Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘worst campaign of modern times

After the Flood

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Trying to puzzle out John McCain’s motive for the campaign suspension stunt is proving rather difficult. A lot of people are looking to Palin, both her disastrous Katie Couric interview and the repeated suggestion that hey, you know, we could just cancel the VP debate. (On the margins, Palin’s so-called “preacher problem” is also showing up in these discussions; she definitely loses the secular progressive swing vote with this one.) Or maybe, others venture, he’s trying to cover up his own lack of debate preparation. Still other people think he may be trying to keep the Rick Davis story out of the papers, as there’s now word that Rick Davis didn’t sever his relationship with his lobbying firm and is in fact still listed as one of its only two officers. And a lot of people just point to the polls—witness as just one example a Rasmussen poll that now puts Obama ahead right here in North Carolina (!). Or maybe we should just bring it all back, as Steve Benen does, to the fundamental question that recurs about so much of John McCain’s gambles: cynicism, or risk addiction?

Whatever it is, it’s worth noting that McCain has pulled this very stunt at least twice before.

Reactions have been legion, almost all of them negative, but Noam Scheiber in particular is on fire with posts that suggest just how badly this may backfire on McCain, comparing it first to a form of political hari-kari and then pointing out elsewhere the way in which the gambit automatically defeats itself:

“Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative.”

Clinton Global Intiative > financial crisis > longstanding-to-the-point-of-sacred tradition of nationally televised presidential debate? This will not stand.

Fire Rick Davis, Stop Being Sexist, and More

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Following up on the Rick Davis story from last night, it’s hard to see any upside for McCain here. He can fire Davis, but that’s an admission of impropriety, and makes him look like even more of a fool for accusing Obama of being in bed with lobbyists. He can keep Davis and hope the story goes away, but I’m not sure it will: the ridiculous spectacle of a candidate railing against Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae after those very agencies have essentially put him on layaway will not be overlooked in the debates, in the press, or in Obama’s ads. He’s in a tough, tough place on this.

The media, led by Campbell Brown, may also be taking up an interesting new thread in the Sarah Palin Chronicles: a plea to stop the campaign’s sexist treatment of their own VP candidate.

Tonight I call on the McCain campaign to stop treating Sarah Palin like she is a delicate flower that will wilt at any moment. This woman is from Alaska for crying out loud. She is strong. She is tough. She is confident. And you claim she is ready to be one heartbeat away from the presidency. If that is the case, then end this chauvinistic treatment of her now. Allow her to show her stuff. Allow her to face down those pesky reporters…. Let her have a real news conference with real questions. By treating Sarah Palin different from the other candidates in this race, you are not showing her the respect she deserves. Free Sarah Palin. Free her from the chauvinistic chains you are binding her with. Sexism in this campaign must come to an end. Sarah Palin has just as much a right to be a real candidate in this race as the men do. So let her act like one.

Even Fox is fed up.

It’s still too early to tell, but with the complete collapse of McCain’s numbers since the convention blip—witness the new ABC/Wash. Post poll putting Obama nine points ahead nationally, with even stronger internals—is it fair to say yet that the Republican Party has fielded the worst campaign of modern times in McCain/Palin? The sad, sad fact is they could still win, but just on the level of process, of electioneering—the only things Republicans do well—they won’t deserve to.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 24, 2008 at 2:57 pm