Andrew Sullivan: Hug Obama close, Mr McCain, and you’ll beat him

For what it’s worth here is my advice for McCain. Don’t run on experience. It hasn’t worked with Clinton and it won’t work for him. In McCain’s case it speaks for itself. Why downplay this obvious asset? Because this is a “change” election. If the economy continues to tank, it’s going to be even more of a change election. Remember the Bill Clinton mantra in 1992? “Change versus more of the same.” It worked. And it will work even more this time, since the number of Americans believing that the country is on the wrong track is even higher than in 1992.

Moreover, the whole “experience” and “readiness” theme would reinforce McCain’s biggest liability in the obvious narrative of the 2008 election: the old versus the young. He will seem like an establishment figure whose time has gone.

What McCain has to do is to coopt Obama’s message. McCain has to become the change candidate. He has a record that makes this plausible enough. He has long been a rebel in Washington: he has tackled Republican rigidity on climate change, spending excess and the war. If anyone can be said to have forced a change in strategy in Iraq, it is McCain.

What he needs to do is to reiterate that he brought change once before to Iraq and can bring it again, by orches-trating a withdrawal that is as careful (to paraphrase Obama) as the invasion was careless. But he needs to broaden that message, adding diplomacy to his theme….

Read it all.


Posted in * Economics, Politics, US Presidential Election 2008

3 comments on “Andrew Sullivan: Hug Obama close, Mr McCain, and you’ll beat him

  1. Dan Crawford says:

    Unfortunately, Mr McCain will continue to cling to the ideological and corporate philosophy of his peers in the Republican Party and should he follow Mr. Sullivan’s advice and win (no kidding), four years from now the health insurance and medical inflation mess will only worsen and the economic disparities in the economy will grow wider. Mr. McCain can win – provided he makes Obama’s middle name the campaign issue. We’ve already got a big taste of that from the right wing-nuts of the Republican Party. It will, I predict, be one of the dirtiest campaigns in American history.

  2. libraryjim says:

    Or emphasize that Obama’s ‘change’ is from capitalism to socialism. It’s true, after all.

  3. Katherine says:

    If the “economic disparities” bother you now, #1, just imagine how horrible it would be after left-wing control for four years wrecks the economy. They would turn the current corrections into a permanent mess — and who does worst in such a situation? The poor.