MAYBE HE’S FEELING SHY…. For all the talk about Sarah Palin hiding from questions, let’s not forget that John McCain has suddenly discovered the benefits of abandoning his previous style of campaigning.

This was not altogether expected. McCain, while blasting Barack Obama, railed against “stale soundbites, staged rallies and over-managed messages.” He described his favorite setting — town-hall meetings — as the “essence of democracy.” McCain has credited his openness and interaction as the reason he won the Republican nomination, telling one Michigan audience in July, “I’m very proud of my record of trying to be in a situation where people can tell me their hopes and their dreams and their aspirations and their concerns just as I heard today. If I win, it’ll be because of events like this.”

That was then; this is now. (hat tip to Gerry Canavan)

Today marks the four-week anniversary since McCain held his last press conference (8/13 in Birmingham, MI) and three weeks since his last public town hall meeting (8/20 in Las Cruces, NM).

McCain’s new campaign strategy: staged rallies with thousands of supporters. Since announcing Sarah Palin as his VP choice on August 29, McCain’s has appeared at 11 rallies with his new running mate where both members of the ticket delivered a 10-15 minute stump speech. […]

McCain has seen his poll numbers jump since dropping the press avails and the town hall meetings and instead speaking at rallies with anywhere between 5,000 and 15,000 supporters where he can deliver his intended message.

I guess he decided “stale soundbites, staged rallies and over-managed messages” were underrated.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.