John McCain has often said that Senator Obama doesn't have the experience to be commander-in-chief. For those who doubt whether he knows how to "win" a war, they only need to look closely at his campaign strategy. A military analogy is necessary to explain.
Shock and awe, technically known as rapid dominance, is a military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming power, dominant battlefield awareness, dominant maneuvers, and spectacular displays of force to paralyze an adversary's perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight.
Senator Barack Obama is days away from breaking the advertising spending record set by President Bush in the general election four years ago, having unleashed an advertising campaign of a scale and complexity unrivaled in the television era. His fundraising gathered more than $100 million in September alone.
With advertisements running repeatedly day and night, on local stations and on the major broadcast networks, on niche cable networks and even on video games and his own dedicated satellite channels, Mr. Obama is now outadvertising Senator John McCain nationwide by a ratio of at least four to one, according to CMAG, a service that monitors political advertising. That difference is even larger in several closely contested states.
McCain has suspended his efforts in Michigan, and he is 10 points behind in Virginia. He only leads in the polls in 2 of the 7 battleground states. According to the electoral map, he must win all of them to be elected President. I would say that he is facing overwhelming power, dominant battlefield awareness and maneuvers, along with spectacular displays of force in the form of TV advertising.
When combined with the ground operations of the Obama campaign, McCain supporters are nearly overwhelmed, in highly contested states. In Colorado, for example, McCain has 11 field offices. Obama has 43 field offices.
As this contest nears its conclusion, the dominant forces supporitng the Obama campaign are increasing in intensity, through "get out the vote" drives, phone canvassing, and early voting efforts.
Some have begun to criticize the advantage Obama has racked up in fundraising, advertising, and campaign organization. It has even been suggested tat he give some of the money to charity to help those affected by the economic downturn. No one complained when the Republican Party and George Bush outspent the Democrats by a wide margin in 2004. Senator Obama has demonstrated through his grassroots organizing efforts that he knows how to mobilize an army.
The first victory he will win as commander-in-chief will be the election to President. This will be a bloodless victory. Then we can set about ending the war in Iraq, and concluding our fight against Al Qaeda. If his strategy in this battle is any indicator, we need not be concerned about victory.
Hail to the chief!
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