The story of an unknown who quickly rises to a leader of the Party and becomes the face of hope in America is the stuff of Hollywood magic. This election season, both campaigns feature this narrative, except like any good movie, the protagonists in the Sarah Palin story have fallen on hard times. It has not been a good couple of weeks for Team McCain-Palin, and there are ominous signs about what may occur on November 4. While the Obama camp apparently believes the polls point to an election landslide, McCain still has a chance to turn the tide and capture the presidency. However, his campaign needs to make adjustments quickly.
First, McCain needs to take off the gloves. Both campaigns have been predictably rough and dirty at times. TNS Media Intelligence Campaign Media Analysis Group concluded that 77 percent of Obama’s ads have been negative, compared to 56 percent of McCain’s. Thus far, however, McCain has declined to emphasize fully Obama’s extremely questionable affiliations throughout his life.
It is time for McCain to remind voters that Obama called Reverend Jeremiah Wright his “moral compass,” despite Wright’s America-bashing, race-baiting sermons and Obama’s decade-long attendance at the Chicago Trinity United Church. He needs to emphasize Obama’s connections with Weather Underground terrorist, William Ayers, and radical socialist, Cornel West. Is it possible that voters will punish McCain for the hard-hitting attacks? Sure. It is far more likely these ads will remind voters why they are uncomfortable with an Obama presidency.
Second, McCain needs to start talking coherently about the financial crisis America faces. He does not need to become an economic expert overnight, but he needs to explain how Democratic policies that Obama supported contributed to reckless behavior that taxpayers insured. These policies include Democratic support of Fannie Fae and Freddie Mac, institutions that gave more money to Obama than any other senator in the last three years except Chris Dodd, as well as Obama’s connections with former Fannie executives, Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines.