Want to know how we will win? Read this.
by Edna Howard, Wed Jul 02, 2008 at 11:11:14 AM EDT
reposted with permission
cross-posted @ This Week With Barack Obama
michelle and barack leaving after watching their daughter's soccer game
McCain got trouble, though not in River City, but say, his base or supporters or organizers or everyone?
While we watched the longest primary ever, one thing is true, during this time we built a great ground game in all 50 states. And that is the gold standard from the primary going forward.
As we sloughed through each state, McCain had his "presumptiveness" in February. Those that challenged him, Romney and Huckabee, bowed down and got the hell out. They should have since Romney was paying for each primary and Huckabee was on a wing and a prayer. But nonetheless, they turned out to be good Republicans and made up with McCain, publicly, and have been campaigning for him since.
So, why is McCain in a funk? Various reasons. I think he watched the Democratic Primaries and thought beating up on each other was enough to skate in, but now he has found out that Barack Obama is "that formidable candidate" that he just can't quite figure out.
It starts with Ed Rollins on morning joe last week, the video is here, not only did he blast McCain's Campaign but compared it to the failed campaigns of Phil Graham and Bob Dole. OUCH. Yes, this campaign is being run by that crew.
"McCain's campaign seems not to have a game plan. I don't see a consistent message," said Ed Rollins, a veteran of Republican presidential campaigns. "As someone who has run campaigns, this campaign is not running smoothly. But none of this matters if they get their act together."
Indeed, some Republican officials who spoke to Politico noted that there is still time for the campaign to find its footing and that no campaign is without its detractors. But the bulk of those interviewed expressed serious concern about what has appeared to be an aimless campaign so far, one that has failed to take advantage of a four-month head start on Democrats and has showed little sign of gaining traction.
I think this is why we see the McCain Campaign jump on Obama over this "Wes Mess", and continuing to whine about it, while his campaign is running on lack of money and lack of the basics, like grassroots organization?
"Here is where the problem is: We had a nomination gap between when McCain was nominated and the Democratic race completed," a swing state Republican Party chairman said. "I think [campaign manager] Rick Davis and his team did not have an understanding of how the grass-roots, organizational part of the party works. They did not use what the [Republican National Committee] had done, or how groups like the [National Rifle Association] could have helped the McCain campaign locally.
"They are just now opening up campaign operations in most states. The RNC was ready to go in most states in March," the state chairman continued, listing off grievances ranging from the campaign's "dictating" the members of various RNC committees to the state party's having been "threatened" that, though McCain "couldn't afford not to play in our state," the campaign would not "recommend us for resources" if the state party did not abide by its requests.
Ummmm. When you are perceived to not knowing what to do and you come in and tell or threatened seasoned grassroots workers what the deal is, of course, you are getting no harmony.
Another thing, McCain had four months on us. You mean to tell me they are just opening up statewide offices? McCain could have used this time to energize his base, listen to grievances, etc. The only thing I can surmise is the lack of money to not move ahead, and this should have started when Huckabee got OUT.
"What's the political strategy when you allow your opponent, who has just had a grueling four months, time to catch their breath, regroup, fundraise and start to define himself?" asked a Republican strategist who helped lead a past presidential campaign. "It's politics 101."
So, what has McCain been doing? Taking weekends off, of course, when he should have been organizing, campaigning vigorously, raising money and shoring up his base. All that leisure is starting to anger the troops.
"Rather than trying to pull me in and make me an intricate part of the team they just told me what they wanted done, and said if you don't play ball we won't play ball," one state chairman said.
Those chairmen noted that the conservative base is far less riled, and significantly smaller, than its liberal counterpart. For this reason, GOP leaders generally believe they will have to be more efficient to overcome Obama's advantages.
"You are going to hear a lot of complaints from state party chairmen," one chairman said of his colleagues. "They are used to the Rove-Mehlman model. They were very good at finding the place they needed to win, down to the county they needed in Ohio.
Well, as much as we are in dissention, we are nowhere close to all that is going on with McCain.
If McCain can not energize his base, understand the basic fundamentals of grassroots organizing, underwhelming in the money game, what is his message to get folks not only to the polls but to vote for him?
Keep our eyes on the final PRIZE, in between arguing, that is.
icebergslim1047 (at) gmail (dot) com