Washington, Oct.4 : Barack Obama has decided to use punch lines to get under Republican rival John McCain's skin in the run-up to the November 4 presidential poll.
Obama has taken to mocking McCain for stocking his campaign with ex-lobbyists while also promising to end their influence in Washington. "If you think those lobbyists are working day and night to elect my opponent just to put themselves out of business, well, I've got a bridge to sell you in Alaska," Obama riffs.
Obama still mixes in his message of hope and change, with dashes of passion, but along the way he regularly reels off lines that elicits chuckles.
Analysts say Obama wants to annoy and belittle his cantankerous opponent in the eyes of voters - without drawing a backlash.
"A way of really getting under McCain's skin, and prompting the kind of intemperate reaction that might cost him voters, is to make fun of him," said Hunter College Professor Ken Sherrill.
Talking Friday to a crowd in Abington, Pennsylvania, Obama didn't simply accuse McCain of being a recent, convenient convert to tighter Wall Street regulation. He got people to laugh about it.
"Suddenly a crisis comes and the polls change, and suddenly McCain's out there talking like Jesse Jackson. Come on," Obama scoffed as the crowd howled.
Obama took the alternate approach when McCain cast himself as the change candidate after the GOP convention.
"I notice John McCain has been trying to say 'I'm for change, too,'" Obama said recently.
"He's been grabbin' our signs, using our slogans."
"He even said the other day, I think, 'turn the page.' C'mon John. I've been sayin' that for - how long have I been saying that?" Obama quipped.