In addition to the political posts below, I’m also sharing some reads on the publishing industry in the digital age that I jagged across last night.
The 26th Story: George Jones Q & A
Interview with the CEO of Borders.
Have We Reached the End of Book Publishing As We Know It? — New York Magazine
More on publishing.
The book business as we know it will not be living happily ever after. With sales stagnating, CEO heads rolling, big-name authors playing musical chairs, and Amazon looming as the new boogeyman, publishing might have to look for its future outside the corporate world.
Hugh McGuire: What Publishing Can Learn From Music – Annotated
A link-rich article on the future of book-publishing. (I’m trying to get my head around the best way to approach my first non-fiction attempt.)
The modern publishing business has been in existence since about 1800, but things are not looking so rosy in the ink-stained world. The publishing business is scared: if stagnating book sales and the creeping digital shakeup were not enough, the market meltdown has many tightening their belts while trying to figure out the future.
Still, there is no indication that books are going away, or are any less useful, needed or wanted now than they were 200 years ago. Books are still essential. People still love them.
The book publishing business has a great advantage over other big media industries. For various reasons, publishing is late to the digital party. So it can look to all the many mistakes the music business made in the past decade, and decide how to move into the uncertain future. Here is some unsolicited advice to ponder while ignoring the Dow.
Five Lessons Publishing Should Learn from Music
- Again, the rest is really worth the read – along with the well-chosen links. – post by cburell
McCain, advisers divided over Wright attack – Politico.com Print View
Seems McCain is finding his honor again. What I wouldn’t give to have tape of his experience with the new generation of campaigners behind the scenes throughout this campaign.
Of course, if McCain’s camp played Wright, Obama’s could play Sarah’s Pastor Muthee and the dispensationalist end-times nuttiness nobody’s talking about, or McCain’s anti-semitic ties, or Sarah’s husband’s membership (and Sarah’s gubernatorial support for) the anti-American “Alaska Independence Party.”
So there are pragmatic reasons for not throwing mud over Wright. Both sides would end up in the slop.
And McCain would be blamed for starting it.
John McCain is at odds with many of his top advisers over launching a renewed attack on Barack Obama’s ties to his long-time pastor and mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, according to campaign sources.
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and several top campaign officials see a sharp attack on Wright as the best — and perhaps last — chance to rattle Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill. ) and force voters to rethink their support of him. But McCain continues to overrule them, fearing a Wright attack would smack of desperation and racism, the officials said.
With McCain unlikely to budge, GOP officials are hoping groups outside of the campaign will finance an ad attack on Obama-Wright ties. It is unclear if any conservative group has the cash to bankroll a serious effort, however.
“Wright is off the table,” said one top campaign official. “It’s all McCain. He won’t go there. His advisers would have gone there.”
Looks like megamergers and big-box stores have finally killed American publishing | Beyond the Beyond from Wired.com
Yes, I’m worrying over the effects of the economic apocalypse on my attempts to sell a non-fiction book.
Daniel Sinker: One Step Closer To Nationwide Free Wireless Internet – Annotated
Oh, the dilemma. Oscar Wilde, can you trot out Miss Prism to deliver a few choice lines on the threat of YouTube for our young?
The FCC has announced that they had finished a series of tests of a swatch of radio band that they’re setting aside for a nation-wide, cost-free wireless internet service.
The idea behind it is that the government can use existing spectrum (spectrum opened up with the switchover to digital TV next year) to reach areas underserved by current internet carriers: rural America and underprivileged communities. In order to reach those places, the theory goes, you may as well open it up everywhere. And how.
If this plan goes through, and it doesn’t get corrupted in the process (which, unfortunately, it probably will because that’s how these things work), it means that in a couple years we will see an immediate and massive shift towards a ubiquitous hand-held, mobile internet. While that’s the way things are moving anyway (the iPhone, Google’s Android, and other bleeding-edge mobile devices are proving that), this will speed the adoption at a rate far faster than hundred-dollar service plans allow now.
Which means for publishers, the time is now to begin planning your mobile strategy in a way that is meaningful and useful. Because this will change everything. Again.
But–and there’s always a but, isn’t there–there’s a problem:
Notably, both proposals stipulate that any free wireless offerings have mandatory content filters, preventing users from viewing any material that “would be harmful to teens and adolescents.”
Yep, we’re right back to the Communications Decency Act of 96 again, as demonstrated by using “contemporary community standards” in order to define obscenity. It’s a slippery slope that starts with pornographers and ends with medical information, novels, and all the other things that we, as a society, hold dear. It creates, once again, a tiered system of speech: one for the real world and one for the mobile web.
- “A tiered system of speech” – I like that. But call a spade a spade: it’s the moralists who create that system by freaking out over language many good people use, and body parts almost all good people love.They won’t block war and murder dramas, these good people. Only love, sex, reproduction, and colorful language. – post by cburell
Christopher Buckley Resigns From National Review After Obama Endorsement
Conservatism in crisis? Seems the philosophical (as opposed to brand name) Republicans are abandoning the party this year, or being chased out by the “party loyalist” core.
Is the Republican Party about to fade, like the Whigs, into American history because of George W. Bush and 6 years of a Republican congress, with the McCain’s selection of Palin as the lightweight straw that broke the elephant’s back? If so, who and what will replace it?
Does anybody else compare the feeling while watching all of this to that of watching the collapse of the Soviet Union and Iron Curtain in ’89-’91? That came out of the blue, too. We could be watching the death of the Republican Party right now.
It’s pretty clear that the spasm of reaction engendered by his support for Obama disappoints Buckley on some level, as he takes the time to note that his father, the late William Buckley, “endorsed a number of liberal Democrats for high office, including Allard K. Lowenstein and Joe Lieberman.” He goes on to say:
So, I have been effectively fatwahed (is that how you spell it?) by the conservative movement, and the magazine that my father founded must now distance itself from me. But then, conservatives have always had a bit of trouble with the concept of diversity. The GOP likes to say it’s a big-tent. Looks more like a yurt to me.
While I regret this development, I am not in mourning, for I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.
So, to paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan: I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me.
Robert L. Borosage: The Next Fight
Really interesting analysis of the many positions on how to solve the economic crisis, with clear arguments based on historical attempts to solve similar crises, and their results.
Borosage’s argument? Echoes of FDR: public works to rebuild the country, wean it of oil dependency, reduce unemployment, etc. But he claims Obama shows signs of lacking the nerve to buck the popular resistance to this type of agenda.
Eliminating waste in government spending is a Good Thing (although if the candidates were serious they’d start with the Pentagon budget, the largest source of waste, fraud and abuse, not the domestic side). But we can’t duck the reality: we’re headed into a deep recession and we’re going to need a healthy dose of deficit spending to get out of it.
The $700 billion bailout of Wall Street isn’t enough. Belatedly, Treasury Secretary Paulson has stumbled toward a sensible position on the bailout — giving taxpayers a stake in the upside while providing banks with new capital. (But NB: he didn’t demand the deal that Warren Buffett got from Goldman Sachs. That’s not because he isn’t a good businessman; it’s because he’s still conflicted about whether his client is the American taxpayer or the Wall Street club).
We’ve got a debate that focuses on what cannot happen — cutting domestic spending and balancing the budget, and slights what must happen — a large, bold plan to rebuild America, put people to work, and get the economy going.
Obama clearly gets this, but doesn’t want to buck the austerity consensus. He’s put forth various programs — including aid to cities, extended unemployment, investment in energy and infrastructure, and a blister of tax cuts — that add up to about $150 billion. That is not likely to be enough.
So in the debate tomorrow night, rather than hector candidates about what they’d cut to reduce the deficit, ask how the candidates plan to get us out of the swoon we are in, and what it will take to get the blood moving through this economy once more.
McCain Transition Chief Aided Saddam In Lobbying Effort
The circus continues. Doesn’t McCain _interview_ people before he picks them?
Fair play: Biden’s in hot water for allegations his family benefited from campaign fund contracts. But sheesh: Saddam for a Republican “tough on terror” candidate?
William Timmons, the Washington lobbyist who John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team, aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.
The two lobbyists who Timmons worked closely with over a five year period on the lobbying campaign later either pleaded guilty to or were convicted of federal criminal charges that they had acted as unregistered agents of Saddam Hussein’s government.
During the same period beginning in 1992, Timmons worked closely with the two lobbyists, Samir Vincent and Tongsun Park, on a previously unreported prospective deal with the Iraqis in which they hoped to be awarded a contract to purchase and resell Iraqi oil.
Bush Strategist: McCain Knows He Put Country At Risk With Palin Pick
Another great line at the end of this one.
Matthew Dowd, a prominent political consultant and chief strategist for George W. Bush’s reelection campaign eviscerated John McCain on Tuesday for his choice of Sarah Palin as vice president.
Dowd proclaimed that, in his heart of hearts, McCain knew he put the country at risk with his VP choice and that he would “have to live” with that fact for the rest of his career.
“No, I don’t agree,” said Mark McKinnon, a former McCain aide, after chiding Dowd for claiming particular insight into McCain’s soul.
“Well,” responded Dowd, “that’s even more disturbing than my thought” — the implication being that it would be truly frightening if McCain didn’t know how bad Palin truly was.
Time columnist Joe Klein summed up what seemed to be the panel’s Palin consensus.
“It was a gimmick,” he said of the pick. “It was one of the most disastrous decisions I have seen in a presidential campaign since I’ve begun covering them.”
Later in the session, Hilary Rosen, the Huffington Post’s Washington editor at large, noted that the Palin pick had been successful in energizing the Republican base — and McCain himself. But Dowd wasn’t biting.
“To me it is like Halloween,” he said. “You get energized by eating all that candy at night but then you feel sick the next day.”
Experts warn of Nov. 4 voting meltdowns – Politico.com Print View – Annotated
Good for Politico for raising the broader issue. Scary stuff. Florida and Ohio all over again?
While the two campaigns Tuesday accused one another of trying to steal or suppress votes, experts in election administration are focusing on the old standbys: Faulty machines, questionable voter lists, last-minute litigation.
The likely trouble spots, the experts say, include two familiar election reprobates: Ohio and Florida.
Many pointed, in particular, to Colorado as the possible source of a late night November 4, while others suggested that record turnout in states like Virginia and Georgia could challenge local election officials.
Brace cited everything from new machines in Cleveland and South Florida to the rise in absentee voting, many of which are counted by error-prone “optical scan” machines.
But despite eight years of federal and state efforts to create a more standardized, higher-tech national framework for election administration, most state votes will still be administered by county election boards whose competence and equipment vary wildly.
“In South Florida you’ve got areas that are going to be on their third separate voting technology in their third consecutive presidential election,” said Doug Chapin, the editor of the non-partisan Electionline.org
. “Ohio once again is in ground zero for policy changes and litigation.”
Colorado, meanwhile, is still reeling from a true Election Day meltdown in 2006, a technical failure in Denver that may have swung at least one close race.
“It’s squarely in both campaigns’ sights,” Chapin said. “They were one of the last states to finish their voter registration list. They had a very bad experience with Election Day voter centers in 2006. Lots of changes, lots.”
Many states are taking pressure off their November 4 poll sites with a push for early voting, which has been embraced by both presidential campaigns.
“Mail-in voting helps to relieve a lot of the pressure,” said Rich Coolidge, a spokesman for the Colorado secretary of state.
But Chapin said early voting comes with its own concerns: The error rate for optical-scan ballots transported to a central location for counting is sharply higher than those tallied on site, he said.
In preparation for the presidential election, 15 Florida counties complied with a new edict to abandon their touch-screen voting machines, and switched to optical scan machines, which leave a physical record of each voter’s ballot in case of a recount. But this August in Palm Beach County, a close local primary where 3,400 ballots went uncounted – followed by a series of recounts – led officials to worry and re-test the optical scan voting machines.
“We feel pretty good about the machines,” said Jennifer Krell Davis, the communications director for the Florida secretary of state, who said most had had a test-run in this year’s presidential primaries.
But just in case, “All of the supervisors have been encouraged to plan as if there is definitely going to be a county-wide recount,” she said.
Some observers say that the main problem may simply be delays, and depressed turnout, as voters navigate the new machines.
“To me it’s the possibility of the long lines that’s the issue,” said Susan McManus a political science professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
In Ohio, where Democrats continue to complain that a Republican secretary of state tilted the rules toward George W. Bush in 2004, the shoe is now on the other foot. Ohio Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s directives on early voting, voter identification, and interpreting voter registration forms have taken fire from Republicans.
“What we’re worried about is the registration lists,” said Terri Enns, a law professor at Ohio State University.
Ohio courts are currently considering whether Brunner is required to supply lists of questionable registrations to county election boards.
Democrats say the county boards could unfairly remove voters due to technical glitches and similar names; Republicans have charged that people who shouldn’t be allowed to vote will.
The result of the wrangling may be more voters casting provisional ballots, which require laborious checking and and time-consuming counting.
“It could mean that we don’t know the outcome of Election Day as soon,” said Enns.
The newest state on the list of potential troublespots is shadowed by a disastrous election in Denver two years ago. Denver County responded by scrapping its machines and reverting to old-fashioned paper ballots and printed lists of voters this year, but critics are still worried about the state’s capacity to manage the surge of registrations in a closely fought race.
“I’m afraid that there will be problems – so many counties are doing so many different things,” said state Senator Ken Gordon, a Democrat whose narrow defeat in the 2006 race for Secretary of State is attributed by some to the chaos in Denver that year.
“We’re expecting huge turnout, we have a long ballot – and this is where I think the problem will occur,” he said, noting that 18 ballot measures may lead to long voting times and long lines at the polls.
Wang also cited Virginia, which may be a crucial battleground this year, as a potential hot spot. Chris Ashby, a lawyer and longtime observer of Virginia elections, who supports McCain, said the “increased use of touch-screen voting machines” could lead to technical problems. But he said the state had passed a test in the high-turnout Democratic primary.
“It’s impossible to make predictions,” said Wang. “Probably what’s going to happen is what nobody anticipates.”
Another risk, said Susan McManus, the Florida professor: Even discussing potential problems could have an impact at the polls.
“What I’ve heard some people worry about is that too much discussion of a meltdown in Florida before it happens may keep at home the very people we’re trying to bring into the system,” she said.
- Oy.But what’s weird is that DIEBOLD and its history wasn’t mentioned at all in this article…. – post by cburell
Obama makes inroads into America’s wealthiest | Politics | Reuters
Page 3. Interesting perspective of India’s wealthy on the Palin choice. They don’t like Obama’s Pakistan saber-rattling, but they like Palin even less.
“The non-U.S. wealth-holders I’ve talked to, in India for example, were feeling very negative on Obama. And all of sudden the Palin thing has flipped that because as naive as Obama looked they think Palin looks more so,” he said.
He said wealthy individuals in India are highly critical of Obama’s willingness to strike against terrorists in Pakistan without approval from Islamabad.
“They would say ‘oh, Obama is terrible.’ I just kept running into that when I was there. But when McCain chose Palin, they said ‘oh Palin.’ They just don’t understand the whole culture around her, the ‘hockey mom’ idea.”
Obama makes inroads into America’s wealthiest | Politics | Reuters – Annotated
According to Taylor’s findings, the wealthy view McCain more favorably on foreign policy and even the economy, an area where Obama enjoys a perceived edge in recent national opinion polls during the current turmoil in financial markets.
“What Obama wins is an understanding of and sensitivity toward people,” he said. “And as a general rule, people have agreed at the wealthy end they can afford some more taxes.”
Richard Feurtado, head of wealth management at BlackRock Inc, the largest publicly traded U.S. asset management firm, said about 50 percent of his ultra-high net worth clients are Obama supporters. “People do things for all sorts of reasons, and maybe one of them is financial but there are many other reasons for the way people vote,” he said.
Some rich Americans expect taxes to rise regardless of who wins the White House race, and some expect it even if the foundering U.S. economy tips into recession.
“Everybody believes that taxes are going up … no matter who gets elected,” said Timothy Vaill, chairman and chief executive of the wealth management arm of Boston Private Financial Holdings, a money-management firm.
Some wealthy foreign investors with big investments in the United States are unnerved by McCain’s running-mate, Alaska governor and self-described ‘hockey mom’ Sarah Palin, said Charles Lowenhaupt, chairman of St. Louis-based Lowenhaupt Global Advisors, which advises ultra-high-net-worth families.
- More proof of costly bad judgment in choosing Palin. – post by cburell
Obama makes inroads into America’s wealthiest | Politics | Reuters
Interesting. But note the actual billionaires still favor McCain by a wide margin.
The billionaires and others in the wealthiest strata of U.S. society traditionally vote Republican, but that’s changing this year, say advisers to the wealthy.
Despite plans to boost tax rates for the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans, Sen. Barack Obama is making the deepest inroads into wealthy voters in more than a decade for any Democratic presidential nominee, suggesting the November 4 election could mark a fundamental shift in voting patterns.
“McCain does not enjoy the kind of plurality in the wealthy space that Republican candidates have enjoyed in the past,” said Jim Taylor, vice chairman of the Harrison Group, a market research and strategy firm in Waterbury, Conn.
Taylor, who produces a quarterly “Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America,” said the wealthy were once a solid Republican majority. “It’s not anymore,” he told the Reuters Wealth Management Summit on Tuesday, citing the findings of his latest survey of 614 affluent individuals taken September 19-23.
That showed McCain had 40 percent of the “affluent and wealth vote,” compared with 33 percent for Obama, and given the recent stock market slide Taylor says he would be surprised if Obama’s support hadn’t risen further in the past few weeks.
In the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, in contrast, about 80 percent of the wealthy supported the Republican nominee, Taylor said.
For the wealthiest American households, who have at least $1.6 million set aside each year for discretionary spending, McCain was favored over Obama by 49 percent to 28 percent.
Obama: Banking Plan Must Rein in Executive Pay – The Caucus Blog – NYTimes.com
I’m not convinced Obama’s push for limits on golden parachutes had any teeth in the fine print. From what I’ve read, it didn’t.
He said the limits on the so-called golden parachutes for chief executives, which he pushed to be a part of the first government bailout plan, remain a key point.
“I am concerned that the way that they structure this new mechanism that we are cracking down on excessive CEO pay –- that I think should be part of the deal,” Mr. Obama said. “And I’m also concerned that taxpayer shares -– that they are purchasing or they are receiving as a consequence of this injection of equity –- is a good deal for tax payers. I think that if tax payers investing in Goldman Sachs, they shouldn’t get a worse deal than when Warren Buffet invests in Goldman Sachs.”
Questioning Obama | The Trail | washingtonpost.com
This is a good critique of Obama on the bailout – I said as much when the bailout stamped got his too-fast approval – and on the need for the media to bear down on him for more substance as well.
Obama has dealt deftly with the economic crisis — at least in a political sense. Unlike McCain, he was fairly calm during the first days after Lehman’s collapse and the government bailout of AIG.
He stayed in close contact with Henry Paulson and Ben Bernanke and with Democratic congressional leaders. He both embraced the sense of urgency to act on the $700 billion bailout package and offered criticisms of the administration’s initially sketchy plan. His criticisms were in line with changes that Congress made before eventually approving the package.
But it’s not clear that he has had any better ideas — or put them forward more aggressively — than Paulson and Bernanke when it comes to dealing with the crisis in the credit markets. It’s not clear that he has pushed ideas that would have dealt with the crisis more effectively. At every turn, he has voiced support for the general course the administration has outlined, but he’s not been far out ahead.
Black Box Voting – America’s Elections Watchdog Group
More on the threat of DIEBOLD and other voting machines – as well as the whole chain of possession of the voting results as they make their way to be counted – that should be in the mainstream news. We need Smart Mobs to police the elections, and BlackBoxVoting is doing its best to organize them. I wish I were in the States so I could volunteer a couple of hours.
And how cool would students look who put this as an extra-curricular activity on their college applications?
Black Box Voting Video List
Use this to educate others: Hacking Democracy
||This Emmy-nominated HBO documentary features Black Box Voting’s original investigation into the shocking secrecy of the elections industry.
ZimBlog: The NACAC Report on Standardized Testing in College Admissions
Interesting argument about the ACT v. the SAT, as well as the desireability of both of these tests.
The academic underperformance of poor children is one of the most persistent and serious failures of American public education. I don’t know all of the mechanisms that contribute to the problem, any more than anyone else does. But I do know that if the tests go away, then we are flying blind. Last year, 12%
of African Americans taking the ACT scored high enough to indicate likely success in college math; whites were four times as likely to score at college-ready levels. (See here
, Figure 3.) If the ACT goes away, then so does this damning statistic; and so also disappears our ability to chart growth in response to interventions.
When progressives argue that the tests have to go away because of the way they correlate with poverty, they are cruelly wrong. The time to drop the tests is when they no longer correlate with student poverty.
McCain campaign protests YouTube’s DMCA policy | Politics and Law – CNET News
MCain’s managers seem as unschooled on the internet as he is. They’re using copyrighted materials in their YouTube ads, and complaining that YouTube is pulling them.
OPINION Blog: Palin’s Rah-Rah Rigamarole | The Dallas Morning News
More hope for conservatives. They have a keen sense of smell too, when it comes to Palin as a serious contender for high office.
As someone who initially loved the Sarah Palin pick, her degeneration into a jingo robot is sickening. Check this out:
Here is the thing about Gov. Sarah Palin: She loves America. Really loves it. She loves the smell of cut grass and hay, as she told Ohio voters Sunday. She loves Navy bases, she said in Virginia Beach on Monday morning. She loves America’s “most beautiful national anthem,” she told a crowd here a few hours later.
Apparently there are people who do not feel the same way about America as Ms. Palin does, she said at campaign rallies over the last two days. Those people just do not get it.
“Man, I love small-town U.S.A.,” Ms. Palin told several thousand people on a field in Ohio, “and I don’t care what anyone else says about small-town U.S.A. You guys, you just get it.”
“John McCain is always, always proud to be an American,” Ms. Palin told more than 10,000 people at the Richmond International Raceway. “U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” she continued, leading many of them in chant.
It’s like a “Simpsons” parody, or a Stephen Colbert routine.
What’s so infuriating about this, at least to me as a conservative, is how utterly, completely vacuous it all is. It’s all about manipulating nationalistic emotion. Mind you, Barack Obama’s rhetoric is also about emotional manipulation of a different kind, but at least there’s policy substance behind the rhetoric. With Palin, it all seems to be about “vote for us if you love America, vote for them if you don’t.” If the GOP must lose in November, I hope it loses hard. We need to be slapped silly to come to our senses again.
The Associated Press: Video games feature ads for Obama’s campaign
Is Obama campaigning in Second Life too? So sci-fi.
ABC News: Voter Group Admits Mistakes, Defends Work
Attention should be paid to ACORN registrations if they’re fraudulent. But my question is, WHERE IS THE MEDIA ON DIEBOLD ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES?
Have they been removed from the polling stations? Has oversight been implemented if not? Google DIEBOLD and see how deep the far right has gone in rigging elections. Then ask why the media isn’t even asking about it now.
ACORN held a news conference today to answer its critics.
Kevin Whelan, a spokesman for the nationwide group, admitted that in some states some of its workers had “decided to pad their hours” and had sent in duplicative or faulty registrations but that the “vast, vast majority” of its workers did a “great job.”
“There is no evidence that these false registrations led to false attempts to cast a ballot,” Whelan said.
Whelan said that ACORN tries to independently verify applications and that by state law “and good judgment” it turns over all its applications to election workers, even those it has flagged as potentially problematic.
Some of those registration cards have become the focus of fraud investigations in Nevada, Connecticut, Missouri and at least five other states. Election officials in Ohio and North Carolina also recently questioned the group’s voter forms.
Poll Finds Attacks by McCain Turn Off Voters – NYTimes.com
There’s hope for America yet. Maybe it’s time for me to “unsuspend” my edublogging campaign. My work here seems done.
The top reasons cited by those who said that thought less of Mr. McCain were his recent attacks and his choice of Gov. Sarah Palin
of Alaska as his running mate.
In Final Debate, Can McCain Rattle an Imperturbable Foe? – TIME
Another voice wondering when McCain will stop being his managers’ puppet and just be himself. Conservative Bill Kristol even went as far this week as suggesting McCain should sack his campaign team and start over. I would agree, except he already did that once in this campaign, when he dumped his first team to hire Bush campaign veterans.
McCain’s best bet is to ignore all the advice he is getting about what he needs to accomplish and how he should comport himself: don’t try to be all things to all strategists. Instead, he should say what he truly believes about his own proposals, about Obama’s qualifications, and about the challenges the country faces, without an over-crafted strategy. His debate performances have improved, and he is always his most likeable, and most formidable when he uses his head and speaks from the heart. To paraphrase the wise old song, dignity is just another word for nothing left to lose. McCain might lose the election, but he doesn’t have to lose his reputation in the process.
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