Doug Kellett @idougradio

Doug Kellett @idougradio

Doug Kellett

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I have more than 30 years of news/talk/sports hosting experience including management of stations in Nashville, Denver and Columbus(GA). I often can be heard in some of the largest markets in the US and great stations like KOA/Denver, 630 KHOW/Denver, 600 KCOL/Ft. Colllins, CO, WOAI/San Antonio, KTRH and KPRC/Houston, WLS/Chicago, KKDA/Pittsburgh, WLAC/Nashville, WBT/Charlotte, Fox News/Ft. Myers-Naples, FL, 106.3 WORD-FM/Greenville-Spartanburg, SC and many other stations.

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How John McCain can win the election?

A good friend and political observer who worked on the McCain campaign in Georgia has written for my website how McCain can win the election. Matt currently works as a lawyer while being involved in Republican politics.

How Senator McCain Can Win in November

By Matt Burke

August 5, 2008

The dog days of summer are here, and in a few weeks, the conventions begin, first for the Democrats, and then by the Republicans. Much will be made in the coming days about Vice Presidential selections, however recent history shows that these selections have little effect on the overall result (see Cheney, Dick; Edwards, John; Lieberman, Joe; Gore, Al; Kemp, Jack). As such, I would prefer to offer unsolicited advice to the McCain campaign on how their candidate can win this November.

Much of the political punditry has opined that this election will be about Senator Obama. In this, they are partly right. Senator McCain will have to define Sen. Obama as an inexperienced and naïve liberal who cannot handle the complexities of the war on terror, and whose policies will spell economic doom for our country. But, Sen. McCain will also have to offer something for the voters, namely a reason why they should vote for him. If he fails to do so, expect an Obama victory.

It appears that the McCain campaign has already begun this approach with his regular reminders about his policy on energy, and Obama’s lack of a coherent energy plan. This needs to continue with other issues as well.

One issue that seems tailor made for a commercial is Obama’s stance on repealing the Patriot Act and requiring federal authorities to notify terrorist suspects within seven days that they were the targets of a search. I can see the commercial now; a group of terrorists are sitting around a table planning their next move when a letter arrives in the mailbox. It is from President Obama, and it states that this group is under surveillance from the FBI for suspected terrorist activities. The leader says “Thank you President Obama”, and the group scatters. The voice over states that Obama wants to let terrorists know that they are being watched, and only Senator McCain takes the threat against America seriously. Fade to the McCain for President logo.

The American people need to be made aware of Senator Obama’s position vis a vis the War on Terror. It is this issue that draws the sharpest contrast between the two candidates. Senator McCain wants to continue to take the fight to the terrorists because he feels it is in the nation’s best interest; Senator Obama wants to retreat because he thinks it is in the world’s best interest. Only one of these electorates will be voting for President.

Senator McCain has winning issues, from gun control, to handling the economy; all he needs to do is to articulate those issues. The best way to do this is to consistently show that he is a proud American, and to contrast that message with Obama’s apology to Europe.

However, he should take care not to try and imitate Senator Obama in articulating these issues. Sen. Obama is most effective speaking populist rhetoric from a teleprompter in front of large crowds of adoring fans. For a variety of reasons, this is not Sen. McCain’s strongest suit. He works best in smaller settings, with the audience close to him, taking unscripted questions from the audience. Obama comes across like a salesman, McCain like a retired military officer.

This is a winning approach. If you take a look at opinion surveys, military officers rate near the top of public opinion polls, while salesmen usually compete with lawyers to bring up the bottom.

This is why we have seen two consistent tracks in the national polls. We have seen Senator Obama’s numbers fluctuate, yet Senator McCain’s numbers only grow, they do not recede. With his more personal style, McCain makes you believe in him one audience member at a time and these voters stay loyal. Obama spreads himself thin over the entire crowd at once, and thin describes the thickness of his audience’s loyalty. Many Obama audience members in Berlin, who cheered during his speech, came away feeling disappointed. Their loyalty barely lasted as long as the speech. This is emblematic of his campaign.

The McCain campaign should resist the temptation to have the Senator speak in front of enormous crowds, emulating Obama, because it is not who McCain is. Having Sen. McCain act like a charismatic, platitude speaking populist would be as disingenuous as portraying Senator Obama as a war hero. It would not work. Keep it small, keep it personal, keep it American.