Recently, [Robert Novak] (http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=27630) has come out with a developing story that the McCain campaign is seriously considering naming a VP pick this week. Presumably, this is being done to help counter the overwhelming pro-Obama coverage that is likely to take place this week with his overseas trip.
Until now, I had ignored the rumors I’ve heard from multiple sources that the Obama campaign had moles at some of the highest levels at McCain headquarters. Now, I have to give it some credence. To blow your VP pick (one of the only major unplayed Aces remaining in McCain’s hand) in order to win the media news cycle for a week in mid-JULY seems an act of political sabotage. It goes above and beyond the mere incompetance we’ve come to expect from Team McCain as of late.Assuming that Obama campaign moles did NOT plant this seed into the idea of our nominee, we can only believe that utter panic has ensued. This is somewhat understandable given the runup to the trip, and the fact that CBS, NBC, and ABC anchors are all traveling to be with Obama over there. It does seem incredibly unfair, but what would be most unfair is to allow this fear to overtake your senses.
Even if Obama were to receive wall-to-wall favorable press all week from the Drive-By Media, just how much of a ‘bounce’ would Obama receive from it? I can’t think it’d be much. If Drive-By Media support alone was enough to move Undecideds over to Obama, I’ve got news for you. They’re already solidly behind the Illinois Senator. So stop panicking.
Any turnaround for McCain needs to start at the Republican Convention. I predict that Obama will hit his apex of support right after the Democratic Convention. Ours begins just one week later.
Team McCain really needs to start envisioning what late August/early September will look like. Obama is likely to wait to announce his VP pick under right before the Democratic Convention. There is no doubt his convention, complete with the surreal acceptance speech at Mile High Stadium and the excitement generated from his VP selection will give him a nice bounce.
Our job is to counter that. Well, announcing your pick NOW is ridiculous. You lose a key element of surprise (even if you pick Romney, who seems to be the favorite at the moment), your known announced pick will be skewered at the Democratic Convention and made to sound like the second coming of Cheney. There’s just so little upside.
More than most years, we need a very strong Convention to begin the path towards victory in November. Everything we do should be geared towards November. Just like in 2004, we have every ability to structure a solid Convention that guides us on our way. Holding your fire now makes all the sense in the world.
Don’t disregard the very real idea of “Obama Fatigue” kicking in at the end of August. The media has been so obsessed with Obama and McCain was effectively drowned out during the Obama-Hillary race. I have no problem with 80% of the coverage dedicated to Obama. Let him have his Mass on the last day of their convention. There’s going to be more than a few Independants who are going to realise that this is just getting ridiculous. They will be very open to at least hearing what McCain has to say, because they will have heard so little from him. Announcing your VP pick at THAT time will be a “force multiplier” and will force renewed media attention on McCain, when he needs it the most.
In an earlier blog, I mentioned the need for McCain to win the weekly media spin cycles. Perhaps I should’ve been clearer. What matters most is winning them in September and October, not July. If you want to make up your mind about your VP now and get it off your radar screen, by all means, do so. But for the love of God, keep the announcement of it to yourself until the Republican Convention!