October 2nd, 2008
03:14 PM ET

What's McCain doing in the wrong state?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/02/art.desmoinesregister.mccain.jpg]
Mike Murphy
Swampland, TIME.com

As a former general in the GOP, I get a lot of emails from various operative types around the country. Many are old comrades from the forgotten wars of old Republican statewide campaigns.

Unlike the well meaning but under-experienced six month wonders who seem to populate most of the GOP campaign apparat in Washington of late, these salty old pros have years of experience out in the field actually winning campaigns for our side, especially during the Republican glory years of the 90's when we held about every Governor's office in the country worth holding, as well as the House and Senate. Most are sidelined this time. And almost to 100% they are dismayed by what they see as the stunning lack of competence in the McCain operation.

One very smart consultant who knows McCain well sent me a link this morning to the video of McCain at Des Moines Register Editorial board interview. Set aside whatever you think of McCain's interview; this operative's point was purely technical and dead on correct:

What the Hell was McCain even doing there in the first place?

  1. Obama is going to win Iowa.
  2. Editorial board meetings are usually pure trouble to begin with and result only in newspaper endorsements that persuade very few voters beyond the immediate family members of the editorial board.
  3. Within the rarified category of newspaper editorial boards, the Des Moines Register is one of the most liberal in the country. I'm rather surprised that halfway through the McCain interview they failed to switch over to Esperanto, the peace-loving language of all nations.

So, 35 days left and McCain is in Iowa? Why put McCain in the wrong state, at the wrong place? No surprise the result is the wrong message and the wrong tone.

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Filed under: John McCain • Raw Politics
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. j.da fonseca

    Cathy,i agree with you 100%,hope that are more voters like you .

    October 3, 2008 at 1:02 pm |
  2. Cathy

    I am an over 60 years of age white skinned woman whom is also
    a registered Independent voter and thinker in all forms of the word.
    Mrs. Palin just isn't V.P., nor President of our USA, material. I think she should go back to Alaska and get cozy by the fireplace. She is
    quite gidish, just like the immature girl mind of hers. When she's
    done doing whatever in Alaska, maybe Donald Trump will have a job for her coaching the sir heads of late competing in his so-called
    beauty pageants. Mrs. Palin answered questions in the air-head
    mentality that the latest pageant contestants have. She has more
    in common with them than the hard working average taxpaying
    American. She just isn't made of the material we need in our highest offices. I have made up my mind; I'm going to vote for Sen. barack Obama and Sen. Joe Biden; they even have down to earth families.

    October 2, 2008 at 11:46 pm |
  3. Chuck

    I lost count ... Did Sarah Palin meet her quota for the use of the word "maverick"?

    October 2, 2008 at 10:22 pm |
  4. lindaM

    Biden did well tonight Sarah doesn't know anything and is not ready to lead she thinks it is a joke. I cantvote for her

    October 2, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  5. herb

    ok mccain got little confussed-he thought he was in-IN

    October 2, 2008 at 6:51 pm |
  6. Alex

    Say goodnight John. The party is over!

    October 2, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  7. Mike, NC

    Well, not everyone can just call Abraham Lincoln or George Washington on the phone and ask for advice like Joe Biden seems to think he can. It is pretty garbage how you will pick this story up or talk junk about Palin but you always seem to skip over Biden's slip ups...yes, slip ups as in plural. Garbage. How about some real issues here.

    October 2, 2008 at 6:35 pm |
  8. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    GAIL Centre,Al; said
    "Who says it’s the wrong state. They may know something you don’t know."

    Just like ole 'W' might have known something about Iraq and the Economy that we didn't know about ....... but ..... that both us and the media actually DID know something about when it all hit the fan !

    October 2, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  9. Sandra

    Reading all the previous responses scare me!! They allow anyone to vote and decide the future of the country.......yikes!!

    October 2, 2008 at 6:29 pm |
  10. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    Hee Haw ! Thanks for the campaign travel advice Sarah ..... next stop Illinois ..... IT'LL BE AWSOME !

    October 2, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  11. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    I think he's getting campaign advice from Palin as well .

    October 2, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  12. Papasan

    This from the guy that thinks Iraq and Afghanistan share a border!
    Next he's going to go to China for a good Burrito...

    October 2, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  13. Bruce

    McCain's latest ad about Biden makes me sick. Will this man stoop to no low? His Bush handlers are making this race more negative each day. What about the issues? The american public want answers not these silly ads and we are very turned off.

    October 2, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  14. GAIL Centre,Al;

    Who says it's the wrong state. They may know something you don't know.Some of the media is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    October 2, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  15. GAIL Centre,Al;

    The MCcain campaign knows what they are doing. Maybe another surprise, like Palin, he surprised everyone even the media, thought that was funny. The media doesn't know everything.

    October 2, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  16. Arachnae

    So he wound up in the wrong state talking to the wrong people. That doesn't mean he had to growl like grandpa before he has his teeth in.

    Can you imagine Obama producing such an ungracious display of curmudgeonly crankiness?

    October 2, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  17. ojong

    McCain is a man of poor or naive judgement. ojong,cameroon

    October 2, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  18. Carol B., Virginia

    Great quip, Scott.

    October 2, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  19. sarah B......durham,nc

    the problem is his WHOLE campaign!! unfortunately his Leadership skills as being a "Maverick" and his Sassy Sidekick "Mav.jr" are confused where to "Shake" things up for this Election!! Common sense would tell anyone to Tirelessly campaign those states that are Leaning! Like NC...VA...FL....etc....Big states that cinch this Election! he is not Blazing in Down in the South as the GOP used to! Sad...Sad...Sad...shows how out of touch he and his sidekick are w/ Voters, this Generation, Issues, and how Independents are holding their Breathe for a falsely proposed "Shake Up" and will continue to turn more Blue!!

    Frankly i'm disappointed by him....a man who used to go Door-to-Door to reach out....now he is not even Attempting to Speak out to those who Want to hear him....

    October 2, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  20. j.da fonseca

    Gov.Palin is good person ,but she was desturbed by a old man,invinting her to a position that she is not qualified at this time.

    October 2, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  21. Scott Orlando, FL

    Where I come from, if someone elderly starts wandering and ends up in the wrong state, that is not a good sign.

    October 2, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  22. j.da fonseca

    why should you bother to vote on a candidate to the highest position
    in USA, when he opens his mouth only gives lies and deceivings?
    don't be an idiot,do not destroi the country more than it is now ,the
    repairs are desastreous and the solutions are the same as the past.
    j. fonse

    October 2, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  23. Kent, Illinois

    I thought McCain suspendened his campaign? Lol......yeah right

    October 2, 2008 at 3:30 pm |