Strategy ’08

Obama vs. the other guy, 2008

McCain Fatigue columnist Bill Simmons coined the phrase “The Tyson Zone,” which he defines thusly: “If a friend said, ‘Did you hear that (fill in celebrity’s name) just (fill in the insane behavior: urinated on a police officer, began breeding unicorns, etc.)?’, I would have no problem believing it was true.” As yesterday’s desperate gamble made clear, John McCain has entered the political equivalent of the Tyson Zone. Think about what McCain has done since August 1:

  • He proclaimed the Russo-Georgian war “the first serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War” and said, “We’re all Georgians now.”
  • He canceled the start of the Republican convention due to a hurricane
  • He picked as his VP an untested neophyte who is clearly unprepared for the job, but who has managed to fire up the base and reignite the culture wars
  • His campaign manager declared war on the New York Times
  • He announced his intention to fire the head of the SEC (even though he the president can’t actually do that)
  • He suspended his campaign and pushed to delay the first presidential debate, citing “an historic crisis in our financial system” a week after saying “The fundamentals of our economy are strong.”

I don’t meant to suggest an equivalence between all of these actions. Some are understandable, others are relatively inconsequential. But the common thread is that they’ve all served to ratchet up the sturm und drang in the election, usually in a desperate effort to win a certain news cycle or reverse the dynamic of a race he seemed to be losing. There appears to be nothing this guy won’t do. At this point, I find it equally plausible that he would drop Palin from the ticket as I do that he would step aside himself and anoint her as the new Republican nominee.

And taken together, these actions serve the purpose of pre-emptively exhausting me at the thought of four more years of this. I find myself wondering, “What loopy ideas will he cook up once he gets to the Oval Office? Reinstituting the draft? Canceling the State of the Union? Pulling us out of the U.N.? Challenging Harry Reid to a boxing match? Strangling Khalid Sheikh Muhammad with his own bare hands?”

Think of it this way: After everything that’s gone in in Washington over the past two decades, do you really think what we need is a president who will bring MORE drama?


September 25, 2008 - Posted by | Media Strategy, talking points | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. McCain’s a drama queen. Everything isi the pre-eminent crisis of our day. I’d love to start seeing this meme hit the MSM.

    Comment by dansac | September 25, 2008 | Reply

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