Friday, July 18, 2008

McCain's message? 'Show me the money!'

The L.A. Times reports:
Just 3 1/2 months out from the presidential election, McCain's national campaign schedule is being driven by the quest for money, not by the hunt for votes in 50 individual state elections. All right, every campaign says it's gonna compete everywhere. But they don't.
He's always looking for votes wherever he goes. But wherever he goes is determined not by potential votes but by where his finance folks have found enough donate-able money to set up fundraisers.
For McCain for now his itinerary is built on the quest for dollar$, not votes. That helps explain the widespread sense of unease among many Republicans nationally who do not deny he's working very hard.
But they fear he wasted his three-month general election head start not defining himself and not driving home the all-important central message of why he wants to be president.
The problem, of course, is that McCain was the favorite of a relatively small number of big-ticket contributors. He's got no no activist grassroots. I remember at CPAC in February, the hotel lobby was filled with young volunteers for Mitt Romney. But when John McCain arrived, it was with a squadron of professionals -- consultant types, hired guns.

To the extent that McCain has any natural "base," it can be summed up in two words: Old Republicans. These GOP geezers aren't going to spend 20 hours a week canvassing precincts in their walkers. And they sure as heck aren't going to do much in terms of Facebook/MySpace/MeetUp action.

Appealing to patriotic geriatrics is all fine and good, but it's hard to staff a campaign from the hip-replacement/coronary-stent crowd. McCain's inability -- or unwillingness -- to consider the interests and concerns of younger voters is a major weakness, and not one that can be corrected in July.

And let me point something out: I hammer Obama relentlessly, day after day, week after week. But every time I say anything negative about the McCain campaign, there is inevitably feedback from conservatives along the lines of: "How can you say that? Do you want Obama to win?" No, but if the Republican Party nominates a bad candidate, who is to blame for that? Certainly not me, since my top three choices for the GOP nomination were:
  • 1. Somebody besides John McCain;
  • 2. Anybody who's not John McCain; and
  • 3. Please, dear God, not John McCain.
So I blame his nomination on you Republicans who were either (a) McCainiacs all the way, or (b) late arrivals on the Anybody But McCain bandwagon.

At any rate, if John McCain is a bad candidate with an incompetent staff that runs a stupid campaign, that's not my fault, and I'm not going to ignore it, just because he's a Republican. The truth trumps all other considerations.

UPDATE: Jimmie at Sundries Shack:
John McCain backed his way into the nomination because Republicans shot each
front-runner full of holes the second they got any sort of lead.
The big problem was that Fredhead Fever fizzled. A lot of that was Fred's fault (and his wife's fault) but a lot of it was because Rudy Giuliani's influential admirers in conservative media did everything they could to pour water on Fredhead Fever.

Also, Romney and Huckabee split the religious conservative vote, and neither of them got much juice outside that bloc. Huckabee would have been acceptable except (a) he had a well-established open borders record, and (b) he is an ignoramus on economics. Romney had good rhetoric on both economics and immigration, but his Massachusetts record was at variance with his presidential rhetoric on these as on other issues.

I had hoped that the Anybody But McCain forces would coalesce around Romney -- for all his flip-flops, the guy just looks like a president --but then Romney came to CPAC and quit (saying in almost as many words that if he kept running, the terrorists would win). That left McCain, Huckabee and Ron Paul. The very next day, Ron Paul announced he would be "scaling back" his presidential campaign. At which point, the "Draft Bob Barr" movement sprang full-blown from the head Zeus. But that's another story . . .

This year's GOP primary race was a disaster from start to finish, and why? One word: "Macaca."

1 comment:

  1. Got to tell ya, love that Meccaca ending. Just what we all need, another politico wearing Cowboy Boots!!!