Sunday, November 02, 2008

Dowd: Schmidt is the Scapegoat

Maureen Dowd reminds me of that English teacher that would scold you for a dangling participle, and then force you to read Catcher in the Rye. Maureen Dowd doesn’t really editorialize, she muses, and usually in a way that condescends, rather than inform.

While she may difficult to read, (and seems like the kind of woman that would immediately wash her hands after you were formally introduced), she is required reading for anyone interested in US politics. She is required reading, because like it or not, she often sets the agenda for a news cycle.

She and others (such as Matt Drudge), are shepherd crooks in the sheep pastures of American media. They are important, because in this age, our media seeks sparks with which to launch the next 24-hour fire. Dowd, Drudge (and a few others) often provide those sparks.

Maureen’s editorial today is one of several that are already writing the John McCain obituary before the results are even tabulated. It was as usual, quite sardonic, but it did highlight one scapegoat for McCain’s current situation that I’d also like to highlight: Steve Schmidt.

She writes this about him in her latest editorial:

In the end, “The Bullet,” or “Sarge,” as McCain calls his replacement campaign manager Steve Schmidt, was the one who did the shackling, turning the vibrant and respected McCain into a shell of his former self. Schmidt abruptly cut off the oxygen supply to McCain’s brain. No more of the oldest established, permanent floating crap game of press confabs. No more audiences that weren’t vetted for friendliness. No more of McCain’s trademark insouciant mocking the process even as he participated in it.
--Maureen Dowd

If McCain goes down in a ball of flames, (as many are predicting) then Schmidt is indeed scapegoat #1.

I believe the morale of McCain's campaign will be: you can’t run a Karl Rove campaign during a recession. Schmidt failed to see that obvious truth, and may have damaged the Republican brand for years because of that blunder.

One other small note: I think the word "insouciant", is the kind of adjective only a Thesaurus should ever print. :)


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