Andy Busch has some advice for Obama and his team: Don’t use your convention to try to connect McCain with Bush. Rather, use it to define Obama and what he stands for. Andy is right, of course.
Do note that all the polls (see realclearpolitics) are showing that McCain has gained on Obama during the last week. In most polls Obama has been ahead by six or seven points, but now he is down to only three or four. Also note that Reuters/Zogby has McCain up by five points (in July he was down by seven). Despite the Obama hype in some quarters--he appears on the front of Time magazine for the seventh time in a year--he is not gaining any voters. This is a bad love affair: the more folks see of him, the less they are inclined to vote for him. He is not as pretty as they thought on first sight.
This would indicate to any serious Democratic actor that Obama needs to re-define himself, while throwing a lot more substance around than he has thus far (and also he should stop changing his mind on issues). The convention is the best place to start talking about the new, substantive, aggressive, no-more-mind-changing-on-major-issues Obama. This is it. He has to pull in the Hillary supporters because of what he says and does. If he can’t do that, he will never be able to attract any independents. In short, he will lose, and not by a small margin, if he keeps up what he has been doing.
So Andy Busch is right: The question mark around Obama has to be removed, and he is the only one that can remove it. Further, if he thinks that a great speech at the convention will do that, or the so-called perfect VP nominee, he is wrong. In short, he is now at the tail-end of a collapsed longest campaign already, and the convention is his great opportunity to crawl out of the whole he has dug for himself and start a brand new campaign. He is now at a massive disadvantage and his people know this. They are near panic. This is not the position they expected to be in just before their convention.