The McCain campaign is smart and opportunistic and using a Democrat strategy to hurt the presumptive presidential candidate Barak Obama. The campaign leaders are beating Senator Obama over the head with a Hillary Clinton strategy called the “3 a.m. Moment” and the Obama campaign should consider a faster or stronger reaction to the McCain message or risk being “Swift Boated” – a reference to the successful Republican attack against former Democrat presidential candidate Senator John Kerry’s armed forces service.
The 3 a.m. Moment references former Democrat opponent Hillary Clinton’s now famous TV ad casting Obama as not having the experience to handle a crisis call at 3 a.m. if he is elected president.
McCain keeps alive a prime question about Obama’s credentials by taking-up the Clinton strategy and questioning Clinton’s own standing as a new Obama supporter. Obama’s campaign has enough ammunition to counter the claim but, to date has not fired that ammunition powerfully enough or on target. The PR point here is you can’t let misconceptions languish because they become more firmly implanted with time.
The best way to counter those kinds of misconceptions or lies is with the simple truth and facts that are delivered on message and passionately by the candidate or a believable surrogate and delivered immediately.
At the very least the Obama campaign should be show-casing foreign policy experienced surrogates to counter the McCain “3 a.m. Call” claims. Where is Senator Biden, Senator Bayh, maybe a Colin Powell if he finally decides to jump into the fray – others on the Obama side or even non-partisan academics, think-tank pundits – others with weight who can argue for Obama’s judgement? After all, experience or times on the job are important but the ability to make proper decisions is much more important than just experience in the context of poor judgement.
This is a salient lesson for Obama, a CEO or corporation or any entity under fire and damaged by lies or misconceptions. Wait and lose. Wait too long and you reinforce the perception that you can’t indeed make the right decision when that surprise phone call comes.
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