Saturday, October 25, 2008

McCain Campaign Chaos

Robert Draper writes in The New York Times Magazine on the multiple narratives of the McCain campaign and its resulting inability to make a coherent argument for his candidacy.

The campaign was in the throes of an identity crisis by June 24, when a number of senior strategists gathered at 9:30 a.m. in a conference room of McCain’s campaign headquarters in Arlington. As one participant said later, the meeting was convened “because we still couldn’t answer the question, ‘Why elect John McCain?’ ” Considering that the election was less than five months away, this was not a good sign.

In addition to the story behind the remarkably impulsive and ill-considered choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate, the other striking thing about the article is its depiction of McCain's explanation for the ugliness of the campaign.

The flipside to John McCain’s metanarrative of personal valor has always been palpable self-righteousness. In this campaign, his sense of integrity has been doubly offended. First, an adviser said, “He just really thinks the media is completely in the tank for Obama and doesn’t feel like he’s getting a fair shake at all.” And second, another said, “I don’t think John likes people who try to do jobs they’re not qualified for” — referring, in this case, to Barack Obama.

In June, McCain formally proposed that he and his Democratic opponent campaign together across America in a series of town-hall-style meetings...the Democrat said that he found the notion “appealing” but then did little to make it happen. Since that time, McCain has repeatedly told aides what he has also said in public — that had Obama truly showed a determination to have a series of joint appearances, the campaign would not have degenerated to its current sorry state.

This is an amazing example of McCain's narcissism. He "doesn't like people who try to do jobs they're not qualified for" yet sees nothing wrong with selecting a running mate who is completely unqualified. Then he justifies waging one of the ugliest and most dishonest campaigns in recent memory by blaming his opponent.

McCain frequently says that he hasn't won any "Miss Congeniality" awards in the Senate and suggests that this is due to his maverick stands against his party. If Draper's article is at all accurate, McCain's lack of popularity is more likely due to this sort of entitled double-standard.

--Ballard Burgher

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