Five Ways Barack Obama Can Ensure That He Wins The US Presidential Election

After the recent meltdown in the US economy, Barack Obama has opened a wider lead over John McCain than at any point in the campaign and looks all but sure to win on November 4.  Still, you can't count out the Republicans and who knows what may happen over the final few weeks of the campaign.

Although Obama has showed a mastery of long-term, strategic, innovative planning from the first day of his race for the Democratic Party nomination, there are a few final strategies (or is that tactics?) that he could employee to help guarantee him the ultimate prize.

1. Name Your Entire Cabinet, Not Just Your VP
There was so much speculation in the run-up to the announcement of both party's VP's with so many great names being tossed around, Obama could help capture a lot of voters by taking the unprecedented step of announcing his entire future cabinet, not just his VP.  Imagine the reaction – Al Gore as Secretary of Energy.  Bill Richardson as Secretary of State.  Hillary Clinton as Secretary of Education.  Republican Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.  Sure, not every big name would agree to be in an Obama cabinet.  Sure, some names would get as much of a negative reaction from some quarters as they would a positive.  But ultimately, the strategy of naming an “all-star team” of a cabinet would be a way to capture people's imagination and help set the tone for what an Obama Administration would look like. 

2. Revisit the Speech on Race
Perhaps the biggest threat to Obama's entire campaign was when videos of his pastor, Reverend Wright's inflammatory sermons became public.  Instead of trying to ignore it or cover it up, Obama responded to the problem head-on with a groundbreaking speech on race in America.  The fact that 1 in 10 Americans continue to believe that Obama is a Muslim is a great opportunity for another speech, this time on the topic of religion in America.  Imagine turning on your TV two weeks before the election to hear Obama talking honestly and directly about his religious background, how he came to Christianity and the place he sees for religion in America.  He'll never “convert” everyone to believing the truth about his personal story and he has talked about his family background and religion in speeches, debates and on the stump many times already.  But perhaps in a similar, more formal setting, where he addresses only the TV camera and reporters, not a huge adoring crowd, the potential impact is huge. (It was recently revealed that Obama has purchased half an hour of television primetime on most major US networks a week before the election.  The speculation is that he'll discuss the economy but who knows…)

3. Be A Bit More Pointed About McCain/GOP Hypocrisy
Obama has run an amazingly zen-like campaign, not getting bent out of shape about the attacks that come his way and not dropping into the gutter to respond in kind, no matter how great the temptation.  But there are so many ways to go after McCain a bit more aggressively and yet been seen as only responding in kind – whether it is pointing out McCain's own “domestic terrorist” connections or deflating the “elitist” attacks by reminding people of McCain's inability to remember how many houses he owns and the fact that he prefers a private jet as his ideal mode of transportation in his home state. 

4.  Appeal to the “Support Our Troops” Crowd
Although the economy has become the number one issue of this election, the situation in Iraq still loom in people's minds.  So how do you out-Commander-in-Chief a man whose family has a long military history and who spent five years in a Vietnam POW camp?  If I was Obama, I'd be trumpeting the fact that US soldiers abroad are donating to him over McCain by a ratio of 6:1 for a start.  Why this hasn't been raised yet actually sort of boggles my mind. 

5. Show Republicans That It's Okay To Vote For Him
There are numerous Republicans, both publicly and behind closed doors, who have their doubts about John McCain and/or Sarah Palin.  During the Democratic primaries, there was a rumour that a huge number of influential Democrats were going to announced their endorsement of Obama all on a single day at a single event to finally deflate Hillary Clinton's relentless campaign.  That never happened but can you imagine the impact on McCain's campaign if Obama could convince ten or a dozen well-known Republican politicians and pundits to endorse him at the same time?  That may be the final nail in the coffin for McCain's Presidential hopes.   

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