Friday, September 12, 2008

What Could Obama Do Now?

I think that as Palinmania begins to weather its course, and as a hurricane once again steals the news headlines, Obama needs to come out strong next week with some big-ticket, attention-getting moves that will get the focus of the campaign back on him in a positive way. It's not about just knocking into McCain with ads (though that's useful). He needs to really grab headlines by shaking things up. Here's what he could do:

1. Pre-announce some major attention-getting cabinet possitions for his administration, including Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, Robert Rudin at the Treasury, and Colin Powell as Secretary of Defense.

2. Have a stellar, joke stealing line on Saturday Night Live that compares himself to McCain and totally ignores Sarah Palin. Then incorporate it into an ad on Monday and appear on John Stewart to talk about it.

3. Announce a cabinet-level "innovation czar" to spearhead energy independence, and also announce a pithily named new plan ("American Readiness", or something like that) to summarize how he'll re-organize the terror alert system and Homeland security to be more efficient and better support local communities.

4. Ok. I've heard this idea before and it's the nuttiest of all. But this would be a big bang, I believe: announce that he is so serious about the idea of bringing change, he will be commit to being a one-term President and he will devote his full four years to reforming, and only to reforming Washington.

The problem with 2 and 3 is they aren't shockers, really. Helpful, but not shockers. 4 is a shocker, but he probably wants the whole 8 years (who wouldn't). So #1, relatively safe but newsworthy, is probably his best bet. But he needs to do something. Any other ideas?

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