On the Next John McCain Hail Mary

The headline says it all — “McCain camp prays for Palin wedding.”

Why is the McCain campaign “praying”? Let’s put it like this — Republican presidential standard bearer John McCain had a pretty rough week last week.

His Vice Presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, sat for an interview with Katie Couric — and came out bloodied and battered, the same way a high school student who didn’t study before a test and tries to fake it gets their bullshit called on. CNN analyst Jack Cafferty called it “pathetic.”

He suspended his campaign and flew back to Washington — skipping out on a scheduled appearance on Dave Letterman’s show, a cancellation for which Letterman was unmerciful — just so he could save the Wall Street bailout package, only McCain sabotaged the deal his own party had worked out with the Democrats so he didn’t have to be forced to take a stand. (Not that he would have anyway; he hasn’t voted in the Senate since April.)

He returned to the campaign trail — his campaign suspension being only a stunt, as his talking heads were still on the airwaves and his ads were still running in media markets around the country — and attended the scheduled presidential debate, only to visibly show his anger and contempt for Barack Obama on stage, and then not only did the punditocracy declare Obama the winner, but so did snap-polling of viewers. (I should note that I thought the debate was a draw, with a slight tactical edge to McCain, but I blame my live-blogging of the event; I was focused on what they were saying so I could think and type, so I got the verbal content, but not the body language content.)

What — if anything — can save John McCain now? What’s going to change the narrative? That’s how McCain works — when the narrative turns against him, make a little noise somewhere else, and expect the ritalin-addicted media to turn their attention to whatever dog-and-pony show he’s offering, so he can seize control of the media narrative for a couple of days — or a couple of weeks. We’ve seen that before. McCain countered Obama’s acceptance speech with the Sarah Palin announcement. McCain tried to seize the media narrative this week by “suspending” his campaign and giving the appearance that he cared.

The next Hail Mary pass? Why, Bristol Palin’s wedding, of course!

From the Times of London:

Inside John McCain’s campaign the expectation is growing that there will be a popularity boosting pre-election wedding in Alaska between Bristol Palin, 17, and Levi Johnston, 18, her schoolmate and father of her baby. “It would be fantastic,” said a McCain insider. “You would have every TV camera there. The entire country would be watching. It would shut down the race for a week.”

There is already some urgency to the wedding as Bristol, who is six months pregnant, may not want to walk down the aisle too close to her date of delivery. She turns 18 on October 18….

[SNIP]

McCain is expected to have a front-row seat at Bristol’s wedding and to benefit from the outpouring of goodwill that it could bring. “What’s the downside?” a source inside the McCain campaign said. “It would be wonderful. I don’t know that there has ever been a pre-election wedding before.”

Will this be the new Hail Mary pass? The weekend after Bristol’s 18th birthday, there will be a state wedding in Alaska?

There’s an upside for the McCain campaign — this would give Sarah Palin a reason to stay out of the media spotlight for the next three weeks. She can’t campaign for Vice President or sit for media interviews; instead, she’ll be too busy planning for Bristol’s wedding to Levi Johnston, an eighteen year-old hockey hooligan who described himself on MySpace as a “fucking redneck” who “didn’t want kids.” Keeping Governor Palin out of the media’s glare will prevent more incidents like the Couric interview.

Will this Hail Mary pass by John McCain work? Will it keep the media’s focus on McCain and Palin and not on Obama and Biden?

We shall see.

One thought on “On the Next John McCain Hail Mary

  1. McCain was indeed transparently angry. I think it goes beyond the debate or even the campaign.

    John McCain suffered unimaginably in service to the rest of us. When his sacrifices are denigrated or ignored by those who never endured such treatment, his anger is understandable. I believe this instance is more revealing than the debate.

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