Missing the Mark on McCain: Politico's Simon Calls for Return of 'Reformer'
If further evidence were needed that it's hard for MSMers to understand Republicans, I refer you to Roger Simon's piece from yesterday at Politico.com, The Reinvention of John McCain. For what is Simon's advice to McCain for the reinvigoration of his campaign? You guessed it: that he return to his reformist roots.
- When McCain ended his presidential campaign in 2000, he became that rarest thing in politics: a person whose reputation was enhanced by losing a presidential campaign. Back then, McCain came across as scrappy and authentic, a real reformer. And he won the admiration of millions in defeat.
- What some voters would like to see, I suspect, is the old John McCain: the exciting, fast-moving candidate, who was heavy on reform and light on organization.
- The John McCain campaign really doesn't have to invent a new John McCain. It just has to find the old one.
Compounding his misreading of Republicans, Simon asserts: "McCain's full-throated support for the war is hurting him with Republican voters even though most Republican voters support the war." I'd say that if anything is keeping McCain afloat, if just barely, in the primary field, it's his support for President Bush's Iraq policy. Ditch that, and McCain would be in Hagel-land: out of the race.
Roger Simon might be part of the new media now, but at least in this column, his old media roots [Chicago Tribune, U.S. News & World Report] were clearly showing.
Contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org