For all that’s been written about the ”disastrous” Clinton campaign it certainly was miles ahead of the McCain one. The strategy appears to be same – that is the kitchen sink strategy, but McCain’s execution is terrible. If John McCain is trying to dispel the idea that he is a crotchety old man he’s not doing a very good job. Obama’s message doesn’t require the existence of McCain; he rarely brings him up, but McCain’s message is “don’t choose Obama.” I can’t help but think of Statler and Waldorf, the old muppets in the theatre boxes.
Look at this last week:
Michael Goldfarb: “Today he says ‘never again.’ A year ago stopping genocide wasn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces in Iraq. Doesn’t that strike you as inconsistent?”
McCain: “I had the courage and the judgment to say that I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war. It seems to me that Sen. Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign.”
“If he had his way … we would have had defeat. And my friends that would have been a catastrophe for the United States of America. He was wrong then, he’s wrong now and he still failed to acknowledge … that the surge succeeded.”
I also note the ever-changing message as to why we can’t leave Iraq. No matter the success of Obama, and I would say having the Iraqi Prime Minister agree with your withdrawal plan is a success, McCain wants to somehow twist it into a failure. But again, the lack of consistency makes me think of those dang Muppets.
Al-Maliki appeared to back the idea of a timetable in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel over the weekend, but an Iraqi government spokesman said later the prime minister’s comments were “misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately.” (The magazine has said it “stands by its version of this interview.”)
The Bush administration has opposed timetables for troop withdrawals, but al-Maliki and President Bush last week agreed to a “general time horizon for meeting aspirational goals” on troop cuts.
McCain shrugged off the suggestion that Obama’s talks with al-Maliki undercut his message.
“It doesn’t in the slightest undercut the fact that it’s based on the conditions on the ground,” he said.
McCain pointed to comments made by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who said Sunday that the consequences of Obama’s withdrawal plan could be “dangerous.”
“I hope [Obama] will pay attention to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, particularly someone who has no military experience whatsoever,” McCain said.
It just gets worse.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I find it really hard to follow or get enthused with anything McCain says. He’s the guy who’s resentful when he doesn’t think of an idea first and so he needs to trash anyone and everyone else’s opinions in order to feel important. How do you get inspired by that?
What’s more interesting is that that is the exact obstinacy that has led to George W. Bush’s abysmal approval ratings. The people don’t want a person that has no ideas of their own, but only seeks to trash everything else. People want leadership. The people want a person who is open to new ideas and resilient. Obstinacy is a fatal flaw of the current administration and I don’t think voters want to return there.
I thought the Republican primary voters had done a good job in choosing McCain. He was the one person I thought that could seem like he wasn’t a Republican while still being one. Sadly (or happily since I support Obama) he’s been an utter disappointment.
Image via http://www.blazesoftball.com.
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