The failed bailout plan is another in a long line of political campaign moves that has blown up in John McCain’s increasingly desperate campaign. Here are the top three:
1. Picking Sarah Palin as Vice-Presidential candidate – When McCain saw that a large amount of Hillary Clinton supporters were still upset at Obama’s handling of the VP vetting process and eventual selection of Joe Biden, he took that as an opportunity to kill three birds with one stone. To appease the Clinton supporters and disenchanted female voters by selecting a young female candidate. To fortify his maverick reputation by selecting someone no one expected and is a Washington outsider. And to excite his core conservative base by selecting someone who is pro-life and pro-gun.
This move worked for exactly one week. Although it did and still does excite his core constituency, he has instead turned off the independent voters, women and solidified Obama’s base. Palin has since been exposed as someone completely inexperienced and out of her league. McCain has had to retract several of her public statements. His campaign has hidden her from the public view for fear of her saying something to the detriment of his campaign. While Biden has performed over 100 public interviews since his selection, Palin has done less than 10. He has surrounded her with former Bush advisers in training her to follow his views instead of her own views. Instead of a game changer, she has become a distraction and stress.
2. Choosing to use lies, misinformation and misdirections in campaign – McCain’s campaign has increasingly used devious tactics in attempts to dishonestly smear Obama. The lies and misinformation have been so obvious that the majority of the media and public have picked this up. McCain instead lambasted the media for being biased, and that has also backfired. Instead of talking about issues, the campaign has used misdirections and attacks instead of responding with what they would do. It is becoming increasingly clear that his campaign is being influenced by the ultra-aggressive campaign advisers from George Bush. The whole win at all costs is backfiring at a time when the country wants honest change and not the same ole political moves.
3. Suspending campaign to push for bailout plan – The latest move backfiring on McCain might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Because the public views Obama as someone better capable to address the economy, McCain had to do something to show he is more capable at handling the economy. Last week, he decided to suspend his campaign, including the scheduled Friday debate with Obama, to go to Washington and push for the bailout plan. What seemed like a focused move was seen by the media and public as purely a political move. It only accentuated his potential inability to handle multiple crises as president. People clamored that if he was president, he can’t just put one crisis on pause while he handles another. Additionally, the public especially wanted to see the candidates speak at a debate, at a critical time like this. They saw it as a cop-out by McCain to suspend the debate. To make matters worse, legislators from both parties in Washington saw him as a distraction to the experts dealing with the bailout plan. As the bailout neared for a likely success, McCain began attacks at Obama for not doing enough to help the bailout plan and began patting himself on the back for pushing for the plan. However, in a stunning final straw, the bailout plan was rejected in the House yesterday. More than 60% of his party voted against the plan that McCain said he aggressively pushed for. McCain’s ability to even convince his own party had failed miserably. The public was strongly against a plan that seemed to bail out Wall Street and not help the common people. It will be interesting to see the fallout from this in the coming polls.