Suspending His Campaign One State at a Time

O.K.  I get it now.  When McCain decided to “suspend” his campaign to concentrate on saving the nation, I didn’t understand how the process would work.  Now I see that he plans on suspending one state at a time!

John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.

McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida. Wisconsin went for Kerry in 2004, Ohio and Florida for Bush.

Sort of like pulling off a bandage slowly rather than all at once.


John McCain          George Logan

It now appears that suspending the campaign in Michigan is actually part of a clever strategy on the part of those brilliant minds who advise McCain. They are using the old “rope-a-dope” strategy perfected by Mohammad Ali in his title fight against George Foreman.

On a conference call for the press hours after it was announced that McCain would be pulling resources and staff from Michigan, Mike DuHaime, the campaign’s political director, and Greg Strimple, its senior adviser, outlined a strategy akin to political rope-a-dope, in which their campaign had goaded Barack Obama into pouring in money into unwinnable locales.

One of the strategic decisions our campaign has made is to let Mr. Obama spend his resources there until the point where we got closer to the election.

Unfortunately for Striple, Obama has taken leads in several of those “unwinnable locales” including Ohio, Virginia and Florida. In the toss-ups states, the Obama is fairing even better, perhaps save Nevada.

Oblivious to polls and living in his separate reality, Striple spins away.

I am sure that Barack Obama and his campaign today are frustrated because despite the unmitigated negative campaign they have run for the last three weeks, despite the financial crisis that is facing our nation, despite their massive spending in the last ten days, they are having a tough time breaking 50.

Later in the call, Strimple was asked if he could point to a poll where McCain had broken 50. He ignored the question.

The fight that I think of when I think of Obama vs. McCain is the 1962 fight between Cassius Clay and Idaho’s own George Logan with Obama playing the part of the young, gifted, but relatively inexperienced Clay and McCain in the role of the old, slow Logan.

Here is a brief description of the mismatch:

Logan threw lots of left hooks and found himself hitting nothing more substantial than air. Clay’s quicksilver hands cut his fragile brows to ribbons and the referee stepped in with Logan struggling to see the blur of leather flying his way. It was all over in four rounds.

Not so much “rope-a-dope” as “slice and dice.”


One comment

  1. This is nothing new to presidential campaigning when one candidate’s ability to spend pales in comparison to the other. Welcome to the politics of money.

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