McCain's Losing His "Base"

McCain has jokingly referred to the media as his base, but he may have singlehandedly lost that base this week. One of the more remarkable things about the success of Barack Obama's Middle East trip from an optics and media message perspective is how it has coincided so magnificently with a McCain meltdown. Even more remarkably, the media gets it and they are not pulling punches.

Hat tip to Al Rodgers whose dailyKos diary provides an excellent collection of cartoons, videos, transcripts and newspaper covers to document John McCain's worst week ever, from which I borrow liberally below:

On McCain's confusion, yep, it's official, linking it to his age is no longer taboo. Here's David Gergen on CNN:

Anderson, where I think this story is probably going to go is toward the issue of age.  

John McCain is nearing his 72nd birthday, which is coming this August.  You know, in the last few days, he has confused the border of Iraq and the border of Afghanistan.  Not long ago, he confused Somalia with Sudan.

And what you're going to do is find his critics arguing the age issue.  

And we have already -- already, on "LARRY KING" tonight, for example, there was a vigorous argument, about his age.

And what about McCain's attempt to gain points for being "right" about the surge? Here's Jack Cafferty ripping McCain:

Look, the surge is over.  The surge is over.

McCain needs to stop whining about the surge.

An interview saying if you'd known then what you know now, would have, could have, should have is totally irrelevant to what we do now with Iraq. [...]

So, you know, I'm tired of listening to McCain whine about he won't "say he was wrong about the surge," [mocking tone, original].

It just doesn't matter at this point!

And finally, in response to McCain's offensive claim that Barack Obama would prefer to lose a war to win a presidential election than win it, here is a disgusted Gergen:

Anderson, I do think it's a mistake, but I think the bigger mistake today was arguing, as you said earlier -- John McCain said twice today that that Senator Obama would rather lose a war than a campaign. That's a very tough charge.

...with which Joe Klein concurs:

But what he said today -- and David Gergen is absolutely right about this -- what he said about Barack Obama being willing to lose a war to win an election IS THE MOST SCURRILOUS THING THAT I HAVE HEARD A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SAY IN THE NINE ELECTIONS I HAVE COVERED.  [emphasis original].

About time.

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



Re: McCain's Losing His "Base"

McCain's in the Fun House with no way out.... /anbar-shiek-cited-by-mcca_n_114581.html

by nogo postal 2008-07-23 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Losing His "Base"

The pundits were just ripping McScurrilous on MSNBC for his "lose a war" attack. Hartold Ford declared that he's becoming a laughingstock before his own convention. Rachel Maddow and even the two Republicans agreed.

by Beren 2008-07-23 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Losing His "Base"

The 'death of a thousand gaffes' is well under way.  This was predicted by a TPM commenter earlier this month:

Let me explain. As is obvious, the media has been giving McCain a free pass on everything. It always has. The reason is that the media likes McCain. Again, it always has. It likes his status as a former POW. It likes the fact that he provides reporters with unlimited access. It likes the fact that he has always been a very quotable maverick.


In these past few months, we Democrats have been gnashing our teeth over the things the media has let McCain get away with. As it happens, we Democrats have been torturing ourselves for no reason. For by the very act of constantly applying a double standard to try to help McCain, the media has damaged him beyond repair.

I am willing to bet that, having never had to learn these basic candidate skills, McCain will continue to damage himself in the coming months as he makes one after another self-destructive statement on the record. He will thereby do our work for us.

Perhaps the lesson is this: those whom the media gods wish to destroy, first they fail to hold accountable.

Blogger DB - Languid TPM 9 Jul 08

Yup, it's going to take a little while but the blood he's lost is already in the water and the media, true to form, is starting to get the scent.  The only thing mitigating against this trend is their pecuniary desire for a close race through November, until it's time to start writing McCain's political obituaries, of course, and explaining why they all knew he was doomed from the start.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-07-23 02:39PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Losing His "Base"

Obama is leading today in polls from Florida, Virginia, Minnesota AND New Jersey. Great day for him, full roundup here.

by LeftistAddiction 2008-07-23 02:42PM | 0 recs
The press won't abandon McCain

Let's be honest: the press desperately needs there to be a "horse race." It's the only thing keeping them relevant anymore.

They will always side with the underdog, as they have done for McCain, because if it's a blowout they lose money.

by Jeff Rosenberg 2008-07-23 02:46PM | 0 recs
Re: The press won't abandon McCain

I disagree; this is an opportunity for them to sit back and win piles of money while covering the making of history. They just don't know how to do that, it is the same phenomenon you see with pathological liars, even when they don't need to lie they keep going. That is what the press is doing now, they do not need to influence the story but they just can't help themselves.

by JDF 2008-07-23 04:59PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Losing His "Base"

If you watched his Couric interview in its entirety, it is clear that McCain is unfit for the presidency.  Politics aside, he cannot fulfill the requirements.  Does anyone see him being able to stay in the game with a normal 80-120 hour work week?  He's stumbling on a part-time schedule now.

by moondancer 2008-07-23 02:46PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain's Losing His "Base"

Maybe that is why he is the perfect candidate for the GOP they know they will get to run rampant because he wouldn't be able to stop them even if he wanted to.

by JDF 2008-07-23 05:02PM | 0 recs


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