DOVER, N.H. — Senator Barack Obama intensified his assault against Senator John McCain here on Friday, drawing sharp connections between his Republican rival and President Bush through a coordinated, partywide message as he confronts an invigorated Republican ticket and increasing nervousness among Democrats.
“The good news is that in 53 days, the name George W. Bush won’t be on the ballot.,” Mr. Obama told supporters here at an afternoon campaign appearance. “But make no mistake, George W. Bush’s policies will be on the ballot.”
Mr. Obama amplified his criticism of Mr. McCain through new television advertisements that portrayed the 72-year-old Mr. McCain as an out-of-touch politician with a long career in Washington. The ads — among the most pointed attacks to be put out by Mr. Obama — depicted Mr. McCain as he looked when he was first elected to Congress in 1982, an attempt to undermine the new argument from Mr. McCain that he is the candidate of change.
A spokesman for the Republican National Committee, Alex Conant, accused Mr. Obama of “trying to destroy” Mr. McCain and his running-mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, with personal attacks.
“This is more evidence that Obama’s politics of hope is just empty words,” Mr. Conant said in a statement.
Mr. McCain’s choice of Ms. Palin — and the resulting jolt of energy among Republican voters — appears to have caught Mr. Obama and his advisers by surprise and added to concern among some Democrats that the Obama campaign was not pushing back aggressively enough against Republican attacks in a crucial phase of the race.
Reports that Obama is changing campaign strategy in order to counter Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is bad news for liberals. Obama is being forced to veer off script, which means McCain and Palin are setting the tone of the conversation now. What a difference two weeks make!
Thank you, Sarah Palin!