Monday, August 11, 2008

Maybe Yes, Maybe No

By Carl

Pity poor John McCain. Barack Obama goes off for a well-earned week's vacation in Hawaii, to the
confused fulminations of the punditry of the not-ever-right wing ("He's an elitist, running off to the exotic, distant United States like that! He can't even stay in his own country!"), AND the news cycle has broken in his fvor, playing to his strongest card, his foreign policy experience, as an old foe, Russia, rises up and begins to reabsorb its Tsarist empire.

Tailor-made week for him, right? Ehhhh...not so much!

This debate over McCain's maverick-ness reflects a new challenge in his second bid for the presidency: the dilution of the McCain brand. To win the GOP primary this year, McCain embraced party dogma in ways big and small, from switching his opposition to President Bush's tax cuts, which he had criticized as skewed to the rich, to making amends with religious leaders he once denounced as "agents of intolerance."

The campaign has also undercut McCain's image as a straight-talker by dramatically limiting the national media's access to the candidate, who once charmed reporters and voters alike with his easy, free-wheeling, common-man conversational style on his campaign bus.

And McCain, this time around, faces an opponent who can make a case that, as a 47-year-old black man and first-term senator, he is more of a political outsider with a fresh new voice than the 71-year-old veteran of a quarter-century in Congress.

Personally, I think the word "maverick-ness" is clumsy, and have coined my own word: "maverickwitude," which also sort of fits with "fuckwit", which describes McCain to a T.

But I digress...

So McCain not only has to sell himself as the "NotBush," but also as the "NotMcCain," all while trying to sell voters that his insider experience in Washington is better than that young snot-nose punk's naivete.

Imagine! Talking to Iran!

It gets worse for Senator McCain. The one week he has the field to himself...:

An e-mail just sent out says Obama "is about to choose a running mate." And when word comes, it will come by text message, e-mail and on the campaign website. An interesting twist that could mean the word might be released this week even during Obama's family vacation.[...]

And if it came, oh, say, sometime this week. it would instantly dominate the news stream and erase any advantage Republican Sen. John McCain might have gotten from a week of campaigning without the Democrats' competition.

That head of steam McCain was hoping for looks like it might not even signal the tea water is boiling.

Listen, when even
Karl Rove is thinking Obama will announce his Veep this week, you have a problem on your hands if you are running against him.

So, yes, give a moment's thought to John McCain, the sacrificial lamb the Republicans have thrown to Barack Obama this year.

(Cross-posted to
Simply Left Behind.)


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