McCain the undisciplined

With the two posts on campaign ads bringing some comments about effectiveness a story in todays Washington Post highlights some of my criticism of McCain’s political strategy. Essentially saying that McCain refuses to stay on message the story highlights McCains undisciplined campaign style, which has endeared him to many but drives political pros crazy. It also results in a muddled media message, and a lack of focus in the campaign. As a Democrat I hope McCain keeps it up, because the lack of focus is ceding Obama a lot of ground. From the Washington Post:

For weeks, McCain’s staff has been criticized for running a campaign that has no clear message. The decision by the senator from Arizona to have former Bush strategist Steve Schmidt run daily operations was described as a way to get control of the message. But some Republicans outside the campaign believe that not much has changed since then.

“It’s the candidate,” said one GOP strategist with close ties to the campaign, who added that efforts to identify a theme for each week quickly unravel as McCain veers off message in his public comments.

At a town hall meeting in Pennsylvania last week, McCain stood before a banner that proclaimed “Energy Solutions” and “The Lexington Project” — the moniker his campaign coined for an energy proposal featuring a combination of conservation efforts, expanded offshore drilling and nuclear power.

McCain rambled quickly through the details and showed little appreciation for the art of “branding.”

“I call it the Lexington Project, my friends, but you can call it anything you want,” he said.

Even trying to win over conservatives has been a problem for McCain some days, as his tendency to ramble a little takes him into difficult waters.

At a town hall meeting Tuesday, a GOP voter posed a question McCain has heard everywhere from Sparks, Nev., to Dayton, Ohio: Why should Republicans support him?

“I think I speak for a lot of conservatives when I say I’m not very excited about this election,” the questioner said, noting that he differs with McCain on issues including “amnesty” for illegal immigrants and the senator’s support for “the global warming crowd’s agenda.”

But rather than rattle off his most conservative positions — his opposition to abortion and support for the war — he launched into a long explanation of his role in a compromise on judges, something that conservatives often criticize him for.

He sparked applause from the Republican audience by mentioning his support for conservative Supreme Court Justices John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr., but he then noted that he had backed liberal Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer as well.

McCain finished off what was supposed to be an explanation of why conservatives should back him with a pledge to push for a cleaner planet.

McCain has seriously veered off message with comments that “everything is on the table” with regards to a social security fix, including higher taxes on top earners. That drew a sharp rebuke from the Wall Street Journal editorial page. He has also muddled his message on the “timetable” issue in Iraq, saying that Obama’s sixteen month timetable for withdrawal was “pretty good”.
I guess that political pros notwithstanding McCain is going to be McCain. Read the Washington Post article here.

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7 Responses to McCain the undisciplined

  1. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    You are practicing “he said, she said” politics”. Look for the McCain malaprops, dumb statements, maybe even flip flops, which you go ahead and publish here with great smugness.

    I can write:
    Barak has a good relation with Ludicris who in turn produces a horrible rap song. Obama reaction, “we reject this song” (wink, wink).

    Don’t go down this road because both candidates will provide us with much fodder.

    So far Obama rates 46%, McCain 44% and Obama has fallen behind on the electro college vote count.

    How can these things be?



  2. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    It’s 6:00 am and the Daily Gallop Tracking poll has Obama, the holy @ 45% and McCain, the old undisciplined @44%.

    I like undisciplined.

    How can this be?



  3. Jim says:

    Like any poll, it all depends on from whom one obtains their polling data slant. For example, in the attached link, McCain’s already lost the election.

    And besides, didn’t we learn in 2004 that polls don’t count anyway (at least in Ohio), but always count overseas?


  4. Bill Manzi says:

    Good point Jim,
    Let me ask you the same question you keep asking me. How is it that a first term senator with no prior national profile is ahead of a long time senator who has had a national profile for over twelve years. How can this be?


  5. Jules Gordon says:

    Now Your Honor,

    McCain is a “long time senator” as you say. So he walks alone in the wilderness.

    Then with heavenly lightening arching through the sky, wearing a shining halo, comes the the almighty newby with his band of Media Apostles raising the dead, casting his bread upon the waters, and all the while the great unwashed falling face down before his presence, the OBAMA enters the World Stage. “Our time has” come he announces.

    So I return the question to you, how come our sole candidate is so close to God’s anointed?




  6. Bill Manzi says:

    If McCain is “walking alone in the wilderness’ it is because the shining lights of the conservative movement have cast him there. Was it not Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter expressing revulsion at the thought of voting for John McCain. And Jules I am not going to play ball on Republican talking points. Where has Obama made himself out to be a deity? Just because Rush Limbaugh repeats it over and over doesn’t make it true. Usually with Rush truth is nowhere to be found.


  7. Jules Gordon says:

    Your Honor,

    You are correct. John McCain is not a conservative. I agree with Rush, Hannity and others who feel that our presumptive nominee would conduct himself as a Centralist Democrat.

    He has since moved to the right but I don’t trust him.

    Now the things that bother me about Barak Obama are;

    1. He limits discussion topics of choice by assigning some racial taboo to them. (Leave my wife alone, even though she has spoke for her husband)

    2. He pontificates, speaking in iconic tongues without clarity of purpose.

    3. He goes overseas and disses our country and President.

    4. He keeps making remarks regarding his racial ethnicity. Those that reply are denigrated.

    I have learned to distrust people whose true principles are hidden behind grandiose talk.

    His basic belief as a super liberal is enough for me not to give him my vote.

    I guess you choose not to see his preaching demeanor. But maybe you should look at the writer (from the Barack media) who commented he has become pretentious.

    Please note that Rush, Hannity or any of the other right wing commentators do not set my thinking. I find them thinking like me.

    What these people say isn’t necessarily untrue either.

    I wish barak would summon up some courage and meet john McCain in open debate.

    That would be something, if it ever happens.

    Have a nice week end.



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