Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


1. I really, really enjoyed the Ashbrook discussion last night. The crowd was large and appreciative, and the hospitality was unsurpassed.

;2. I sort of agree with Julie that we didn’t get the audience much hope that McCain could win. It’s not inconceivable that he could. So I’m tempted to give him some unsolicited advice, But I’m starting to notice that Mac just doesn’t deal well with advice that doesn’t seem to him authentic. Let him give it his best shot in the way he thinks best. You can count on him to fight to the end.

3. Alright, some advice: The one huge flaw in your campaign that’s not a matter of controversy is the lack of organization. David Broder today writes about his visit to some rural county in OH: The Republicans were giving out yard signs. The Democrats, of course, we’re doing lots more. Some kind of ferocious call for an all-volunteer army to get out the non-early voters might really help. Right now, the danger is there that the organization gap will produce a result even worse than the one polls show. (OK--one more piece: Lay off Obama, trumpet your own virtues and the irreversible damage that can come if the Democrats control everything.)

4. It’s certainly untoward to be speculating at this point about whether or not Sarah Palin becomes a national force if McCain loses. We still should be talking up her (real!) virtues in an incredibly hostile, even venomous environment. But here’s one reason she’s been mismanaged by her own party’s strategists: McCain, apparently, didn’t really wanted her. He wanted Joe Lieberman. And so the Sarah pick looks inauthentic to lots of voters, and maybe to Mac himself. The standard of authenticity for Mac is unreasonably high: We expect him to choose purely and honorably, even at the expense of success. He’s the one who put that standard on himself. Especially with the economic crisis and all that, Lieberman would certainly not have been the ticket to victory. Right now: Sarah keeps McCain from falling lower than he has, but she’s also an impediment to him to getting to a majority. And that’s because the Republicans have let the MSM and the Democrats own the development of her narrative.

5. The worst pieces of news today for McCain: The stock market is tanking AGAIN. And there’s one poll that has Obama up one in Georgia (one of many, but still...). Obama could easily carry Georgia, in my opinion.

Discussions - 1 Comment

Several points,

1.The lack of a McCain organization is a symptom of the decay of conservative GOTV organization generally. Conservatives have gotten dependent on the Bush/Rove organization to keep then in the game politically. With Bush gone, conservatives face a major challange in building a grass roots structure to compete with the left's.

2. The comparative coverage of Palin and Biden is the worst case of media bias since 1964. Is there anything Biden could say or do that would bring on him some fraction of the catty media scrutiny that Palin goes through? But having said that, the McCain campaign has been lousy at using Palin. She is by nature a reform candidate (thats what got her to McCain's attention). The problem is that McCain isn't really an enthusiastic domestic policy reformer when it comes to policy. So Palin was stuck with selling the atmospherics of reform ("a team of mavericks")but without the well articulated policy agenda. It was fake and people saw through it (Tina Fey "getting mavericky"). Don't even get me started on the McCain campaign's handling of Palin's press relations.

3. McCain is better than Obama on all but a tiny number of issues. On a very few issues (like amnesty) McCain is at worst only as bad as Obama. There is are about ten days to go. We shouldn't stop calling things as we see them but the McCain campaign isn't going to change much. From a conservative perspective he is the far superior candidate. Lets back him and pray. Like a bunch of writers have pointed out, you don't need hope for success in order to endure.

4. I read somewhere that Bobby Jindal has a speech scheduled in Iowa after the election. Maybe he just likes Iowa in winter, but if it is true that Jindal is strongly looking at running for President, Jindal is a bigger obstacle to any Palin 2012 ambitions than Palin's media coverage.

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