Or, alternate title: Post Mortem
In 2000 I thought McCain was going to win the Republican nomination after New Hampshire. Then, McCain fell victim to Rove's, "dark arts," tactics (see this blog, post # 8) and lost the 2000 nomination to W. In 2008 he won the nomination and was leading in the polls immediately after his convention. But, after the economic crisis hit McCain and his camp never had an overall theme to his campaign or consistent talking points. Whereas, Senator Obama had his theme down, namely, "Change" and talking points such as "middle class tax cuts," "McCain equals Bush," "McCain is out of touch".
Why McCain lost can be summed up with the below talking points/attacks/missteps by McCain, Palin and Republicans generally, in no particular order. Keep in mind that all of these points/attacks/missteps were made after the Republican convention.
3) Joe six-pack
4) Joe the Plumber
9) we're for change
10) Bridge to Nowhere
11) Alaska Independence Party
13) pork barrel spending
14) Barack Hussein Obama
15) country first
17) real America
19) national security
20) for the bailout
21) McCain got the first version of the bailout passed
22) the first version of the bailout is voted down
23) the bailout was a bad idea
25) fundamentals of the economy are strong
26) suspend the campaign
27) postpone the debate
28) economy in crisis
29) Obama will raise taxes
30) how many houses does McCain own
31) Palin/Couric interview
32) Gibson interview
33) Palin's clothes
34) the prank call
35) "that one"
36) air quotes regarding a mother's health
37) Reverend Wright
38) "my fellow prisoners"
40) at a rally McCain asks Joe the Plumber to stand up, Joe's not there
41) Palin is a "diva" (from a source in the McCain campaign)
42) Palin is a "whack job" (from a source in the McCain campaign)
43) Palin is going rouge
44) Palin 2012
46) Cheney endorsement the weekend before the election
That's alot. There are more but, that's all I could think of off the top of my head, please, let me know if you think of any others. A campaign cannot win with even a handful of the above much less all of them. Obama could essentially sit back and let McCain's campaign implode, each day was seemingly a different talking point/attack/misstep resulting in a disjointed, muddled and rudderless campaign.
Oh, and by the way, Obama ran an almost gaffe-less campaign after the Dem convention (with two big expceptions, Obama "spreading the wealth" and Biden's assurance of an "international crisis" to test Obama's mettle). And the economy (stupid) hurt McCain (especially the way he handled it) and helped Obama.
Sidenotes: Why didn't McCain learn from HillaryHow Hillary Clinton lost:
And McCain didn't learn from Hillary
What if McCain had hit hard on Wright?
McCain's pastors would have been talked about: