Monday, October 13, 2008
An Idea Whose Time Has Come - Actually it Came a Few Months Ago, but,...
Bill Kristol had a good idea which he expressed in his regular column at the NY Times:
It’s time for John McCain to fire his campaign.
He has nothing to lose. His campaign is totally overmatched by Obama’s. The Obama team is well organized, flush with resources, and the candidate and the campaign are in sync. The McCain campaign, once merely problematic, is now close to being out-and-out dysfunctional. Its combination of strategic incoherence and operational incompetence has become toxic. If the race continues over the next three weeks to be a conventional one, McCain is doomed.
He may be anyway. Bush is unpopular. The media is hostile. The financial meltdown has made things tougher. Maybe the situation is hopeless — and if it is, then nothing McCain or his campaign does matters.
But I’m not convinced by such claims of inevitability. McCain isn’t Bush. The media isn’t all-powerful. And the economic crisis still presents an opportunity to show leadership.
Best part comes at the end,...
McCain should stop unveiling gimmicky proposals every couple of days that pretend to deal with the financial crisis. He should tell the truth — we’re in uncharted waters, no one is certain what to do, and no one knows what the situation will be on Jan. 20, 2009. But what we do know is that we could use someone as president who’s shown in his career the kind of sound judgment and strong leadership we’ll need to make it through the crisis.
McCain can make the substantive case for his broadly centrist conservatism. He can explain that our enemies won’t take a vacation because the markets are down, and that it’s not unimportant that he’s ready to be commander in chief. He can remind voters that even in a recession, the president appoints federal judges — and that his judges won’t legislate from the bench.
And he can point out that there’s going to be a Democratic Congress. He can suggest that surely we’d prefer a president who would check that Congress where necessary and work with it where possible, instead of having an inexperienced Democratic president joined at the hip with an all-too-experienced Democratic Congress, leading us, unfettered and unchecked, back to 1970s-style liberalism.
At Wednesday night’s debate at Hofstra, McCain might want to volunteer a mild mea culpa about the extent to which the presidential race has degenerated into a shouting match. And then he can pledge to the voters that the last three weeks will feature a contest worthy of this moment in our history.
He’d enjoy it. And he might even win it.
But Kristol should have added, "if, that is, he is ready, willing and able to adjust his campaign radically to such an approach, and still that doesn't guarantee a victory, it just might give him a better shot."
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