Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Strategic Vision Then and Now

Barack Obama is quoted in this morning’s Washington Post describing how the campaign, and specifically the GOP’s message, has changed in the past two weeks. "What’s changed is that the Republican Party, which had been trying to make an argument about experience, basically got off that and came to our field."

This put me in mind of a passage from Winston Churchill’s war memoirs. In May and June of 1940, Britain did what it could to save the French Army from destruction, but to no avail. Churchill recognized that every day, his government faced the horrific choice of aiding its ally in what was clearly a lost cause or saving sufficient resources for the Battle of Britain that was sure to follow. When France finally collapsed, Churchill writes, "It was with an actual sense of relief that some of our high commanders addressed themselves to our new and grimly simplified problem. As the commissionaire at one of the Service clubs in London said to a rather downcast member, ‘Anyhow, sir, we’re in the Final, and it’s to be played on the Home Ground.’" (Volume II, "Their Finest Hour," p. 258.)

Michael Sean Winters


Franzia said...
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Franzia said...

I find it hard to follow your analogy, since the GOP has not suddenly collapsed and conceded anything. The message has not changed at all, but the whole message, the actual platform McCain has this whole time been running on is finally getting some attention.

If anything the Democrats are the ones who have suddenly changed their tone. There has been a dramatic shift in momentum, and Obama's campaign is the one that has had to switch tactics now that it doesn't have 24/7 center stage and people are interested in hearing concrete plans, not fancy rhetoric.

The experience argument is alive and well, still fighting away. McCain's other arguments are just finally getting media coverage.