GOP political expert, Roger Stone, asks on his website, stonezone.com: What would Nixon do?
Stone cut his political teeth working for Richard Nixon. He asserts that “Nixon understood that a presidential campaign had a natural rhythm and that criticism of your opponent should start early, and begin mildly, slowly ratcheting up the rhetoric over time so that harsh attacks in the final days did not seem shrill or desperate.”
McCain has blown this, according to Stone, by “coddling Obama early in the campaign.” Therefore McCain now sounds desperate and nasty.
Stone points out – “Nixon also understood that an effective campaign had to be centered on the communication of one central idea and that all campaign thrusts and arguments have to be built around furthering that central idea.”
He adds “There is nothing wrong with a candidate re-inventing himself before a campaign (Nixon in 1968, Clinton in 1996) but you can’t re-invent yourself five times during the campaign as McCain has tried to do.”
Stone believes that McCain and his campaign managers missed the opportunity to link Obama with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid by calling them the “Axis of Taxes.” The simpler the message the better.