Ben Smith: McCain Making Lemonade

Ben Smith is up with a take on McCain’s week and why it’s muddy:


As they meet, a quick thought about McCain’s gambit.

There’s been a lot of discussion of whether it’s brilliant or suicidal, whether his move to come off the trail and go to Washington will save his campaign or end it.

But I’m not sure that’s the right framework. The move strikes me as a modest success, and it’s best considered against the alternative. Had McCain not abandoned ship yesterday, the news from his campaign would have been twofold: his campaign manager’s ties to Freddie Mac, which the campaign hasn’t been able to convincingly deny; and his running mate’s truly unsteady interview with Katie Couric. (The fact that McCain also sat down with Couric yesterday suggests his campaign knew it had to counterbalance that interview.)

Meanwhile, the candidate would have simply been swept along with President Bush’s bailout, leaving no mark of his own on it, and saying nothing about the economy.


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