I'm trying to figure out John McCain's campaign strategy. I really am. Surely, a multi-million-dollar operation run by some of the smartest political minds in this country has some rationale for its candidate's actions. Surely, there is an underlying plan to turn around McCain's abysmal polling numbers in the next 25 days.
Because this is what I'm seeing:
McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning together almost every day. Logic would seem to dictate that the two candidates could reach twice as many people if they spoke individually. Why the velcro campaign? I've read that it's because McCain can't draw a crowd without Palin. If so, surely a better strategy would be to send Palin out to draw the crowds and let McCain work smaller, more intimate venues and do interviews and work the media.
Their message is entirely aimed at the rabid, whack-job base. Those attending McCain-Palin campaign events are by all appearances the bottom-of-the-barrel base people who think Obama is a Muslim terrorist, racists, and morons (there could be some redundancy here). These people are in McCain's pocket already, so why hold a rally to incite near-violent reactions from them over Obama's supposed "mysterious" background? It's not a tactic that will win any new voters, especially in the middle of what appears to be a total breakdown of the economy.
McCain is campaigning in states he can't win. Yesterday, it was Wisconsin; the day before it was, of all places, Iowa, where every poll shows Obama with at least a 12-point lead. Why isn't the GOP ticket camped out in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Missouri? According to fivethirtyeight.com (an essential website for election junkies), if McCain doesn't win at least two of those states, it's over.
McCain and Palin have sealed themselves off from the media. Talk about an incomprehensible strategy. Isolating yourselves from the reporters tresponsible for getting your message into the mainstream media has to be one of the dumbest moves ever. McCain used to schmooze and charm media types with ease. Now, he's just pissy and insulting to them. Except for FoxNews, of course. But again, that's preaching to the base. McCain and Palin can go get tugjobs from Sean Hannity every night, but it's not going to win over any CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC etc. viewers.
Like I said, I don't get it. But maybe they're just using what they feel is the only weapon they have left: fear. But I am curious: If you were McCain's campaign manager, what would you do?