. . . maybe the doomsayers are right. It’s hard to exaggerate the sheer awfulness of John McCain as a candidate. Stephen Hayes captures a little vignette of McCain in a Michigan townhall, where a voter had asked him, essentially, whether conservatives could trust him:
[McCain] defended his vote against the Bush tax cuts and, at some length, reiterated his concerns about global warming. Later, he went out of his way to emphasize his respect for Hillary Clinton and boast about his work with Democrats Joe Lieberman, Russ Feingold, and Ted Kennedy.
“At some length!” In general, environmentalism is an elite concern, to which the ordinary American is either indifferent or fundamentally hostile (i.e.: “bunch of crunchy-granola tree-hugging fruit loops!”). At any rate, it is not an issue where any Republican can out-pander the Democrats, so the best GOP response is always a short one. The idea of McCain wading into the tall grass to talk “at some length” about global warming must elicit big smiles at Hope HQ.
If the candidate is incapable of the basic campaign discipline of avoiding lengthy discussions of issues where he has nothing to gain, then my friend the “veteran communications operative” is right: “We’re doomed.”