As a former general in the GOP, I get a lot of emails from various operative types around the country. Many are old comrades from the forgotten wars of old Republican statewide campaigns. Unlike the well meaning but under-experienced six month wonders who seem to populate most of the GOP campaign apparat in Washington of late, these salty old pros have years of experience out in the field actually winning campaigns for our side, especially during the Republican glory years of the 90’s when we held about every Governor’s office in the country worth holding, as well as the House and Senate. Most are sidelined this time. And almost to a person they are dismayed by what they see as the stunning lack of competence in the McCain operation. One very smart consultant who knows McCain well sent me a link this morning to the video of McCain at Des Moines Register Editorial board interview. Set aside whatever you think of McCain’s interview; this operative’s point was purely technical and dead on correct:
What the Hell was McCain even doing there in the first place?
1.) Obama is going to win Iowa.
2.) Editorial board meetings are usually pure trouble to begin with and result only in newspaper endorsements that persuade very few voters beyond the immediate family members of the editorial board.
3.) Within the rarified category of newspaper editorial boards, the Des Moines Register is one of the most liberal in the country. I’m rather surprised that halfway through the McCain interview they failed to switch over to Esperanto, the peace-loving language of all nations.
So, 35 days left and McCain is in Iowa? Why put McCain in the wrong state, at the wrong place? No surprise the result is the wrong message and the wrong tone.