Some Last Thoughts About the Campaign
I am not involved in either campaign, nor do I have all that much to do with politics other than running the occasional numbers, expressing an opinion voting. That said, here are my thoughts on the mistakes made in the campaign by both candidates.
This one is easy. He should have put more effort into tying McCain to the Bush. When the Dark Lord quietly endorsed McCain in Wyoming a few days ago, Obama made it into a commercial. But the pictures of Bush hugging McCain were there for the taking for a very long time. Plus, how do you let your opponent backpedal from Bush on the economy when his top economic advisor was one of Bush’s main economic advisors? It would be one thing if Holtz-Eakin had done some distancing for a few years, a la Colin Powell or Scott McClellan. But it didn’t happen.
Another mistake was not picking Hillary Clinton as his Veep, or at least not promising her something big (Sec of State?) early on. See, he could then have made an arrangement with Bill to have a position in his administration – perhaps a “minister without portfolio” that would allow him to go traipsing around the globe soaking in the worldwide adulation, because that’s what Bill likes. And Bill Clinton, unlike GW, is popular, and draws huge crowds and money, and his economic record contrasts nicely with the past eight years.
McCain’s mistake was in having no understanding of strategery and human nature. He assumed that the folks who savaged him eight years ago (the whole illegitimate black baby thing being the worst example) would do anything for him, even assuming they were in a position to do anything for him (which given GW’s popularity rating, they weren’t). Even the footsoldiers among that crowd, the ones for whom he picked Palin, could never be enthusiastic for McCain; they remember making McCain into a b***** in prison parlance eight years ago, and to them, he’ll always be a be a b*****. I imagine there’s only way to move up from b***** in prison, and that’s to make the folks who made you into a b***** in the first place into yours. And the folks who made him into a b***** eight years ago could have been b*****ified very easily. See, they they had no choice but to vote for McCain, ’cause the alternative is Obama, and they are not voting for the alternative. Making matters worse, by pandering to the folks who made him into a b*****, he was also pandering to the folks who made many other people into a b*****. And now that GW has been crushed, many of those former b*****es are now rebelling, and endorsing his opponent. Basically, McCain should have made GW and the fighting 25% dance by playing to the middle. He could have made GW and the fighting 25% his b*****, he had the opportunity, but he preferred to keep that role for himself. Not exactly CinC material. And at some lizard brain level, most Americans understand that.
A lesser problem was not finding an issue/message and sticking to it. A useful one, like the economy. (Of course, for that he would have had to ditch the Bush hanger-onners like Holtz-Eakin, but that should have been easy to do.)
Anyway, whether you agree or disagree, if you haven’t already done so, get out and vote.