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Obama, McCain battle for momentum

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Could the economy be fundamentally strong? There are many who agree with that. McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds sent an email out yesterday afternoon pointing the media to a Politico story where New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg agreed that "fundamentally America has an economy that is strong." That's a risky strategy, because if things get worse such rosy scenarios can look hopelessly out of touch.

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Sound bites are king

In what many people would consider "insane" news cycle -- with no time for analysis or slowing down to check the facts -- the sound bites win out. And that's where McCain lost it yesterday. And where Joe Biden - yes, Joe Biden - won it.

McCain's sound bite, "the economy is fundamentally strong" didn't work.

Biden's sound bite, "I could walk from here to Lansing, and I wouldn’t run into a single person who thought our economy was doing well, unless I ran into John McCain" worked very well.

Morning lobs

Both campaigns are doing morning news programs this morning before fanning out across the country. The Obama campaign launched a new ad continuing on the economic front. An email from the Obama camp says the commercial "shows how disturbingly out of touch [McCain] is with what's going on in the lives of ordinary Americans."

While the McCain campaign sends a good morning email with, what we think, is a bit of a sarcastic note:

"We don't know about you, but we're looking forward to the Barbra Streisand fundraiser for Barack Obama tonight," says McCain spokesperson Joseph Pounder. "Also, did you catch Joe Biden saying this morning that their tax cut will allow Americans to buy a toaster? Nothing says a sound economic plan like buying a toaster."

Dirtiest campaign ever

Although there is constant change in any political campaign - one thing remains the same: charges that "this year" is the dirtiest campaign ever. It's the same mantra - every four years politicians say it, the media regurgitates it, outraged public interest groups condemn it, and voters complain about it. It's as though we've forgotten that four years ago we were saying the exact same thing.

Is either candidate alleging that if his opponent wins the spread of nuclear weapons is all but a certainty? No. Those were charges back in 1972. Check out the Hubert Humphrey ad.

How about the infamous Willie Horton spot of 1988?

Or the "Daddy of 'em all" the Daisy commercial from 1964.

Is this the dirtiest campaign ever? Sure. Until 2012.

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