A new rallying cry is quietly whipping through the conservative base. In addition to a growing number of Republican supporters who think John McCain should go after Barack Obama's nefarious associations with folks like Tony Rezko, William Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, some are also now suggesting that McCain breathe new life into his sputtering campaign by announcing some potential cabinet appointments.
The thinking seems to be as follows: link McCain to other Republican leaders like Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani -- who have enjoyed a few months out of the spotlight and thus regained any credibility they'd lost during the Republican primary -- and nervous American voters will once again trust Republicans to right the ailing economy and deal with greedy Wall Street, Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, and corrupt government bureaucrats better than anyone Obama would appoint.
If voters have lost some faith in McCain over the past few weeks, he can shore up his ideological and political bullpen with a little strategic name-dropping, while simultaneously contrasting his own virtuous relationships against Obama's unseemly ones.
I admit, the idea of McCain, Romney and Giuliani running around the White House together like the three musketeers sends a chill up this Republican's stocking-clad leg. Plus, I figure, what does he have to lose at this point? But I wasn't sure a pre-emptive cabinet announcement was really the best idea for a campaign that's already been accused ad nauseum of cheap ploys and transparent acts of desperation. McCain's a risk-taker, as we all know, but even professional poker players -- and Wall Street investors -- lose once in a while. So I asked some of my friends to weigh in, and the reviews are mixed. Here's what they said:
"McCain is in a death spiral. So why not? I guess it could depend on who he names, but does it really matter? The liberal press will eat him alive regardless. He's got to appeal to the undecideds. Bottom line is, the status quo is not working for McCain, so if I were him I'd absolutely give it a shot."
Kevin Madden, Republican strategist, Fox contributor and Mitt Romney's former campaign spokesperson: