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Some Democrats are in despair. The national polls are even! The Republicans are up to their usual dirty tricks! Obama has to do something!

Relax. But not too much.

Of course the polls are even. No surprise. The country is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.

And Obama is a fresh new face, with all the pluses and minuses that entails.

Obama has to do two things. First, show Americans he’s not an alien being. His wife made a good start last night at the convention. His daughters did even better: “Hi, Daddy.”

Second, Obama has to go right at John McCain’s supposed strength. That’s exactly what the Republicans have done to Obama. And that’s why Joe Biden could turn out to be a good pick.

McCain wants to run as the Original Maverick.

Obama has to paint McCain as a tired old blast from the past, not up to leading America in the future. He has to do to McCain what the Clintons did to Bush 41 in 1992.

The plan: Thank McCain for his service. Especially his heroism 40 years ago. But the election is not about 40 years ago; it’s about the next four years.

Then tell another version of McCain’s story since he came back from Vietnam. The man who dumped his first wife after an accident took away her looks. Who married a blonde whose family owned the biggest Budweiser distributorship in the country. Which happened to be the perfect place to launch a political career.

The politician who brags he was a loyal foot soldier for Ronald Reagan’s war against government. Who is the scourge of special interests – except when he’s in bed with his favored special interests. The champion of Georgia whose foreign policy adviser happens to be a paid lobbyist for Georgia. The irascible Senator whose volcanic temper is legend among fellow Senators. Who embraced George Bush – literally and figuratively. Who is ready to stay in Iraq for 100 years.

Some of the same Democrats who wring their hands over the polls will wring their hands over “going negative.”

Ignore them. Get on with it.

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