Monday, October 27, 2008


Newsweek's Jonathan Alter said this on Keith Olbermann's show tonight (video here):

...there are a lot of Republicans who wish [McCain] would focus on the future ... other issues than just the old liberal-bashing that is played out. The old attacks on tax-and-spend liberals just don't work. So, in that sense, John McCain is not just an older candidate, his ideas and his whole approach are smelling very old tonight.

Liberal-bashing? Of course, it's actually been socialist-bashing. What could be more dated?

But McCain's chief campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt, isn't even forty yet. McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, is only two years older than Barack Obama. McCain's chief speechwriter, Mark Salter, is only a few years older than Davis. And McCain's running mate, of course, is still of childbearing age.

McCain's running on creaky old messages fed to him by men young enough to be his sons, and echoed with maximum enthusiasm by a woman young enough to be his daughter. Why?

Apart from Palin (who, I think, really doesn't have a clue whether what she's reading off the prompter is true), I think these people can't bear the thought that they missed the chance to confront dirty hippie commies. They were born too late; unlike, say, Karl Rove, they didn't really get a chance, even as college kids, to confront '60s and '70s liberals and lefties. McCain is the vehicle through which they get to travel in a time machine to a world where they think they could have been heroes. The old man is running an old campaign because middle-aged (and not quite middle-aged) guys think they missed the Good War.

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