2008 The Dying Art of Secrecy
posted by October 6 at 14:54 PMon
McCain puzzles Rove:
Asked about the candidate’s decision to shut down its Michigan operations, Rove, who serves informally as an adviser to McCain, seemed perplexed that the campaign did it with such apparent flair.
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” said Rove. “And not only that, but it set off a spat of warfare inside the Michigan Republican Party with the former national committee man sending a letter to Sarah Palin saying ‘please contest the state,’ and leaking that to the members of the state central committee which guaranteed it would be in the hands of the press.”
Later in the program, Rove was quizzed about a Washington Post piece that contained a quote from a McCain aide saying the campaign wanted to “turn the page” on the economic crisis and start going after Obama on character traits. Rove didn’t dismiss the idea, arguing that it needed to be accompanied with a positive economic message that voters could latch onto. But he was, once more, at odds to explain why McCain would talk about it publicly.
What’s McCain lacking? A sense of secrecy. He should have quietly abandoned Michigan; he should have attacked Obama without saying why and how he was going to do so. But is this openness a sign of incompetence or a sign of a new stage in American politics? We might very well be in a moment, an age, a period that no longer needs the cover of secrecy, or the practice of vetting, or even the effort to stretch the truth. Just break the truth, throw anyone who gives you any advantage into the race, and be open about your devious maneuvers. McCain might be onto something new. This is how he might not be exactly McSame. Bush still wanted the prestige of winning a fair fight; he wanted the illusion of playing the game by the rules. Not McCain. For him, winning is just that: winning.