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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Today is supposed to be the big McCain character assassination rollout

I think the most interesting element of McCain "not going the Ayers route" last night is that today was supposed to be the big rollout by the McCain campaign on the negative character attacks. (At least that's what they were saying Saturday.)

I haven't seen or heard anything yet. Palin's been attacking since Saturday, and I haven't noticed any impact on the race at all.

What does it mean if the "character rollout" isn't there today?

I'll be curious and watching.

(Later: McCain went for that mortgage repurchase thing last night. Have they looked at the non-impact of the character attacks and decided to abandon it? Or is Palin going to keep feeding it to "the base" while McCain tries to run issues?)

Update: From Politico, "His top aides suggested afterward that, going forward, the candidate wouldn’t focus on the former domestic terrorist nor invoke the name of Obama’s controversial pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright."

So, what does that say?

(McCain and Palin are campaigning together today in Ohio. What does she say? How far does she go? This could be the big story out of the debate.)

Also: What would abandoning this do to the GOP base?


  • It looks like they had Palin float it and they didn't get the reaction they wanted. It's like the base got too fired up (shouting "terrorist") for example and that is probably turning off independent voters.

    Abandon the strategy is probably the idea now, but have they already done the damage to themselves?

    I've never seen such a herky-jerky campaign.

    By the way, have you noticed that every single presidential campaign in our living memory has been won by the more charismatic candidate? And often, the less charismatic candidate tries to shore up his shortcomings with an "exciting" VP choice (Kemp, Ferraro) but it never works?

    Just a stray thought I thought you might appreciate.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:33 AM  

  • That's my feeling.

    I don't know if they've substantially damaged themselves by trying it. Personally, I think there may be more damage in abandoning it, because it is another "herky-jerky" and the media is feeding that into the "losing, desperate campaign" narrative.

    Well, we American's like our TV, and pretty, cool, positive people always do well on TV.

    You never see a dark Russian existentialist hosting a game show.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 8:36 AM  

  • As Obama would say, "Look..."

    Look, the right wing hates McCain. The red meaters hate McCain... they actually think he's too liberal. But.... the base just LOVES Sarahcuda. And I mean that in the most deviant, politico-sexual way possible.

    The McCain campaign needs to keep Palin out there throwing all those gosh darn smears at Obama. This is their GOTV push. Muzzle Palin; GOP turnout goes into the crapper.

    The problem is, the rest of America is put off by this sort of dirt ball campaigning. McCain can't push it too much because he's the "respectable" face of the ticket. Mr. I-can-reach-across-the-isle. So McCain, and the TV ads, can only go so far when attacking Obama.

    My guess is that "Sarahcuda" keeps doing what she's doing at targeted rallies and fund raisers. And McCain will attack with a fret campaign... milking voters' base fears and insecurities. McCain will stick to distortions and/or lies about Obama's record and statements (a la SNL sketch a couple of weeks ago). Meanwhile, Palin will continue to do everything McCain said he wouldn't do and raise every smear-by-association he said he wouldn't raise.

    By Blogger -epm, at 9:14 AM  

  • EPM, Yes. She's their fascist princess.

    So, you're bet is "channels." Keep Palin making those remarks to safe audiences, while McCain pitches a more moderate political version.

    I'd certainly buy that. The only hitch is, like with any channel strategy, is that you face the possibility of someone confronting McCain about Palin's stuff, and he has to either endorse it (at least tacitly) or get into a message war with his VP.

    But, that being said, I think you're probably right to some degree. I expect her to tone it down a bit to avoid the above conflict, but, yeah.

    Because they have to keep the base on board.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:44 AM  

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