In Search of a Campaign Definition

This part of the 2008 Presidential race may not get much attention in the months ahead.  Or it could be seen as When McCain Defined Obama.  

As Barack Obama has started to move back towards the middle after locking up the Democratic nomination, he began to alter some of his stances on certain issues.  

It is getting noticed in the media.  Whether it sticks and ends up labeling Obama as a flip flopper, or as a politician who will say anything to get ahead is what we will find out in the weeks ahead.  

Republicans were doing their best to peddle the story in recent days to the press corps.  

“Sunday Shows Examine Obama’s Shifting Positions & Damaged Brand,” said a release from the Republican National Committee on Sunday.  

On one of those shows, Retired General Wesley Clark was doing some work on behalf of Barack Obama – some might say, auditioning for the job of running mate – when Clark lobbed a direct shot at McCain’s military service.

“”I don’t think getting in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to become president,” Clark said.

That drew the response that has started to become commonplace from McCain and the GOP about Obama’s campaign tactics.

“The reality is he’s proving to be a typical politician who is willing to say anything to get elected,” said McCain campaign spokesman Brad Rogers on Sunday.

Even some who favor Obama are starting to wonder out loud about their candidate, and that’s never really a good sign.

“His brand is he’s a leader who stands up for what he believes, who can motivate people to work with him,” said Arianna Huffington on ABC. 

“And when he puts his finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing, it is undercutting the Obama brand.”

I said after Obama changed course on public financing and went back on his earlier pledge that this kind of stuff might cause a stir if Obama presented McCain with a series of examples of where he started to act like a normal politician.

Well, Obama has given McCain several of these in just the past week.  It has been noticed by the media, who have chided Obama in their stories.  It has been noticed by editorial boards, who have rapped Obama’s knuckles.

Whether it begins to define Obama the Candidate in the eyes of the voters, that is the bigger question that still has to be answered.