McCain Can't Stay on Message (But RNC Can)...

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Oct 31, 2008 8:13 AM
John McCain cannot settle on a message, but the RNC can.  They have been running a series of (in my opinion) very good ads tastefully attacking Barack Obama for being inexperienced.



This ad, titled, "Wave" has been making waves... 

The RNC -- unlike McCain, who jumps from topic-to-topic, from day-to-day -- apparently believes in finding one message that resonates...and repeating it. As such, they are underscoring the inexperience argument in several ways. Here is another example:



This ad is essentially a standard ad which has been used in the past, typically by incumbent candidates.  While it hasn't always helped candidates win, it has most assuredly helped narrow the gap. In my estimation, Hillary's 3 AM ad worked -- and this is really a take-off of that.

To be sure, these ads are "negative" -- in the sense that they raise fears about Obama. But, unlike some of the ads about Rezko, Ayers, Wright, etc., these ads "do not take the bark off of trees" -- as they say in the business. Still, I can't help but believe that -- over time -- these ads are forcing voters to contemplate the seriousness of this election.

And when you couple it with Biden's comments that Obama will be "tested," this becomes our closing argument. 

Obama "gets" the importance of repetition.  His message is that John McCain is George Bush.  But McCain hasn't settled on a message. 

John McCain may not be good at staying on message on the trail, but the RNC ads have settled on a consistent leitmotif. If McCain pulls this out, I think the RNC will actually deserve much of the credit.