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Nathaniel Bach Headshot

Epic Fail: McCain Campaign Magnifies CNN/Palin Debacle

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Did you miss the old McCain campaign? You know, the no-chance, hard-luck, dottering campaign of summer 2007. When so few voters would show up at his rallies that McCain would have to resort to this for attention? McCain's campaign had sunk to such lows of popularity and possibility that I started feeling sorry for it: "Aww, what a cute campaign with your soft-spoken 'straight talk.'" Well, for all the campaign shake-ups, increased staff, and spending power that came with beating out a shockingly more hapless GOP primary field, it turns out that feeble campaign was lurking just beneath the surface this whole time, threatening to reemerge. Apparently, McCain's campaign is as bad at adapting to new (and possibly unforeseen) circumstances as McCain is at adapting to new technology. Case in point, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds' cringe-worthy defense of Sarah Palin's readiness to be Commander in Chief on CNN, Monday night. The McCain campaign's unforgivable sin was not being unable to adequately defend Palin's qualifications for the vice presidency, but rather its defense of Bounds' inadequate defense, which amounted solely to attacking CNN and Campbell Brown for, you know, doing her job. Had the McCain campaign let the embarrassment blow over, revised its talking points, and come back with a retooled message, Bounds' epic fail wouldn't have made it past Monday's news cycle. By improperly blaming CNN and Brown, however, the McCain campaign succeeded in drawing more attention to Palin's inexperience than it ever would have by keeping its collective mouth shut. In fact, we wouldn't be discussing that clip right now, and you wouldn't have the chance to watch this must-see debacle again right here: With all the talk about vetting (or apparent lack thereof) in the McCain campaign, it's no surprise that the campaign didn't even bother to vet its response to CNN. Playing the victim and going so far as to counterattack by pulling out of McCain's scheduled appearance on Larry King Live did them no favors. CNN has played Bounds' pathetic defense of Palin throughout the day, Tuesday, and even discussed it during the analysis of night two of the Republican Convention while they might have otherwise been discussing Fred Thompson's phlegm-filled exposition of John McCain's biography or Joe Lieberman, doing his best Zell Miller impersonation.

So, welcome back floundering McCain campaign of last summer! We missed you. I trust that this episode is in no way indicative of the sort of preparation and governance that we could expect from a McCain administration.


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