Is Sen. John McCain just crazy, or is he crazy like a fox? If he can sell himself as crazy like a fox, he can still be our next president.
The McCain campaign needs to present its candidate as the lion to Barack Obama’s lamb. They have to apply Richard Nixon‘s Madman Theory of the Presidency to their campaign. Nixon was convinced he was able to face down the leaders of the Soviet Union and China on issues from Vietnam to the 1973 Yom Kippur War because they were scared he might lose control and go nuclear on them. When foreign leaders know American presidents will always be kind, compassionate, thoughtful, intellectual and gentle, scores of millions of human lives will always be at risk.
McCain; and his strategists also mustn‘t be shy or squeamish about hammering home repeatedly to the American people the consequences of letting a shy and untested lamb like Obama represent this nation in the jungle of global affairs.
What McCain‘s media strategists need to do is to vigorously present their candidate’s perceived weaknesses as his greatest strengths. McCain‘s combativeness, his toughness and his fiery temper are not drawbacks that threaten war: They are assets that will ensure the peace.
It is Obama’s “let’s join hands and dance in the garden” naiveté — significantly, enthusiastically applauded by Hamas and the leaders of Iran — that would leave this nation, its allies and its interests wide open to being mauled by wolves.
I’ve come across a surprising number of middle-aged, lifelong conservatives who say they will vote for Obama because they don’t want their teenage or twenty-something sons to have to be conscripted to go off and fight in major wars. I always tell them the same thing: Obama’s innocent idealism and total inexperience of international affairs is guaranteed to produce such wars rather than avoid them.
Conservatives are rightly alarmed the Republican Party’s putative presidential candidate’s softness and willingness to follow in Obama’s footsteps on a wide range of issues, especially his “me-too” enthusiasm for carbon taxes, refusal to authorize urgently needed offshore drilling for oil and his reluctance to beef up America’s border defenses.
But there is another John McCain who is perfectly suited to apply Nixon’s Madman Theory to the enemies of this nation. If al-Qaeda, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran, Vladimir Putin in Moscow and Hun Jintao in Beijing know a tough, dangerous, unpredictable John McCain is in the White House, they will think very long and hard before trying to conquer Taiwan, nuke Israel or sell more nuclear technology to Tehran. If Barack Obama wins the presidency, they will do all those things openly, confidently and contemptuously — with now worry about any consequences.
McCain‘s undoubted strengths — many of which the liberal media continues to myopically distort as weaknesses — are real, and they make a striking contrast to Obama’s genuine weaknesses. If McCain can cut loose from his obsession with being kinder and gentler, he can still win.
Most of all, McCain‘s strategists need to contrast his short and fiery temper with Obama’s glass-jawed superficial eagerness to please and lack of serious testing and life experience. Obama is the dream candidate of college youth and liberal intellectuals, just as Adlai Stevenson was in the 1950s, Sen. Eugene McCarthy of Oregon was in 1968 and Sen. George McGovern of North Dakota (who unsurprisingly has embraced Obama now) was in 1972. But all of them went down to disastrous defeat and they all proved unable to gain any credibility with working class Americans — just as Obama is failing to now.
McCain is not just an old war hero. For all his conscious efforts to appear trendy, likable and “statesmanlike” to the East Coast and LA-based liberal elites, whenever the going gets tough, he rolls up his sleeves, starts cussing, cuts dead wood and gets the job done.
When it comes to the crunch, the Annapolis graduate and, Top Gun Navy combat pilot and tortured, defiant and heroic long-term prisoner of war always trumps the business-as-usual, lets-cut-a-deal quintessential Capitol Hill senator.
That was why he was able to turn his campaigning around after it was written off as a dead in the water. Hillary Clinton could not manage that despite millions more money, the fawning adulation of Newsweek and all her shamelessly hyped tears-on-demand.
McCain‘s campaign team is certainly vastly superior to that of the unbelievably incompetent Hillary, but as yet it is still miles behind the media savvy and cool, cynical packaged professionalism of the Obama camp with the mega -power of Will Smith and Ophrah Winfrey guiding their every move.
McCain also needs to be unapologetic, aggressive and in-your-face in presenting his unpopular record on voting against pork barrel budget items year after year — a record that is one of the best in the U.S. Senate — and make clear to the American people how essential this will be restoring their financial stability and the prosperity of the nation.
John McCain has plenty of aggression and for years he has expressed it openly and freely against the conservatives and Evangelicals who could have been his greatest allies. Let him unleash that aggression now, turn it full power on Barack Obama, and then he will win.