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How Obama's Pulling His Punches

I just got the following statement from the Obama campaign

“John McCain’s idea of changing is Washington is a vice-presidential candidate who, as Governor, requested more pork per person than any other state in the country. As Mayor, she hired a Washington lobbyist to get nearly $27 million in pork for her town.  The truth is, Sarah Palin is one of the most successful collectors of pork barrel funding in history, and she’ll fit right in with John McCain’s Washington herd,” said Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor.  

The Obama campaign has clearly decided to go after Palin, which is good. But it's still pulling its punches. The shot the Obama campaign doesn't take here has to do with the Washington lobbyist Palin hired for Wasila. His name is Steven Silver and, as the saying goes, he "has ties" to Jack Abramoff.

Are those ties extensive? As this article from TPMMuckraker makes clear, probably not: It looks like Silver did some work for Abramoff's lobbying firm and had one meeting with Abramoff. But if the McCain campaign can do an ad about Obama sending an army of political hitmen after Palin based on an apparently bogus John Fund blog post, then the Obama campaign can certainly send out a press release release that accuses Palin of hiring "a Washington lobbyist with ties to convicted felon Jack Abramoff." Indeed, the hypothetical Obama press release would be more factually sound than the very real McCain ad.

I think the best way for the Obama campaign to take the sheen off of Palin is not to question her experience, but to portray her as just another corruptible politician. And one good way to do that is to hang that black fedora on her head.

--Jason Zengerle