If you are John McCain, you do a little happy dance and cancel the Republican National Convention.
You see, John McCain wasn't actually looking forward to this year's Republican National Convention. Barack Obama has already tied George W. Bush and John McCain together: McCain wasn't looking forward to the national media focusing on and commenting on speeches by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.
John McCain knew he'd never be able to match the spectacle of the Democratic Convention. Whereas Democrats unified and came out of their convention stronger than ever, McCain faces a badly divided party with Ron Paul holding a rival convention across town. Paul's Rally for the Republic is supposed to draw more participants than the Republican National Convention (why isn't the mainstream media covering that story?) The host governor for the convention, Tim Pawlenty, is upset with McCain for being passed over for an unknown (and deeply flawed) Sarah Palin. The Republican Party is nervous about protesters and the houses where protesters are staying are being raided, the protesters harassed.
John McCain was not looking forward to this convention, and when the opportunity came along to do something very different, something that could not be readily compared to the incredibly successful Democratic National Convention, the impulsive McCain leapt at the chance. The McCain campaign already has a name for it: "Gustavication." According to a "GOP operatives" interviewed by The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza:
"As long as we properly handle the Gustavication of the convention, it may be a positive," said one GOP operative. He added that with the exception of speeches by Palin and McCain "everything else is just an opportunity to make a mistake or distract from the historic nature of the ticket."You can almost hear the glee in their voices. A million Americans are fleeing and may soon be homeless, and Republicans are rubbing their hands together with glee.
Another strategist echoed that sentiment. "Now the Republican brand out there is not so bad," he said. "The does-Bush-help-or-hurt question doesn't need to be asked or answered. And we won't be compared to the (Obama speech) 90,000-person spectacle. And most important this gives Palin time to get her feet under her."
And the key point here may be that "90,000-person spectacle" the Republican strategist above was so worried about. The onset of Hurricane Gustav gives John McCain the chance to do something very, very different. "And what is that?" you may very well ask.
According to Chris Cillizza, John McCain may be planning to "deliver his acceptance speech Thursday night from the area blasted by the storm." Yes, that's right folks, John McCain is planning to milk this natural--and national--disaster for all it's worth. John McCain is going to go where the human misery is worst and he is going to pose on the wreckage, using those people as the backdrop for his political ambitions, with the mainstream media acting as his accomplices.
With this move, John McCain is plumbing new depths of political cynicism.