Last week, we asked a number of people for advice on what Obama should do in the face of sagging polls, waning enthusiasm, and a new foe. Though things don't look as dire this week, Obama still has a lot of work to do. Here is Alec Baldwin's advice for how Obama should proceed:
I hate these kind of handy phrases like "tipping point," but I do believe that we have reached this tipping point where you don't know how much you should attack and how much you should try to rise above and be more ideas-centered and policies-centered. Now, the American public itself almost demands there be a kind of gladiatorial element. They want Obama to go in there and gut McCain. ... They want to believe that their president is someone who, as a preview of what he can do in world affairs, they want to see him smite his opponent in the election with a real muscularity. They don't want this kind of Ivy League debate society. They want him to crush McCain. If he's not capable of crushing McCain rhetorically, they're not going to vote for him. I think a little less soaring 60s civil rights-era rhetoric, a little more of Ronald Reagan, who is the granddaddy of this in the modern world, with phrases like "there you go again." You've got to trip the other guy, and you can trip him in plain sight. ... I think you'll see with this election that the public expects it now, they expect you to get tough. They don't want Obama to win by a decision, they want Obama to knock out McCain. Or vice versa....
Well I think one thing that you could do is start to make a dent in this idea of McCain's wartime heroics. Bump everything else. ... If time in a military prison camp is everything, then there's something terribly wrong with this country. I don't take anything away from McCain about what he went through, but that alone, does that make him a better candidate than Obama? Is that right?
--As told to Matthew Fraser and Max Fisher