On July 17, 2007 I wrote a short article about John McCain's failure as his campaign seemingly fell apart. It was an article no more than two-three sentences that left me eating crow when his campaign rallied back to win the nomination. It was inspired by the following cartoon:
So now we are seeing the second crumbling of the McCain campaign - and I am left wondering if the strong finishing maverick has what it takes to turn it around?
As early voting is already underway in the battleground state of Ohio, it is necessary to look at McCain's failures and what he must do to turn them around NOW!
1. McCain saw his biggest bump when he picked Sarah Palin, but has spent the last month trying too hard to conform her to McCain Jr. What he needs to do is let the tiger out of her cage! Sarah Palin works best when she is allowed to lead - not when she is being micromanaged and shielded from being the hardball player that she naturally is. Hopefully tomorrow's debate will be the beginning of the Palin rally, and she will come out swinging against Joe Biden.
2. McCain has stayed negative. John's constant attacks of Obama are failing to succeed. This is a time when McCain needs to lay out his economic plan, his energy plan, his tax plan, etc. No more attack ads. Everyone knows WHO John McCain is, but he has failed to say what he stands to do - besides making the authors of earmark legislation famous... Unfortunately Earmarks are not the source of the problem right now!
3. Focus on leadership. John McCain gathered 60 votes in support of the failed bailout plan - there were 4 House votes originally - McCain brought over 60 additional. McCain has the ability to lead the party and the country - He just needs to do it in a way that is not supporting a growing government and bad policy!
4. Come out against Bush. McCain needs to run an ad, or give a speech that hits Bush hard on the size of government. He needs to say that bush was distracted from his role as a conservative leader, and caused the government to grow - and then lay out a plan to shrink the size and the authoritarian nature of this government. Bush has not campaigned for McCain, and endorses him only as a Republican - so why not send a Conservative/Libertarian message that enough is enough on government growth, and He is the only candidate pledging to reduce the size and spending of the government by ~25% in four years.
5. Buy a two minute spot before the Vice Presidential debate on all channels in which he can make a case for his presidency. Everyone is going to be watching the VP debate to see Palin perform, so this is the perfect time to catch the attention of America. He needs to spell out his plan, and lay it all on the line then. Early voting is already under way in some states, and Mail-in ballots are a week away in Colorado. Now is the time!
If John McCain is going to make a move, it needs to be done NOW. The general election is one month away, but a majority of ALL voting will be complete within the next two weeks. Americans have been encouraged to become a "mail-in" ballot country - what is more patriotic than staying home and voting in your pajamas? If McCain intends on finishing first, all cards need to be laid on the table, all bluffs need to be called, and he needs to go all-in... This is it, folks... all or nothing!