Carol Platt Liebau: Wheels Off the Straight Talk Express

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wheels Off the Straight Talk Express

Both Terry Nelson and John Weaver have parted ways with the McCain campaign.

Details aren't clear on whether they left or were fired, but when a campaign has been bleeding cash and support as McCain's has, it really doesn't matter (except to the individuals involved, of course).

The fact is that the McCain campaign was doomed to failure from the very beginning. It's simply impossible to stick a thumb in the eye of one's party on issues ranging from taxes, to illegal immigration, to the treatment of terrorist detainees, to the Gang of 14, to campaign finance reform -- and to insinuate that those who disagreed with him were not just wrong, but evil -- and then expect to garner the kind of support that would provide the nomination.

Unlike their experience with Bob Dole in 1996, Republicans have decided that it's simply not good enough to nominate the "next guy in line" to be President. With the internet and the rise of talk radio, there's also a community where dissatisfaction with a candidate like McCain can be widely aired.

That's important, because before, it was too easy for the dominant narrative among the elites -- in this case, that McCain would have to be the inevitable nominee because he was supposedly the only candidate who could defeat Hillary Clinton -- to go unchallenged. Those days, obviously, are over.


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