Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The decision to have some of John McCain's top campaign staffers quit (or fired, whatever is the case) won't improve things for McCain.

McCain's problem is not that there is something wrong with his 'campaign', it is that he is consistently on the wrong side of the issues for the people who contribute money and vote in GOP primaries... and as a result, they have stopped supporting him and contributing money to his campaign.

Whether GOP primary voters and contributors soured on McCain's support of campaign finance, or whether they finally threw in the towel in response to McCain's pushing (it's not amnesty) immigration reform, it is clear that they've lost any confidence they might have had that McCain, notwithstanding his public grandstanding, is a conservative with values in alignment with their own.

A campaign, like any marketing effort (which is what a campaign is, an effort to 'sell' a candidate), can't succeed if the buyers (in this case, the voters) think the underlying product is a piece of s**t. It doesn't matter who's in charge of the marketing effort, it doesn't matter how catchy a slogan one comes up with, such as the 'Straight Talk Express', it doesn't matter whether one embraces new media, if the underlying product is viewed as defective, people aren't going to buy it.

And defective is how the GOP base views McCain. He garnered a fair amount of support early on from people who were impressed with his Vietnam POW experience, or who somehow thought it would be a good idea to nominate someone who was liked by the liberal media. But, as people took a real close look at McCain, they didn't like what they saw: an arrogant jerk riding on his 30 year ago story who seemed to relish taking positions at odds with conservative thinking.

I can't think of a better person to crash and burn so quickly in the GOP primary. And I view this as a bit of a two-fer: not only is McCain all but out of the race, future McCains (such as Hagel) might get some cold feet about being so quick to p*** on the conservative base... at least if they harbor ambitions of moving up in the world.