…but he can’t bring himself to convincingly call a prevarication a lie. Right now we are losing momentum because Obama can not for the life of him express an idea in less than ten paragraphs. It’s time for him to put his speechwriters on hiatus for the rest of the campaign and bring some copywriters on board. In the words of Sarah Palin, he can’t blink. He has to call the McCain campaign on its diversionary tactics and put the Obama campaign back on track. And he needs to be able to do it consistently in ten words of one syllable or less.

The problem with Obama’s current stance is that he has taken the high road for so long that too many people think he’s looking down his nose at them. There are certainly racial undertones to being called uppity, but it goes beyond race. When he talks, people feel dumb. And they don’t like feeling dumb. He needs to relearn the lessons that every community organizer learns the first time they try to convince people that they’re doing things the wrong way. If you want people to listen to you, you need to speak their language. You can’t mince words, you can’t double-talk and you can’t send people scrambling for their dictionaries.

With the Obama campaign on the defensive, Obama is second-guessing every word that comes out of his mouth, and the hesitation is costing him in the polls. Someone needs to make it clear to him that this is the short-attention-span campaign. He has to stop prefacing every remark by trying to refute every possible way that his words could be taken the wrong way, because no matter what he says, someone will find a way to take it the wrong way – but at least they’ll hear it. Right now, by the time he gets around to making his point, his listeners have tuned out.

As much as I’d like it to be otherwise, this election will not be won on the strength of a carefully prepared budget. It won’t be won on policy statements. It won’t be won by vague promises of change and messages of hope. It won’t be won by prefacing every point with so much explanation and background that the point gets lost in the verbiage. It will be won by the candidate (or the party) that can get in the most quick jabs and present his/her case in pithy, quotable phrases.

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