Sunday, January 06, 2008

Newsweek on Obama

Newsweek, on the Jan.14, 2008 issue, has a cover story on Obama.
Here are some of the points that I found interesting.

-In public, Obama attributes his quick political rise to that "respectful tone," which he believes voters crave after so many ugly, dispiriting campaign seasons. (Which includes most races since 1800.) When he first began thinking about a White House bid, he told advisers that he would be willing to run only if he could do it his way, which meant defying the conventional campaign theology of hitting the other guy hard and first, sticking to simple sound bites and preaching only to the base. He has shown a willingness to stray from his script and risk engaging (or boring) audiences with rambling professorial explanations about the details of this or that policy. And he has tried to rewrite Karl Rove's campaign manual by reaching across racial and party lines to appeal to the broadest―rather than the very narrowest―base of supporters.
-In South Carolina—considered a critical primary for Obama, especially if he does not win or come in a close second in this week's New Hampshire primary—campaign workers have spent months recruiting barbers and hairdressers to preach the candidate's virtues to their customers.

-Although Obama's debate performances improved over time, his aides moaned whenever he gave long, discursive answers to simple questions instead of sticking to pithy sound bites that voters would remember.
-In the final three days in Iowa, Obama operatives made 150,000 phone calls to potential supporters.

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