Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

GOP Strategists Call McCain’s Campaign “Pathetic”

In this morning’s Washington Post, McCain’s recent campaign tactics are called out by Republican strategists as being churlish and pathetic. Even Ben Stein called out John McCain on his reprehensible tactics. The key quotes are below:

McCain’s comments came days after he said in New Hampshire, “It seems to me that Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.” They appear to reflect the campaign’s belief that it can make inroads with voters by keeping the focus on foreign policy issues after Obama’s return from a week-long trip to Afghanistan, Iraq, the Middle East and Western Europe. The moves puzzled some GOP strategists, who said McCain would be better off touting a more positive message, and the senator from Arizona drew a strong rebuke from a longtime ally, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), who traveled with Obama last week to Afghanistan and Iraq as part of a congressional delegation.

One GOP strategist with close ties to McCain’s campaign said the new line of attack reflected the operation’s “schizophrenic” nature. He said that tendency was also on display last week, as McCain spoke at length about media coverage of Obama rather than sticking with his plan to focus on the economy.

“They couldn’t help themselves,” the strategist said, adding that the ad over the hospital visit is “churlish and unlike McCain, and hardly will resonate with the swing voters who are going to decide this election.” The strategist continued: “They’re doing it because the candidate, and the campaign, is not happy with where they are and they’re lashing out.”

And here’s what Ben Stein said:

“Mr. McCain is running the absolute most pathetic campaign I have ever seen in my whole life,” Stein said in his unmistakable monotone delivery. “His campaign is just heartbreakingly pathetic. He is a very impressive guy. He is a brave guy, but he is running the most lackluster campaign I have ever seen in my entire life. I would have thought Bob Dole’s campaign would have set a record for poor campaigns, but this one is even worse. I mean it is shocking.”

Thus Stein’s answer to turn it around is Rove — architect of Bush’s back-to-back presidential victories — who he describes as “about the smartest in the country in terms of politics.”

Uh, Ben Stein? I already reported that Karl Rove is working as an unofficial adviser for the McCain campaign. Even ol’ Karl Rove with his help, can’t help John Mcain because the man himself is truly a pathetic candidate.

Even so, there remains one remaining bright light to this day for the McCain campaign, if they’re to regain their footing and control the media narrative—the upcoming interview with Ahmadinejad on NBC Nightly News—which could potentially provide McCain’s campaign with the tantalizing soundbites they need to beat Obama around his head on.

The Obama campaign better be ready for the release of this interview, the “excerpts” which will be painted to look like Ahmadinejad supports Obama (think dictator supports Obama–appeasement), and FIGHT BACK HARD today against the new change in the media narrative.


July 28, 2008 - Posted by | Iraq, Media Strategy


  1. Pathetic is a generous term for the McCain campaign. But for all the discussion of aides and strategists, the problem is with John McCain himself: simply an unappealing candidate.

    Comment by dansac | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. Stein’s “pathetic” comments might make a small blip on the news. But you’re right, the bigger splash is going to be the Ahmadinejad interview.

    Did he really endorse Obama? What did he say that would suggest that?

    Comment by dwbh | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  3. Wow. Who knew that a bunch of my favorite Kossacks set up a blog together!

    I just added y’all to my bookmarks. 🙂

    Comment by jenontheshore | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  4. Welcome Jen, great to see you.

    Comment by dansac | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  5. Welcome to strategy08, jen!

    Comment by slinkerwink | July 28, 2008 | Reply

  6. “Typical White Person” for Obama all the way!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Sam | July 28, 2008 | Reply

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