McCain and his staff are in the air right now, on their way to a rally in California before settling in at Phoenix’s Biltmore Hotel for what will, in all likelihood, be a victory party. If that victory is not the nomination-sealing event they want it to be, will it be because he should have gotten to California sooner?
McCain spent the weekend in Massachusetts and New England; aides admit that the dash into Romney’s backyard was prompted by the slim hope (like, Mitt has a double-digit-lead-slim) that McCain might — just might — be competitive with the governor in the state that he so proudly boasts about in his stump-speech-cum-resume. In discussing this, McCain staffers practically rubbed their hands together and cackled. (Though, really, who could blame them?)
One consultant compared their Boston overnight to Bush visiting Arizona in 2000. It probably felt good at the time, but if they lose California by even a hair (perhaps especially a hair), then their premature victory boogey will seem off the beat.
The emotional energy other campaigns get from hating on Mitt has been a powerful motivational tool in many ways — in others, it’s been the electoral meth that leads to immediate-gratification-driven decisions. Bonus question: If they dispatch Mitt, will they go through withdrawal?