Sunday, October 26, 2008

McCain Re-Imagined



If you haven't read Robert Draper's insightful article in today's NY Times Sunday Magazine, you really should. Draper outlines in some detail the series of changes to the McCain campaign's "narrative" and how hard it was, even a few months ago, for McCain's people to make the case for his election.

David Brooks offers his own re-framing of the McCain campaign - in his imagination, John McCain was the successor to Hamilton, Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. McCain would have been just wonderful. Get a load of this excerpt:

McCain shares the progressive conservative instinct. He has shown his sympathy with the striving immigrant and his disgust with the colluding corporatist. He has an untiring reform impulse and a devotion to national service and American exceptionalism.

His campaign seemed the perfect vehicle to explain how this old approach applied to a new century with new problems — a century with widening inequality, declining human capital, a fraying social contract, rising entitlement debt, corporate authoritarian regimes abroad and soft corporatist collusion at home. [snip]

McCain would be an outstanding president. In government, he has almost always had an instinct for the right cause. He has become an experienced legislative craftsman. He is stalwart against the country’s foes and cooperative with its friends. But he never escaped the straitjacket of a party that is ailing and a conservatism that is behind the times.
After weeks of hearing John McCain asking "who is the real Barack Obama?" I find it just a bit odd to hear about how John McCain is actually not the doddering hack and reckless race-baiter that we have all seen in action these past few months. If there is any hope for the progressive conservatism that Brooks pines for, maybe all this make-pretend crap is an unnecessary obstacle?

Paul Krugman is right
- these people on the right need to get serious.

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posted at 9:31:00 PM by Neil

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