This said, how should Obama now strategically approach his GOP opponent John McCain from here on out?
In my view, it all comes down to the following:
If Obama’s people are smart—really smart—they will reproduce this shot of McCain embracing Bush like a baby koala at a recent campaign rally on every conceivable medium: billboards, mouse pads, t-shirts, TV ads, yard signs, coffee mugs, tortillas, baby bibs…if it’s a transferrable surface, use it.
No underlying text is necessary.
And even though his name will not be on the ballot this November, my two-cents to Obama’s people is to make Bush every bit as much a part of this campaign as McCain and his eventual running mate.
Use every possible chance to drive the message that Bush and McCain are political twinsies, and that a McCain victory in November would equal a third Bush term in office.
Now granted, I doubt this would be so were McCain to be elected; he shares more political differences with Bush than he does similarities. Yet for raw psychological power, the above image is the embodiment of a picture being worth a thousand words. And if used properly, is as damning a connection for McCain as Jeremiah Wright ever was for Obama.
Further, it forces McCain into an unenviable position of having to constantly defend his connections with Bush—the current leader of the Republican party—when the latter’s public disapproval ratings keep moving skyward.
True, other, more relevant national issues like the economy and the Iraq War will be equally pivotal for both Dems and Republicans in 2008. But this shot of Bush and McCain is a divine gift for the former.
My advice to them is to run it into the ground.