The Spinless View of McCain's Campaign

Washington Matters

The Spinless View of McCain's Campaign

Political junkie alert!

Anyone with an interest in politics should get a kick out of a column by The Washington Post's Dana Milbank today. He describes a joint appearance by two of the chief strategists of the McCain and Obama presidential campaigns, Steve Schmidt and David Plouffe. While the observations of both are worth weighing, it's Schmidt who steals the show with frank views he never betrayed during the campaign itself.

My personal favorite is this description of how the campaign seemed besieged by a burdensome string of events: "I was waiting for his bus to crash into a CDC truck carrying bubonic plague to release over Cincinnati and Ohio. It was just one thing after another, you know, and never to our benefit."

He also compares vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's disastrous interview with NBC's Katie Couric to the interview Ted Kennedy gave to CBS that effectively ended his 1980 presidential bid when he couldn't answer Roger Mudd's seemingly innocuous question: why do you want to be president?

Schmidt has a pessimistic view of his own party right now, saying it is shrinking and could become all but irrelevant if it doesn't right itself soon. Conservatives won't like his assessment and Schmidt is a moderate compared to his party as a whole, but he's also a sharp political operative who party stalwarts shouldn't just shrug off.