Michael Barone at RealClearPolitics looks at the strategy John NcCain has used to blindside the Democrats.
John McCain was trained as a fighter pilot. In his selection of Sarah Palin, and in his convention and campaigning since, he has shown that he learned an important lesson from his fighter pilot days: He has gotten inside Barack Obama’s OODA loop.
That term was the invention of the great fighter pilot and military strategist John Boyd. It’s an acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.
“The key to victory is operating at a faster tempo than the enemy,” Boyd’s biographer Robert Coram writes. “The key thing to understand about Boyd’s version is not the mechanical cycle itself, but rather the need to execute the cycle in such a fashion as to get inside the mind and decision cycle of the adversary.”
Indeed, with the Palin selection McCain did precisely that. The Democrats and more importantly the media were rattled.
The McCain campaign shrewdly kept the information that she was on the short list and that she was the choice to a half-dozen people, who didn’t tell even their spouses. The Obama team failed to Observe.
The Obama team were genuinely surprised as were most of their media supporters.
Then they failed to Orient. Palin, as her convention and subsequent appearances have shown, powerfully reinforces two McCain themes: She is a maverick who has taken on the leaders of her own party (as Obama never has in Chicago), and she has a record on energy of favoring drilling and exploiting American resources. Instead of undermining these themes, they dismissed the choice as an attempt to appeal to female Hillary Clinton supporters or to religious conservatives.
A fatal error that most left-wingers fall into and one our own Helen Clark is falling into now. Instead of orienting their attacks on the real person they attack on their own “straw person” view of the opponent.
Then team Obama and its many backers in the media failed to Decide correctly, so when they Acted they got it wrong. Their attacks on Palin tended to ricochet and hit Obama. Is she inexperienced? Well, what has Obama ever run (besides his now floundering campaign)? Being a small-town mayor, as Palin said, is like being a community organizer, “except that you have actual responsibilities.”
Is she neglecting her family? Well, how often has Obama tucked his daughters in lately? For more than a week we’ve seen the No. 1 person on the Democratic ticket argue that he’s better prepared than the No. 2 person on the Republican ticket. That’s not a winning argument even if you win it. As veteran California Democrat Willie Brown says, “The Republicans are now on offense, and Democrats are on defense.”
Perhaps the Obama campaign strategists expected their many friends in the mainstream media to do their work for them. Certainly they tried. But their efforts have misfired, and the grenades they lobbed at Palin have ricocheted back and blown up in their faces. Voters are on to their game.
Pollster Scott Rasmussen finds that 68 percent believe “most reporters try to help the candidate they want to win” and that 51 percent — more than support McCain — believe the press is “trying to hurt” Sarah Palin. The press and the Democratic ticket are paying the price for decades of biased mainstream media coverage.
Thi is exactly the same for Helen Clark and Labour, they have decided that the election campaign is going to be nasty from National and so have preapred their own nasty campaign. They have acted upon it and boy didn’t Clark just look nasty on television last night? The problem is that National and John Key has got inside Labour’s OODA and aren’t playing that way. This will rattle Clark just as it has rattled Obama. Labour will be racting to National and the Democrats will be reacting to the Republicans.