April 15, 2008


Marketing McCain(TM): Campaign Plays Up a Political Brand That Stands for Independence From GOP (Michael D. Shear and Juliet Eilperin, 4/12/08, Washington Post)

McCain's advisers attribute this seeming contradiction to what they believe is McCain™, a political brand that for over a decade has stood for strength, experience, straight talk and independence, qualities they believe help buffer him from many of the ills of his party. The attacks from conservatives that McCain withstood during the Republican primaries served to enhance his brand and bolster his position among moderates and independents, who are critical to winning in November, they contend.

"John McCain has an identity that's well established with the American people," said Steve Schmidt, one of his top political strategists. "He's a person who stands up and fights for what he believes in. It's appealing to independents. It's appealing to conservative Democrats. It's appealing to Republicans."

The campaign's general-election strategy is to sell the McCain brand to show voters that he is distinct from President Bush and other Republicans: His patented town hall meetings will showcase his "straight talk" with voters. His frequent conversations with reporters will highlight his openness and risk-taking. His ads and speeches will tout experience and strength of character.

McCain plans to visit Appalachia and the barrios of Los Angeles in an attempt to burnish his moderate credentials and reinforce the perception that he is willing to reach out broadly. A trip to Europe and the Middle East last month was seen as an effort to remind voters of his reputation for foreign policy expertise, and a biographical tour this month was designed to showcase his patriotism.

Democrats do not dispute that McCain has built a brand; however, they think it's a false one -- the "McCain myth," they call it.

...is that Democrats and the press have helped sell it for a decade now. It's a tad late in the day to argue with themselves about it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 15, 2008 4:49 PM

Another glowing biographical piece in the LA Times today. They're going to endorse Maverick in November.

Posted by: b at April 15, 2008 6:08 PM

Isn't this one of those hoisting petard thinggies?...

Posted by: Jorge Curioso at April 15, 2008 9:09 PM

Isn't this one of those hoisting petard thinggies?...

Posted by: Jorge Curioso at April 15, 2008 9:12 PM
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