Sunday, October 12, 2008

Unsolicited Advice For John McCain ...

Senator McCain? Isn't that supposed to be your hat?


I just read an interesting piece in the New York Times about concern in the GOP over John McCain's candidacy.

No kidding.

Of course, I'm not concerned about John McCain. I hope John McCain stays the course at his tiller and steers his campaign right into the rocks.

But then again, McCain isn't really at the helm of his sinking ship. His advisors are charting the course.

Aren't they doing a heckuva job?

Mind you, I don't buy into the McCain mythology, especially having read these (heads up: lengthy) stories in Rolling Stone and The Nation Institute. McCain has spun his maverick mystique despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. For the life of me, I can't understand why the piece from The Nation hasn't gotten more play in the press, you know, considering it's nothing but a mouthpiece for we damn liberals.

(It's written by Sydney Schanberg, who's no hack. You have to have at least a little respect for anyone who has a Pulitzer Prize. If you know nothing of his Vietnam-era reporting, maybe you know him because Sam Waterston [a k a "that guy from 'Law & Order' "] portrayed him in the movie "The Killing Fields." Schanberg wonders in his piece why this story isn't more widely reported. I sent a link to ABC News. Maybe Charlie Gibson will put someone on it.)

This story would surely pulverize the POW cornerstone of the McCain campaign. Maybe the Obama camp will play this card right before the election.

Or maybe it won't. Is there a slaughter rule in politics?

This morning, in between reading stories about McCain's campaign and shaking my head in sadness and disbelief that his whole candidacy has devolved into such mudslinging and vitriol, I padded into the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee and decided what John McCain should do to revive his bid for the White House.

He should fire all his high-ranking advisors.

(Lest you think I'm writing a page for McCain's playbook, I'm sure others have thought of this before. And they probably live in Washington. And they probably wear shoes that cost as much as I pay monthly on my mortgage and they probably throw back high-end scotch like cupfuls of Gatorade at a marathon.)

I've read many stories about John being chagrined over the campaign he's running. Now, you might think, "That's ridiculous! He took Rev. Wright off the table. He can call the shots in his own presidential bid!"

But he's not. He wants to win at all costs, so he's surrounded himself with the people who got George Bush elected, nevermind that they're the same people who slandered McCain in 2000 and ruined his chances then.

McCain has sold his soul for this campaign. Mephistopheles must look a lot like Steve Schmidt.

Stories I've read discuss the need for McCain to settle on a unifying message for the the remainder of his campaign. But the election is 24 days away.

People are already voting.

If he stays on his current course, his fate is almost entirely sealed.

But what if he gave the heave-ho to everyone around him? What if he said, "I've listened to you and my campaign has tanked. You're all fired."

At this stage of the election, the trajectories are set, and McCain's bid is in a death spiral.

But what could restore his "maverick" brand more than firing everyone in his inner circle right before the election and saying, "I'm taking back the reins of this campaign"?

He doesn't need them at this point. They're not advising him well. If they were, he wouldn't have to be defending states that should be fiery red.

Some might argue that such a dramatic move would suggest that he was too much of a puppet all along, not strong enough, not presidential enough, to stand up to his advisors and put his foot down.

But as a staunch Obama supporter who has watched McCain's campaign sink further and further into the mud, I would have respect for him if he did something so sweeping and bold.

I would never vote for him, but I would view him as less pathetic.

Not that John McCain cares what I, individually, think of him. But it must bother him that the collective opinion of him has sunk so low. I have friends who vote primarily for Democrats who would have considered voting for McCain in 2000. Hell, I have friends who vote primarily for Democrats who would have considered voting for McCain in 2008 during the primaries.

And that's McCain's problem now. Those who were always going to vote for McCain are probably still going to vote for McCain. Oh, there may be a few defections or perhaps a few more people will just stay home on Election Day. But to that pool of voters in the middle, those who say they're still undecided, I suggest that all they have to do, if nothing else, is look at the campaigns each of the candidates are running. Learn the basics about each of them, please (no, Obama is not an Arab nor is he Muslim), but if you don't want to study their platforms in detail, just ask yourselves, purely on comportment, who do you want running the country?

Yes, each of them have run ads that distort the other's record or position. But watch the ads during commercial breaks (I know, it's hard to watch them, but please do; it's part of your civic duty) and note that Obama's ads, by and large, talk about what he's going to do for the country while McCain's ads, 100 percent of them now, slam Obama, and not even fairly at that.

Who do you want in office? The man who offers ideas and solutions, or the man who doesn't, who can only try to tear down the other candidate as a way to build up his own ever-dwindling chances?

Optimism or pessimism?

Hope or desperation?

Update, Monday, October 13: Interesting. William Kristol and I are basically on the same page. Whodathunkit?

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Blogger Mercurie said...

I haven't read the article on McCain in Rolling Stone yet, but my best friend told me about it. I already knew a lot of it, but there was a lot I'd only suspected. When it comes to his life, McCain has changed the facts quite a bit.

Of course, I always resented his over use of the term "maverick." First, "Maverick" was the last name of some way cool characters played by James Garner and Jack Kelly. McCain is a bout as far from Brett and Bart Maverick as one can get. Second, McCain has voted with George W.'s policies 90% of the time--something he said himself. I don't call that being a maverick, I call that being loyal to his president and his party!

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's focus on the issues, like the number one issue the US economy. The root cause for this whole economic crisis is the sub-prime mortgage crisis. This crisis started in 1999 with the revision of the Community Reinvestment Act, which forced lenders to give loans to unqualified people. Note, that this was government intervention. Simply put, businesses create jobs. Businesses do not want higher taxes just like the rest of America. It is a lot easier for them to relocate to a lower tax jurisdiction to remain globally competitive, taking American Jobs with them. Another example would be Barack Obama's plan of almost doubling the capital gains tax, which would hurt retirees who are not able to work whilst forcing capital to flow out of the country to lower tax jurisdictions. Barack Obama needs to increase taxes to pay for his proposed additional $1 trillion/year in spending. People seem to be ignoring the fact that there are many kinds of taxes. And, that Obama will not renew the current tax cuts. I hope Americans will better understand the differences between free-market capitalism and centralized socialism. Centralized socialism is more predominant in countries like North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela The NAZI party of Germany was their leftist socialist party. The problem with socialism is GOVERNMENT IS CORRUPTIBLE. More government means more control over the people. "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."

12:27 PM  

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