Campaigns that aren't winning usually leak information to the press. Campaigns divide, with one faction seeking to have an upper hand on the other by leaking something damaging to the media. We most recently saw this with Sen. Clinton's campaign and now it's John McCain.
Some McCain campaign officials are becoming concerned about the hostility that attacks against Sen. Obama are whipping up among Republican supporters. During an internal conference call Thursday, campaign officials discussed how the tenor of the crowds has turned on the media and on Sen. Obama.
Someone yelled "Off with his head" at a rally Wednesday for Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin in Pennsylvania. Later that day in Ohio, a man stood outside a rally holding a sign that said "Obama, Osama." At a rally in Jacksonville, Fla., on Tuesday, someone in the crowd wore a T-shirt depicting Sen. Obama wearing a devil mask.
The Obama campaign, with widening leads in several national polls, dismissed the attacks. "Sen. McCain's campaign has admitted that if he talks about the economy, he'll lose, so we fully expect him to continue his angry, personal attacks," Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said. "Barack Obama will continue to talk about his plans to strengthen our economy and create jobs because that's what American families care about."
There is another faction (call them the Rove faction) that desperately wants McCain to launch ads with a Jeremiah Wright theme. This back and forth confirms what those of us from the outside see: John McCain is losing and he wants to fling poo against the wall in the hopes that something sticks. In the midst of that, Palin is whipping up the crowds into a racist xenophobic frenzy that doesn't play well with anybody but the inner core of the conservative movement.
Have you noticed that there are never any of these kinds of leaks from the Obama campaign? Much like the Bush campaign in 2004 only strategically leaked to the press, so too does Sen. Obama's group.
Winning campaigns work that way.