If it was just the hockey game, that would be one thing. But conservatives are saying there are many more problems. Conservative New York Times columnist Bill Kristol says there should be a Columbus Day liquidation sale at McCain Inc.
"The McCain campaign, once merely problematic, is now close to being out-and-out dysfunctional," Kristol writes. "Its combination of strategic incoherence and operational incompetence has become toxic. If the race continues over the next three weeks to be a conventional one, McCain is doomed."
His prescription? Fire 'em.
"What McCain needs to do is junk the whole thing and start over," he writes. "Shut down the rapid responses, end the frantic e-mails, bench the spinning surrogates, stop putting up new TV and Internet ads every minute. In fact, pull all the ads — they’re doing no good anyway. Use that money for televised town halls and half-hour addresses in prime time."
He says for the remainder of the campaign, McCain and Palin should go out and be accessible and cheerful. "The two of them are attractive and competent politicians," he writes. "They’re happy warriors and good campaigners. Set them free."