Wednesday, October 1, 2008

McCain's Next Gamble

John McCain's tactics have been pretty obvious recently -- when the polls show him heading for a likely loss, he takes quirky and unexpected action. It's risky but smart. If you're losing, you want to change the game. There's no point going down to a safe, boring defeat. You might as well try something risky. It might backfire and make things even worse, but if you were going to lose anyway, so what? You're not really any worse off than you were, and at least this way you might turn things around. This kind of thinking explains McCain's choice of the untested and unqualified (hey, that's George Will saying it not me) Sarah Palin as his running mate, and his bizarre "suspension" of his campaign last week.

So what's next? Here's my guess: McCain does a 180 and votes no on the bailout bill when it reaches the Senate floor tonight. Sure, he's already endorsed it and he's lobbying opponents right now. But so what? Public sentiment was apparently running 100-1 against the bill. People don't like the thought of bailing out Wall Street. And besides, these roll-the-dice moves are beyond rationality. You just have to do something different than your opponent, and something unexpected. So McCain votes no, decries the thing as a big-government giveaway to the rich and tries to pick up voters from both parties.

I'm just totally guessing. But remember, you heard it here first.

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