TPT gives some advice to McCain

April 30, 2008

Seven steps the Senator from Arizona should take

I’m going to repeat the exercise that I performed last year of looking at the strategies that the major campaigns should adopt. I’m going to kick off with the McCain campaign.

1. Fire Phil Gramm and the rest of his economic team and replace him with Irwin Seltzer and refugees from the DLC. Emphasise a mixture of closing tax loopholes, ending both pork barrel spending and homeowner handouts, and regulatory reform. Steal Mitt Romney’s healthcare plan (the plan he actually implemented, NOT his 2008 plan) and start acting like the McCain of 2000-6 on economic matters.

2. Get a proper Rapid Response unit so that the constant smears and low level psuedo-‘scandals’ (eg ‘Lobbygate’ and Hagee are dealt with). Letting Daily Kos and MyDD go unchecked is a bad idea since the mainstream media seem to be paying them a lot of attention.

3. Get Joe Lieberman, Condi Rice & Rudoph Giuliani to blast Wright on national security (and only national security). Get Lieberman to go around the country speaking to the religious voters (having Lieberman sponsor some family values legislation in the Senate would also be good) and Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney speaking to Mormon voters in the Mountain West.

4. Give Collin Powell, Chuck Hagel and Michael Bloomberg positions within the campaign (say Chair of the campaign in the North East) so they can’t endorse Obama.

5. Make sure the Paulites attempt to overturn the primary results are nipped in the bud. Build a decent organisation in FL, MO, MI, PA, WI, OH and NY. Visit the states such as New York, New Jersey and Massachusettes rather than wasting time in states like Alabama.

6. Select either Joe Lieberman or Condi Rice as his running mate, but keep it a surprise until the nominating speech. If it is Lieberman get someone like Newt Gingrich, who has floated the idea of a McCain-Liberman ticket, or Rush Limbaugh to give the nomination speech.

7. Begin sounding out some DLC and Blue Dog type Democrats about the possiblity of getting endorsements from disillusioned Dems. Getting someone like Charlie Wilson to speak at the convention would be really great (but no Zell Miller type rants).



  1. This is what I make from your advice for McCain:

    1. The economy is the fatal flaw of the Republican Party: they ran things their way for 8 years and it left their country in the gutter. Firing Phil Gramm is a start, but it cannot stop there. McCain should ditch this entire economic plan and start sounding more like Mitt Romney (yes, the same Mitt Romney who blew $25 million dollars on a fruitless campaign.)

    2. Forget about psuedo-scandals… get a Rapid Response team to respond to those REAL scandals of yours. You know… the Keating Five Scandal (which almost cost you your job), that first wife of yours you ditched because she was no longer good-looking, oh… and that picture of you hugging Bush like he was Santa in 2004.

    3. Don’t talk about religion at all. We all know that the religious right hates you.

    4. Instead of recruiting Collin Powell, Chuck Hagel and Michael Bloomberg, find a goose that lays golden eggs, perfect alchemy, and make Obama your running-mate. (That’s more likely to happen.)

    5. Admit that Ron Paul was the only Republican to understand foreign policy in your party, rescind the nomination, and endorse Ron Paul for president.

    6. Joe Lieberman? Condi Rice?! Oh my God… have RUSH LIMBAUGH give the nomination speech?!?!?! Wow… oh wow… can he do that bit about Michael J. Fox pretending to have Parkinson’s? Or how he actually called for riots in American cities? (Jesus… and you guys called John Kerry a traitor. For shame…)

    7. No… don’t sell the party short, Tipster. Let Zell Miller speak! (You know in your heart he was speaking for every Republican in that room!) Sigh… the Dixicrats… first you fight a Civil War, fight against the Civil Rights Act, and then challange Chris Matthews to a duel. There new home: the Republican Party.

    You can keep him.

  2. Most of the things you advise the McCain campaign to do are good things except number one. McCain does not need to distance himself from conservative economic beliefs, what he needs to do is re-define President Bush’s economic policy’s as not being conservative which by the way most are not. President Bush has lead the largest expansion of the Federal Government since LBJ. This is not a conservative position and McCain should use issues like this to attack President Bush on. By attacking the President on those types of issues he distances himself from Bush but also does not offend conservatives in the process.

    Look President Bush has been a horrible communicator when it comes to describing conservative principles on the economy. McCain can not have this same issue or he will lose this election. McCain needs to learn to speak about the economy in broad conservative terms. McCain needs to talk about how conservative economic principles are about empowering individuals, while the Democrats are about empowering government. He need to talk about how tax cuts are the right thing to do because the American people know how to spend their money far better than any bureaucrat in D.C.

  3. Matt,

    Mhm… “any bureaucrat in D.C.”… such as George W. Bush

    It’s too much of a double-standard for McCain to embrace George W. Bush, accept his endorsement, and expect to free himself of criticism from the president’s disastrous economic policy. There’s a reason why the Democrats were trusted more than Republicans when it came to the economy in 2000 and 2004: the neoconservative revolution was essentially nothing more than pro-war liberalism. It killed the economy.

    McCain should have spurned Bush’s endorsement and outlined a whole new economic plan on his own, not say that he’s supporting Bush’s tax cuts or that our economy is “better off” than it was eight years ago.

    Running as an establishment candidate is simply no way to win an election with gasoline approaching $4 a gallon before summer. All Americans feel the pain at the pump, and lowering taxes on gasoline or offering incentives won’t make a difference because our output is already maxed-out.

    Only a change candidate has a chance of winning this eleciton. That’s why I think the next President of the United States will be Sen. Barack H. Obama.

  4. Giacomo,

    It is not a double-standard for McCain to accept Bush’s endorsement while saying there is a great deal of things that I would do differently.

    Also to say that Obama is the only change canidate in the race is wrong. John McCain has a record of standing up against the special interests and fighting for change. John McCain has a record of year in and year out fighting for change while Barack Obama has a record of talking about it.

    Also on gas prices, lowering gas taxes will help a bit but you are wrong when you say output is maxed out. We could be drilling in ANWR today as well as in the Gulf of Mexico and I say this as a Floridian. We have not built a new oil refinery or nuclear power plant in over 30 years. There is no single bullet answer for this problem we need to tap the remaining oil supply we have here in the US, invest in nuclear, wind and solar, as well as invest in the next generation of energy.

    We also need to stop this evils of foreign oil getup. We get around 25% of our oil imports from Canada and Mexico. That is more than we get from the entire Middle East.

  5. Matt,

    McCain has flat-out flip-flopped on his position for countless positions because we all know there was no other way he could win the GOP nomination. Did he campaign as a reform candidate or as a moderate? No. He sold his own views down the river and campaigned as a bigger conservative than he ever was.

    Also, you can say whatever you want about Sen. Obama; we all know that you Republicans wish you had him on your team. He is change in change incarnate in this election. You want proof? Okay… ANY other politician would’ve said the obvious truth by now: that Hillary and Bill Clinton, with their marriage in shambles after the Lewinsky scandal, for spiritual advice turned to… Rev. Jeremiah Wright!!!! ANY politician would’ve pointed out the hypocrisy on Hillary’s part, but Sen. Obama isn’t any politician. He’s a once-in-a-generation candidate with the mind for change and the charisma to make it possible. It started with Kennedy and it happened again with Reagan. Obama is the next in that line of presidents and if you think Republicans will never vote for him now, let’s see what they think of him when he becomes the man who BEATS Hillary Clinton. That alone is worth the presidency.

    Also, instead of offering temporary solutions through gas taxes, I have a much better idea… over subsidies to people who by hybrid and hydrogen vehicles instead of giving that money to the oil and automotive industries, enforce higher efficiency standards, and do what FDR did: treat the nation’s environmental and economic crisis no different than a time of war.

  6. BEHOLD! THE S-BOMB!: http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/05/01/967370.aspx

    (“S” is for “Superdelegate.”)

    Obama has dozens of supporters ready to go public with their endorsement. Expect Joe Andrew’s bold move to be the beginning of the end of Hillary’s candidacy.

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