Is McCain Losing His Base?

Is the media turning on John McCain? I wrote on Wednesday about Dana Bash's CNN piece that just ripped McCain for his many flip flops, a sentiment that was shared by CNN's Jack Cafferty in one of his excellent rants, which began like this.

If John McCain doesn't stop changing his position on the issues, he threatens to make John Kerry look like an amateur.

But today's AP "analysis" of the McCain campaign's "growing pains" is harsher still, even getting sarcastic. I didn't know The AP knew how to be sarcastic. The piece starts out:

Call it campaign growing pains. Or bad luck. Or a combination of the two.

By any name, Sen. John McCain is hampered by missteps and self-generated controversy in the early days of the general election campaign for the White House.

It then goes on to list the various unforced errors McCain committed this week from:

...on Tuesday, he criticized his rival for proposing a windfall profits tax on the oil industry. The attack was complicated by McCain's earlier statement that he would consider the same thing.

to...

On Thursday, the Arizona senator flew to Iowa, a likely battleground state in the fall, where he expressed sympathy with victims of severe flooding and pledged support for federal recovery aid. The event was overshadowed by President Bush's appearance elsewhere in the same state on the same day.

Not to mention the fact that...

an aide to Gov. Chet Culver said the Democrat had privately relayed a request to McCain to cancel his plans to avoid diverting law enforcement personnel from recovery efforts.

But the piece de resistance had to be McCain's trip to Canada, about which AP Special Correspondent David Espo writes:

McCain arrived aboard his chartered campaign jet, yet told reporters at a news conference, "this is not a political campaign trip." The senator added he didn't feel it was appropriate to have the government to pay "while I am the nominee of my party."

Yet...

The centerpiece of the six-hour visit was a speech to the Economic Club of Canada that amounted to a cross-border political attack. McCain criticized Obama, without mentioning him by name, for his opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement.

And here comes the sarcasm:

McCain's schedule also included mention of an unspecified "finance event." While that is customarily campaign jargon for a fundraiser, foreigners may not donate to U.S. candidates, and one aide was quoted in advance as saying that money from $100-per-person event would simply defray the cost of the earlier luncheon.

The non-fundraiser, which may or may not have cost $100 to attend, was held on the top floor of a building with a commanding view of the city skyline.

It is a different world, indeed, when the media can hardly disguise its contempt for the Republican candidate, but I suppose McCain makes it difficult for them to maintain their much heralded "objectivity" when both he and his campaign are as inept as they are. Despite the "mwuhahaha's" and twirling of moustaches by many on the right at what was looking like a very divisive Democratic primary just a month and a half ago, something tells me Republicans all over the country are secretly wishing McCain had had the sort of primary challenge that Barack Obama did because they know his campaign is the better for it...and McCain's is worse for not.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, Barack Obama, John McCain, Media (all tags)

Comments

37 Comments

obviously, the long primary has been good for us

A far worse outcome would have been Hillary dropping out after Obama's string of February victories. That would have meant no massive Democratic voter registration surges in places like OH, PA, NC, OR, etc.

The winner-take-all delegate system turned out to be a disaster for the Republicans. The nomination practically fell into McCain's lap without him being tested properly.

by desmoinesdem 2008-06-21 03:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

I've heard some pretty critical reports on NPR about McCain and have been pleasantly suprised by their coverage lately.

by skohayes 2008-06-21 03:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

McCain lost his base 8 years ago... that's nothing new... Some of the wingnuts I know are staying home on election day, even though they think that Obama is a "scary communist muslim"... As far as they're concerned, there is really no difference between the two.

McCain isn't even trying to get his base.  He's not only thumbing his nose at them (with some of his "I stood up to Bush and anti-global warming" ads), he's literally taking sand and rubbing it into their eyes!  I guess he feels that Obama is "scary enough" that his base will be forced to vote for him even though they can't stand him.

I think he underestimates the purity demands of the Republican base...

But, that's not the real concern.  The worry is right now that Obama is going to lose HIS base!  His support of the FISA vote is seen as a HUGE kick in the balls by a lot of us, and I wouldn't be surprised if he lost a decent chunk of fundraising along with a bunch of volunteers over this.

In fact, I think that this issue is worse for Obama then Reverend Wright.  When that scandal broke, most on the left sided with him and Wright... but, this FISA stance (in which Obama is in a no-win situation) has really hurt his core support.  Just as McCain underestimates the anger of his base, I think Obama's campaign underestimates how much his base deeply and fundamentally cares about this issue!  This one is going to sting, and I don't think that they even realize it, yet!

They will, at some point... hopefully not too late!  Obama's got 4 days to fix the rift between him and his base...  I don't think he realizes how much danger he's in!

by LordMike 2008-06-21 03:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

I think he meant the media as his base...but, it's true, the real Republicans can barely tolerate the guy.

by animated 2008-06-21 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

Your concern is most appreciated.

by venician 2008-06-21 03:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

Check my comment and diary history before you label me a concern troll...

There are a lot of people who are very angry with him over FISA.  I'm not one of them (although, I am disappointed)... recognizing it isn't being a concern troll, it's acknowledging reality at this point in time...

I hope he realizes it and addresses it before it's too late!

by LordMike 2008-06-21 03:55PM | 0 recs
Republicans not trying to win

Whoever it is who controls the Republican Party has decided to take a pass in 2008.  Stay back, let the Dem (now Obama) win and take the punishment for cleaning up Iraq and the economy, then run a white horse in 2012.  They aren't supporting McCain because they don't like him and they actually want him to lose.

sPh

by sphealey 2008-06-21 07:32PM | 0 recs
Interesting comment.

I'd love to read more about this theory.  Any links or additional ideas?

by dystopianfuturetoday 2008-06-22 12:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

You're basically right. The Republican base is totally unhappy with McCain, and he's distainful of them. But, that's by design.

In 2004 Bush managed to out-organize the Democrats and turn out an extra 4 million voters. The Churches were screaming from the pulpit to get out and vote, the campaign had thousands of volunteers updating their database, taking weeks of time off from their lives to turn out for Bush, because they BELIEVED IN BUSH! (God help us)!

The true believers will never be large in numbers, but they are key to a campaign's success, because they'll do the heavy lifting to actually get things done -- like phone 400 strangers who are mostly unhappy to receive the call on a Wednesday night to ask them about their political leanings, and go out in a rainstorm to knock on doors and update the voter database about what results all this has achieved, and keep track of who's voted in the primaries, etc.

That basic stuff of campaigns isn't fun. It's NOT how most people want to spend their time. But it's what has to be done and the side with more people with enthusiasm does it better.

This year McCain is screwed. He CANNOT possibly win by running as another Bush, Mr. 28% has seen to that. There's no "Bush legacy" that anyone wants to acknowledge. So, he has to walk a tightrope by staying as far from Bush as he can, without totally attacking, him in order to attract independent support he desperately needs.

But, that turns off the base, who mostly still love Bush, and never liked McCain to begin with and only will vote for him because "Obama's a RADICAL MUSLIM! And, he's BLAACK!"

They aren't likely to volunteer to do the heavy lifting of real campaign work because they just don't BELIEVE in McCain they way they did Bush.

Obama meanwhile has totally shot himself in the foot with FISA. I went from being a strong supporter-volunteer, to being completely unenthusiastic about his candidacy.

He's better than McCain. That's the best I can say right now. If you don't support the constitution, I'll be damned if I'm going to expend any effort to support you! I'll turn out on election day and cast my ballot, and I'll support him, but that's as far as it goes. Forget about giving money or donating my time if he can't be bothered to stand up for our core values of the 4th amendment!

So, yes Obama has a HUGE problem with people like me. He probably doesn't care at all. His legions of hard-core fans still think he's wonderful, so he figures he's fine. And for now he is.

But the next time his campaign calls me for a donation I'm going to tell them where they can shove it! I don't think I'll be the only one.

by Cugel 2008-06-22 03:00AM | 0 recs
Off topic...but

Today, at the US Conference of Mayors in Miami, its Democratic Mayor-and former Hill supporter-
essentially left his options over endorsing Obama.

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpoli tics/2008/06/miami-mayor-wit.html?cid=11 9704110#comment-119704110

"on my own timetable"?

Beyond the incredible show of disrespect to his Party's Nominee(whose grasps of urban issues is well beyond any in our Republic's history) it is now the second reminder for me this week of the lack of spine of so many of our Party's standard bearers.

For the Mayor of Miami the choice is very simple:

Do you stand by your Party's Presidential Nominee and seek to help ensure his election in a critical state? or Will you support the Republican's Nominee who was literally eating cake as New Orleans, a grand American city, drowned?

Make a choice Mayor.

by ChangeMatters 2008-06-21 03:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

I don't think McCain even knows who he is.

by Politicalslave 2008-06-21 03:44PM | 0 recs
Spineless Miami Mayor....


Seeking to explain not publicly endorsing Obama, Mayor Manny says

 Diaz, however, said the purpose of the nonpartisan convention was to focus on urban problems

Oh.  I see, so  your Party's Presidential nominee whose incredibly thoughtful and fresh perspectives on urban policy, at a conferenced convened in another struggling metropolis, isn't worth your endorsement?

Folks, can we put Manny on the 'more and better' Democratic hitlist?

by ChangeMatters 2008-06-21 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

Can you spell:

D
E
L
U
S
I
O
N
A
L
?

Yer presumptive lil' mutt Barkey just reversed hisself on FISA, now he's agin that nasty 'compromise', musta get about a billion emails sayin'

'NO MORE MONEY FOR YOU ASSHOLE!'

And you guys are all....McSame...McSame...

And I would not be too sure about the Mayor of Miami being 'out of it'.

Case you missed it the nominee has NOT been voted in yet.

Long damn way to Denver and...

They might tell Obama, 'No payee...no play, pal.'
.

by Pericles 2008-06-21 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

Yeah... and Hillary is how much in debt?  And I'm sure she has a MUCH more progressive view on FISA... NOT!!

Now, if she were smart, she'd flip and go progressive on FISA... that way if the fallout from Obama's base is serious enough (with lots of fundraising being lost), there might be a very small chance that there would be a switch at the convention...  a very, very small chance, but there, nonetheless...

by LordMike 2008-06-21 03:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

Try to take your anger out on the troll and not on Clinton.  She did not post the comment.

by Scotch 2008-06-21 05:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

Is this your second attempt today to ban yourself?

by rfahey22 2008-06-21 03:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

all the "Barkey" stuff has me confused. where does that come from?

by zerosumgame 2008-06-21 05:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

I have to assume that "Barkey" = Barack, so that the person is basically making him out to be a dog ("little mutt").  The fake southern accent also has me confused, but it can't be a good thing.    

by rfahey22 2008-06-21 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

Barky the Darky is a sub human dog.

You guys should really check some of the anti-obama youtube videos comment sections.

Most vile repub racist trash gets posted by names like HillVet, Hill4PRez, NeverSurender.

by Is This Snark 2008-06-21 06:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

NoQuarter, Hillis44 and the like.

by interestedbystander 2008-06-22 07:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

well, just ick

by zerosumgame 2008-06-22 09:11AM | 0 recs
McCain is running

such a poor campaign that even Mike Gravel would be close in the head to head polls right now.

by Coldblue 2008-06-21 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

Most all of the Bush supporters/voters I know are voting for Obama. Bush did this. My retired corporate uncle has seen some of his friends losing their retirement. My best friend's husband, who was a fairly conservative Christian, is also voting for Obama. Actually, it's kinda funny she was a Clinton supporter and he's for Obama. Think Carville and Madeline.

by Hollede 2008-06-21 04:43PM | 0 recs
Did you mean to say "Matalin"?

Jim Carville's wife is Mary Matalin. You must be confused.

by BJJ Fighter 2008-06-21 08:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Did you mean to say "Matalin"?

Yes Matalin. My puppy's name is Madeline. Typo or something.

by Hollede 2008-06-21 08:58PM | 0 recs
Sure her name isn't "Michelle"?

If I'm wrong, apologies to your puppy.

by BJJ Fighter 2008-06-21 09:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Sure her name isn't "Michelle"?

Are you trying to insult my dog or Michelle Obama. This is very strange on such a beautiful Sunday morning. I have looked at a couple of your comments about Mrs Obama, and I gotta tell you, you are really out of line. BHO was not my first choice but attacking his wife is silly.

by Hollede 2008-06-22 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

mwuhahaha!

that's funny

by ChrisG7 2008-06-21 04:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

Cafferty's rants aren't all that excellent.  He and his type are what is wrong with the media, press, and news reporting today.  I would prefer to see no emotion and opinion from any of these news idiots pro or con to the candidate I support.  Their attempts to influence people's votes are ignorant and outrageous, and are part of the ruination of our election process.

by Scotch 2008-06-21 05:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Is McCain Losing His Base?

i like cafferty, he actally speak his mind.  besides, he's more of a commentator than journalist.  i'd love his job.  (i'm a cantankerous old man at heasrt :)

by Doug Tuttle 2008-06-21 07:58PM | 0 recs
He has no base unless you count those who say

"You kidz get off my lawn!!!"

by UrbanRedneck 2008-06-21 05:52PM | 0 recs
Shut up Cafferty

Kerry was very consistent.  Go do the weather or something.

by activatedbybush 2008-06-21 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Shut up Cafferty

Heh.

by Hollede 2008-06-22 06:32AM | 0 recs
Mark Shields had a few things to say...

on last night's "NewsHour" on PBS. Check it out. Although, I'm sure he'll now be declared "personna non grata" in Obama-land.

For the few objective people still remaining out there, take a listen. I voted for HRC in our state's primary, as the lesser of two evils; during that time, I often listened to Shields lambast the Clintons. When he did, they usually had it coming.

So some of the media are indeed turning on McCain...but some others may be turning on Obama. And when it's someone of Shields' stature, it's probably worth considering.

by BJJ Fighter 2008-06-21 08:37PM | 0 recs
Yes

:-)

by chrisblask 2008-06-22 06:05AM | 0 recs
ING?

Did he ever have his base?

by TrueBlueMajority 2008-06-22 11:01AM | 0 recs
Yes

This is really late, but I thought of this the other day...

Has McCain lost his base? Yes, he has. I stole it, and now all his base are belong to me.

...Ha.

by The Best Blogger 2008-06-25 09:34PM | 0 recs

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