Just before Senator McCain’s series of victories on “Tsunami Tuesday” last month, I wrote, he “seems to take the race for granted when he’s ahead.” At the time, I observed that he ran a “lackluster” campaign when the MSM considered him the GOP frontrunner.
Now a string of polls show him to be the frontrunner for the fall elections. This success has caused Roger Simon to wonder if McCain is peaking too soon. (Roger’s February 14 “suspicion” that “Obama my have peaked too soon” appears now to have been quite prescient.)
My concern is not that the GOP presidential nominee has peaked, but that he may take his lead for granted and run a classic frontrunner campaign. This could work to his detriment given that the MSM is determined to defeat him and the Clinton record of campaign ruthlessness should New York’s junior Senator find a way to secure her party’s nod.
While a recent Gallup poll showed the Arizona leading (or tying) both of his Democratic rivals on “Character and Quality Dimensions,” he falls significantly behind Hillary on one issue, having a clear plan for solving the country’s problems and behind both Democrats on understanding the problems Americans face in their daily lives.
Let’s hope that Senator McCain moves to hold — and build on — his lead by addressing those two issues. His plans to hold a series of townhall meetings across the country is a good start. I would also suggest delivering major policy addresses on issues not normally deemed his “bailiwick” like the economy and government reform. Perhaps, to schedule those speeches in states at the time of their presidential primaries.