The strategy of running as the anti-candidate candidate hasn’t always worked in the past. Take John Kerry, for example.

Many believed in 2004, due to the overwhelming ineptitude of the Bush Administration, that John Kerry would have an easy case to present to the American people. So why didn’t he win? Instead of running as “John Kerry,” he ran as “Not George Bush.”

“John… who? Senator Kerry… from where? No, I don’t know who he is. What’s that you say – he’s not George Bush? Sure, I’ll vote for him.”

Many Democrats didn’t care that much for John Kerry – they just wanted to make sure that George Bush didn’t get a second term.

Are we seeing a repeat of this same mistake, only 4 years later? Much ballyhoo has been made over John McCain’s recent string of campaign ads, in which Barack Obama is criticized for being a ‘celebrity’ and ‘the one.’ These attack ads are leading some to ask: “Am I supposed to vote for John McCain, or against Barack Obama?”

Take the campaign blogs of the two candidates, for example.

John Schwekler of The Boston Globe recently created the following graphic, featuring word clusters of the most commonly used words.

The most commonly used word on Barack Obama’s blog? “Obama.”

The most commonly used word on John McCain’s blog? “Obama.”


Thus begs the question: is John McCain running as “John McCain,” or as “Not Barack Obama?”

I would imagine it’s frustrating to run against the popular Barack “Marcia Brady” Obama. Nevertheless, perhaps John McCain should accept the fact that it’s all right to be Jan Brady.