Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

John McCain In Trouble; His Campaign And Supporters Spin

This time around Senator John McCain is not having an easy go at the presidential nomination for the Republican side of the aisle. His first quarter fundraising numbers were paltry -- a measley $12.5 million; $8 million of which was blown through quickly. His campaign now admits that it is unlikely he will top the Q1 numbers by much. We are hearing his numbers will reflect arounf $13 million raised, and over six million dollars spent, thus far. The Politico tries to paint a better picture, but it is nothing close to a Mona Lisa for the senior senator from Arizona:

Bracing for a fundraising report at the end of the month that is unlikely to alleviate the headaches that have plagued his campaign, Arizona Sen. John McCain and his top advisers have fashioned a survival plan they hope will steady his GOP nomination run.

For the second time in a row, McCain could report that he has raised the least of the top three Republican candidates -- slightly, but not dramatically, more than the $12.5 million that he collected in the first quarter.

That disappointing figure provoked a shakeup in the campaign's structure but has produced only a marginal improvement for the second quarter. McCain aides will say only that the figure will be more than last time.

"We're fine. We're doing well," says an official familiar with the campaign's progress. "I wish we were doing better.

Even though a bunch of folks are going to try to write a McCain campaign obituary, we have enough money to run the campaign. The fact that we're not the No. 1 fundraiser doesn't affect what we're doing."

The fact is that not being close to the top fundraiser puts his campaign in jeopardy. Actually, his campaign has been dead from the word go, and as of the 16th of this month, you can read our opinion why his run is dead right here. ;-)

As for them being "fine," that is subject to interpretation. We are hearing that Senator McCain is going to earn around thirteen million from donors, and will have significantly less when the numbers are fully exposed. This comes at a time when people like Mitt and Rudy are sitting on twenty-plus million dollars in their campaign chests. This does not bode well for Senator McCain.

McCain advisers speak ruefully of "the dead-man-walking" trope and the thirst by reporters and pundits to administer "the journalistic last rites."

So McCain's most urgent and immediate battle is not in Manchester, N.H., or Des Moines, Iowa, but inside the Beltway.

He has to make sure perceptions -- which at this point in a campaign can be at least as important as reality, because of the effect they have on donors, staff and supporters -- don't pull him under in a brutally competitive field.

Skipping the Iowa Ames straw poll is not a smart dea. Not for him, or for Rudy because this sets the stage for the upcoming primaries. With both refusing to attend, they are ceding the field to Mitt for a mudstomp that both will have a problem recovering from. Rudy can, and will likely move on. But missing this will be John McCain's death knell. Rudy has something that McCain lacks, and that is popularity. Rudy is considerably more popular than John McCain, and could recover more quickly thanMcCain could. He has already irritated far too much of the GOP base, and it is showing in his fundraising.

So McCain's aides have a blueprint. Now they have to roll it out -- and hope. "It's frustrating," Weaver said. "But at the end of the day, by and large, the American people reward people who do the right thing. You've got to believe that."

Reward? Who will reward John McCain for his pitiful record of compromising with the Left over the last six years? McCain/Feingold? Being against the tax cuts? Instituting redundant torture legislation? The Gang of Fourteen deal (which is our biggest sticking point with his candidacy)? The immigration bill? John McCain has done little to empower and embrace his base. It is showing. In short, as Dean Barnett has explained, John McCain is sitting ont he Titanic and proclaiming that all is well as the ship continues to slip beneath the icy waters.

"These same people wrote off John Kerry in October of '03 -- 'dead,' 'broke,' " Weaver said.

"He won the nomination basically three months later. As long as we have enough money to run our campaign, which we do, and as long as we have the best candidate, I'll take our chances."

McCain's brain trust had decided long ago that they did not want to participate in August's Iowa Straw Poll, which they probably would not have won.

McCain tips his hand by bowing out of Iowa. He knows that he will not win, and so he is moving on. But in doing so, he is showing that he does not have the strength -- both financially and economically -- to handle the early primary states. He can count on South Carolina, but it is not the trump card in the primaries.

John McCain is in trouble, and he is not being honest about it. His campaign, as far as we are concerned, was dead before he started. To continue this run is a delusion that he believes he is owed something. He can point to his record, but it is not one that either of us would be bragging about.



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