Frederick, according to the Washington Post, told volunteers that “Obama and bin Laden” both have friends that bombed the Pentagon.” Cooler heads in the GOP criticized Frederick, driven in part by the understanding that if Obama wins the “Old Dominion,” where he is currently up by six percentage points, the game is over.
Despite Frederick’s Virginia donnybrook, it is much too early to turn the lights out at McCain’s national headquarters. McCain should follow the wise counsel offered today by Republicans Bill Kristol (New York Times) and Ed Rollins (CNN).
Kristol told McCain to “fire the campaign,” especially knuckleheads like Frederick.
“Shut down the rapid responses, end the frantic e-mails, bench the spinning surrogates, stop putting up new TV and Internet ads every minute. In fact, pull all the ads—they’re doing no good anyway. Use that money for televised town halls and half-hour address in prime time.”
Kristol wants McCain to:
“go back to what he’s been good at in the past---running as a cheerful, open and accessible candidate. Palin should follow suit.”
Rollins likens McCain’s team to the divided and dysfunctional advisors that torpedoed Hillary Clinton’s run for the Democratic nomination.
All of McCain’s “brainpower couldn’t come together and agree on a consistent strategy to beat a young inexperienced outsider.”
The end result is a “campaign suffering from schizophrenia.”
Rollins puts McCain’s reliance on lobbyists such as Steve Schmidt, Rick Davis and Charlie Black, rather than campaign professionals, as the root of McCain’s woes. While Obama’s tie with Ayers may have resonated in another time, Rollins says few voters today “care about what happened 40 years ago when in the last few weeks they have seen their savings and retirements and possibly their jobs and homes going up in flames. If you don’t talk to voters about their concerns they will not spend one minute listening to you in the closing days of the election.”
Rollins tells McCain to “quit the name calling and make the last weeks about leadership and solutions.”
McCain will soon close the gap on Obama. That is the nature of Presidential politics in which the media love a horse race, and then provide mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the underdog in the final days. It’s going to be some finish, though perhaps not a photo-finish.