Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not a Good Sign for St. John

John McCain is going MIA this week. He is canceling pressers and canceling public appearances. One thing I learned from my time in politics is there are only a handful of reasons for a candidate to start canceling public appearances - and all of them are bad.
  • Ill Health - The candidate is sick but not the kind of illness that will that the public would understand and accept. Everyone gets a cold or sore throat. That is universally forgiven. Cancer, uncontrollable tremors, drunkenness, these diseases are not forgiven and the campaign staff will do everything in its power to hide them.
  • Depression - Politicians are prone to manic-depression, a lot of Lyndon Johnson's and Bill Clinton's erratic behavior looked like these massive mood swings. Sometimes a candidate who is getting his ass kicks falls into a morbid depression where they can't even get out of bed. Usually the staff can wheedle, or drug up, the candidate to do a few minor events but mostly they have to keep him out of sight until the mood passes.
  • Staff Disarray - When the staff is a collection of fuck-ups the candidate has to stop doing what he should be doing, gathering money and votes, and devote his time straightening out his employees.
  • Fear - I've seen this. The candidate is afraid to go to an event because he is afraid he will be embarrassed. He is afraid to talk to the media because he is afraid of the questions they will ask.
I suspect McCain's reluctance to appear in public this week is fear. He feared being embarrassed and he feared reporters asking him about Iraq and Obama yet again.

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