Obama and his campaign, in contrast to other Democratic presidential nominees:
1. Have as their default position to respond rapidly to the opposition’s errors.
2. Have no trouble reaching internal consensus about how to respond.
3. Have no reluctance to deviate from their planned message of the day to let the attack BECOME the message of the day (while still executing the planned message, at least for local coverage).
4. Have the tactical skill to leave most of the attacks to staff and surrogates — only involving the candidate as needed.
5. Have the ability to get allies at the DNC, in Congress and elsewhere to echo the attack message.
6. Have the dexterity to attack with perfect pitch — and not too harshly and without sounding whiny.
None of these assures Obama’s victory, of course. And McCain and his campaign are no slouches at this stuff either. But Obama and his operation are different than the party has had in the past, and that goes on display every time McCain appears to slip up.