Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

Be careful what you wish for…

Frustrated that his dare to Barack Obama has backfired badly on him and has caused Barack to ride a wave a great press, the McCain campaign has been striking back at the media.  The McCain campaign has released a pair of web videos (yes, apparently someone on his staff has learned how use the youtubes) mocking what they see as a media bias towards Senator Obama.  The McCain campaign seems to be goading the media, hoping that they will finally focus more on him than they have Senator Obama.  Well Senator McCain, it appears you may be getting your wish, although not quite in the way you would have hoped.

Tonight the Politico went live with a hard hitting piece that draws attention to all of McCain’s recent “gaffes”.  And by “gaffes” they are really referring to major screwups that Senator McCain has made that shows he lacks even a basic level of foreign policy understanding.  This piece has been picked up by other news outlets, including CBSnews and Yahoo news, where it was earlier one of the top viewed stories.

The Politico piece starts off with a bang, highlighting some of his most recent gaffes:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said “Iraq” on Monday when he apparently meant “Afghanistan”, adding to a string of mixed-up word choices that is giving ammunition to the opposition.

Just in the past three weeks, McCain has also mistaken “Somalia” for “Sudan,” and even football’s Green Bay Packers for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The piece then goes on to opine on whether or not these mistakes are a result of his age.  Whether or not they are a result of his age, they raise serious questions about John McCain’s fitness to be commander in chief.

The article goes on to list some of the more embarrassing mistakes he’s made over the course of the campaign.

Germany” for “Russia”: A YouTube clip from last year memorializes McCain referring to Vladimir Putin of Russia — following a trip to Germany — as “President Putin of Germany.”

• This spring, McCain said troops in Iraq were “down to pre-surge levels” when in fact there were 20,000 more troops than when the surge policy began.

• Also this spring, McCain twice appeared to mistake Sunnis and Shiites, two branches of Islam that split violently.

• In Phoenix earlier this month, McCain referred to Czechoslovakia, which has been divided since Jan. 1, 1993, into the Czech Republic and Slovakia. He also referred to Czechoslovakia during a debate in November and a radio show in April.

Is John McCain really sure he wants the media to pay more attention to him? His saving grace so far, and one of the reasons he’s managed to keep it close in the polls, is that the media has been paying far more attention to Senator Obama than they have John McCain.  While this has been a benefit to Senator Obama at times, it has also been a large negative, when the media spends weeks obsessing about his pastor, his “bitter” remarks, his bowling score, and any little comment he makes that can be construed as contradicting something he’s said in the past.  Senator McCain has largely been able to stay out of the spotlight, except for the occasional platitude about his “heroic war service”.

The truth is that John McCain really shouldn’t want the media to give him the same attention as they give Barack Obama.  While Obama has held up relatively well to all of the scrutiny, all of McCain’s outbursts, gaffes, flip flops, and outright lies would bury his candidacy if anyone actually bothered to take a look. The politico piece was only the tip of the iceberg.  If the MSN really started to delve into his record, such as his numerous flip flops on every major issue, as well as his past (his affair, the Keating 5, etc), it would shatter the McCain maverick myth into a thousand pieces.

So I’ll ask you again, Senator McCain.  Do you really want to media to give you the same attention they are giving Senator Obama?  Your dare to the media to give you more coverage sounds an awful lot like your dare to Senator Obama to travel to Iraq.  We all see how well that’s worked out for you.


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

1 Comment »

  1. As I wrote above, McCain is letting his anger get the better of him. It seems like some of this is breaking through, but we’ll have to wait and see.

    Comment by turneresq | July 23, 2008 | Reply

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