I’ve just joined RedState. This is my first blogpost. I’m a moderate conservative with an interest in political strategy, and I think I’ve got a plan for McCain. Please go easy on me, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
I think the only way McCain can grab back any significant points is something like this. Using Wright and ‘Clinging to Guns and Religion’ to present Obama as out of touch with American social/cultural values; using Obama’s alleged higher taxes (particularly in a time of recession, and focusing particularly on capital gains) and McCain’s alleged foresight on Fannie and Freddie in the past, as proof that Obama is out of touch on economic values; throw in some ‘most liberal senator’, ‘elitist’, and – riskily – ‘exotic’ and ‘unordinary’ (that is Hawaii, Chicago politics, Ivy League, Beltway etc), and you’ve got a narrative that Obama is an out of touch elitist with questionable friends and liberal views, from taxes to guns.
It’s no use throwing about random attacks: they have to form part of an overarching story. Barack Obama is the most liberal senator, that must surely mean he’s out of touch. Why yes, he is out of touch, look at what he says about clinging to guns. And if he’s out of touch on guns, and for that matter religion (he says we cling to that, too), then is it any surprise he’s out of touch on the economy? Why no, it’s not, and here’s proof: he wants to raise capital gains tax, in a time of recession no less, and he’ll decimate small businesses which more than wipes out his middle-class tax breaks.
In contrast, look at John McCain. He puts his country first. Far from being the most partisan senator, as Obama is, John McCain is never afraid to go against his party to say what’s right. He showed judgement on the two most major issues of our time, the economy and the war. In the war, John McCain advocated an unpopular plan that Barack Obama and his liberal friends didn’t think would work, and didn’t want to succeed. But John McCain believed in the surge, believed in our troops, and had hope in his heart. And look at Iraq now: the surge has been a success, but Obama is so partisan and so unappreciative, he can’t admit it. And then the economy, John McCain showed the superior judgement and country first principles that we need in the White House, when he proposed regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to end their irresponsible, country second lending policies. John McCain was right, Barack Obama and his liberal friends who were in the pockets of Fannie and Freddie were wrong. We need a man who walks the walk, not talks the talk. A man of action. A man who puts country first and party second. We need to trust our troops in Afghanistan to do the job they did in Iraq. We need confidence in Wall Street, not golden parachutes for Obama’s corrupt friends. We need reform in Washington from a man who walks across the aisle, not talks across it. We need John McCain.
I think such a strategy would serve to dent Obama’s already dented reputation, and would be particularly strong in Ohio, Nevada, Indiana, Florida, Colorado, Virginia and so forth. The economy has strengthened Obama. He leads because of external events. If McCain can simultaneously prove he is better on those present issues than Obama (why the hell am I not seeing ads doing this?) and is a better candidate overall (more in touch with American values, etc), he can win this. This is a terrible year to be a Republican, yet Obama is far from miles ahead. We can still do this.