McCain’s new tack

Originally uploaded by johnvierdsen

No, “tack” isn’t one of Gov. Sarah Palin’s kids’ names, though it was probably in the hopper, what with Track and Trig getting approval. Nah, Vierdsen’s using tack in its maritime sense: tacking is when a boat changes its sail position to head in a different direction. That’s what Sen. John McCain should do, if he wants to win.

Right now, McCain lost his post-convention bump, falling back into the pre-convention four-to-seven point deficit. And, the way he’s going, this is how the toss-up states will go:

New Hampshire, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Montana, Nevada

Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado

That, well, fuck all, that still leaves it tied at 269, with a Democratic House that will give the election to Sen. Barack Obama, especially if he does pull out the four-point win in the popular vote. Plus, and this shouldn’t be discounted, Virginia still feels like an Obama state, since McCain’s lead is 1.2 points (according to Pollster) and Democratic turnout will be high for the Warner-Gilmore U.S. Senate race (and the latest poll has Obama up six). Also, Nevada should be in the mix, because of an unprecedented new amount of registered Dems.

If what the Republican nominee was doing was working, he wouldn’t have seen the swing back to his opponent the way it has. So, what’s he to do? How about a new strategy?

As said before, it’s hard to buy McCain as a change agent. But, what if he ran against the Democratic Congress? Congress has lower approval ratings that President Bush, which has many reasons. People love to hate Congress, though, and who’s to say it wouldn’t work? Eg., “Allowing Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid to have free reign, and Obama to pass whatever he wants, would be disastrous here at home and to our national security.”

While this wouldn’t be a magic bullet, it’s worth noting that 1) People hate Congress 2) People tend to vote against candidates, than vote for them 3) Congress would be the devil they know, rather than Obama, who they don’t. It’s been one of the problems for the Democratic candidate that he’s still trying to get the public to know who he is, which is both bad for his campaign and bad for McCain’s. After all, during the GOP convention they tried hard to characterize Obama in one way, but it hasn’t seemed to have taken.

While he’s at it, it would be nice if McCain would keep Palin off the television. That accent has been scaring cats and small children.


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