Friday, October 10, 2008

'Concern trolls' at Maverick HQ?

One of the useful phrases that the blogosphere has contributed to our lexicon is "concern troll" -- the fainthearted naysayer whose modus operandi is a fretful concern that the home team's basic strategy is wrong. A specialty of the concern troll is to worry that attacks on the opposition are too harsh. It seems that there some of these weak sisters are top advisers to John McCain's campaign:
Top McCain campaign officials are grappling with how far to go with negative attacks on Sen. Barack Obama in the final weeks of what is turning into a come-from-behind effort. . . .
Some McCain campaign officials are becoming concerned about the hostility that attacks against Sen. Obama are whipping up among Republican supporters. During an internal conference call Thursday, campaign officials discussed how the tenor of the crowds has turned on the media and on Sen. Obama.
Maverick wouldn't be in the dire situation he's in if his campaign had been in attack mode from the start. He effectively clinched the nomination in February, when Mitt Romney dropped out, then spent the next four months doing . . . what? Nobody knows. The Obama-Hillary contest dominated the media, and McCain couldn't focus his attack on either one without being accused of interfering in the other party's nomination process.

After Obama clinched the nomination in early June, however, the McCain campaign should have gone on the attack and didn't. It was not until Steve Schmidt took charge of the campaign that it began to be effective in July and started getting traction. The campaign got off-message in September, deploying a defensive media strategy around Sarah Palin and then scapegoating capitalist "greed" and SEC Chairman Chris Cox for the financial crisis.

Now, with scarcely three weeks left in the campaign and their candidate way behind in the polls, Team Maverick not only has to "take the gloves off," as the cliche phrase goes, but they have to take the gloves off, put on a hockey mask and pick up a chain saw.

Welcome to Nightmare on Election Street, folks. Like it or not, the only conceivable way John McCain can win this thing is to be as relentlessly vicious as a horror-film monster. If the concern trolls don't have the stomach for bloody slashing, they'd best find a new line of work.


  1. I own these 'Concern trolls'.
    I'm moving to the conclusion that this election is a choice between Snap-On and Craftsman.
    Which plutocratic tool do you want in Washington?
    Neither candidate is offering leadership that will delegate power from Washinton to the states to fix stuff.
    Both will just be putting various shades of eyeshadow on the chicken.
    Call me the FTW Troll.

  2. I've said it before and I will say it again: He should have hired Morris. Then again, would have taken his advice? Ultimately, McCain (the one running) is responsible for his campaign. You'd think that after almost 3 decades in politics, he'd know when things are going well and when they are not. May be McCain has more in common with Lieutenant Commander Philip Francis Queeg than at first blush.