Senator McCain’s campaign has been an uphill struggle for some time. Let’s face it, being the nominee of an unpopular president’s party comes with significant baggage. A Republican friend of mine compares Senator McCain’s campaign to the recent ineffective campaigns by John Kerry and Al Gore. In other words, we haven’t seen an ineffective campaign for president by a Republican candidate for some time.
Win or lose on Tuesday, the effectiveness of John McCain’s campaign is questionable. In no particular order, here is my version of John McCain’s Top Campaign Mistakes.
- Selecting an inexperienced Sarah Palin as a running mate
- Sheltering Governor Palin for many weeks
- Failing to use Governor Palin’s knowledge about the oil industry
- Trying the impossible – playing to both the right and the center
- Not distancing himself from President Bush soon enough
- Using a “white knight to the rescue” image around the rescue/bailout vote
- Using too many GWB campaign operatives
- Attempting to be a populist
- Deciding to accept public campaign financing
- Favoring finger pointing and negative campaigning over promoting policy specifics
- Relying on a shatter-shot approach of hitting something (which similar to Dick Chaney’s hunting method), thus lacking a consistent central theme