The other day I read probably the best advice that I think I’ve seen for John McCain. The article was entitled Pick ‘Em Now and it outlined a bold surge strategy for John McCain that I personally think would almost guarantee him a win on election night.
You can read the article of course, but I’ll break down the actual idea which I think is brilliant. Basically, the idea is for McCain to do something that no one has ever really done before – pick several of the people he will appoint to important positions in his administration if he wins the election.
People normally wait until they actually get elected before they start naming who they want in those important positions but I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that they just don’t know who they want and/or don’t really have time to think about it while they’re running. McCain, however, might want to spend a few minutes and give it some thought.
You see, if McCain were to name a few of the people he would appoint, he would be able to accomplish several goals at one time and he wouldn’t even have to spend any of his limited resources to do it. As the article argues, he should name the three most important appointments that he will make upon being sworn in as president.
- Governor Mitt Romney as Secretary of the Treasury – Romney took Bain Capital from $37 million to more than $4 billion. He was an accomplished governor of a large state who had a lot of support when he ran for President. He is the man who took on a scandal-ridden Olympic Games mess and turned it completely around. How much more could he do with our economy if McCain were to promise to give him full rein to build a team of professionals who will not just solve our current financial problems but also develop plans for preventing future ones, including the looming crisis in Social Security and Medicare.
- Mayor Rudy Giuliani as Attorney General – This would be a masterstroke. Guiliani is still very popular. As you may remember he first made a name for himself as a US Attorney when he vigorously prosecuted and sent to jail plenty of mobsters and Wall Street financiers. McCain will tell the country that his instruction to Giuliani aggressively prosecute and send to jail anyone guilty of any crime that contributed to the collapse of the credit markets that has caused such harm to our country. McCain will make it clear that current members of Congress will not be safe from Rudy and that Rudy might be calling on some of them to testify under oath – and maybe sending some of them to jail.
- Sen. Joe Lieberman as Secretary of State – This would be the most controversial but Lieberman has supported McCain and he’s a pretty good choice for the position. McCain could use the promised appointment of another example of how he’s able to reach across the aisle and work with people he doesn’t always agree with.
I think such a bold move would work on so many different levels.
First of all, it would be comparable to McCain’s decision to name Sarah Palin as his runningmate. The press has been hammering at that for weeks now and deriding the decision, but if you’ll remember correctly the Palin choice completely rejuvenated the McCain campaign and won over the hearts of many a Republican critic. This move would be even bigger.
There’s no way the media could ignore this sort of announcement. No matter how much they love Obama they love a great story too and this one would make every headline in the country. It would send the Obama team reeling. They couldn’t possibly have a plan to counteract the headlines McCain would be garnering. The story would completely take over the news for days, if not the next two weeks. This would be a great way to offset the massive advertising advantage Obama has had and continues to have over the McCain campaign.
Furthermore, it would allow the McCain ticket to actually expand. No longer would people be deciding if McCain/Palin are better than Obama/Biden – they would be deciding if Obama/Biden is somehow a better choice than McCain/Palin/Romney/Giuliani/Lieberman. This would have a huge psychological effect on people. Those who maybe thought McCain wouldn’t make the tough decisions or wasn’t sure if McCain really wanted to change things in Washington would now know that McCain has a tremendous team behind him ready to go to work. In order to counter this move Obama would have to name the people who would pick for these positions as well, but without the time to properly consider the issue and convince people to take the jobs it would be unlikely he could field any appointees with nearly the clout as the Republican ticket.
The three people McCain names could also spend the next two weeks campaigning for McCain in some of the battleground states. With five people campaigning instead of two, they would cover much more territory. Furthermore, the media would have to spread out to cover all five of them so there would be much less time for frivolous articles about things like clothing purchases and far fewer fluff pieces on Obama. I’m telling you, the five of them would dominate every headline for the next two weeks.
And it wouldn’t all be about being elected. McCain could do far worse than appointing these three men to the positions named. In fact, I think they would all be excellent choices for those positions. I think the public would mostly agree.
Also, if McCain really wanted to put up a fight he could do the above and then follow the advice John Hawkins gives in an article entitled If McCain Wants to Win, He Needs To…. Hawkins suggests that instead of backing down from controversial ads, McCain should ramp them up and go after Obama on the very things the blogosphere is already talking about (you know, the things the media is saying are negative campaign tricks but are really just questions they don’t want anyone to ask about Obama).
Hawkins actually list the things McCain should attack Obama on and provides some ideas on what the commercials should say. The ads, as suggested by Hawkins, would center on:
- Reverend Wright
- Obama’s refusal to wear a flag pin and hold his hand over his heart during the National Anthem
- The Deficit
- Obama’s Inexperience and Incompetence
- Obama’s cocaine usage
- Bill Ayers
Hawkins even goes so far as to suggest that McCain plan these out so that a new commercial is released every 24 to 48 hours over the next two weeks. They would be controversial enough to garner the media’s attention and would say the things that he needs to be saying about Obama. The short time span in between each ad would be too short for the media or for Obama to effectively counter the ad before the next one hits. Obama would spend the next two weeks playing catch up, but he would never actually catch up.
I actually think it would be a great plan.
I would be surprised if the McCain camp has the insight or the iron will to actually follow through on either one of the above suggestions. However, I am convinced that if McCain were to do so, he would not only win the election, he would win comfortably.
If only McCain read my blog.