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Two examples from Saddleback that Lakoff and others said underscore Obama's troubles:
-- McCain - asked his reason for running for president - confidently outlined a strong message of "country first," urging service to America. That idea, dominant in McCain's message and the theme of the GOP convention, showed that McCain Republicans have "figured out the formula" of effective campaign communication - and brilliantly melded ideas touted by both Presidents Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy.
-- Obama, in contrast, delivered a far more nuanced plea for empathy and building bridges across party lines instead of a more direct answer - telling voters what those values would mean specifically "to your children, your future, your environment," said Lakoff.