Kristol: 'How McCain Wins'

William Kristol has a great op ed in today's New York Times that takes an unblinking look at the state of the race and what John McCain must do to get back in the race and eventually prevail.

Starting with the premise that McCain is behind with the momentum on Obama's side, Kristol suggests that McCain should "break the mold" and, even though the GOP is the party in power during this financial crisis and conventional wisdom says that McCain should minimize or ignore the crisis for that reason, take a bold stand on the crisis and make it the central part of his campaign:

We face a real financial crisis. Usually the candidate of the incumbent's party minimizes the severity of the nation's problems. McCain should break the mold and acknowledge, even emphasize the crisis. He can explain that dealing with it requires candor and leadership of the sort he's shown in his career. McCain can tell voters we're almost certainly in a recession, and things will likely get worse before they get better.

And McCain can note that the financial crisis isn't going to be solved by any one piece of legislation. There are serious economists, for example, who think we could be on the verge of a huge bank run. Congress may have to act to authorize the F.D.I.C. to provide far greater deposit insurance, and the secretary of the Treasury to protect money market funds. McCain can call for Congress to stand ready to pass such legislation. He can say more generally that in the tough times ahead, we'll need a tough president willing to make tough decisions.

With respect to his campaign, McCain needs to liberate his running mate from the former Bush aides brought in to handle her - aides who seem to have succeeded in importing to the Palin campaign the trademark defensive crouch of the Bush White House. McCain picked Sarah Palin in part because she's a talented politician and communicator. He needs to free her to use her political talents and to communicate in her own voice.

This is actually pretty sound advice. To make a virtue out of a blemish is pretty good politics - if you can swing it. And given that Obama has been all over the place on the issue, McCain can make some mileage from the idea that he has taken a strong stand and has specific ideas how to proteect average Americans. All Obama and the Democrats have is their pandering to ACORN and their constant blaming of everyone but themselves for the meltdown.

As for "freeing" Sarah Palin, I'm sorry but I don't see that she is necessarily been in a "defensive crouch" as a result of her handlers. With Palin, what you see is what you get. She is not glib nor has she learned how to obscure any lack of knowledge with Washington doubletalk. She is what she is and no amount of "handling" is going to change that.

Thankfully, she enters the Vice Presidential debate against the gaffe meister, Joe Biden whose overconfidence and arrogance will, I predict, be his undoing. He may give better answers than Palin. But he will be unable to come across as anything except an arrogant, condescending fool. If Palin can highlight that during the debate, she wins hands down as American women will not sit still for that kind of treatment.

Kristol's advice otherwise is pretty sound. I hope McCain follows it.
William Kristol has a great op ed in today's New York Times that takes an unblinking look at the state of the race and what John McCain must do to get back in the race and eventually prevail.

Starting with the premise that McCain is behind with the momentum on Obama's side, Kristol suggests that McCain should "break the mold" and, even though the GOP is the party in power during this financial crisis and conventional wisdom says that McCain should minimize or ignore the crisis for that reason, take a bold stand on the crisis and make it the central part of his campaign:

We face a real financial crisis. Usually the candidate of the incumbent's party minimizes the severity of the nation's problems. McCain should break the mold and acknowledge, even emphasize the crisis. He can explain that dealing with it requires candor and leadership of the sort he's shown in his career. McCain can tell voters we're almost certainly in a recession, and things will likely get worse before they get better.

And McCain can note that the financial crisis isn't going to be solved by any one piece of legislation. There are serious economists, for example, who think we could be on the verge of a huge bank run. Congress may have to act to authorize the F.D.I.C. to provide far greater deposit insurance, and the secretary of the Treasury to protect money market funds. McCain can call for Congress to stand ready to pass such legislation. He can say more generally that in the tough times ahead, we'll need a tough president willing to make tough decisions.

With respect to his campaign, McCain needs to liberate his running mate from the former Bush aides brought in to handle her - aides who seem to have succeeded in importing to the Palin campaign the trademark defensive crouch of the Bush White House. McCain picked Sarah Palin in part because she's a talented politician and communicator. He needs to free her to use her political talents and to communicate in her own voice.

This is actually pretty sound advice. To make a virtue out of a blemish is pretty good politics - if you can swing it. And given that Obama has been all over the place on the issue, McCain can make some mileage from the idea that he has taken a strong stand and has specific ideas how to proteect average Americans. All Obama and the Democrats have is their pandering to ACORN and their constant blaming of everyone but themselves for the meltdown.

As for "freeing" Sarah Palin, I'm sorry but I don't see that she is necessarily been in a "defensive crouch" as a result of her handlers. With Palin, what you see is what you get. She is not glib nor has she learned how to obscure any lack of knowledge with Washington doubletalk. She is what she is and no amount of "handling" is going to change that.

Thankfully, she enters the Vice Presidential debate against the gaffe meister, Joe Biden whose overconfidence and arrogance will, I predict, be his undoing. He may give better answers than Palin. But he will be unable to come across as anything except an arrogant, condescending fool. If Palin can highlight that during the debate, she wins hands down as American women will not sit still for that kind of treatment.

Kristol's advice otherwise is pretty sound. I hope McCain follows it.