Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Strategic ambiguity

The Obama campaign entered October with $133 million cash on hand. The McCain campaign had just $46.9 million at that time. This election is approaching a condition of asymmetric warfare. McCain is defending loyally Republican states while traditional battlegrounds are leaning Obama, and McCain is outgunned.

What does McCain do in this situation? One possibility is deception: trying to confuse the opponent into thinking you're fighting where you're not. That could explain what's been going on in Colorado.

As Coloradopols has been noting, yesterday some McCain staffers virtually conceded Colorado to Obama, suggesting they would mount a last-ditch effort to re-take electoral vote-rich Pennsylvania instead. Then this morning they said they're still fighting for Colorado. This comes on the heels of the RNC saying they were giving up on the Bob Schaffer Senate campaign and then that they weren't giving up on it.

The pessimistic Democrat in me tends to see such moves as part of a brilliant plan of strategic ambiguity. Democrats can't figure out where to fight the Republicans, who keep changing the battleground. Of course, it's always possible that the Republicans, following McCain's piƱata approach to campaigning, are completely floundering right now and can't figure out what they're doing. I couldn't help but notice that the guy who denied McCain's pullout from Colorado is regional spokesperson Tom Kise, who is probably the first guy cut from the payroll if the rumor is true.


Anonymous said...

I seem to recall that the McCain campaign is pretty factionalized, even by the fractious standard of the usual presidential campaign. Maybe this is just a "right hand doesn't know what the left is doing" kind of thing.

Btw - saw David Katznelson yesterday.

Eric Rubin said...

David Katznelson is hot!