Wednesday, 15 October 2008

McCain vs. his narrative - a quick update

Here’s a quick update on John McCain’s sterling efforts to wreck his own brand. To use the lingo, he no longer embodies his narrative – and he’s done it all by himself.

McCain was the meant to be the straight-talking, non-partisan breath of fresh air. Lately, he's looked more like a risk-taking, negative-campaigning Republican.

The original, "good" McCain seemed to turn up for most of the second tv debate. The Washington Post’s E.J. Dionne jr. asked:

"Who is the real John McCain? Is he the man who used to tout himself as a problem-solver, or is he the desperate candidate who lurches from attack to attack?"

But since then ABC’s pollster Gary Langer has found that voters, by a 24-point margin, say that McCain is more focused on attacking his opponent rather than addressing the issues. In August, that margin was just 3 points. And voters, by a 42-point margin, think that Obama is mainly addressing the issues, rather than going negative. Rasmussen Reports has found that Obama is seen more favourably than McCain.

The new figures follow McCain’s harsher attacks on Barack Obama and Sarah Palin’s accusations that the Democratic nominee has been “palling around with terrorists”.

Jafapete summed it up earlier this week when he invited the embattled Republican nominee to take a reality check.

"You’ve managed to screw your own brand, without so much as smudging your opponent’s. You were supposed to be the straight-talking, independent-minded, tough, honourable one, remember? The war hero who could keep a cool head in times of crisis. When people are losing their jobs, homes and pension savings, they expect a little more than vague fear mongering about rather tenuous associations with a couple who never actually harmed anyone, a long time ago. The voters think that you’re more interested in personality attacks than policies. And they’re right."

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