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McCain 2008 Campaign

© Lauren Greenfield

A month before the November 2008 election, Republican Presidential Candidate and Arizona Senator John McCain and his suite of advisors swept through six states for a flurry of campaign events.
Four central campaign officials were close at hand: Charles Black, chief strategists, Steve Schmidt, chief campaign strategist, Rick Davis, campaign manager, and Mark Salter, speech + ghostwriter. All maintained central roles in constructing a campaign "narrative", meanwhile keeping the media at a safe distance.

The juncture was critical to the ticket: recent polls indicated a popular parity between McCain and Democratic Candidate Barack Obama, the election was touted as the most important in American history, and the country's economic market had just collapsed, putting pressure on both candidates to adroitly balance commitments to Senate with campaign demands.

Initially, the brainstorming went as planned: McCain and running mate Sarah Palin addressed ardent supporters at a "Main Street" rally, met with international leaders, and pursued their unflappable maverick image. However, when the Republican House disputed an economic bailout plan, McCain put his campaign on hold to participate in Washington negotiations. He asked Obama to do the same, and postponed the first of three presidential debates.

While berated by opponents as a capricious and myopic attention-getter, his supporters hoped it would reinforce McCain's campaign personality. supporting his country first slogan. When his presence at the table failed to bring about resolution, McCain returned to the campaign trail, the country still mired in economic distress, while campaign strategist Schmidt pledged on "Meet the Press" that the candidates performance ensured a "framework completed [for economic relief]."

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