Can you believe the Iowa Caucuses were only two months ago?  It seems like a year since people actually started voting, and the Republican’s finally have their nominee…Senator John McCain.  Not bad for a guy who was labeled a dead man walking and at one point was flying coach and carrying his own luggage.  McCain was supposed to be the first casualty of the seven hundred people running.  But while he may have been outspent and out staffed, no one was able to out campaign him.  Plus, let’s not kid ourselves.  The man is one lucky bastard.
So what does he do now?  Today he got the endorsement of the President (no, I don’t care what you think of him), took control of the RNC, and held his first fundraiser.  March seems to be a month of fundraising, strategy (pronounced stra-tea-ger-ee), and figuring out what to do with the wealth of research from the RNC he just inherited.
But what next?  Granted he has more qualified people to answer that, but since I’m a blogger and therefore know better than the people who are paid for this citizen campaign manager if you will), here’s what would be on my to-do list.

1.  Go on tour – And this is apparently what they’re planning to do in April.  While the D’s are going to be dropping elbows on each other, McCain and Co. are planning to hit the road to introduce him to America.  He has a very compelling to tell.  Everything from the Hanoi Hilton and how his country saved him, to adopting a dying child from Mother Theresa (who is a teenager now), to even the mistakes he’s made that have let to him being who he is now.  People can’t hang The Keating Five on him when he speaks of it as an event in his life that helped mold him as a reformer.

2.  Domestic policy – You can see his passion for foreign policy, but when it comes to some domestic issues, he looks like he’s doing an oral report for school.  Healthcare and the Economy are the top two, but I’d also focus on the environment.  It’s an issue that he’s passionate aboot, not to mention one that the R’s are too quick to concede to the D’s.

3.  Vice President – He doesn’t need to be in a rush to choose one, but you know he has a list of favourites and it wouldn’t hurt to drop hints to help introduce some of the candidates to the public.  On our short list, while Gov. Mark Sanford is still veep du joir of the rightroots and Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been one of his most loyal supporters (not to mention the one who drives the most traffic to the site), Gov. Charlie Crist seems to be the one raising his stature in the eyes of the public.  His endorsement delivered McCain the Florida primary, and he’s also in the news as of late pushing for the RNC and DNC to seat all of the Florida delegates.  Personally though, I’m not so sure if a first term governor would be what McCain would be looking for, but what do I know.

4.  Pick a new campaign song – There no reason to further higlight the age gap by using a song from the 50’s.  Here are a few more current suggestions.

5.   Rally the base – That’s rallying the base vs. rallying “the base.”  Rallying the base is easy.  By letting them know you’re going to fight for all fifty states (he’s plans to fight for California) and help regain control of the House and the Senate, the base will be behind him once they realize they have a strong chance to win.  Plus, there are enough grown-ups in the conservative media (Bill Bennet, Michael Medved, Michael Smerconish, etc.) to help him reach out to more voters.

As for “the base,” which is most of the rest of talk radio (all the usual suspects) plus some on the internet, all I can say is…there’s a reason why you don’t negotiate with terrorists.  Nothing McCain can do will satisfy people who, as much as they talk aboot judges and the war on terror, are going to cry whenever McCain gives a speech that isn’t tailored just for them, or threaten to vote for the other side because he opposes referring to Sen. Obama by his middle name.

Other than that, I say just grab a bucket of popcorn and put your feet up, because he doesn’t look like he’s going to have a definitive opponent anytime in the near future. 🙂

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