The next president will go on the attack first
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The John Edwards camp has commissioned two bloggers to stir up a lot of heat in his first bout. Other candidates will do well to be able to defend and attack if need be. In this high stakes game buzz generation only comes by drawing blood. It's like two street dogs in the battle of their lives.
It never fails in any campaign, voters usually cry wolf when candidates go negative, but rewards the candidate most effective in doing so. President Bush was successful raising questions about Vietnam War candidates in Campaign 2000 and 2004 and voters rewarded him both times. Say what you want about George Bush's legacy, but strategists will be studying his campaigns for years to come. In political standards, he is a championed dog fighter.
The conventional wisdom in the losing camps (Senators John McCain and John Kerry) at the time were voters will be so outraged at this sort of politics that they'll remember it at the polls. That thinking has vanished. Nowadays candidates know from these experiences that if you don't defend yourself quickly and then go on the offensive the smear and swift-boating will become fact.
Candidates are evaluated on how they can withstand this sort of scrutiny and their political base want them to be able to articulately dish it out. In the 2008 Campaign Republicans and Democrats are lining up with a set of contingencies they will immediately defend them from mid level candidates that will continue to be in attack mode to stay in the press. Senator Joe Biden raised questions about two of his opponents positions on the war and he had buzz for an entire week.
Senator Barack Obama has an advantage in terms of blogger power. He is successfully tapping into the youth audience and there are accounts that there's a Deaniac momentum going on around campuses across the country. There is not a group more savvy about stirring up buzz online than the 18 to 25 crowd.
In the final analysis the candidate with the most battle victories will march into the White House in 2008.