by all means vote for John McCain. But if you think that we need a change in this country then you have to know that we cannot afford another four years of the McCain-Bush-Cheney policies.
It is time to counter the lies with the truth. The McCain campaign likes to continue the portrayal of their guy as a “maverick.” Utter nonsense. It is time to find all the McCain quotes from the past eight years and remind the American people that he is no maverick at all. He has been in lock step with Bush-Cheney for the past eight years and has made no secret about the fact that he would simply continue the same failed policies. This crucial fact was not lost on Joe Biden today and it needs to be hammered home every day until November. This election is not about off-shore drilling, Paris Hilton, cute sayings and trite sound bites. It is about two candidates. One stands for changing the course that we have been on for the past eight years. The other doesn’t believe change is needed. We simply cannot afford that for another four years.