All this complaining about the negative Rove tactics.. then Senator McCain pulls out a real great maneuver that I'm sure has the Obama people either scratching their heads or running around like they don't have any. John McCain just schooled the young Democrat about how you turn a disadvantage into a huge (free) PR campaign and put the opponent on the defensive.
The move to his suspend his campaign was so brilliant... I can scarcely believe it. It works on so many levels in so many ways... Senator McCain, my hat is off to you.
That being said.. his plan does have some (major) drawbacks but we'll get back to those later. First, let's talk positives:
- "Bipartisanship" is the key to winning over Independents who are the key to winning elections
- Why not dominate a day with free press? (Especially when behind in fund raising numbers)
- Take the wind out of the Obama's campaigns sails after recent surge in the polls
- Take pressure off of Sarah Palin and give her some time to prep for interviews, press conferences, and a show down with Joe Biden in next weeks VP debate
- Show how deeply McCain cares about the economy (a topic he has admitted he knows little about)
- Cast a few votes in the Senate, try to rally House Republicans around your cause
- Throw a monkey wrench in the Democratic Party's strategy of linking McCain to Bush by opposing some of the Bush Administration's bailout measures
- Have I mentioned FREE press?
Oh boy.. I'm sure I've missed quite a few more, but as you see the move really was an excellent one politically and strategically. Whether you think it was all political or you believe that John McCain is putting "Country First" by suspending his campaign to focus on the economy, it doesn't matter. You have to agree the move was brilliant.
Brilliance, however, comes at a price in this case. There are a few drawbacks that have occurred.
- Senate/House Republicans weren't expecting the sudden media focus/scrutiny into the politics of the bailout
- Makes McCain look like he cannot multi-task, focusing on the economy and other things
- Why cancel Letterman and then go show up on CBS News with Katie Couric? You know Letterman is going to air out his concerns to his multimillion person audience!
- Was suspension necessary? Does McCain not believe Palin could take the helm of the campaign ship while he's in DC? What does that say about what he thinks about her abilities and weaknesses.
- I know McCain wants to take the attention away from the Democrats' blame for the bad economic conditions on Republicans but is saying that this crisis is so bad that everything is the world (aka the election cycle) but come to a complete halt because of the enormity of the problem really the right message to send?
I'm not sure if that list is quite complete yet either.. but time will tell.
So tell me what you think of my lists, and tell me what you think: Political Stunt or Patriotic Selflessness?
P.S. Go Huskers, beat those Hokies!!!