Losing presidential campaigns always prompt criticism and “what if’s” but most savvy observers were surprised that Senator John McCain and his creative team kept it as close as they did. John McCain didn’t come away looking like a loser. He played a remarkable game with very bad cards.
I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs that Senator McCain had to have had a little conversation with himself. He probably locked himself in a bathroom and looked in the mirror and said, “Buddy, the economy is in shambles, the president’s approval rating is in the toilet, the GOP is a damaged brand. You cannot run a traditional campaign. You have to take big risks.” And he certainly did and almost all of them paid off, even if the inevitable happened anyway.
Now, we are learning little bits and pieces of what went wrong for the GOP. And especially about how badly they were alienated from their evangelical base and needed Sarah Palin to bring it together.