Sunday, October 12, 2008
Playing to the Base
Remember the halcyon days of the McCain campaign, when they were going to appeal to white working class voters, disgruntled Hillary supporters and Jews?
There are still three weeks left and things could change. But right now those days are looking mighty gone. It's not just what the McCain-Palin crowds are like — quite the story this past week — but where McCain and Palin themselves are spending their time, and what decisions they're making.
A campaign that's playing offense would not be sending Sarah Palin to West Virginia today, or to Philadelphia to drop the ceremonial first puck at the Flyers opener last night. West Virginia should be in their pocket (it isn't), and Eastern Pennsylvania is pretty much gone. Better they concentrate on Western Pennsylvania — Richard Mellon Scaife territory. But no, they couldn't resist an empty PR stunt. (We cats note with satisfaction that the hockey gods made the Flyers pay for their hospitality by losing.)
A campaign that's appealing to unhappy Hillary supporters would not be sending its Vice Presidential nominee out to suddenly attack Senator Obama on abortion. PUMAs, if there are any of you left, please take note. (And P.S., we also continue to be distressed at the ugliness of Governor Palin's rallies. Despite the Governor's plea that it's not "mean-spirited" to raise differences on the issues, we do find cries of "Killer" against Senator Obama, um, not very nice.)
A campaign that wants to sow doubts about Senator Obama would not be relying on a known anti-Semite to spread the message on Fox News. (Thank you, Fred Grimm of The Miami Herald, for pointing this out while the MSM have pretty much ignored it.)
Nope, this is not a campaign whose electoral map is expanding. This is one that desperately needs every member of its hardcore 30 percent — you know, those people who still think George W. Bush is a great President — to show up on November 4.
People like the happy faces in the photo above.
(Image: AP Photo / Gerald Herbert)