Ed Driscoll

Why The McCain Campaign Needs Someone Like Bill Kristol

Rich Lowry writes, “I’ve been thinking lately that Bill Kristol should take a leave of absence for a couple of months and go help out on the McCain campaign“:

McCain has been nothing if not energetic (giving a majorish speech almost every day). He has scored day-to-day tactical victories over Obama, as this Washington Post story noted. But the sum is less than the parts. Worse, McCain’s political persona seems to be getting lost.

Take energy. There was another McCain conference call on it today. It was painful to listen to Sen. Lindsey Graham pound Obama for saying “no” to every energy proposal, then have to explain (kind of half-heartedly, I thought) why McCain says “no” to drilling on ANWR. If McCain was going to semi-flip on drilling, he probably should have gone all the way and done it in a big way (e.g., hold some sort of conference on energy, or spend a week touring ANWR and off-shore drilling platforms). Then, there was the matter of the contradiction between his new somewhat pro-drilling stance and his continued high-profile advocacy on global warming. I think if McCain could get his own house in order on this issue, he would really do serious damage to Obama.

But there’s a sense you never know where McCain is going to be on any given day. Is he zigging toward the center, or zagging right? And on top of this, the campaign feels so defensive