George W. Bush’s old ad man, Mark McKinnon was once at the center of the John McCain brain trust, but he walked away months ago because he knew the campaign would have to “disqualify Obama,” and he didn’t want to do that. Like many Republicans, he has chosen now to weigh in on what went wrong with the campaign. Unlike some of the others, he opines that there are not really any strategies that could have done any better. He writes:
I could join the ugly chorus and point out some of my disagreements about the campaign. There are a few things I might have done differently, but I don’t think any would have made any significant difference. But I know what it’s like to be on the inside of an effort that may not make it. And I know what it’s like when you join the ranks of the idiots just because you come up short. Most of all, I know that Steve Schmidt and his colleagues have run a very good campaign and have taken McCain further than he had any reasonable right to, given the political climate. And by the way, don’t tell the press, but the election ain’t over yet. The old fighter pilot may have a couple barrel rolls left in him.
If not for a major economic event that interceded a few weeks ago (for which a strong majority of voters blame Republicans), this race might still be competitive. It isn’t Steve Schmidt’s fault. It’s the economy, stupid.