No more Mr. Nice Guy.
That was the advice today from Dick Morris, Bill O'Reilly, Bernie Goldberg, and Dennis Miller – stop with the civility!
Although I was stunned when Dennis Miller, trying to be Dennis Miller, called it "artifice," as in McCain and Palin better drop the artifice."
He meant "pretense." Artifice means to be clever, and McCain and Palin have been anything but, unless Miller knows something I don't – like all the stupidity lately has been a ruse to lull Obama and Biden into underestimating their opponents.
But I know John McCain, John McCain is no friend of mine, and I know that what you see is what you get.
That's the good news. The bad news is, he's not likely to change.
So he's going to suffer a very mannerly defeat?
It's worse for Palin if she follows McCain's lead. What was just a few weeks ago, a political career with unlimited potential could fade into nothingness as soon as tomorrow if she doesn't show her pit bull side.
She doesn't have to know all the answers. She can make mistakes. What people want to see is that she's mad as hell and she's not going to let Biden leave with his reputation, as pitiful as it already is, intact.
And she needs to put the media on notice that she's not going to stand for any more gotcha questions. There's a famous piece of advice for people who want to achieve big goals. It is to ask yourself, "Would a successful person do what I'm doing right now?" Palin needs to ask herself a variation of that: "Would Margaret Thatcher entertain such a question with good cheer?"
Whether it's a directive of her handlers or whether she's really far more meek than she first appeared, Sarah Palin has been far too willing to answer nonsensical questions instead of saying, "With all the serious and pressing issues we face right now, you want to know what Supreme Court decisions from the past I might have problems with? C'MON, ask me something important. C'MON, RIGHT NOW! Show your viewers you're an intelligent journalist, not a gossip columnist."
As far as I know, there is no film, no evidence of Palin ever having done that, but nothing less will do.
Of course, even a clear victory over Biden won't assure anything given the McCain who has shown up for the final battle. We thought his selection of Palin showed that he was engaged and ready to destroy the opposition. Everything since the convention has indicated otherwise. The problem is, there's no evidence, no film, of McCain ever being a pit bull either. He's been a guy who's always willing to insult and disregard his base but never the liberal opposition.
So it doesn't look good. It doesn't look bad, either because people don't want to vote for Obama. McCain has to give them a reason to vote for McCain. Luckily he has at least two more opportunities, and that's even if Sarah doesn't do well.
McCain reminds me of his own Arizona Diamondbacks who should have won their division going away. Instead, they finished two games out, and it's all because of the manager. McCain's manager can either demand he perform like a winner or let McCain decide for himself when to bunt or steal. In the case of the Diamondbacks, leaving it to the players was a disaster. Leaving it up to McCain could result in the same fate.
Update: By the way, if McCain fails, he will be hated like no one has ever been hated. I'm already rehearsing…
Update: I just remembered another self-help comment: "they say that the meek shall inherit the Earth… and that's exactly what they'll get – dirt!!"