1)Turn his strengths into weaknesses. Obama is a charismatic guy with an uplifting message. That is certainly not easy to deal with as an opponent but you can. Politics is much like Jujutsu. You have to use your opponents strengths and turn them against them. Obama is full of sweeping messages of new hope and ending partisanship. He is not full of specifics. In politics, you either define yourself or your opponents do. On the specific issues, his opponents must define him: from abortion, to taxes, to foreign policy, Obama has lacked specifics and that allows his opponents to fill in the rest.
Second, his get togethers are much like a revival meeting. The messianic atmosphere that this has been characterized as can also be characterized as something else: narcissistic. This label fits in with this particular Michelle Obama comment nicely,
Hope is making a comeback and, let me tell you, for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country. Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are hungry for change
The atmosphere that Obama has created can go from messianic to narcissistic really fast if it is framed properly.
Third, this sort of environment that Obama has created is not that new. In fact, his good friend, Deval Patrick, campaigned for governor of Massachusetts in much the same way to much the same fan fare. So far, the general consensus has been that his term has been close to a failure. It's because his campaign message of hope has been replaced with standard boiler plate liberal policies. This is another thing that the two of them share.
2)Take the Iraq issue to him.
John McCain will live and die with the Iraq issue. He was the most out front in attacking the Rumsfeld policy and the first to support the troop surge. Most Democrats think that Iraq will be an albatross around the Reps because most people hate the war. That may in fact be accurate, but if McCain is going to lose, he must do it fighting. He has to take this issue to Obama (which he did with their latest exchange) and force Iraq to be debate as a front burner issue. McCain must make it clear that he is for victory and Obama is for defeat, and that his foreign policy position comes from a lifetime of public service while Obama's comes from naive inexperience.
3)Bring his radical social agenda to light.
As Amanda Carpenter astutely pointed out, Obama is to the left of Planned Parenthood on the issue of abortion. If you are more extreme than Planned Parenthood on that issue, you are EXTREME. On this issue, not only does Obama support partial birth abortion but infanticide. That is when the baby is killed after a failed abortion. Since Obama hasn't defined himself on specific social issues, his past record leaves him open to interpretation from his opponents. His radical views will be reflected in the radical judges he will choose for the Supreme Court. In order to beat Obama, McCain must stand firmly behind strict constructionist judges like Alito and attack Obama's radical social agenda and activist judges it will bring. This should be fairly easy to do. He hasn't said much about specific social issues. He is on record as backing partial birth abortion and even infanticide. He has voted against Alito, and since he has never selected a judge previously, his record is open to interpretation.
4) He is a tax and spend liberal so say it, say it, say it again...
Before he has even entered office, he has already promised to raise taxes on those making 200k and more, raise the capital gains tax, raise corporate taxes, and even re institute the death tax. He's promised to spend 200 billion to create new jobs, and he wants to socialize medicine. That is hundreds of billions in new taxes and even more in new spending. That is just during the campaign and he hasn't even gotten specific yet. He is a tradition tax and spend liberal. His record proves that and all his opponents need to do is go to his record and define him for what he is: a tax and spend liberal.
5)Leadership, Courage and Experience
Obama is a charismatic guy with a hopeful message, however he doesn't have any of these traits. Sure, when he is measured against Hillary Clinton, he seems to be qualified but she doesn't really have any of these traits either. Obama has no real accomplishments to speak of. He hasn't been in the Senate long enough to be in leadership, and all you get is vague references to health care reform in the Illinois Senate as an accomplishment. None of his positions are courageous. In fact, he has a traditional and standard liberal voting record.
John McCain, on the other hand, has all of these traits in spades. Charisma maybe a great campaigning trait but it isn't much of a trait in terms of governance. The two must be separated and his utter lacking in leadership, courage and experience must be emphasized.
6)If all else fails, play dirty.
This is where you bring in the kitchen sink. He has ties to radicals in Chicago, to an indicted fundraiser, Anton Rezko. His church has had some dubious statements. He has ties to Louis Farrakhan. This can be combined with his radical social agenda, narcissistic persona, and his wife's statements, to paint a picture of an individual that is far out of the mainstream and subscribes to beliefs that most of us do not.
I don't believe that this tactic will be necessary and it will be difficult to pull off especially if it is done out of desperation, however everyone needs a plan B.
This is how I would go about defeating Barack Obama.