Blow to Obama: Don’t Dumb Down, But Do Sum Up
Charles Blow in the New York Times has some really good advice for Obama:
Earth to Barack: to Main Street America, nuance equals confusion. You don’t have to dumb it down, but you do have to sum it up.
Ironically, thoughtful, nuanced and measured responses don’t get a lot of attention in the world of undecided voters who you would think would appreciate more information. Don’t believe me? Just ask John Kerry.
What do people like? Bite-sized policy statements and responses, like one sentence; three words or less is even better.
It would be worth spending some of Obama’s war chest to hire at least one good writer who does nothing all day but sit around thinking up hammer responses to McCain’s stupid jabs and out of touch gaffes.
Let me take a stab at a few:
“The first debate is going to be a game of Country/Not-a-Country. I’ll give McCain Czechoslovakia, since he’s proven three times that he’ll never get that one right.”
Then for McCain’s inability to tell one warring religious group from another in a part of the world where our success depends in part on knowing the difference:
Speaking to reporters in Amman, the Jordanian capital, McCain said he and two Senate colleagues traveling with him continue to be concerned about Iranian operatives “taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back.”
Pressed to elaborate, McCain said it was “common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran, that’s well known. And it’s unfortunate.” A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate’s ear. McCain then said: “I’m sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda.”
How about something like:
“The good news about having Biden as my VP is that we won’t have to be on the same podium for my speeches in the Middle East.”
McCain’s disconnect from the world of technology and his continuing quest to own a home in every state:
“It’s a good thing McCain doesn’t have to worry about remembering which of his 7 houses he left his Blackberry in.”
As you can see from my less than successful efforts here, it’s a tough job. But someone needs to do it.