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Obama’s Post-9/11 Offensive

“John McCain is right about John McCain,” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), speaking to reporters this morning as an Obama surrogate. Emanuel seized on a comment, made at a joint appearance with Obama at a service forum on 9/11, wherein Sen. John McCain said he can be “somewhat divorced from the day-to-day challenges people have.”

Sen. Dick Durbin, who also spoke on the media conference call, blasted McCain for backing the same “job-destroying plans” as President George W. Bush. Asked for an example of when Obama has stood up to his own party — a maverick standard that McCain often touts — Durbin cited Obama’s unpopular support for ethics reform. Emanuel added that Obama’s early anti-war position bucked all the party elders and Washington conventional wisdom.

Forget the post-9/11 world, Friday is the first day of the post-9/11 campaign.

The Obama camp wants to move the focus from conventions and running mates, which usually dominate the summer, to the Big Issues that anchor the four debates and move voters in the homestretch.

The Palin gap still persists, however. Many politicos are now chewing on the ignorance (Bush Doctrine) and extremism (more war) from her recent appearance with ABC’s Charlie Gibson, rather than McCain’s divorce gaffelet. (It is the story online today, not McCain’s comment, as the aggregator memorandum shows.)

So when she’s good, Palin outshines McCain while boosting his buzz — from convention ratings to event crowds. When she’s bad, Palin can draw the critical spotlight off McCain, because her jaw-dropping policy confusion makes him look downright polished. And when she’s attacked — so far, at least — it seems to hurt her opponents more than her.

That makes it hard to refocus on McCain, and his many boring faults — especially when the attacks are limited to policy.

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