is McCain really missing the boat ?

So I’m sitting here these days while the economy is tanking, thinking to myself that McCain has really lost the plot in his bid for the White House.

All I want to say (a la SNL yesterday) is “Really?.. Really Senator McCain?” Here we are in what by all accounts appears to be the greatest economic challenge since 1929 and he’s out there running ads on Bill Ayers and actually admitted to being unable to win on the economy.

So now McCain has decided to run on Obama’s “associations” and his Chicago pals etc. Maybe this isn’t the main narrative coming out of his mouth, but the new Ayers / Chicago ad coming out these days is also part of his narrative. It’s incredibly poorly timed. I personally think it’s an insult be trying these bullshit old “boogedy-boogedey-boo!” during a period of such important national crisis. But as a Democrat, I’m quite pleased in that he’s chosen to make some of the worst possible campaign decisions. But I almost feel sorry for him to be honest. He really ought to have known better than this.

Sarah Palin did worry me at first. She was a great unknown, and could have possibly done something really spectacular. However it became clear as time wore on that she’s clearly a mental lightweight with plenty of political baggage. You know who would scare the shit out of me as a Democrat? Mike Huckabee. Even I like Mike Huckabee despite the fact that I disagree with everything he stands for. He’s have energized the base and his populist message would be perfect for the financial mess. Instead we get the nasty Sarah Palin who simply reminds those of us not on the far right of exactly what is wrong with this country. He’s a very old man and the person he offers up to be his successor is clearly not intelligent enough to know better than to run for VP. I suppose he hoped that the right-wing echo chamber would put enough mis-information to dupe the public into believing that she has credentials, but luckily we saw past that.

So McCain is going to continue on this path? I hope he does, because it is only going to work in our favor. He can get nasty if he wants, and it may even make things tighter in some places, but he won’t win this way. The stock market has lost 2.5 trillion dollars in seven days, and McCain wants to talk about someone Obama chaired some board with over a decade ago. People are scared shitless and not only does he offer nothing but token ideas and half-measures (like suspending his campaign) he’s coming out of all of this acting very un-presidential. When the shit hits the fan, McCain comes out swinging with no clear target nor overall strategy.

The only way McCain can have a chance of beating Obama is if he somehow changes his image. His current image is one of a guy who is simply not prepared to be President. He chose Sarah Palin when he had the obvious choices of Huckabee or Romney. But he felt that his luck wouldn’t run out. He didn’t even know her for Christ’s sake! He nearly killed the bailout bill despite his best efforts. Now he has conceded the economy as an issues and if anyone here knows anything about American politics, is that when the economy is bad, the guy who seems most competent on it will simply win. Obama is going to win because McCain is simply to big-headed to run a campaign that addresses what people are actually interested in.

Maybe Obama won’t win, and if he does I’ll be sad. But if he loses it won’t be for a lack of anything that I could point out. Obama has the most favorable terrain, the best organization and the best demeanor and also the better public image.

I just don’t understand how McCain can be so blind. The truth of it is though that I doubt he’s really in charge at this point. I feel like he said to the Republican goons “Just do whatever it takes to win and I’ll sign off on it.” I really think he wanted to choose Joe Lieberman. Yet he made an insulting political calculation. He decided that he’d choose a woman (because all Hillary voters voted for her because she’s a woman, right?) and he also deicded that he’d pick one of the least possible qualified Republican women to boot. There were dozens of prominent female Republicans he could have chosen.

What should McCain be doing now? He’s truly sunken as low as possible. He has become what he loathed in 2000 by using Bush’s dirty South Carolina tactics to try to win an election. Except that he’s late to the party. This is a year when these tactics are out-dated. I’d be surprised if McCain were to even gain any traction at all with these attacks.

What would you advise him to do? If I were McCain I’d first of all keep Sarah Palin in the background. No matter how bad she is, dumping her for someone better will have a net-negative effect. I’ve long argued that nobody will change their VP. McCain ought to for the good of the country, but for the good of his campaign he shouldn’t. He ought to do his best to appear Presidential. He ought to focus on his ideas instead of purely on Obama’s. McCain has made this election about Obama. He will never only make it about himself, but he needs to have people talking about him. But it can’t be a stunt. McCain needs to pick an economic angle (one that is wisely thought out) and try to hammer it out for the rest of the election. If he were to do that, then I could see him making some headway. I’d need to be different, but it needs to be responsible and backed by important people. He needs to quit playing the culture wars because this time around they’re really pissing off the independents. He’s so undesirable he’s even got racists in West Virginia not sure who to vote for: McCain or the N****r. That’ right folks. The economic situation is so dire, and Obama is so clearly ahead in that area, that people are willing to consider voting for a man of a race they consider inferior to save their own hides. He needs stability and he needs a new message. While they seem mutually exclusive, they aren’t. He needs to come up with a comprehensive idea that offers an alternative, while not being half-baked like all of his other ideas. Once he hits on that he may have a shot.

Otherwise, Republicans, we are going to be in charge in a big way. And maybe if we don’t trip over our own dicks as we always do, we can possibly bring this country out of the multiple messes we are in at the moment.

While I agree that what he’s doing is not working, the problem is that nothing else would probably work, either.

If your goal is a McCain victory, I’d keep up with the attacks. It’s worked in campaigns in the past. Maybe something will stick; probably not, but you never know. There’s really no time for, and no room to, re-fight the campaign on economic issues.

The simple truth is that he has nothing else left. He won’t win on the economy, the repubs are taking the brunt of the blame for it. He won’t win on the Iraq war, most people still want us to get the hell out. He won’t win by appealing to his base, its much smaller than it used to be and just not enough to win anymore. He’s certainly not going to win on popularity. Scaring people into voting for him is the only thing he can do, its probably not going to work, but neither was anything else so even a very slight possibility is better than none.

I agree that he’s got nothing. The Republican economic policy has trashed the economy, and no one except the hard core cases believes it was all the fault of the CRA or Barney Frank. He wobbles into regulation, but it goes against everything he has said for years, Obama has said it better and sooner, and it might hurt his base.
With the choice of Palin he decided to go to the right instead of to the middle, and he is suffering the consequences. The hard core righties love the attacks. Ideological purity might work when times are good, but today flexibility is needed, and the Republican party, convinced by Rove and DeLay that they’d govern forever, has become hidebound and unable to shift direction. So it has become a worst case scenario for him, and he’s too locked into the Rove way to change.

Not sure I really agree. The mud slinging always get the exposure here and in the media, cause its controversial. But he has made some real proposals that economists have backed that just slide under the radar.

His plan to buy up actual mortgages, his proposal to suspend the required withdrawal from retirement plans at the age of 70.5 (so that people currently retiring aren’t required to withdraw now that the market is tanking), etc all would make interesting debates, but nobody really wants to when its much more fun to point to mudslinging.

This one did get discussed, and is considered a giveaway to the banks making the bad loans. The current plan includes buying up mortgages at current market price, not face value.

That is a good idea, but won’t help much, and is unlikely to be very controversial. I suspect it would be passed in five minutes no matter who is president.

Then why not lose with honor? Why burn every bridge? Why stain your own reputation? Why allow people who are themselves mere political opportunists, and for whom you are nothing more than a means to an end — why let these people abuse you and drain you of your resources? I think one has to wonder whether the angry old man with his soulless Children of the Corn eyes, and his yellow-toothed Cheshire grin isn’t just plain crazy. And honestly, I don’t know why anyone would want such a character to take the reins of the nation at a time like this.

McCain is done, you can stick a…

Apparently they fear ‘socialism.’

Obama Takes Heat over Ayers, Socialism
Government should stop move toward socialism
Flirting with socialism in America
Democratic Socialism is a Worldwide Security Threat
Why You Should Not Vote For Senator Obama

I fear socialism, too. But that doesn’t mean I’d prefer a disoriented lunatic as president.

Balancing one’s fears is not a concept I think these people comprehend.

Because the guy gambles in casinos! He thinks he can win. It’s a long shot - him getting the nomination was a long shot. Now he just needs to roll one more hard eight and he’s in!


You might argue whether it is a strategy or a tactic (heh) but I think he’s been very clear on one particular approach from the beginning: control the conversation.

When Obama has a bipartisan solution (such as the joint statement about the bailout plan) then reject it; come up with your OWN bipartisan plan to suspend the campaign and then dare your opponent to follow it.

When meeting with a foreign country, they must agree to all your preconditions before the conversation begins.

During the campaign, fixate on one subject, however specious, and demand that your opponent address it. Don’t try to talk about the same issues your opponent is; that makes you look like a follower.

Don’t let anybody talk to your VP candidate unless you pre-approve the setting, the questions, or the interviewer.

Unfortunately, the more McCain strains at the leash, the tighter Obama grips it. McCain really wants to dash off into his own mavericky territory and choose the topic of conversation, but circumstances (and Obama) won’t let him.

McCain may have rediscovered his sense of honor. Tonight Countdown showed him twice at a campaign rally setting straight people who were asking him questions and making mischaracterizations of Obama. I’ve already forgotten the details of the first (Alzheimers, here I come) - something along the lines of Obama being a terrorist. McCain contradicted whatever it was and said some nice things about his opponent (thus drawing some boos from the crowd). The second was some old gal who didn’t get past “Obama’s an Arab.” McCain shook his head, then took the mike back from her and said, “He is not”. (Woman’s response: “He isn’t??” This must be why politicians keep slinging shit - a bunch of people out there are dumb enough to buy it.)

I couldn’t understand why McCain had been taking the low road lately. He didn’t used to be like that. Perhaps he’s realized it’s time to tell the advisors to go to hell, and to be his own man again. If so, I tip my hat to him. (Still won’t vote for him. . . .)

Exactly. I would have a great deal more respect for the GOP and its adherents if they stopped creating mud and muck and slinging it around. As it is, I now view all Rep candidates with a jaundiced eye. I’ve always voted independent, but this nonsense is bleeding into local politics for me as well. The social conservatives have taken over the GOP as far as I can see (since they are pandered to in such a way–the VP had to be one of them, really?) and until they grow a set and rid themselves of these hate-filled morons, I consider their judgement flawed.

McCain could redeem himself to some extent by being a bit firmer about his disapproval of the bigotry we’ve been seeing.

Would there have been any way that McCain could have run his campaign and come up on top, given that he is following a disastrous GOP President and the current economic free fall? And that Obama has run a low error campaign.

Yeah, he’s run it spectacularly badly, but he took those big throws of the dice because he knew that he was on a solid track for losing, albeit by a narrower margin, if he didn’t change the dynamics of the race.

If he had stayed focused on his Lexington project, on the surge and packaging that as providing us the stability to get out quickly without having to go back into the region, picked a VP with solid economic credentials, and kicked ass in the debates, then he’d still likely be losing.

Yeah, he’s now just splashing wildly and hurting his downtickets significantly, but I doubt he could have made the boat in any case. His only hope has been that the boat, independent of him sinks and that he then can find some kind of dinghy. And that seems increasingly unlikely to occur.

He’s a politician.

Apparently, McCain’s list of 100 economists who support him has only 90 economists on it: More to the point of your suggestion here, when those economists were called and asked about his mortgage buy-out program, they called it shit.

The economists apparently do not back McCain’s plan as much as McCain would have you believe.


Because a one-in-a-hundred shot is a better chance than one-in-a-thousand.