Patrick Ruffini picks up on and synthesizes the anxieties that you hear from a lot of Republicans these days:
Throughout the last few months, I’ve had this nagging sense that McCain is running a conventional Republican campaign in the worst possible environment for this strategy.
Policy rollouts seem to happen in a vacuum. McCain seemingly refuses to take on the elephant in the room, the Bush White House, and develop a coherent narrative for how he’d be different other than more press conferences. Though close observers can tell you the differences, regular voters couldn’t tell you since McCain has yet to strategically display anger at some of the missed opportunities of the last eight years (spending, Katrina, Iraq, etc.). The media and the voters get conflict and contrast, not politely worded speeches. We have yet to see any from McCain directed at Bush. For a candidate who faces a 3.63 to 1 press deficit, this kind of attention-grabbing strategy is critical.
As for their strategy against Obama, Ruffini writes:
Message wise, McCain seems to be paralyzed by indecision between multiple different ways to get at Obama — is he a phony? a naif? too liberal? There has been nothing as disciplined as the Kerry flip flopper meme.