Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The NY Times is previewing an article they have in this weekend's Magazine about the McCain campaign that makes for interesting (and amusing) reading. Using mostly anonymous quotes from McCain advisors, Robert Draper gives us an insider's view of the campaign as it's lurched from one theme to another in an effort to gain traction against Obama and his extremely disciplined message and campaign. You can read the entire column for yourself, but I think it's fair to summarize that the McCain campaign's greatest mistake was to run a Bushian style campaign that aimed to craft a highly manipulated public perception of the McCain at the same time that an unforgiving reality was busy catching up to the Republican Party. Obama may overplay the "four more years of the same" schtick to a small extent, but McCain has hardly helped himself by attempting to run exactly the same campaign that Bush did to win in 2000 and 2004. And his campaign manager Steve Schmidt appears to have learned little from the Bush '04 campaign, which was (as are all political races in this country, despite the efforts of Rove and other Republican spin masters) still highly dependent on outside events and the failings of the other candidate. Message discipline only counts for so much when your message (or messages, in the case of McCain) are constantly being swamped by reality.