The Note: Charlie Brown Holds His Own Football

2. Play offense every hour of every day for the next three weeks. We have a very target rich environment, with issues piling up every day (sometimes every hour) that we need to seize on and use as hammer to drive the R's into the sea -- Foley e-mails and ongoing ethics committee developments; Ney guilty plea; new Abramoff revelations; nukes in North Korea; book revelation upon book revelation; Iraq bad news followed by Iraq bad news, etc. Each and every one of these issues should be deployed against our opponents in order to (a) continue to frame the race as a national race about change and (b) keep the R's off balance and playing defense on what these individual issues say about their character and the character of their party. The need to stay on the offense is critical -- these races could very well come down to who has the momentum going with them at the end (and we know that the Republicans will throw everything they can at us in the last three weeks as they fight like a drowning swimmer fighting for that last gulp of air).

To switch sports metaphors, right now we are like a boxer who has our opponent in a corner, in a crouch, covering up with blood poring into their eye -- it is IMPERATIVE that we do not let up for even a second. POUND, POUND, POUND. Just look at Kilroy taking the fight to Pryce in Ohio -- and watching Pryce break open like a soft peanut (thank you, Bob Kerrey).

3. Act like winners. Understand that the Republican game plan is to draw even or within the M.O.E. and beat us on turnout. By sticking to our change message and staying on the offensive, we can stop the races from getting this close. But, in addition, we can impact turnout by acting like winners. We need to make clear that D's are the winners in this race -- pump up positive polls; look and act like a winner; talk about winning -- because it will impact turnout and free press coverage. People who will want to vote Democratic in this cycle are doing so because they are not happy and making them feel like Democrats will actually win will give these people the added motivation they need to show up. The media coverage, which is critical in the closing weeks (especially as local TV begins to cover the races on an every day basis), will cover the campaigns through the prism of the polls.

Whatever cash advantage the Republicans may have (and it is not that much of a difference because of the Herculean effort of Rahm and Chuck and their men and women of zeal), can be swamped by the positive tone of local media coverage if Democratic candidates are perceived to be winning. Note that the White House is well aware of the importance of demonstrating confidence -- they are bragging about having more money to spend, rather than employing their usual mantra about how labor money will swamp them.

Let's follow the trajectory of the Detroit Tigers . . . given up for dead last year . . . surprising everyone with a great summer . . . An early fall swoon . . . followed by a late autumn charge to the World Series . . . good pitching beats good hitting . . . let's keep throwing the high heat at their heads.


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