The Washington Post reports:
Senator John McCain and his Republican allies are readying a newly aggressive assault on Sen. Barack Obama's character, believing that to win in November they
must shift the conversation back to questions about the Democrat's judgment, honesty and personal associations, several top Republicans said.With just a month to go until Election Day, McCain's team has decided that its emphasis on the senator's biography as a war hero, experienced lawmaker and straight-talking maverick is insufficient to close a growing gap with Obama. The Arizonan's campaign is also eager to move the conversation away from the economy, an issue that strongly favors Obama and has helped him to a lead in many recent polls.
"We're going to get a little tougher," a senior Republican operative said, indicating that a fresh batch of television ads is coming. "We've got to question this guy's associations. Very soon. There's no question that we have to change the subject here," said the operative, who was not authorized to discuss strategy and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Obama's response to this news is a preemptive strike with a television ad hitting John McCain for being "erratic" and "out of touch", and calls him on the smear campaign the McCain campaign is planning.