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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Whining From the Sidelines

John McCain and his campaign staff aren’t exactly dealing with the enormous publicity surrounding Barack Obama’s overseas tour with good grace. As Elisabeth Bumiller notes in The New York Times, in a dispatch from McCain’s Maine appearance with George H.W. Bush, Team McCain can do little but whine from the sidelines:

“It is what it is,” Mr. McCain said with a hint of exasperation at the side of the first President Bush, who acknowledged that he, for one, was “a little jealous” of all the commotion over Mr. Obama’s trip this week to Europe and the Middle East.
Mr. McCain’s comments were mild compared with the bleak mood and frustration on the part of his advisers, who have taken to referring to Mr. Obama sarcastically as “The One” and railing against the large amount of coverage Mr. Obama is receiving compared with Mr. McCain.
“There is nothing you can do about it,” said an acerbic Mark Salter, one of Mr. McCain’s closest advisers, while standing at the back of a modest crowd assembled to hear Mr. McCain speak at a picnic in South Portland, Me. “ ‘The One’ went to Europe and homage must be paid.”

There’s a rumor going around in conservative circles that McCain will try to regain media attention near the end or immediately after Obama’s trip by announcing his vice presidential choice. Maybe it’s a coincidence or even a diversionary tactic, but he’s also interrupting a battleground-states tour to go to New Orleans for a meeting with LA Gov. Bobby Jindal, the preferred veep choice of a lot of “movement conservative” types.

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