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March 07, 2007

The McCain Campaign Falls Mainly Into Pain

And where does the McCain campaign fall?

Into pain!

Into pain!

By George I think she's got it!

John McCain's Obama-esque remarks about our "wasted" resources in Iraq weren't the only comments that landed him in hot water after a recent appearance on Late Night with David Letterman. Many of his staff were blindsided by his campaign announcement. And several aides were so outraged that they've quit, say Republican insiders.

"They're imploding—he had a game plan that had him announcing much later in the year," one top Republican aide tells Radar, adding that the campaign is "in serious trouble ... Romney's plan and Rudy's jump in the polls caused him to scrap his plans completely. When you do that, and you're not prepared for it, the staff goes crazy. Some of his coordinators in different states were pulling their hair out!"

Another insider, a guru to the conservative movement, says that McCain himself is growing increasingly desperate in the wake of his downward slide in the polls—a slip hastened by his steadfast support of the very man who savaged him and his family during the 2000 election, George W. Bush, and the president's unpopular plan for troop surge in Iraq. "One of the top aides to the Republican leadership told me that McCain has lost so much support, he's simply beside himself. He's wringing his hands. Things are sinking fast—in two or three weeks, we'll know if there is any recovery."

Stolen from Hot Air. To make up for it, let me direct you to long cuts from 300, as well as this well-done mash-up edit of the Terminator vs. Robocop.

With a surprise special guest star.

Actually... this story was swiped from the Corner.

McCain's Problem: This is obvious, but that's what I'm good at.

McCain had hoped to be the front-running center-right candidate with crossover appeal to Democrats (and of course Independents). He's spent, what, ten years courting the liberal press to get that reputation.

He could leverage his popularity with the media and independents to convince conservatives to hold their noses and vote for him.

Trouble is, Giuliani has now easily eclipsed him in that regard. Giuliani is now filling the niche that McCain hoped to fill.

So where does he go? Well, he can start hammering Giuliani's liberalism, but this puts him further to the right, where he doesn't want to be, alienating his base (i.e., Chris Matthews).

Plus, there already is a good candidate to the right of Giuliani, with none of Giuliani's or McCain's messy marital baggage. Feller by the name of Mitt Romney.

If someone isn't content with Giuliani's center-right politics, why go to someone who's spent ten years letting Republicans know he's mildly embarrassed to be in their company? Why not go for a real social con like Romney?

(Okay, real may be pushing it; but at least he's more conservative than McCain, and few believe that McCain is as conservative as his paper trail might indicate.)

McCain's whole candidacy was premised on him being the favorite, with all others the alternative to him. But he's now himself an alternative-- and a less appealing one than the frontrunner or the challenger to the right.

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posted by Ace at 04:43 PM

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