At this point, the McCain camp seems to be taking its cues more from the liberal caricature of past conservative campaigns - that they've all been fundamentally unserious exercises in culture-war button-pushing - than from the campaigns themselves. It's as though they're being paid under the table by Thomas Frank to goose his book sales and vindicate his thesis.McCain's campaign has a lot in common with Bush's, but everything seems so much more transparent this time around. Instead of subtly addressing the concerns of soccer moms, they are openly addressing them as such. Instead of metaphorically winking slyly at the base, Palin can't stop literally winking at the camera. The awful economic climate, and McCain's inability to discuss it with any credibility, only makes this problem worse. This ham-handed version of Bush's campaign is poorly suited to the candidate and the moment.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
McCain's Got Troubles (And Other Brilliant Insights)
Ross Douthat captures McCain's strategic mess perfectly.