McCain Wants to Seat RNC-Punished Delegations

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Mar 13, 2008 8:38 AM
On a "thank you" tour of New Hampshire, John McCain sagaciously said,
... he disagreed with the Republican National Committee’s decision last year to punish New Hampshire, Michigan, Florida and South Carolina Republicans for holding primaries prior to the Feb. 5 date allowed by an RNC rule.

He said he supports overturning RNC-imposed sanctions that cut those states’ delegations by half.

On the surface, this appears to be a gracious move by a victor -- with very little downside (at this point in the campaign). 

It is also a clever way to contrast the GOP against the Democratic party, whose entire coalition could come unraveled by the internecine rancor over whether or not to seat delegates in Michigan and Florida. 

Lastly, this move is a way to blandish voters in these important states.  Most notably, John McCain has a real chance to win the battleground state of New Hampshire -- a state that went for Kerry last time around.

McCain's ability to build an on-the-ground organization is still questionable.  But he continues to prove to be adroit at defining the debate and garnering earned media -- even in a hostile milieu.

In a meeting with the Manchester Union Leader, McCain also said,

he intends to be the first nominee to use the town hall format in a general election, “facing the voters and it’s going to be with them asking questions and making comments.

I predict this will be a big winner.  Sometimes the slickest strategy is to not be slick.  In this day of cutting-edge campaigns, there's something appealing about a candidate who does old-fashioned townhall meetings.  The old has become new again.  All politics is personal, as they say.  Besides, McCain is better in this venue than he is with any other format.  Why not let McCain be McCain?  Happily, they are...