Analysis: Is The McCain Campaign Imploding?

October 26, 2008

In the final stretches of the now slightly Obama leaning presidential campaign, the trailing McCain/Palin camp has truly let loose their steam, and people have noticed it. CNN just recently released information from a McCain aide among other things, quoting that “Palin is going rouge.”

And some of the loudest voices on the internet as well as the media have questioned: Is the McCain Campaign Imploding?

And this in fact raises a very good question. 

It is not disputed from either party that regardless of the current attacks, since both parties entered the political spotlight and are now close to ending the election, we have seen two very different strategic McCain campaigns.

So a question like this can in fact be raised. The answer? Not entirely.

This essentially boils down to the circumstance of the situation McCain has been in, as well as the fact that their original strategic goals have not fallen through.

And this in a sense involves Sarah Palin and also doesn’t. As detailed in my other work, the Palin strategy has not been a long term success, at first creating a press frenzy but lately failing to deliver enough positive media attention toward the McCain campaign. 

And in part, because of this McCain has lost ground. 

But regardless of the past, I believe that the McCain campaign is trapped in a position they truly can’t dig themselves out of any other way than what they are doing strategically right now. 

But what is interesting is that the strategy they are using in a fact has put forth the sense that McCain has been negative enough to look like it is imploding, as reports of both McCain and Palin coming are off as desperate.

And this is nothing short of true — but my main point here (in plain words) is that the only thing the McCain campaign can do is desperately attack via the press and public statements – the reason being the political position they are in. 

But in the same sense, the Obama campaign is doing the most strategically sound thing to do — point this out. The highlight of this backfire tactic has been this quote recently hammered in by a seemingly fired up Joe Biden:

Barack Obama has a backbone of steel — he can take 8 more days of attacks. But the American people can’t take 8 more years old George Bush in the form of John McCain.

So to the commenters: is the McCain campaign imploding, and what strategies are both campaigns using?

35 Responses to “Analysis: Is The McCain Campaign Imploding?”

  1. kayinmaine Says:

    Yep. They’re imploding alright. You can tell by their crazed eyes.

  2. pacer521 Says:


    Thank you for responding and leaving your take.

  3. WSE51 Says:

    From Palin’s point of view, it makes sense to think beyond what appears to be a losing proposition being McCain’s running mate, and to use the few remaining days she will be in the public eye to elevate and define her image. Otherwise, on November 5th she will be back in Alaska, her only claim to international importance being looking at Russia on the horizon, trapped in her small job. Very few people even recall the name of failed VP candidates after two years have passed. If this is to be the beginning of her Republican career as a national politician she needs to use every moment she has available.

  4. pacer521 Says:


    You make a very good side point, I agree that if McCain loses, Palin will still be remembered for a very long time. I in fact read an article about Hollywood trying to recruit Palin for a future film.

    thanks for the comment.

  5. Kevin Robles Says:


    I am as happy as they come. Not only are they imploding, they are losing the party to Gov. Palin. Like the source you quoted from CNN, she is a “DIVA!!!” And you know what, this is great for us Democrats, because she is definitely going to run for President in 2012, and that my friend is music to my ears. I can see it now; “how are you going to elect a secessionist?” etc, etc. Nonetheless, we can’t take our lead for granted.

    Obama’s startegy is to remain doing what they have been doing, but induce the McCain camp into doing erratic stuff.

    By the way, I changed my theme, thanks Pacer!

  6. pacer521 Says:


    hmmm, I can see your point. This could end up as a plus for the democrats, but the election really isn’t over.

    You site looks great, keep on the hunt for good themes!

  7. Kevin Robles Says:

    Thanks Pacer.

    Yeah, the election isn’t over….yet. But, what is happening to the McCain campaign is the same thing that happened to the Clinton campaign. At first, it was infighting over what the message should be. And it ended with people being fired, e.g. Mark Penn.

  8. jay1949 Says:

    I don’t think the McCain campaign is imploding so much as the fundamental rifts in the Republican Party are becoming evident. From Day 1, on the Republican side, this campaign has been like herding cats. Pick any day of this year, check the Web sources and blogs and so on, and you’ll find 20 or 30 pundits telling McCain what he “absolutely must do” to win the election – – and few of the pundits agree, and their advice is constantly contradictory. So you’ve witnessed various Republican and right-of-center elements running around and doing their thing, regardless of consequences to the election, all believing they are right, and (at best) wasting time and money or (at worst) alienating voters. I say this as an outside observer, being a pro-McCain Democrat.

    One of the pundit themes has been that McCain “will destroy the Republican Party.” Which leads me to ask, “What part of the Republican Party remained un-destroyed after the 2006 elections?” The only Republican with the vision to lead the Republicans is Newt Gingrinch, and it is painfully obvious that the party regulars aren’t listening to him.

  9. Alberto Says:

    Well, McCain at this point has pretty much done all he can. There’s nothing left in the 8 days left ’til the election, so now all they can do is wait.

    Now they just have to avoid doing something incredibly stupid.

  10. pacer521 Says:

    You make a very good point — the pundits are very informed and have factual opinions, but at the same time it is still important to keep on open mind.

    I especially enjoyed your last paragraph. One of the main thins that McCain does have going against him is the fact that his party is extremely unpopular.

    Thank you for the great comment and I encourage you to continue reading and putting in your points, they are very much welcome.

  11. pacer521 Says:


    I agree — there is a small list of events that could take place and ultimately result in an McCain win, but its really going to go down to the undecideds, which I (by the way) am kind of bewildered that they haven’t yet made up their minds.

    Thanks for the comment.

  12. 1superdave Says:

    I think you spend too much time listening to cnn and nbc. That would be be like listening to Tokyo Rose to find out how WWII was going. With the polls showing a five to six point race and closing I could say like hanibal, of a-team fame ” I love it when a plan comes together”. Or in the words of Yogi Beara “It ain’t of till it’s over” Add to that, it was leaked that obama has already writen his innagural address. The American people don’t like to be told how to think. Also there’s been a big blow-up in Florida about question asked Joe Biden that the Obama Campaign thought were out of line. One of them implide that Obama’s tax plan was Marxist.

  13. 1superdave Says:

    The biggist irony of this whole campaign is that both Obama and McCain have those non-commital undecided “Independants” to thank for been nominated. They voted in the republican primaries for McCain because they had been lead to believe that Hilary had the democrat nomination sewed up. Had they voted for Hilary instead it would probably be Hilary and Mit Romney right now. So much for what the press Knows.

  14. 1superdave Says:

    this is off of topic but this is a story of a fathers love

  15. 1superdave Says:

    Sorry but hat’s the wrong link. This is the correct one

  16. pacer521 Says:

    Ok, but that is a bit off topic. I’ll answer your original question after I finish my math homework.

  17. pacer521 Says:


    I in fact spend an equal time listening to each press outlet, but I never quote Fox news because I think it is overly partisan. If CNN or NBC was overly left, I wouldn’t quote them either.

    Look, the press doesn’t know as much as we credit it for, and that is why original work is used at such a high value. I encourage you, though, to take another look at the post and put out another comment reading what you think of it.

  18. serendipitygirl Says:

    I think that as a general trend, there’s some truth to the notion but in actual practice not so much. While the Obama camp moves to secure every last possible point on the map, the McCain camp is alternating between several previously successful tacks in the GOP playbook. This strategy, given the political landscape, I think adds to the perception that the McCain camp is desperate.
    And perceptions are what win elections.

  19. culturepress Says:

    Pacer, thank you for stopping by my blog. Yes, I do believe that the McPalin camp is imploding. Palin was a bad choice, and she’s become a liability and an embarrassment to the GOP, to anyone who’s actually paying attention instead of simply being enamored by her Bush-in-a-skirt-like charm.

  20. The McCain campaign never had a chance. I thought from the very beginning of the primaries that the only Republican candidate who could beat Obama (or Hillary!) was Ron Paul. His views are not only sound and truly conservative but they stand in stark, vivid contrast to those of Obama. The choice would have been clear and Paul would have won handily.

    In fact, I told my friends back in March that McCain was going to get bounced in a landslide by Obama and I stand by that prediction.

    The primary process must be changed in order to address this problem. We have, in effect, three states (Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina) that choose the candidates and, by the time buyer’s remorse has a chance to manifest itself, it is too late to change course. (Some of the blame can also be cast at the feet of those who sold their birthright to participate in Rush Limbaugh’s Operation Chaos–they were too smart by half and blew their chance to influence the GOP race in order to fool around with the Democrat race.)

    A pox on both their houses.

  21. katbur Says:

    I don’t know if it is imploding but it is definitely showing the strain of having running mates who do not agree with each others basic views.

  22. scottfmathews Says:

    Keep in mind that people thought that keep Chaney was a bad decision for Bush that would cost him in 2004, but it didnt happen. I think that Palin was a risky choice, but so was Joe Biden for Barack.

    Inexperience…arent they ALL inexperienced when it comes to the presidency? I think that having foreign ties is a plus, but not a necessary ingredient. Fresh faces with fresh ideas…not all bad!

    Imploding? Come on…that is a media driven comment/conversation…honestly it is. Think about it. If it isnt reported by an “insider”…then how does it get out, and 2…who really cares?

    Stress causes “implosions”. Isnt it really more like panic? Think about it…the best part of this campaign has been the attention that it has received. People are PANICKED that Republicans might be in office for 12(+) years and PANICKED that an unknown/untested politician (Barack) might be at the helm of the free world.

    A lot different thoughts I throw out there…but just some thoughts I have.

  23. 1superdave Says:

    Pacer: I do listen primarily, to conservative talk radio, ie Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and Glen Beck(of cnn)and Fox news. Let me say they don’t shape my views but instead are not hostile to my views. But I digress. The question asked by you can’t be answered by someone who leans left and supports Obama. That would be like asking your home football team what they think about the cheerleaders of the cross town rival school, during a peprally the day of the game. Your team is in no position to answer that question. I can, and I still say it was to best choice Mccain could have posibly made.

  24. Kevin Robles Says:


    The inaguration speech was a false article by the New York Times; Go figure? The problem with all the people you said you listen to is that they are hotile to anyone that disagrees with them, especially Rush Limbaugh. I wouldn’t waste my time listening to them. When it comes to NBC and CNN, they are the most objective compared to FOX or MSNBC.

  25. Stefan Says:

    For the record, I generally don’t rely much on mainstream media outlets like those mentioned above, mainly because even relatively centrist ones like CNN are characterized by a herd mentality and a press corps that has far too much in common with the politicians that it covers. Though the internet is lambasted for allowing endless amounts of disinformation, it does allow you to compare and contrast facts and positions much more reliably than some talking head on TV who won’t speak the truth because it might affect his “access privileges”.

    Anyhoo. Yes, it looks like the McCain campaign, if not quite imploding, is in serious trouble. In response to 1superdave above, it’s nonsensical to imply that I can’t analyse the problems of the Palin selection just because I lean left. It’s hard to find a vice presidential candidate who has had a more adverse effect on his/her ticket’s chances. Tom Eagleton, maybe? Although McGovern was never going to win anyways. Palin has a negative unfavorability rating, far lower than any other candidate in the race. Her endless gaffes and ridiculous conceptions about government and policy have done a disservice to women in politics everywhere.

    As for “the best choice possible”: really? What about Tim Pawlenty or Kay Bailey Hutchinson? They may not have made the splash that Palin did, but they would almost certainly have held up better in the long run. Even Romney, who despite his empty-suit quality was pretty quick on his feet, or Huckabee, who made religious fundamentalism look humanistic and nonthreatening, would have made a far better choice.

  26. pacer521 Says:


    I agree, perception does win elections, and perceptions are not working towards McCain’s favor. Thanks for the comment.

  27. pacer521 Says:


    No problem, thanks for coming over and commenting. I personally think that policy wise, Palin was a bad choice, as well as strategically — although we must admit she was very promising at first for the McCain campaign as far as a press splash.

  28. pacer521 Says:


    So you think it is going to be an Obama landslide? Very interesting, as I personally think that the outcome of the election will be surprising in favor of Obama, but not a landslide.

    Thanks for the comment.

  29. pacer521 Says:


    yes, there is some of that as well. Thanks for the comment.

  30. pacer521 Says:


    thanks for the comment and putting in your point of view. I personally think that the campaign is showing signs of imploding, but I will admit that “imploding” is a pretty strong word.

  31. pacer521 Says:


    As I may lean left generally, I will point out there are many issues where I disagree with Obama, but this is hardly on topic.

    I try to write my posts as non-partisan as possible, but sometimes they may seem a bit objective. However, this does not take away any credibility from me to raise this question, and it doesn’t take any credit away from you to raise a question that may be negatively oriented to Obama.

    It is just all about the substance and facts, rather than full out opinion.

  32. 1superdave Says:

    pacer I am referring to the commenters. they are not in a position to evaluate weather I am totally energized to vote for Mccain Palin. Thats like me saying that Denis Consenach would have been the best dem choice. ou didn’t get the point of my first comment, being we got stuck with Mccain and Obama because the dems and independants, when they thought that Hill was a shoein, crossed over and voted for Mccain. they thought he’d be easier to beat.

  33. 1superdave Says:

    Kevin. he’s building a victory platform in Chicago allready. Stay away from the kool-aid.

  34. I reckon it depends on our definitions of ‘landslide.’ Because the popular vote is irrelevant, I am speaking in terms of the Electoral College (of which I am a big fan). McCain will lose by at least 100 electoral votes.

    Sigh. We could have had Ron Paul. Maybe next time.

  35. billarends Says:

    When finger pointing starts to happen inside the party before the election is over you know something is wrong. I am a member of the Liberal party of Canada and this happened in our party throughout the election we just lost. So if our experience is an example the Republicans are looking at an embarrassing loss, of monumental proportions.

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