August (And Everything After)

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Jul 11, 2007 12:11 PM

Bloggers are notorious for conveniently forgetting when their past predictions have been wrong.  Well, I decided to go back and do some research on things I wrote about McCain in the past.  I found this post (from way back last August) to be the most interesting, as it shows I was both incredibly wrong and amazingly right about McCain's chances.

On one hand, I wrote:

"... by wooing the best Bush operatives, McCain's team is the equivalent of the New York Yankees. Talent and experience do matter ... Barring some sort of stumble, it becomes hard to imagine how anybody catches up."

But I also countered (presciently, I might add):

..."there is always the famous lament that every operative always wants to run the last campaign. The point is that sometimes the outsiders are the ones who are the innovators, while the insiders paint-by-numbers."

Clearly, McCain was trying to run the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign.  It didn't work.

Here's the full post:

McCain Mines Top Talent

by Matt Lewis — 08-21-2006 @ 09:18 AM

In 2000, this story would have been hard to imagine ...

Today's New York Times details the amazing talent that John McCain has lined up for his presidential run.

The sub-plot is that operatives with Bush/Cheney campaign experience are a hot-commodity for every GOP hopeful. And McCain has assiduously courted -- and won-over -- some of Bush's top talent.

While this is certainly a major coup, there is always the famous lament that every operative always wants to run the last campaign. The point is that sometimes the outsiders are the ones who are the innovators, while the insiders paint-by-numbers. Still, it's hard to argue with experience and success.

To put it in perspective, by wooing the best Bush operatives, McCain's team is the equivalent of the New York Yankees. Talent and experience do matter.

The lesson of 2000 was that you need to get out in front early, line up the money and the talent, and never look back. It seems that McCain learned that lesson, well.

Simply put, Senator McCain's early effort is nothing but impressive. Barring some sort of stumble, it becomes hard to imagine how anybody catches up. On the other hand, it's hard to be on top for two years. Being the under-dog has its benefits; when you're on top, everyone is gunning for you.

And so, it seems, the strategy of the McCain camp can best be summarized in the immortal words of Satchel Paige, "Don't look back, something may be gaining on you."