Wednesday, June 25, 2008

McCain Campaign Must Get Over the Stupids

I’m getting more than a little concerned about the McCain campaign. A stupid campaign will not beat Barack Obama. And lately a stupid campaign is what we’ve been getting.

The most publicized case of stupid is consultant Charlie Black’s comment that McCain would benefit from a terror attack.

I remember Charlie Black back in my North Carolina political days in 1984. Even back then, he seemed a restrained, even taciturn man. So for him to say something that stupid floors me. I wonder what got over him.

A less publicized instance of stupid is the campaign’s cancellation of a fundraiser at Clayton Williams’ home because of ill-advised remarks of Williams during his 1990 campaign for Governor of Texas against Ann Richards.

These remarks are a famous part of Texas political lore. Only a little homework would have revealed them to the campaign before they decided to schedule the fundraiser. But to schedule it, then call it off over those remarks of 18 years ago is stupid. Williams is a beloved figure to many in Texas. He’s seen as a little loose with his words and as having blown the 1990 campaign because of it. But he’s also perceived with affection as basically a fun, nice guy and a prototypical Texan. Snubbing him ticked off a lot of Texans whom it is best not to tick off.

Every campaign has its stupid moments. But many a campaign has also been sunk by stupidity. McCain’s campaign had best stop the stupid . . . now.

MORE: After I posted, I remembered get-out-the-vote phone calls I got from the McCain campaign before the Texas primary. I got several calls from them in which their computer didn’t answer until I said “Hello” about three times.

As I’ve already told them, that’s not the way to win hearts and votes. They need to get their act together.

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