Obama has seized upon a quip by a senior campaign advisor to McCain about fleshing out a portrait of McCain based on his personality rather than his views on the issues. How disingenuous. Of course, views on the issues are extremely important when running in a legislative race. There is a place for defining character traits when running for the executive branch.
Obama, in making his campaign all about judgment, has certainly put personality front and center.
McCain has wanted to address the issues much more than Obama has. McCain invited Obama to make a series of joint townhall appearances so that voters could get an apples-to-apples comparison between the two major party nominees on the issues, but Obama rejected the invitation.
If Obama wants to turn the campaign back to issues, then, by all means, resurrect the notion of joint townhall appearances. Obama doesn’t want to be pinned down on issues. He wants McCain to speak out on issues first so that Obama can find fault with what McCain says no matter how McCain says it.
Why has the McCain camp made a recent effort to flesh out McCain’s personality during the convention? I think it’s an opportunity to push back against Obama’s biggest lie: McCain is Bush and Bush is McCain. If anyone is paying attention, McCain is laying to rest any notion that he is Bush.
McCain, I am certain will be happy to leave behind the “McCain is Bush” narrative to more fully address the issues, but Obama would have to abandon the “McCain is Bush” refrain. Obama would have to agree to joint townhalls or, at the very least, more debates. Obama has shown no inclination to move beyond “McCain is Bush,” so his criticism of the McCain camp for defining McCain’s personality is nothing but a gimmick.