Quiet confidence has been a hallmark of the Obama campaign. As key state polling numbers inch towards his way, a new swagger has began to emerge. Does the Obama campaign have the goods on John McCain?
McCain and Sarah Palin informed the press that it's business time--the gloves are off! The playbook seems to entail sending Palin to trot out Obama's ties to jailed real estates investor Tony Rezko and the Weather Underground's Bill Ayers.
The gloves off portion of this newest attack seems to relate the loaded media cue of the word terrorist with Obama while stoking the misconception that the candidate is Muslim.
It's unclear whether the tactic has any legs toward halting Obama's recent charge in national and state polls, but the reaction from the campaign seems ominous.
Instead of ignoring the charges or simply mocking them as Obama has done in the past, he accused McCain of stoking "false outrage" after insinuating he called Palin a pig with lipstick.
Over the weekend, campaign manager David Plouffe sent an email to supporters with a decidely defiant, yet coy tone that details a short 13 minute video on McCain's involvement in the Keating Five scandal.
Is this the smoking gun? Probably not, since the facts of the scandal and the allusions to today's financial crisis are obvious.
On the Washington Post political blog, The Trail, Anne Kornblut reports a Obama campaign aide seemingly taunting McCain to play dirty.
But that was not the McCain he was most excited to talk about. "He looks angry and desperate, so I assume we'll get angry and desperate," Gibbs said, adding that if he wants to go negative -- presumably more difficult in the town hall setting, in front of several dozen undecided and soft-leaning voters -- Obama is ready to match him. "If people want to get down in the mud, we're prepared to get dirty," he said.The tone from the Obama campaigns response seems to indicate that both candidates are aware of what the other possess while the Democrat may hold the more damaging story.
But, what could it be?
We can only speculate, but chatter on the web and the political punditry seems to indicate an uptick in the amount of references to McCain's health--specifically a smoking gun in his medical records.
A possible swift boating of questions regarding McCain's military history before being captured in Vietnam is also a possibility, yet a redux of 2004 would be sooo 2004 and unlikely.
The forcefulness of Obama's warning might actually be of such a salacious nature that McCain would heed its warning and never think twice about gambling his dwindling chances on ruining his political legacy.