Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

ABC Interview With McCain Reveals Fundamantal (Fatal?) Flaw

Remember a few days ago when it was reported that the NY Times rejected McCain’s Iraq editorial in essence because it consisted of little more than attacks on Obama and very little about McCain’s OWN vision for Iraq?

That really gets to the essence of McCain’s problem in a nutshell: his entire campaign is based on slamming Obama, with a few minor policy ideas, and essentially no vision for what a McCain presidency would look like.

Case in point, take tonight’s interview on ABC News. Watch his response to a question about the Israeli/Palestinian issue and how he would resolve it:

WRIGHT: Charlie Gibson sat down today with Senator Obama in Jerusalem and, as you can imagine, they talked a lot about the Middle East peace process. How would that initiative look different in a McCain administration than it would in an Obama administration?

MCCAIN: Well, I don’t know — again, as with many other cases, Senator Obama one day said he would have an undivided Jerusalem, and then said something else. So it’s not clear to me what his policy is.

My policy in support for the state of Israel has been very consistent. I have visited there many, many times. I know the leaders; I know the situation very well. I would be personally engaged in the efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement between the state of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

This is a highest priority. I’ve been involved in these issues for many, many years. I know how to move forward with a peaceful resolution of a terrible situation, which is now exacerbated by the threat of Iranian nuclear weapons.

Where to begin? First of all, he begins a discussion of what HIS vision for an Israeli/Palestinian peace conflict would look like by hitting Obama for an alleged flip-flop. Ooooo-kay.

Then we move to his vision – or his substitute for his vision which is that he’s been to Israel many times and knows the leaders. Well, I’ve been to Israel 32 times in my life (seriously) and you can’t name my vision for bringing about Middle East Peace. He then says he’ll be personally engaged. Okay, that’s something.

Finally, the last paragraph. Hard to know what to make of this:

I know how to move forward with a peaceful resolution of a terrible situation.

My God! He has the secret to Middle East peace! Why has he been holding it back for so long?! Trust me, Israelis and Palestinians could have used his magic formula a loooong time ago.

Once again, McCain says “I know” how to do something, without explaining what exactly that entails. It’s the “trust me” model. Then he immediately pivots to Iran, which is something he clearly likes to talk about since it raises the prospect of another war.

The whole tone of this response reveals the fundamental flaw of the McCain campaign: there is no positive vision for his own presidency, it is entirely made up of (a) attacking Obama, and (b) a sense of shock that anyone would want details from McCain on how he would govern since he has so many years of experience and personal virtue.

There is a lot more in the interview you should check out, including his really convoluted response to his now infamous surge time-line error.

If I were forced to give McCain any constructive advice, it would be this: stop worrying about Obama and get over your damn self. You have a responsibility to tell us what you would do, and just saying you know how to isn’t enough to get it done.


July 23, 2008 - Posted by | foreign policy, Media Strategy | , ,


  1. Maybe McCain could get the Israelis and Palestinians in the same room as the Sunnis and Shia, so that he could save time by simultaneously telling all of them to cut the bullshit.

    Comment by gdh1 | July 23, 2008 | Reply

  2. Every single day Iam appalled by the fact any American would consider voting for this man.

    McCain gives speeches in Canada and Latin America, but criticizes Obama for giving a speech in Berlin. It is one thing for McCain to criticize Obama, but having done likewise is quite another. It is called hypocrisy. And then to even suggest “Obama would rather win an election than the war” McCain stepped out of bounds.

    You are absolutely correct he needs to worry about his own campaign and quit spending time dissing Obama. He probably would have been better off staying at home all week resting, considering the week he’s had. Of course, on the other hand, MSM protects McCain so he has nothing to worry about because no matter how outrageous it will be edited or omitted and the public, none the wiser.

    Bush has set the bar so low that apparently voters are comfortable with McCain? I cannot wrap my mind around that; it is totally incomprehensible.

    Obama is by far superior to McCain.

    Deciding between the two ought to be a no-brainer. One speaks of hope, humanity, justice, liberty and promotes good will toward all while the other one makes jokes about rape, sings a song about bombing Iran, laughs about death, and promises more wars.

    It is difficult to reconcile there is even the remotest possibility that we could be stuck with 4 more years of Bush via proxy McCain. I shudder at the mere thought.

    Surely Americans are not that masochistic.

    Comment by serena1313 | July 25, 2008 | Reply

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