Wednesday, November 05, 2008

He Didn't 

I'd been saying for months that the presidential campaign was Obama's to lose. He didn't. His message discipline, evident campaign organizational skills, an unpopular president and the lousy economy were in his favor. McCain never seemed to focus his message. He was one candidate one day and another the day after. He pandered to elements of his party that were rapidly falling out of favor with the larger electorate. News accounts seemed to indicate that he relaxed and became himself only in the final days. By then it was too late.

The lesson for communicators? Work with the person you have. Don't try to change the qualities that set an individual apart. Don't let the person do it to himself either. I'm sure that McCain's campaign handlers knew that, but something forced their hand. It may be that McCain's message was wrong from the beginning and nothing could refocus it. There will be plenty of "Monday Morning Quarterbacking" in the days to come.


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