Monday, February 18, 2008

Maverick Wants W's Money, Not his Presence

The New York Times has an article depicting just how John McCain can match the monumental funds raised by Barack Obama's campaign: tap into President Bush. Bush broke the records in terms of fund raising during both of his prior elections. He has an allure that attracts throngs of wealthy conservatives and their checkbooks.

But this is a slippery slope for McCain: The campaign has already noted internally that the image of Bush standing next to McCain will cripple his chances of attracting independents or liberals who might be leaning towards the enlightened side of the political spectrum.

The McCain camp would certainly like to put President Bush on the campaign trail as soon as he becomes the official nominee. But don't expect many joint appearances between these two men. Not only is there still some bitterness remaining over the 2000 primary campaign, but the 30% approval rate will not bode well for the Maverick's overall popularity.

McCain desperately needs the money President Bush is capable of bringing in for him. People are too quick to forget that McCain's campaign still operates with $4.5 million in debt. The Maverick has brought in a little over $41 million total while Senator Obama has amassed a war chest worth $102 million.

So the McCain team will "strategically" place President Bush at different venues over the course of the campaign. They will certainly have him address crowds made up of conservatives and evangelical voters, the weakest segment of McCain's support.

This strategy is not revolutionary however. Historically voters do begin looking for change after eight years of the same administration. Reagan rarely appeared with Bush 41 in 1988 and the same scenario unfolded for Gore and Clinton in 2000.

One thing is certain: If McCain does not refine his fund raising prowess by summer, the race will be called for the Democrat party before W even has a chance to jump in.

No comments: