Thursday, November 13, 2008

The McCain Campaign Threw in the Towel - in October

October surprise?

Marcus has brought this fantastic article to my attention. By way of passing the favor on, I direct you to the following portion:

‘On the Sunday night before the last debate, McCain's core group of advisers—Steve Schmidt, Rick Davis, adman Fred Davis, strategist Greg Strimple, pollster Bill McInturff and strategy director Sarah Simmons—met to decide whether to tell McCain that the race was effectively over, that he no longer had a chance to win. The consensus in the room was no, not yet, not while he still had "a pulse."’

This raises just a few questions.

1) What
2) The
3) [deleted]?

I won’t say “in seriousness”, because I don’t believe it’s possible to get there with this piece of inside information, but to try and be a bit analytical, I suppose the glaring question here is what, precisely, was this meeting meant to be in aid of?

Leaving aside the ludicrous conclusion that the only standard of viability to which McCain’s senior staff appeared to hold their candidate was that he had not yet technically joined the choir invisibule, to what point and purpose this secret meeting? What if they had decided that, in fact, the race was absolutely over, and had said the same to Senator McCain? What exactly would that have accomplished, beyond demoralizing their already exhausted candidate? Let us call a spade a spade: McCain’s senior staff met to determine whether it was time to surrender.

This, of course, begs another relevant question: how exactly does one surrender a presidential campaign? Refuse to accept electoral votes? Fire your field organizers and demand the ritual suicide of your senior staff? Refuse further contributions? Refund the money? Let your VP have a go at it? Endorse your opponent?

The concept does, however, provide a nice end to the arch of the McCain campaign – from an imaginary victory to an impossible surrender.

1 comment:

DCDuck said...

I would imagine that the reasons you have these conversations at all - with or without the candidate - are to decide on your strategy, and what you're willing to do in order to try to win. If you know, for sure, that you have no chance at all of winning, you might conduct yourself a little bit differently. For example, you might choose to campaign not just in swing states, but to campaign in states with competitive Senate or House races. And you might choose to not totally drag your rhetoric down in the toilet because you want to look out for your reputation post-election.

Just a thought.