Print Politics

John McCain’s Eerily Quiet Campaign

Is he out of ideas, or is he holding back for a reason?

Last week, I was wondering what John McCain was going to do to keep his campaign exciting and relevant now that he's got the Republican nomination in the bag. He certainly hasn't been showing us much on the full color printing front, and the same has to be said about his web presence. In fact, as of today, his blog hasn't been posted to since he won the nomination!

As it turns out, John McCain and me have been thinking the same thing. Last week, he told reporters that he's not sure what his campaign is going to do, either! He turned this race around for himself by getting personal with NH voters and journalists, but he can't use this same strategy while running a national campaign.

The thing is, it's not actually as hard as McCain is making it out to be.
With the flexibility and versatility of media these days, advertising has become all about how to get personal on country-wide and global scales. Example: there are tons of forms of print advertising, like postcards, DVD booklets, apparel, and palm cards, that connects with voters individually. The only trick is designing print in such a way that the message feels like a personal and valuable communication.

That being said, according to McCain's campaign, this type of full color printing assault may not be in the budget. (Hello! Have you checked on the cost of printing lately?)

On the web advertising front, McCain's already got some great assets that he's simply failing to exploit. Example: his daughter and her friends run a fun, informative blog all about the campaign. And they, at least, seem to know how important it is to update everday! I think McCain's campaign would do well to put more effort into promoting the blog, because it's really a warm, insider's look at the campaign that, again, voters nationwide can access and connect with.

My point is that there are tons of opportunities, in full color printing and online, for McCain to use to combine personal strengths with a great, big message, but his campaign is stalling. Why? Could it be that the GOP is deliberating choosing to sit back and relax while the Democratic party tears itself apart down the middle? At this stage in the competition, is McCain really playing the waiting game?

If this is so, it's a great example of how a winning tactic doesn't always make for an exciting competition. As someone who looks forward to each new election campaign advertising strategy, I cry foul!

What do you think? Is McCain shortchanging us on an exciting campaign as a way to make the Dems work harder? And is this the kind of strategy you want to see from your Presidential candidates?

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