McCain slow to put together national campaign

The Washington Post reports on the uneven progress of the McCain campaign and its organization as well as fund raising.


One of McCain's first decisions has been to assemble a novel and risky campaign structure that will rely on 10 "regional managers" who will make daily decisions in the states under their direction, his advisers said. The managers will gather today in New Mexico to plot strategy with GOP state officials.

Some Republican strategists have said that McCain has not made the best use of the extra time that the prolonged Democratic nomination battle has given him. They have criticized the pace and direction of his decisions and have questioned why the senator from Arizona has not held more fundraisers to close the huge financial gap between him and his rivals.

Despite scheduling numerous events designed to grab attention, including a trip to meet with leaders in Iraq, Israel and Europe, McCain has struggled to be heard during the battle between Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. The few times he has broken through have largely been because of questionable decisions or mistakes, such as when he confused Sunni and Shiite extremists and when he was criticized for accepting the endorsement of a controversial television evangelist.

The so called confusion is nothing compared to gaffes by Obama on the Anbar awakening that were ignored by the media or Clinton's Tuzla false memories. But it does point out how unfair the media will be to McCain when it has the opportunity.

I think McCain's real problem is going to be his "respectful" campaign style against Democrats who have no respect for him or Republican points of view. Since 2004 the Democrats have been relentlessly negative and abusive toward the President and Republicans in general and that is the main reason for the decline of the Republican brand.

For the most part the Republicans have just absorbed the blows but have not really gone as negative as the Democrats deserve. The Democrats have a disastrous policy position for the war in general and Iraq in particular. They have been waging a dishonest campaign against the war for the last two years and have been proved totally wrong on the surge. Obama has been practicing the politics of fraud on McCain's war position and so far has suffered little from his deceit about the length of the war.

In fact the Democrats have shown complete ignorance on counterinsurgency warfare and the length of such operations. They keep comparing it to combat persisting wars which are generally quicker to resolution. Because of this ignorance they are proposing policies that will make the war against al Qaeda last longer and be more costly in terms of lives. They should be paying a political price for this, but so far have not.


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