>> Tuesday, October 21, 2008
2000 and 2004 were elections where the country felt it was in a relatively good place. Sure 2004 had the War in Iraq but the war was not universally loathed at that point in time and Bush still had a 50% approval rating. Bush strategist Karl Rove ran a campaign based largely on smoke and mirrors. He focused on cultural and other distraction issues designed to fire up his base and win on turn out and voter suppression.
Fast forward to 2008 ans Rove protege Steve Schmidt is running the McCain campaign. Schmidt is a veteran of the Bush campaign and he headed up the war room in 04. He spent his time learning at Rove's right hand. He has a masters in GOP campaigning. Unfortunately for him the election is not taking place in 2000 or 2004. The country is in a bad way. For the first time in a generation an election is about more than cultural issues. Sadly for the GOP those are the only things they know how to do.
Commentators and Bloggers have been looking at the mccain campaign and asking why they persist with ayers, acorn, etc when that stuff is totally unimportant to the public. it seems to make no sense. The answer is that this is all these people know how to do. it has been their specialty for the past two decades. It is all they have ever needed. Now though they are being asked to do something new and different and they are totally out of their depth. So they try to up the game on what they do know getting slimier and slimier. Unsurprisingly they are not succeeding. Schmidt and co is out of their depth.
This of course frustrates them. They lash out and they look desperate, because they are. They simply dont have a handle on what to do against obama and in the face of an actual crisis because they have waged the past elections with smoke and mirrors. When it comes time to deal with problems though tricks dont get it done.