Skip to comments.McCain Staffers Sought To ‘Shield’ Steve Schmidt’s Reputation Days Before ’08 Election
Posted on 03/16/2012 10:51:24 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
As reality began to sink in to the losing McCain presidential campaign in late October 2008, a senior communications adviser, Brian Jones, sent out a comprehensive strategic memo seeking to protect campaign manager Steve Schmidts reputation, the central figure in the HBO political drama Game Change, Politicos Maggie Haberman reports.
A week out from the election, named and unnamed sources are beginning to pin some of the blame for McCains likely defeat on Steve Schmidt, Jones wrote in the memo.
Thankfully, and rightfully so, some members of the political punditry are already coming to his defense (Rove, McKinnon, Scarborough), however a well organized and coordinated effort is needed to defend Steves good reputation, he added.
Haberman reports Schmidt was unaware of such a memo I had no idea that this existed until today, Schmidt revealed. I wouldnt have asked for anyone to do that but these guys are great communications strategists and good friends and business partners and its good to have people who have your back. But its not something I would have ever told anyone to go and do. Its not where my focus was.
The memo gave a point by point action plan to cast away blame from Schmidt:
Despite an extremely challenging electoral environment, by mid-September John McCain was ahead of Barack Obama in the majority of national public opinion polls and was also ahead in the race for 270 votes in the Electoral College based on polls in key battleground states.
John McCain was ahead despite being written off by the media intelligentsia in the summer of 2007, then again late spring in 2008 and after the Democrat convention.
McCain was ahead because the candidate and the campaign had focused on:
His maverick credentials and his longtime status as an agent of change. Governor Palins selection worked to accentuate this maverick status.
Distancing himself from an unpopular president, and given his past stances on issues like spending, torture, the War in Iraq and climate change he had the record and credibility to deliver this message.
Exciting the base with the selection of Governor Palin and highlighting the ideological differences between himself and Obama.
With the collapse of the global financial markets in mid-September, an already challenging electoral environment turned absolutely toxic for anyone with an R behind their name. In fact, nearly 95% of the country felt America was headed in the wrong direction. Add to this mix an incumbent Republican president whose approval ratings were hovering in the mid 20s and youve got a campaign running into a category 5 headwind.
In recent days, Schmidt acknowledged his feelings about what went on in the campaign in the days and weeks before the 2008 election, saying there could have been worse results than losing.
When a result happens that puts someone who is not prepared to be president on the ticket, thats a bad result, Schmidt said on MSNBCs Morning Joe. I think the notion of Sarah Palin being President of the United States is something that frightens me, frankly. And I played a part in that. And played a part in that because we were fueled by ambition to win. And I think that ambition to win, to victory is what drives people in politics. It is a chess match in a lot of ways, but that result in how we got there is something that troubles me a lot.
These are the kind of scum Romney attracts..and these scum say these disgusting things about Sarah Palin in HIS name..that is the #1 reason why I detest Romney and those he surrounds himself with. Obama pals around with terrorists, I think people should also start looking at who Romney pals around with, the stench will be just as bad
So if it wasn’t Steve’s fault, whose was it?
Oh, silly me, Bush!
> So if it wasnt Steves fault, whose was it?
> Oh, silly me, Bush!
Didn’t you read the memo?
It was Sarah’s fault, silly.
These people make me sick. Sarah had more executive experience than any of the other 3 on either ticket.
Such a bunch of backstabbers! And, McCain stood by and never once spoke up to defend her. Arsewipe!
You'd have to disarm and restrain him so he couldn't frag you.
The only thing you could you use him for would be to put him out on the wire at night. Cong target.
I see some truth in this memo, and it is a good sign for our side. Obama’s 2008 victory was based on one event and one event only. The mid September Wall Street meltdown was too much for our side to overcome, McCain’s reaction did not help. Without this event, McCain would of won. This event is what pushed the middle to Obama, nothing else did. Our country is center-right. No event of this magnitude will effect our side this November, remember the other side is the incumbent. Both Romney and Santorum are neck and neck with Obama, and this usually breaks against the incumbent.