Monday, October 27, 2008

RNC: Man the Lifeboats!

With falling McCain poll numbers and 9 days until election day, the Republican National Committee is caught in the swells of a dilemma.... should they don their Navy whites and pour more wardrobe-money into McCain's leaking national campaign, or abandon the Straight Talk Depress and focus on Senate and House races that might yet be salvaged.

David Frum, former "axis of evil" Bush speechwriter, advises in his Sunday op-ed, "Sorry Senator, Let's Salvage What We Can." (WaPo)

McCain has captained what must be one of the worst-managed campaigns in recent memory.

He gave policy control to lobbyist campaign managers who crafted a ditto-Bush far-right corporatist message, picked a Moose-hunting creationist as his "anti-elite" partner (you really thought Hillary supporters would take to You Betcha' Palin?) and hired Rovian thugs to Swiftboat Obama as a pal of terrorists who is "not like us," not a part of "real America" where the campaign burrowed for votes.

And presto! McCain energized the most radical element of the GOP base and chased off the great moderate center of the electorate.

So.... well, duh.... McCain's losing.

"There are many ways to lose a presidential election. John McCain is losing in a way that threatens to take the entire Republican Party down with him" Frum moans.

Frum offers this save-what-you-can advice.... "In these last days before the vote, Republicans need to face some strategic realities. Our resources are limited, and our message is failing. We cannot fight on all fronts. We are cannibalizing races that we must win and probably can win in order to help a national campaign that is almost certainly lost. In these final 10 days, our goal should be: senators first."

In self-preservation, the GOP should pull-anchor on their McCain-campaign life-support. To accomplish this successfully the flagship commander should sublimate his ambition for a cause greater than himself. But it seems McCain's ambitions are greater than his grasp of such a cause.

Besides his erratic campaign efforts, a crippling blow was dealt to McCain's hopes at the meltdown of Wall Street and the Bush-Paulson-declared economic emergency... just hours after McCain had serenaded "the fundamentals of our economy are strong."

Still, the RNC and McCain stubbornly clung to his backward-leaning campaign even though he was listing badly. He resorted to easily-seen-through staged responses like "suspending my campaign" and "Joe the Plumber" who isn't a licensed plumber and doesn't pay his taxes.

And, it's not working.

The pivotal moment for the GOP is now.... will they man the lifeboats or go down with McCain's unseaworthy ship?

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