Serious question- is Steve Schmidt running the worst campaign ever:
David Axelrod was surrounded by a pack of camera-toting, mike-wielding, pushing-and-shoving media types, one of whom asked whether his man Barack Obama had been “too nice” in the just-completed debate with John McCain.
“I don’t think he was too nice. . . . There were clear differences. . . . He made a very strong case, absolutely,” the onetime newspaperman said in his meandering style.
Twenty feet away, McCain operative Steve Schmidt was robotically hammering home a single number.
“Senator Obama was right tonight when he said John McCain was right 11 times. . . . It was a home run for Senator McCain. . . . The person who is losing the debate, the person who is on defense, is the person who says his opponent is right 11 times,” the shaved-head strategist declared.
I don’t know how much of the fail from the McCain campaign the last few months is is a clash between John McCain’s erratic urges and lack of impulse control (remember the aide who responded that the reason they were in Colombia during an election cycle was because McCain wanted to be in Colombia, andwhat McCain wants, McCain gets) and Schmidt’s style, but this is terrible. Let me explain some more- by every account, Schmidt is an on message kind of guy, and just likes to find one thing and drill it until it is dead. The problem is that when you have a campaign that operates like that, you can not have John McCain running out and shifting the message every few days.
For example, it was taunts of “celebrity, celebrity, celebrity,” then McCain goes on the View and SNL and pictures of him boating in the Mediterranean with Anne Hathaway appear and so on. Then the most important thing ever was “experience experience experience,” and McCain picks Palin. He continuously asserts the economy is strong, then the next day this is the worst crisis ever.
Today is just the latest installment. Spend weeks talking about bi-partisanship, spend weeks saying how McCain can work across party lines, jab Obama during the debates because he is so liberal he can not work with Republicans, spend the week saying the financial crisis needs a bi-partisan solution, and then your idiot campaign manager and ad team want to pretend that agreeing with the opposing candidate is bad.
And so on. They drive their point home as if it is the most important thing ever, make sure everyone knows what their point is (Schmidt is not subtle), then the next day they pull the rug out and something else is the new most important thing ever. The cumulative effect of all of this is to create a staggering level of incoherence, and it is rational to think these guys are insane or full of shit or unstable, or maybe all three. Add to it the foolish jihad against the media, and you have the current disaster.