Post-Mortem on McCain: Steve Schmidt Interview

Ana Marie Cox has an extensive interview in the Daily Beast with Steve Schmidt, the chief strategist of John McCain's campaign.

When he knew McCain would lose? September 29.

On the future of the Republican party:'

“The party in the Northeast is all but extinct; the party on the West Coast is all but extinct...there has to be a message and a vision that is compelling to people in order for them to come back and to give consideration to the Republican Party again.”

Lots of good quotes here -- on leaks, on Palin and more.

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    Seems to me (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Steve M on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 09:26:13 PM EST
    that if you know it's a lost cause, you can at least go down with a smidgen of class.  Imagine if one of these yahoos they got all riled up decides to take a shot at Obama.

    When you're in the middle of a battle (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 09:46:35 PM EST
    to a large extent you do what you think will work. Hindsight. . .

    Did you see what he said. . . (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by LarryInNYC on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 09:45:24 PM EST
    about Prop 8?  That was a surprise.

    Not massively. (none / 0) (#6)
    by JoeA on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 10:10:00 PM EST
    Steve Schmidt has never been a culture warrior or particularly socially conservative.

    How far we've come! (none / 0) (#11)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 08:50:05 AM EST
    When we can say "you know, it's not surprising that the campaign manager for the Republican Presidential candidate was unhappy to see gay marriage outlawed."  It's going to take me some time to catch up.

    Truly gross irony (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by wurman on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 11:06:18 PM EST
    in that Bu$h + Cheney + Rove thought they co-opted the fundamentalist evangelicals & their wingnutz colleagues as a path to the 50 percent plus 1 strategy of winning.

    Instead, a slim majority of voters now see the GOP is an incompetent collection of borrow & spend crooks.  Worse yet, the fundagelicals & the thugs have taken over the GOP & made it useless as a national political party because it can't compete in about two-thirds of the USA.

    It still bothers me that McCain & Palin & the grade-school play yard name-calling managed to scare up 46 percent of the voters.  That's just too big a share . . . it's too many people who can still be fooled.

    And I don't agree with Schmidt that the bonehead gamesmanship of Boehner leading his tiny band of knuckle-druggers in a rebellion against Bu$h (& then claiming it was Pelosi's taunting speech) was the Sept 29 tipping point for the election.  I am of the opinion that his pathetic "suspending my campaign" schtick was the Fall of the House of McCain.

    I didn't read it as the tipping point (none / 0) (#10)
    by sj on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 08:23:59 AM EST
    He said it was when he realized they would lose.  Those are two different things really.  

    I agree with BTD (I think it was him, I can't find the story right now) who thinks the tipping point was September 15 when Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.


    OK, sort of agree with you (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by wurman on Sun Nov 09, 2008 at 10:54:28 AM EST
    I don't think the Lehman bankruptcy was the tipping point for the lame stream media and/or the USA public.  I do think it was McCain's "erratic" behavior that affected a large number of voters & then the Obama campaign effectively exploited that series of events & the unfolding sequential reporting of financial, economic, & jobs failures.

    Schmidt stated that he knew the McCain campaign would lose when the rightwingnutz representatives voted against the bailout package.  To me, that strongly implies the vote was some form of watershed or over-arching event which convinced him McCain-Palin could not recover or pull it out or make up lost ground.  The actual "tipping point" for voters may have been something else, but for Schmidt, rejection of the bailout was some form of go/no-go boundary in terms of public awareness or voter opinions or. . . ?


    Well, this did make (none / 0) (#1)
    by mg7505 on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 09:23:49 PM EST
    me feel sorry for McCain. The guy has been sent into two h*llish lost-cause battles: Vietnam, and this election. But that's about all that Steve Schmidt can say at this point to win McCain one iota of sympathy. It's hard to feel sorry for someone who made the decisions he did in this campaign -- Palin, the negativity, the radical rightwards turn, etc.

    Fixing the GOP is easy... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Exeter on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 10:06:27 PM EST
    The GOP should be about three things:
    Libertarianism: no government control of guns, marriage, drugs, or abortion.

    Real Conservatism: the precautionary principle, conserving natural resources, pay as you go budgets.

    Smaller government: less taxes, less national defense, less pork barrel spending, less services.

    Will the Ron Paul libertarians be enough (none / 0) (#7)
    by JoeA on Sat Nov 08, 2008 at 10:11:31 PM EST
    to replace the religious right social conservatives who will insist on a party committed to banning abortion?