Another Unhappy McCain Relative - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Another Unhappy McCain Relative
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The kinfolk are restless:

Frustrations inside John McCain’s camp boiled over on the eve of Wednesday night’s presidential debate as the candidate’s brother unleashed an e-mail blasting the campaign’s “counter-productive” strategy.
“Let John McCain be John McCain,” wrote Joe McCain in a missive sent out shortly before midnight Monday. “Make ads that show John not as crank and curmudgeon but as a great leader for his time.”
McCain’s younger brother was sharply critical of unnamed top campaign officials who “so tightly ‘control the message'” that they are preventing reporters from speaking with those, like himself, who know the candidate best. His complaint echoed those of other McCain intimates who have chafed for months at orders not to speak with the news media without advance permission from the campaign.
The younger McCain called this news management strategy “counter-intuitive, counter-experiential, and counter-productive” because it conflicts with his brother’s reputation for openness. The clampdown “has gradually bled away all the good will that this great man had from the press,” he wrote.

OK, let’s unpack this:

  • If John McCain is perceived as a crank and a curmudgeon, I’m thinking it’s not entirely the ad-makers’ fault. The man’s 73 years old and is notoriously ill-tempered.
  • One reason that McCain’s ads are so negative is that Obama’s outspending him by a huge margin in every swing state. Obama can afford to run positive ads; McCain can’t.
  • I agree 100% with Cousin Joe’s criticism of the media “strategy” at his brother’s campaign. To say that Sarah Palin was suited to be vice president, but yet couldn’t face a press conference?

It’s way too late to do anything now, though. Any new ads the McCain campaign puts out now are immediately buried in the avalanche of Obama ads. Mid-October is not when you start building cordial relations with the media. And as to the “curmudgeon” problem, it’s the candidate, not the campaign, that’s the cause of that.

Robert Stacy McCain
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