Lisa Schiffren has a great post on The Corner. She posits that McCain deliberately held back in the campaign. Here’s part of it:
…some McCain aides had felt for a while that their candidate had had a deep reluctance to impede the election of the nation’s first African American president. That he had, perhaps, pulled punches and failed to strike as hard as necessary to win this thing, for that greater good. [This] was infuriating, since more depended on the election than changing the race dynamic — which, it must be said, has been changed for some time, and did not require this particular symbol to validate it. To be sure, McCain must have known that his campaign was losing — and did not want to swing blindly. And maybe he didn’t like being called “erratic,” “desperate”, and a “racist” every time the inconvenient facts of Barack Obama’s short past came up for discussion.
But all Republicans who watched their candidate these past few months, must have been struck, as I have been, by the sense that he was holding back. I wondered, too often, how it could be that no one at the campaign could frame and muster the arguments that were clear to all conservative writers here and at the other publications and blogs that share our view. When the arguments were made, they were too little, too late, and garbled enough to drain their force. The campaign had it’s (very serious) flaws, but it seems that the reluctance to aim and shoot cleanly, was due to the candidate’s internal conflict here.
I’m not sure what I think about this. But I also often wondered why, with so many brilliant minds and writers at his disposal, McCain did not do a better job of articulating his message in speeches, interviews, debates and ads.
How is it possible that McCain’s campaign could not manage to patch together a persuasive narrative? Lisa’s post may explain at least some part of it.