The Campaign Spot

Team McCain, Getting Back Up on the Horse

For members of Team McCain, it’s time to get up, make some coffee, and go out and just keep plugging away. That includes pointing to this story – “GOP front-runners not wedded to ‘surge’” – and asking why McCain’s rivals aren’t being compared to Dick Lugar.

It’s a sporting effort, and I stand by my earlier assessment that McCain stays in the race until at least Super Duper Tuesday.
Still, waking up this morning and surveying the wreckage, McCain needs just about everything to go right from here on out. He’s not in terrible shape in the polls, but he’s not leading anywhere. Suppose he performs brilliantly in all the remaining debates. Suppose he makes the most of his free media and interview opportunities, and avoids any gaffes. Suppose the immigration issue fades from the headlines, and stops reminding anti-immigration deal voters why they’re angry with McCain. Suppose what’s left of his organization keeps him in the game, and he beats expectations in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Will he be able to pull together something big in the more than dozen states in Super Duper Tuesday? Will he have the money? Will he be able to find people to knock on doors and tell Republican primary voters he’s the best choice? Will he be able to run ads anywhere? Or will this now-operating-on-a-shoestring campaign just not have the resources to compete on so many separate battlefields? If he does enjoy a resurgence, will he have the cash and ad men to effectively respond on an opponent who goes negative? It’s not impossible, but the task looks supremely difficult.
Patrick Ruffini offers the e-mail idea that he thinks could have saved the McCain campaign. I think he depicts a very intriguing road not taken.
By the way, his comments in the Senate yesterday were stark and compelling, perhaps McCain at his finest. (Skip the first four paragraphs of Senate formalities.)

Most Popular

Elections

How Trump Should Approach the Final Debate

The so-called mainstream polls of the swing states show the race narrowing. If the trend continues at the current rate, President Trump could poll even in two weeks—in addition to the “other” polls that show him near there already. So Trump’s mission at the final debate on Thursday is to continue to ... Read More
Elections

How Trump Should Approach the Final Debate

The so-called mainstream polls of the swing states show the race narrowing. If the trend continues at the current rate, President Trump could poll even in two weeks—in addition to the “other” polls that show him near there already. So Trump’s mission at the final debate on Thursday is to continue to ... Read More
Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More
Media

The Biden Protection Racket

Joe Biden is the most cosseted presidential candidate in memory. He’s run a minimalist campaign that’s avoided the press as much as possible, while the press hasn’t been braying for more access and answers, but eager to avoid anything that could be discomfiting to the campaign. Never before have the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

A Bizarre and Revealing Biden Interview

William Voegeli of the Claremont Review of Books brought up a strange Joe Biden interview from 1974 I hadn't seen before in which Biden emerges as arrogant and determined to make more money, one way or another. Biden also speaks of his first wife Neilia, who had died two years earlier, in unusually frank ways: ... Read More
Politics & Policy

A Bizarre and Revealing Biden Interview

William Voegeli of the Claremont Review of Books brought up a strange Joe Biden interview from 1974 I hadn't seen before in which Biden emerges as arrogant and determined to make more money, one way or another. Biden also speaks of his first wife Neilia, who had died two years earlier, in unusually frank ways: ... Read More

A Few Cracks in the Progressive Wall

The contemporary progressive agenda — of, say, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren — has rarely appealed to 51 percent of the American electorate. Most polls show opposition to Court packing and the abolition of the Electoral College. Voters don’t seem to like ... Read More

A Few Cracks in the Progressive Wall

The contemporary progressive agenda — of, say, an Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren — has rarely appealed to 51 percent of the American electorate. Most polls show opposition to Court packing and the abolition of the Electoral College. Voters don’t seem to like ... Read More
Elections

Why Hunter?

Hunter Biden, Joe’s younger son, has become a fixture of the 2020 race. Since August 27, 2019, Donald Trump has tweeted about Hunter 59 separate times, making his colorful past one of the Trump campaign’s most important attacks on his rival. For many years, Hunter struggled with serious drug and alcohol ... Read More
Elections

Why Hunter?

Hunter Biden, Joe’s younger son, has become a fixture of the 2020 race. Since August 27, 2019, Donald Trump has tweeted about Hunter 59 separate times, making his colorful past one of the Trump campaign’s most important attacks on his rival. For many years, Hunter struggled with serious drug and alcohol ... Read More