November 2, 2008

(h/t David)

Chris Wallace--like the rest of the Fox News world--wants the world set up in easily definable terms: Liberals vs. Conservatives, Patriots vs. Pinheads, Red States vs. Blue States. The Barack Obama presidential campaign is clearly crossing those boundaries and I think that Wallace doesn't know how to cope with that. Obama has taken Howard Dean's 50 State Strategy and shown that Democrats can be competitive in traditionally red states. In fact, so much so that Obama is actually within the margin of error in McCain's home state of Arizona. But for Wallace, it's arrogant of Obama to advertise in states that Republicans have traditionally dominated.

Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe argues (and I believe correctly) that it is more the arrogance on the part of the McCain campaign to think they didn't need to set up a ground game in these states than it is for Obama to simply believe that there were enough voters seeking change to make these states competitive:

WALLACE: First, let’s talk about the thing I brought up with Rick Davis, the fact that you have decided to make a late push in North Dakota, in Georgia and even in McCain’s home state of Arizona. Is it there a touch of arrogance here? I mean, wouldn’t it make more sense to focus your resources, focus your advertising and everything on the states that you need to lock up 270 electoral votes?

PLOUFFE: Well, Chris, we’re doing everything we can in the core battlegrounds: Ohio, where Sen. Obama will be today; Florida; Virginia; North Carolina; Indiana. All of those states we’re doing everything we think we need to do to try and win. In these three states, we’ve been organizing for some time, the reason Georgia is so competitive right now is all the organizational groundwork we’ve put in, why you’re seeing early vote numbers in such large measures. So, in North Dakota, Georgia, Arizona, we think all three of those are going to be close and there’s benefit to having the playing field to yourself. One of the reasons we’re so strong in states like Indiana, North Carolina, Virginia, even in Florida, is the McCain campaign was arrogant. They were asleep at the switch and thought those states would not be competitive. So we had two-three months headstart, advertising, organizing. So in North Dakota, Georgia and Arizona, we think we have the playing field to ourselves, we think all three will be close, and we’re going to give it a shot to see how…now I think John McCain should be favored in all three of those states, but we think they’re going to be very close and if you look at Georgia, the early vote there—similar to North Carolina – is just striking in terms of its composition. And we think we’re heading to a very close finish there.

Finally, is it me or is the whole term "arrogant" a codeword for "uppity"? How dare that Democrat think he's going to get Georgia or North Dakota? Doesn't he know that those are America-loving red states?

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