Flailing Attacks Hurt McCain More Than Intended Target

Republican becoming the example of what voters 'want change from'
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 23, 2008 8:45 PM CDT
In this July 16, 2008 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., holds his microphone.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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(Newser) – Attacking Barack Obama relentlessly and sloppily, John McCain has made himself an example of what voters “want change from,” John Dickerson writes in Slate. A good negative attack can be effective, but Mac is doing it “too much and indiscriminately”—making himself so untrustworthy the smart stuff doesn’t stick. He could go after Obama all the time—but he’s just not good at it.

Republicans are debating whether McCain should focus instead on his own positive message, and telling his own story, but Dickerson sees a problem there, too: “He's for the surge and remedying global warming, yes, and for allowing states to drill for oil off the country's coastlines. But those are data points, not an arc.”