MCCAIN’S NEW ‘ORGANIZATION’…. For all of the systemic and institutional problems facing the right, a lack of organizations isn’t one of them. It’s hard to keep track of them all, between the conservative think tanks, activist groups, religious right outfits, conferences, publications, party committees, publishing houses, and political action committees.
And yet, John McCain believes there’s room for more group. He sent out a letter to his email list this morning with a new pitch:
In the time since the 2008 presidential campaign ended I have had a chance to reflect on many things. And as I said on election night, I truly cannot adequately express how indebted I am to you, my entire campaign team and my running mate, Governor Sarah Palin.
The road was a difficult one from the outset. Yet, your faith, your support and friendship never wavered. Just as I have proudly served my country for more than half a century I am as committed as ever to helping see our mission through.
So to continue the movement, I have decided to launch a new grassroots organization called Country First. […]
Country First will allow us to strengthen our Party, better define our Republican ideals and message, recruit and back strong, dedicated candidates and continue our efforts to bring real reform to government by always putting our country and the noble ideals she stands for first.
I don’t mean to kick a guy when he’s down, but this is pretty weak.
First, by no reasonable definition can the McCain campaign be described as having started a “movement.” There may be some clamoring for conservative leadership among activists on the right, but no one is seriously looking to McCain to fill the void.
Second, now isn’t exactly a good time to start a new “grassroots organization.” The national economy is abysmal, the far-right base is dispirited, and other conservative grassroots organizations are closing their doors.
And third, it’s not entirely clear that Country First is going to be a genuine “grassroots organization” at all. CNN notes that the “group” is actually just another political action committee, probably little more than a vehicle to promote McCain’s re-election in 2010.
McCain may be thinking about how to reinvigorate his reputation and image. This little fundraising scheme probably isn’t the way to do it.