Monday, October 06, 2008

McCain strategist to New York Daily News: "If we keep talking about the economic crisis, we're going to lose."

I found this New York Daily News story through Americablog, and it is very telling of just how desperate the McCain campaign is during the past three weeks or so. Ever since the financial crisis slammed Wall Street these past three weeks, the McCain campaign has been flailing about, first sending Mr. McCain to Washington to completely screw up the $750 bailout plan vote in the House, and then blaming Democratic candidate Barack Obama with playing politics on the financial crisis. And now we have this New York Daily News story to consider:

A top McCain adviser signaled last week that the campaign intends to "turn the page" from economic issues — which polls show have staked Obama to a significant lead — and ramp up attacks on Obama as an inexperienced ultraliberal.


McCain's course correction reflects a growing case of nerves within his high command as the electoral map has shifted significantly in Obama's favor in the past two weeks.

"It's a dangerous road, but we have no choice," a top McCain strategist told the Daily News. "If we keep talking about the economic crisis, we're going to lose."

The McCain campaign has no choice. The campaign's political, domestic, and economic policies are really a continuation of the Bush administration's current policies. John McCain cannot run on a Bush third term, not when three-quarters of the American public believe that the country is on the wrong track. The campaign has tried to reset their message, last month, from McCain being a candidate of experience, to McCain being a candidate of change--even as Barack Obama has been campaigning on the message of change since he announced his candidacy last year. The McCain has said, in September, that they were going to run a personality-based campaign rather than an issue-based campaign. We have John McCain first admitting that he doesn't know much about economics, but then denying that he ever made such a claim. And finally, for much of the year, John McCain denied that the country was heading into a recession, blaming the American people for believing such economic problems that were really psychological. This is a campaign that cannot run on issues, and the McCain campaign knows that John McCain will lose the presidential race on the issues. They need to shift the American public's attention away from the economy, and the financial crisis that is hitting American's pocketbooks, back to the personality-based campaign of negative advertising and character assassinations against Obama. The problem for the McCain campaign is that the slowing economy is making this personality-based shift almost impossible to achieve. It is why you are seeing fear creeping into the McCain high command, as Americans worry about the economy, while shifting their own support to Barack Obama, as seen in the polling results. If the U.S. economy continues to sour, expect to see Obama poll even higher than McCain, and the fear continue to spread throughout the McCain campaign that Johnny-Boy will lose this election.

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