Exclusive: McCain Economic Strategy Memo’s Margin Notes

According to the Politico’s Jonathan Martin:

John McCain’s campaign is considering a series of tactics intended to focus attention on the Republican’s effort to address the economy, including a jobs-oriented tour of targeted states, an economic summit and family roundtable events “heavily tilted towards women,” according to an internal memo.

In a document titled “Economic Communications Plan” sent Sunday to top campaign aides and economic advisers and obtained by Politico, McCain communications adviser Taylor Griffin writes that their polling reveals “Americans are still not tuned into what the candidates might do to fix the economy.”

To address that, Griffin writes, McCain needs to convey three ideas:

1. McCain understands the economic problems of ordinary Americans. Barack Obama does not.
2. McCain understands that the situation is urgent.
3. McCain’s “Jobs for America” plan is superior.

Thankfully Americablog has discovered the original version of this policy memo with margin notes about sticky areas to avoid discussing:


1. McCain understands the economic problems of ordinary Americans. Barack Obama does not.

Note: Don’t Mention That Senator McCain Extreme Wealth Makes It Hard to Relate To The Concerns of Everyday Americans. Do not discuss taste in clothing or HOUSES!!!

John & Cindy McCain Own At Least Ten Houses In Arizona, California, and Virginia Worth an Estimated $13,823,269. [San Diego County Property Records; Maricopa County Property Records; Yavapai County Property Records; Arlington County Property Records; GQ, 3/18/08; McCain 2008 Senate Financial Disclosure Report]

McCain Was The Eighth Wealthiest Senator In 2006 Based On His 2006 PFD. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, John McCain was the eighth wealthiest Senator in 2006, based on his 2006 personal financial disclosure. McCain’s minimum net worth was listed at $ 27,817,187 and his maximum net worth was listed at $45,045,011. [Center For Responsive Politics via Opensecrets.org, accessed 4/2/08]

McCain Was Seen Wearing $520 Ferragamo Loafers. The Huffington Post reported that John McCain wore a pair of $520 leather Ferragamo loafers to several campaign events, from a meeting with the Dalai Lama to a stopover at a Pennsylvania supermarket. [HuffingtonPost.com, accessed 7/30/08]

2. McCain understands that the situation is urgent.

Note: Please Avoid Mentioning McCain’s Congressional Action on Key Economic Policies. Remember that Senator McCain Was “Focused On Other Stuff” And “Too Busy” To Cast The Deciding Vote On The Stimulus Bill To Extend Unemployment Benefits, Even Though He Was In Washington, DC.

McCain Skipped Vote on Stronger Stimulus Package. On February 6, 2008, McCain skipped a vote that would have bolstered the economic stimulus package to offer additional help for American families and businesses. [CQ Today, 2/6/08]

• McCain Would have been Deciding Vote. Senate Democrats had 59 votes to end debate and bring the stimulus package to a vote – including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton – meaning McCain would have cast the deciding vote. “The tally was 58-41 to end debate on the Senate measure” because Majority Leader Harry Reid “switched his vote to ‘no’ at the last moment” so he can “bring the measure up for a revote.” [Associated Press, 2/7/08]

• Mccain Was In Washington For Vote. The Associated Press reported, McCain’s “decision to miss the vote appeared to come at the last minute, after his plane had landed at Dulles International Airport outside Washington just before the proceedings opened on the Senate floor.” [Associated Press, 2/6/08]

• McCain “Too Busy” to Show Up and Vote, “Focused on Other Stuff.” Asked on his plane to Washington about the vote, McCain said, “I haven’t had a chance to talk about it at all, have not had the opportunity to, even,” McCain said. “We’ve just been too busy, focused on other stuff. I don’t know if I’m doing that. We’ve got a couple of meetings scheduled.” [Associated Press, 2/6/08]

McCain Said It Is Necessary To Work A Second Job Or Skip Vacation. During his speech on the mortgage crisis, McCain said, “Of those 80 million homeowners, only 55 million have a mortgage at all, and 51 million are doing what is necessary – working a second job, skipping a vacation, and managing their budgets – to make their payments on time. That leaves us with a puzzling situation: how could 4 million mortgages cause this much trouble for us all?” [McCain Remarks On The Housing Crisis, 3/25/08]

McCain Blamed Homeowners As “Irresponsible” And Opposed Federal Help During remarks on the housing crisis, John McCain said, “I have always been committed to the principle that it is not the duty of government to bail out and reward those who act irresponsibly, whether they are big banks or small borrowers.” [McCain Remarks On The Housing Crisis, 3/25/08]

3. McCain’s “Jobs for America” plan is superior.

Note: Under NO Circumstances Should Senator McCain Repeat His “So-Called” Straight Talk That He Knows American Jobs Lost To Trade Deals That Help Corporate America Are “Not Coming Back” !!!

McCain: “We In America Have Experienced A Dramatic Loss Of Manufacturing Jobs… Those Jobs Are Not Coming Back.” During a town hall meeting in Inez, Kentucky, John McCain said, “We in America have experienced a dramatic loss of manufacturing jobs. Not only here but particularly across areas of America that are our traditional manufacturing base. I have to tell you and I have to tell you this very honestly that many of those jobs are not coming back to America.” [McCain Town Hall in Inez, Kentucky, 4/23/08]

McCain Justified Job Losses By Saying “It Was Never A Lot Of People’s Ambition To Have Their Children Work In A Textile Mill.” During a roundtable in Santa Ana, California, John McCain said, “I believe that NAFTA has been a great thing for America…I went to South Carolina and I told the people of South Carolina that the old textile mill jobs weren’t coming back and they aren’t coming back. And frankly it was never a lot of people’s ambition to have their children work in a textile mill.” [Roundtable in Santa Ana, California, 3/25/08; emphasis added]

McCain: “Let The American Businesses Have Their Way.” During a speech in Tampa, Florida, John McCain said, “So I went to New Hampshire and I told them the truth, and we had over a hundred town hall meetings. And we went to Michigan, and we told them the truth, they didn’t like it much. And we went to South Carolina and we told them the truth, that maybe the old textile mills weren’t coming back… Let the American businesses have their way and get the government out of their way.” [McCain Speech in Tampa, Florida, 1/28/08]

InsideOutsider is a longtime Democrat who has worked for a variety of progressive organizations and causes. He lives in Washington, DC.

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