The McClatchy Washington Bureau had a story on its website dated Monday, August 11, 2008, about the difficulties that both McCain and Obama have in carrying Ohio. What attracted our attention is this quote at the end of the article:
"McCain's made some moves. Their commercials have been pretty good. They've dug into the Obama advantage," said Zach Manifold, the executive director of the Democratic Party in Franklin County, where Columbus is.
In Ohio's Democratic primary March 4, Obama did well in the Columbus area, with its highly educated, upper-income voters. He even did well in once solidly Republican suburbs such as Upper Arlington, which appear to be trending toward the Democrats. But he lost the state to Hillary Clinton by 10 points.
What's Obama's outlook statewide in November?
"Statewide it's going to be a tough race," Manifold said. "There are other swing states where he has a better shot than Ohio. I don't know how well he fits. . . . So far, he's been outspent heavily on TV. I'm waiting to see how it turns after the conventions."
Now, we don't know Mr. Manifold, but here's our suggestion: When a national news bureau reporter calls you up for some comments about Obama carrying Ohio, you either give positive comments or you don't say anything. To say the least, the above comments are not helpful in recruiting volunteers for Obama's Ohio campaign.
Now, to be charitable to Mr. Manifold, he may be trying to get the attention of the Obama campaign to what he sees as a problem in Ohio in general, and in Franklin County in particular. Notice that he mentions the fact that Obama is being outspent heavily in Ohio on television ads.
Still, though, there are better ways to get that message to the Obama campaign than disparaging Obama's chances of carrying Ohio. To carry Ohio, we have to think and act as if we can carry Ohio. As any good coach will tell you, a team that thinks it can be beaten greatly increases its chances of being beaten. Conversely, a team that thinks and acts as if it can win greatly increases its chances of winning.