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Monday, October 13, 2008

Just Totally Falling Apart

By Josh Marshall

From the Times ...

Despite signals that Senator John McCain would have new prescriptions for the economic crisis after a weekend of meetings, his campaign said Sunday that Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, would not have any more proposals this week unless developments call for some.

The signs of internal confusion came as the campaign was under pressure from state party leaders to sharpen his message on the economy and at least blunt the advantage that Democrats traditionally have on the issue in hard times. Republicans have grown fretful as Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, has edged ahead in polls three weeks before the election, while Mr. McCain has veered between ill-received economic plans and attacks on Mr. Obama's character.

In case you missed it, while the bold new plan was still coming, the Politico got suckered into headline claiming that capital gains and dividend tax cuts were "aimed directly at the middle class."

Also, I don't know if Jackie Calmes was having some fun with her wording. But assuming that's a faithful portrayal of the McCain line, "unless developments call for some"? I'd say we're already there, no?

(ed.note: As I frequently tell colleagues when we're working on political stories, you must always keep in mind to some degree that the losing campaign can't help but seem poorly run and erratic. After all, consistency of message strategy comes pretty easily when you're winning. When you're behind, by definition, something's wrong. And so a sputtering campaign often has little choice but to riff from one thing to next hoping that something will work. Even by those very generous standards, though, this is pretty lame.)

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