The Campaign Spot

McCain 2008 Comparing Its Troubles to Reagan 1980

The McCain campaign is quick to point out at least one successful predecessor went through comparable rough times:

1980 REAGAN CAMPAIGN SHAKE-UP
During 1980 Campaign, Reagan “Had To Overcome Doubts About His Age And Ability, An Ill-Advised Iowa Strategy, A Major Staff Shake-Up In The Middle Of The Campaign And Serious Money Problems.” “It is true that Reagan entered the campaign with enormous assets. … But Reagan had to overcome doubts about his age and ability, an ill-advised Iowa strategy, a major staff shake-up in the middle of the campaign and serious money problems.” (Lou Cannon, “Reagan: Iowa Loss Allowed Him To Campaign His Way,” The Washington Post, 6/1/80) 
“The Shake-Up Of His Campaign Staff” Seen As Contributing Factor To Reagan’s Primary Victory. “The shake-up of his campaign staff and his more personal style of campaigning have contributed to Reagan’s commanding lead for the Republican nomination. To William J. Casey, Ronald Reagan’s reconstructed campaign proves that even in election politics, one can ‘make a virtue out of necessity.’ … Casey … was referring to the recent radical changes in the former California governor’s campaign strategy and staff operations.” (Dom Bonafede, “The ‘Liberation’ Of Ronald Reagan – A New Staff And A New Strategy,” National Journal, 3/22/80)
Reagan Struggled With Early Fundraising
In July 1979, Fundraising Reports Placed Reagan Fourth Among Republican Presidential Candidates, While First In Spending. “Ronald Reagan, regarded as a leading candidate for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination, is trailing other GOP candidates in financial contributions this year, according to federal reports. The Federal Election Commission said Wednesday that Reagan’s campaign committee has reported $1.4 million in contributions so far this year. That compares with these other GOP presidential contenders and the funds they have reported raising: Rep. Philip M. Crane of Illinois , $2.5 million. Former Texas Gov. John Connally, $2.2 million. Former CIA Director George Bush, $1.5 million. … And although Reagan wasn’t the leading fund-raiser, he was the biggest spender, using nearly $1.3 million of the $1.4 million he raised.” (“Washington Dateline,” The Associated Press, 7/19/79)

Yup, sometimes troubles are a sign you’re the next Reagan 1980… and sometimes it means you’re the next Dean 2004, or Lieberman 2004, or Steve Forbes 2000, or Phil Gramm 1996, or Bob Dole 1996, or Bob Kerrey 1992, or Gary Hart 1988, or Bob Dole 1988…

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