Friday, August 01, 2008

"The Same People Who Led President George W. Bush's Successful Re-Election Campaign In 2004"

So says the International Herald Tribune in describing the current crop of McCain campaign staffers who "have started an all-out offensive aimed at defining Obama as negatively as possible in the eyes of the electorate."

Noted: The irony is Shakespearean.

In any event, we remain properly in awe of the Bush/Cheney '04 "ground game". No snark.

But a campaign's "ground game" is separate from a campaign's "message".

And between 2004 and 2008 there were, among other things, a 2006 midterm election and several special elections. 

A midterm election and several special elections that were - from a messaging standpoint - an unmitigated disaster for the Republican Party. These elections were actively managed by people who played a role in Bush's '04 victory.

Adopting a Bush/Rove '04 message (windsurfer, Parisians, effeminate, fussy, arugula, Britney Spears, sissy, etc) - or even the appearance of adopting a Bush/Rove '04 message - is the kiss of death in '08's change election.

Period. End of discussion.

Team McCain should copy the Bush/Cheney '04 ground game as best they can.

But what's coming out of John McCain's mouth must be pure "American Hero With A Heaping Side Of Reformer/Optimist/Happy Warrior".

The 2008 election will be about Barack Obama. But Team McCain must provide voters with a legitimate '08 alternative (see previous paragraph) to the inexperienced, out-of-touch and arrogant Senator from Illinois.

We've never had a problem playing (in-bounds) political hardball. 

We're just saying you can't be foolish about it.