Jennifer Rubin has thirty reasons (thirty!) that McCain didn’t win, which can be boiled down to one: despite his constant flirtation with the idea, he never pulled a full wingnut.
Let’s start with error number one that McCain made:
Not pursuing the Reverend Wright connection, as an issue of judgment and then credibility. Even Jerry Nadler knew it was a sign that Barack Obama lacked political courage, i.e., character.
I have a nickname for Jerry Nadler. I call him Nine to Five – because that man is the business. I have no particular dislike or beef with Rep. Nadler, but when your leadoff, heavy-hitter piece of advice involves invoking an obscure New York Congressman, you’re already in trouble. Pursuing the Reverend Wright angle might have worked…if we take Bill Ayers, Joe the Plumber, “celebrity” and every other character attack on Barack Obama hadn’t failed. Miserably.
Waiting until September to raise Barack Obama’s other troubling connections (e.g., Bill Ayers, Rashid Khalidi).
Yes, instead he should have pushed them out in June, when they would have been even older hat by Election Day. In fact, he should have just looked Mitt Romney in the face back in January and accused him of associating with unrepentant terrorists. He had it coming.
Failing to devise a comprehensive economic message until the final weeks of the campaign.
Alternately, failing to find a fake tradesman to give you a comprehensive economic message based largely on ninth-grade history and smatterings of the Rush Limbaugh show until the final weeks of the campaign. For instance, Todd the Oilman.
Failure to explain the Democrats’ role in the financial meltdown.
McCain did schedule that “Poor Homeless Black People Took Your Money” tour, but it was soon canceled by the unavoidable onrush of Hurricane Are You Fucking Kidding Me?
Not enough talk about “friends of Angelo” and Democratic corruption.
This is already shaping up to be a great stump speech. Nothing would make McCain seem less like a crusty old man than having him tell random, angry stories which are only tangentially related to each other and make little internal logical sense. Have him give out butterscotches, and he would have won Illinois.
Wasting his convention speech on “bipartisanship” and biography instead of pounding home a core economic message.
I would agree with this, except that my idea of a “core economic message” is laying out a comprehensive plan to address people’s economic needs and her version is figuring out other ways to tell you the smooth talking jive brother will take your money and give it to some other random person you’ve never heard of.
Frittering away time and money in Iowa.
You could pretty much substitute “Iowa” for any state.
Losing time in the spring when McCain had sewn up the nomination but Obama had not. An ideal time to begin defining the contrast in messages.
He had no money, and a hotly contested Democratic primary sucking up all the air time. He was pretty much going to do what he did – go around to various Republican enclaves and speak to bored crowds about his bus and his time in Vietnam.
Appallingly deficient “oppo” research and timing. Why didn’t the “bankrupt the coal industry” tape come out before the final weekend?
We’ve been over this. The San Francisco Chronicle evilly hid it in the middle of a bunch of other sequentially arranged conversational audio, and failed to send it to email@example.com, as was obviously requested earlier on.
Going to war with the MSM without an effective plan to use alternate media to get their message out.
Considering that you hated him because the MSM loved him, I think going to war was the effective plan. Just sayin’.
Cutting off McCain’s daily access to the traveling press corps.