Saturday, July 14, 2007


WaPo Gurus on the McCain Campaign

John McCain’s campaign problems are well-known to anyone at all paying attention so this Washington Post piece doesn’t really add much to the discussion. In fact, it probably detracts somewhat as it inserts this bit of wishful thinking:

“Many of McCain's current problems can be traced to factors outside the campaign organization, particularly his support for the Iraq war and immigration reform.”

And later:

“As the situation in Iraq deteriorated, his staunch support for Bush's troop increase became a drag on his national poll numbers. The problem became worse during an April trip to Iraq, where he walked through a marketplace -- protected by 100 soldiers and their vehicles -- and remarked afterward how safe it was. His comments were mocked by war critics for weeks.”

Yes, his comments were mocked but that had little effect on his fundraising. On the contrary, his steadfast support for our mission in Iraq is one of the few things that keeps John McCain from becoming an asterisk in Republican polling. John McCain’s problems began with his ongoing call to limit speech in the guise of campaign reform – culminating in McCain-Feingold. But that serves only as a backdrop to his recent enthusiastic support for the latest efforts at revising immigration rules. His condescending demeanor to opponents (and he was not alone in this) was a condescending demeanor to many of his potential supporters. It didn’t play well and it's this stance that is singularly responsible for his late tanking in the polls.

I have no doubt that many in the press have soured on Mr. McCain precisely because of his support of our Iraq involvement. But they should know better than to extrapolate from that nothing-to-do-with-the-GOP sample size and posit the thinking of the Republican electorate.

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