Keane observations about life, politics and sports.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

McCain's Campaign Strategy

Sen. McCain in securing the Republican nomination kept a grueling schedule to fight off the claim that he is too old for the job. McCain's age has led to comparisons between this election and 1980 when Ronald Reagan was similarly beset with old age comments. However, in some respects McCain's campaign could more aptly be compared with the 1960 race. McCain has talked of running a 50 state campaign. In 1960 Vice President Nixon vowed to campaign in all 50 states. In doing so, Nixon wasted valuable time in states he had no chance of winning. Additionally, while doing all the traveling to get to the 50 states, Nixon suffered a knee injury which got seriously infected forcing him to spend a couple weeks in the hospital. Even though Nixon was only 47 years old himself, the hospital stay contributed to the impression that the 44 year old John Kennedy was much more young and vibrant. Facing a much younger opponent, John McCain needs to guard against anything that would cause voters to question his health or stamina. Rather than give in to the temptation to prove his toughness by keeping a breakneck schedule, I'd caution McCain to divide his time judiciously and ensure he has something left in his tank for the stretch run.



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