The Simple Disconnect of the McCain / Palin Campaign

After it is all said and done (inshah allah) and Obama wins the Presidency, many people are going to wonder what went wrong with the McCain campaign.

There are lots and lots of things to point to, as I have done many, many times.  I think once central area of problems that will have been diagnosed was the campaign’s lurching from topic to topic and theme to theme and attack to attack.

They’ve had a very difficult time finding any traction.  IMHO, this boils down to one simple reason.

They are running against each other.

Sarah Palin is running against the “Good Old Boys”.  The Washington insiders and lobbyists who spend their entire lives in Washington.  The rich and the insulated.  Career politicians with deep D.C. family ties and a profound sense of entitlement.  People who live their whole lives on the public tab while things get worse.   People with historical ethical lapses and lots of powerful friends.  It would be harder to fine a better example of this than John McCain.

John McCain is running against that outsider whippersnapper wtih some questionable relationships.  That young and inexperienced, yet personally very charming Politician with a bright future and a relatively short, kinda cloudy, past.  Mccain’s entire argument for a year and a half was about experience and being ready to do the job on Day 1 and then he went and picked a laughable neophyte as a running mate.

This jarring contrast in Message is killing any other argument they want to make.  Much like Palin’s charge that Obama “voted against the Troops”, when McCain had done the same exact thing.   And McCain hammering away, again today, on the need to be ready to go on Day 1. 

This contrast and inability to communicate clearly (and the fact, IMHO, that what they are selling policy-wise, is crap) is why McCain and Palin have fallen so far behind that it would take an epic event (knock on wood) to really change things back.   The Undecided are deciding, and they are largely breaking for Obama.

As you watch MCain and Palin speak, see if you can imagine they are, in fact, attacking each other.  See how it holds.

For example, can you tell me who said this today?

“We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: waiting for our luck to change. The hour is late; our troubles are getting worse; our enemies watch. We have to act immediately. We have to change direction now. We have to fight,” [she] said at a rally in Virginia…

“The fact is that [Sarah Palin] was not truthful in telling the American people about [her] relationship. Very frankly, Dana, I don’t give a damn about an old unrepentant [secessionist], but what I do care is telling the truth to the American people,” the Arizona senator said in response to a question from CNN correspondent Dana Bash.

A massive crowd of at least 20,000 spread across the parking lot of Richmond International Raceway, and scores of people on the outer periphery more than 100 yards from the stage could not hear.

“Louder! Louder!” they began chanting, and the cry spread across the crowd to Palin’s left. Some pointed skyward, urging that the volume be increased.

Palin stopped her remarks briefly and looked toward the commotion.

“I hope those protesters have the courage and honor to give veterans thanks for their right to protest,” she said.

Some in the crowd tried to shout toward her what was really being said, but she couldn’t hear them.

O.k. you got me.  That last one was Sarah being Sarah.  Trying to shame into silence people who were trying to understand what the heck it was that was coming out of her mouth. 

Now they know better for trying.

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