The Unraveling of the McCain Campaign

The McCain campaign can’t buy a break, and the failure of the Bailout McCain took credit for is part of that. The actions of McCain staffers, Palin, McCain himself, they make the campaign look like it is staffed by fools. They have not resorted to playing the blame game after claiming to be above politics on the issue of the bailout.


Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

As noted in today’s New York Times story, John McCain had just as much as the American people from a bailout passing yesterday. He desperately needs to get the subject of the economy off the minds of Americans. He’s falling further in the polls, both the FoxNews/Rasmussen and the LA Times/Bloomberg. Heck, there’s even a second poll joining the outlier putting Obama slightly ahead in North Carolina. No, it is not looking good for Mr. McCain, and everywhere you look the wheels are coming off.

McCain’s campaign, against the evidence, think McCain acted heroically this last week in the face of the finaicial crisis. As I note here, McCain’s words from Sunday through Monday, when the bailout McCain staked his campaign on failed, were all over the map. No central message whatsoever. It gets worse when one looks at the video of McCain economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin defending McCain’s actions this past week. The guy sounds like Sarah Palin being interviewed by Katie Couric. (Hey, is that metaphor about Palin and Couric going to replace the example of the South Carolina Beaty Pageant contestant as an example of incoherence?) I’m betting Holtz-Eakin would love to quit his job and go back in time to think up new excuses for the failed reasons the Bush Administration chose for invading Iraq. That would surely be an easier job than defending the erratic behavior of John McCain.

At the same time the McCain campaign can’t seem to coordinate between John and Sarah. Sarah Palin goes off message, so McCain says it’s OK because she was only talking to a voter. McCain, meanwhile, wants to solve the healthcare crisis using clinics in WalMarts – a nice idea, but you just don’t SAY that people will get their healthcare at WalMart. He’s opening himself up to ridicule left and right. Ridicule? Ridicule? Time to note that Sarah Palin knows of no other case ever to come before the Supreme Court other than Roe v. Wade. That part of the Couric interview hit the cutting room floor. So there’s the reason the McCain campaign wasn’t slamming Couric, there was more out there showing Palin as unprepared.

So, what’s the main thrust of the last several days of action? It is the same as it was in the first debate between Obama and McCain. Obama is steady and Presidential, McCain is an unpredictable and angry old man. I sincerely hope this bailout gets settled later this week. While McCain surely deserves to lose this election, both for his performance and for the future of our country, it is a bit sad seeing him make such an utter fool of himself.

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 by Steven Reynolds |

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