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FixCam Week in Preview: It's the Economy...

FIRE ISLAND, N.Y. -- The Fix (and Mrs. Fix) are extending their July Fourth weekend one extra day, so it will be light posting today but right back at it tomorrow.

The political week goes on regardless of The Fix's vacation schedule, however, and the next seven days are huge for John McCain.

McCain shuffled his top staff late last week -- making Steve Schmidt, a veteran of the 2004 re-election victory of President Bush, head of the day-to-day operations and then, on Sunday, bringing on Mike DuHaime, who managed former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential bid, as political director.

Expect more rigorous message discipline from the campaign and the candidate as well as more trips to key swing states and a much more clear and consistent line of attack against Barack Obama in the coming weeks.

The new, new McCain operation gets its first tryout this week as the Arizona Senator kicks off a "Jobs First" economic tour that over the next five days will feature stops in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Virginia and Wisconsin.

McCain must find a way to speak to voters' economic worries if he hopes to win in November; poll after poll show voters believe the economy is the most critical issue facing the country and that urgency has only risen along with gas prices in recent weeks.

McCain may not ever "win" the economic issue against Obama but he must find a way (or ways) to neutralize it so that he can talk about national security and the war on terror where his political footing is much stronger.

Speaking of wins, we have two new (and proud) owners of the official Fix t-shirt from last week's "Who Won the Week?" contest. If your submission was picked, make sure to email me at chris DOT cillizza AT washingtonpost DOT com with a mailing address and preferred size.

And now to the winners:

• "Daniel": "I think Obama won the week only because McCain did not decisively win the week. In a year where being a Republican candidate especially one that supports many of the Bush Administration's most unpopular policies is a negative; McCain must win the week clearly and decisively."

• "Jesyke": "Can I nominate that hat instead of the candidates?"

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 7, 2008; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  FixCam  
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Next: "Old" vs. "Change" and the Battle of Perception


Chris, I found it interesting you had to qualify your trip to Fire Island by stating you took your wife with you.

Posted by: hiya | July 8, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Probably about the same time Mccains suppressed medical records from when he returned home from VN and you find out the guy is out of his mind. The difference is, these actually exist. The man is mentally ill. That is a tough hurdle, your candidate is crazy and they can prove it.

I wonder when Michelle Shaniqua Obama's "whitey" tape will surface. I think the Republicans will release it in October. It would not make sense to release it now. I know the Obama people dimiss it as a hoax but that is what they want you to beleive. Michelle Obama is a race baiter. Did you hear her speech in NC? SHe kept saying throughout her speech that "they are trying to raise the bar", "they keep moving the goal post", "they, they, they" ("They" is code for "Whitey") Everytime she would say these lines you would hear the audience reply, "uh huh", "that's right", "amen", "I heard that" (obviously a black audience).

Posted by: Dianne72 | July 7, 2008 11:48 AM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I think it would be pretty stupid for McSame to even bring up terror and terrorism. It may be his strong suit, but it will only serve to remind people of how much of a panderer he is. I mean, didn't Giuliani do this, and he failed miserably.

I think that when people are pay $100+ to fill up their gas tanks, the last thing they want to hear is someone talking about the possibility of their kids being blown-up.

"Yeah my mortgage is 80% of my income, I have 20G in credit card debt, and my IRA is sinking like a stone, but we can't let the terrorists win."

I think, this year especially, that issue is just a non-starter for most people. 9/11 might as well've happened 80 years ago.

Posted by: el_barto | July 7, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm a democrat and will certainly be voting for Obama in November.

It seems like week after week Obama gets thrown off his message while defending a previous position he took on FISA, Iraq or abortion, a colleagues statement, or some character debate about a mortgage while McCain just plods along through the summer and refines his message until the fall. I think people are beginning to lose faith in Obama's "change" while McCain is quietly distancing himself from Bush's third term.

Its a marathon not sprint.

Posted by: clyde | July 7, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

"Coal makes us sick. Oil makes us sick. It's global warming. It's ruining our country. It's ruining our world," Sen. Reid blurted out between pregnant pauses. "We've got to stop using fossil fuels."

Posted by: can't make up this kind of idiocy | July 7, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Lets shed some light on the elected. Lets see if we can put this trouble we're having in or government under a light. We are at fault, as the voters. You look at the past, we say we want change, but in return we take the same crooks, or inapt people and place them back in or appoint them to another elected office. So who are the fools, we are. If you have gang-green you don't just put a bandaid on it, you get rid of that part. As you can see, by the way you live things are getting out of control due to our inapt actions. KK in Detroit, GRAN-HO and him work together in the past, his mom and dad are both in or have been in office. So the apple dosen't fall far from the tree. Look at the hole Detroit is in. M.C. her hubby, elected person in our Government, I'm sure he is no better then her, just not cought, will the FBI start looking in to him as well, I trully hope so. But, lets go on, Gran-Ho, has been in goverment for who knows how many years, and was working with them, and she followed the same path, empty promisees, and continued failing economy, with no change. We took that CLOWN and put him in the WHITE HOUSE twice, after he came from Texas, and WE elected another person from one office to another, our fault again. Gran-HO, Im sure has her EYES on another post in our GOVERNMENT and as stupid as we are we're going to put her in, so she can screw us some more. How many favors has she done to ensure her that she'll get a spot in Congress, or House. We are just following that old saying, THE GOOD OLD BOY PATH.

Now we need to change the path we have been destroying ourselfs with. Lets get off the path by saying NO MORE, THIS IS NO LONGER EXCEPTED. You know how we change this, I can tell you.

First, No more then one elected spot, for anybody. This will stop the you vote for this and I'll vote for that. NO ONE holds office , ANY OFFICE IN OUR GOVERNMENT for more then 4 years. You keep the same person in the same spot for a long time he makes a lot of friends, and he owes them this and that, they owe him this and that, GOOD OLD BOY CRAP AGAIN. This will stop that crap cold. Along the same thought, if you keep electing the same people you never get any new ideas, as with most people once they think their idea is the only good they fight for that and never look beyond that thinking. No new ideas ever reach the forefront, and we keep following the same DESTRUCTIVE PATH.

You have several key indicators what this is happening to us in AMERICA today. 1. You have no one making any real changes over the last 20 years, they are wasting millions on stupid things, hearing on BASEBALL, how much did that cost us, OIL hears that did NOTHING but waste time and money. ECT.. 2. As the AMERICAN people are losing JOBS to other COUNTRIES you have people in office saying, MORE FREE TRADE, and as we are facing the prospect of more, or higher unempoyment then in the last 20 years they say allow more illegal immigrants in and let them become legal. Why would I let someone that broke the law to start with stay here, knowing he'll brake it again. Even if he doesn't brake it again we open the door for more of the same by condoning the actions of the last guy we said, it's OK our laws don't mean anything anyway. BRAIN-LESS BUSH on the 4th went to a really and said wecome to new AMERICANS. What are these JOKERS doing, and I might ask JUST WHO IS PAYING THEM, can't be the people that put them in office, they'ed be looking out for us,RIGHT. 3. For anyone to approve the change to NAFTA that our GOVERNMENT did allowing our AMERICAN COMPANIES to leave the UNITED STATES, and make there products with FOREIGN labor and SHIP them back for the AMERICAN people to BUY, JUST ISN"T AMERICAN, HOW MANY JOBS WHERE LOST FOR CORPORATE PROFIT. How much MONEY did these guys make of this CRAP, I might also ask how much money changed handes for this to pass through our government, and what will it cost to buy the politicians back to help the AMERICAN people that employ them, (remember they all have a price just more for some then others) 4. As I read lately, some state is trying to lease one of there bridges to some foreign company for 75 years, Detroit selling or leaseing the tunnel for 50 or 75 years. I was unaware that the infrastructure of the UNITED STATES was up for sale, for any amount of money, but really a foreign country, or company, nor did I know that these fools had the right to sale it, or even lease it out. I do beleive that is the property of THE PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES, there taxes paid for it, more money, because I might file a suite myself and ask for Detroit to pay for my LAWYERS. This is like me selling the city of Warren to Japan, even if I don't own it. Budwiser, turns down and offer to buy the company (there board) and this FOREIGN company is taking them to court, or asking them to be removed, what is this crap.

I could go on for weeks writing this kind of stuff, HOWEVER WE NEED TO STOP THIS TREACHERY NOW. We need to stop our government from killing off its own people. Their power has gone to there heads and pockets, these people feel they can do what ever they want and it's is KILLING US, they need to be kicked to the curb. We could really do as Detroit is. Go after these people in office for FAILURE TO FULFILL THEIR OATH IN OFFICE TO REPRESENT THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, MISREPRESENTATION, FRAUD AND A WHOLE HOST OF OTHER CHARGES. Because if we continue to wait we are going to be sold to the highest bidder, do to these clowns in office. We can know longer sit and wait to see what happens your, mine, our, GOVERNMENT is killing us off and selling of the AMERICAN way of life and dreams for whos best interest not ours, theirs and their pockets.



Posted by: roger fisher | July 7, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

McCain picking Mike DuHaime is the latest of bad moves in what will be a bigger loss than Bob Dole's run. This clown made a mess, and cost Mayor 9/11 a fortune. Keep it going McStupid.

Posted by: Patrick NYC | July 7, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

How long will it be before the McCain campaign face for the Economy, Carly Fiorina, becomes an issue?

As the Economy becomes the major issue, but your campaign's Senior Economic Advisor is a person who had to be removed as the CEO of a major corporation but received a "Golden Parachute," and then that corporation began a recovery, it can't be too long before the spotlight is placed on them, and your judgment.

That won't help neutralize the Economy as an issue.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | July 7, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Really, Dianne. Michelle was at a coffee shop and offered tea. So, naturally, she asked "Why tea?" Please get your facts (and names) straight in the future.


Posted by: Fairlington Blade | July 7, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I am one of those who thought Rick Davis was a pretty good campaign chief. Still, I am amazed at how far off positive messaging the McC Campaign has gone.

The McC of town hall meetings is positive on energy matters, on government reform, on cooperation with our allies, and on scrapping the employer-centered system of health care. But the public statements and speeches are often anti-BHO negatives and hints that McC will continue the unitary executive theory of Cheney-Addison-Yoo that he decried as Senator.

I do not believe an R can win against this headwind by taking the negative. I think the course must be to push reform minded, small gov conservatism as the wise move away from the GWB failures and I thought that was where McC would go with this campaign. When D partisans here post their simple name-calling "McSame" they can reach a wide audience b/c McC is NOT making the break from GWB. And Proud, I now think McC not backing the GI Bill was a huge error - nothing could help recruiting more than Webb-Hagel.

Schmidt, who did good work for Ahnold, should not be underestimated, but DuHaime?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | July 7, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

That this week needs to be big for McCain is hardly a prediction of any kind.

I understand you're on vacation, but c'mon.

What I am seeing lately is an aggressive attack-driven Republican party. Forbes attacking (with incorrect information) on taxes. Christian conservatives attacking (offensively) on abortion. And who better to be the figurehead for the attack campaign than McCain himself? His campaign has something ugly to say on every issue.

The American people just finished a beautiful weekend celebrating our country, our communities, and our families. I am ready to hear something positive -- something about policy.

Obama spoke on education this weekend to the NEA convention. He outlined real differences between his approach and McCain's on education.

I want to see more policy speeches like that one -- with more substance, fewer attacks. Where there are real differences, the candidates should highlight them. But they shouldn't pepper their speeches with put-downs and one-liners. If they do, the media should have the self-discipline *not* to carry those soundbites.

I'd like to see both sides take this campaign seriously enough to get out of the rut of negativity. I'm tired of it already.

Maybe that's what the McCain people are counting on.

Posted by: Julia Kelly | July 7, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I wonder when Michelle Shaniqua Obama's "whitey" tape will surface. I think the Republicans will release it in October. It would not make sense to release it now. I know the Obama people dimiss it as a hoax but that is what they want you to beleive. Michelle Obama is a race baiter. Did you hear her speech in NC? SHe kept saying throughout her speech that "they are trying to raise the bar", "they keep moving the goal post", "they, they, they" ("They" is code for "Whitey") Everytime she would say these lines you would hear the audience reply, "uh huh", "that's right", "amen", "I heard that" (obviously a black audience).

Posted by: Dianne72 | July 7, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Chris, I don't recall you mentioning Mrs. Fix before. Is that because your dateline is Fire Island? ;-)

Posted by: Mike234 | July 7, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Note that the GOP doesn't want to talk about the economy. McCain's insane meanderings about globalization and growing our way out of the muck globalization stuck us in is so nonsensical that you can understand why they don't want to talk about it. What I cannot understand is how posters like "DEM NOW IND", assuming "it" isn't a GOP troll, can utter the sort of nonsense about Obama they do with a straight face. Voting for *ANY* Republican is tantimount to committing economic suicide. Hello? These guys and their corporate sponsors are the people that have been steadily shipping your jobs over seas! The speculators amongst them have been running an Enron scam and run up the price of your gasoline (and, now, food and medical insurance) to record levels. In testimony before Congress by baning and investment experts it was revealed that oil speculators have doubled the price of gasoline! If you vote for *ANY* Republican, you're an idiot. I can't stand a lot of Dem's, especially that twit Merkley running here in Oregon, but I'll vote for him. As Prime Minister Churchill said, "I'd have a kind word to say about even Satan, if he wished to help us defeat the Germans". I'll take any Democrat, no matter how corrupt, over any Republican. I want the party of Bush exterminated and either Wall Street goes down with them or we will all pay a very high price.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 7, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Continue vacationing and let the news handle itself...

Posted by: eNews Reference | July 7, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse




Please, mainstream media: Read, listen and act. Lives, and freedom, are on the line.

A frightening mosaic of unconstitutional abuses has nullified the rule of law and the right of due process under the law. Human rights violations are taking place in cities and towns across America.

People are being targeted for ruin -- financially, socially and physically -- by an organized campaign of vigilantism that some victims believe is funded and supported by multiple levels of government, perhaps using citizen "watch" and volunteer programs as a front for extra-legal harassment and persecution.

The phenomenon, which is starting to break through to the mainstream media, is commonly known as "gang stalking" and "community stalking." But that nomenclature tends to trivialize the issue.

This is a re-emergence of the KKK, the Stazi and the Gestapo. It is mob rule seemingly coordinated and condoned by rogue elements within the power structure. The goal appears to be total control of persons deemed a threat to the established order. Persons are targeted and subject to extra-legal vigilante "justice" for reasons that include politics; racial/ethnic hatred; revenge vendettas; etc.

This link explains it, and contains sublinks to additional information:

Those who raise this issue find that their telecom connections are subject to surveillance, interruption and tampering. Their ability to freely communicate is severely circumscribed. Careers are ruined, reputations are slandered, and the physical well-being of targeted individuals is placed in serious jeopardy by way of horrific high-tech tactics and methods.

This is not an isolated occurence. These vigilantes are stalking the streets where all of us live and work. They have even threatened diligent police officers who have dared to challenge this rampant lawlessness. Here is another link that explains how this is happening:

I am an investigative/business reporter/producer who has worked for major newspapers, TV stations and magazines. I had my own TV show in the metro New York market for six years. Perhaps not coincidentally, the show ended just as I began to realize that I was being methodically and destructively gang-stalked. It's been going on for more than four years. I have tried to seek redress by going through official channels, to no avail. It wasn't until I read and researched the many web sites on the subject that I began to realize what was happening --- and that others are being similarly afflicted.

I have contacted media outlets, but I find that there is a concerted effort to destroy my credibility, and I believe that has affected my ability to get this story told. I was part of "major media" for many years, and I can now report that the mainstream media is highly vulnerable to intimidation, manipulation and rumor-mongering. I post this message at some personal risk to myself and to my family; but I cannot remain silent and solely rely on "the system" any longer. The system isn't working.

My name is Victor Livingston and I live in Bucks County, PA. My telephone number is (215) 295-0852, and my email address is But my email is erratic and I can't rely on the privacy or even the veracity of electronic communications.

Federal law enforcement is aware of my situation; I hold out hope that officials under the direct authority of the Justice Department are working behind the scenes to curb the abuses. I have officially requested a civil rights investigation into what has been happening to me, to no avail. I have tried to contact my Congressman, Patrick Murphy, but those efforts have been unsuccessful.

If you are a fellow journalist, please investigate this under-the-radar abuse of power in your own community; odds are, it's going on in your own backyard.

And if you know or work with Nat Hentoff, Sy Hersh or Bob Woodward, please send them this post. In the words of John Dean, it's worse than Watergate.

Posted by: scrivener | July 7, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

The next seven days are Huge for McCain? In what way? Its so simple to reposition himself that he will fly victorious above and beyond the general populace. He will be so successful with an economic plan that is just more of the same - how many different ways can you say tax cuts for the top 5%. How many ways can you position a health care policy that is essentially bankrupt? LETs revitalize the economy and the oil cos by more drillling for more fossil fuels to further worsen global warming.
McCain can continue to try to be one thing while the Republican base wants another and find that the American people are smarter than he thinks and want none of the above.
So if this is a huge week for McCain what of Obama. Are we predicting a win for McCain on winning the week. McCain should be worried about winning some voters, and not just the ones so loyal to the fading Republican brand that they fail to vote their own self interest.
McCain will find that organizations and message are not built in a day, he wasted critical time and there is no reason to believe that he is going to recoup just by bringing in new faces, all he risks is losing control of whatever he believes his message to be
PS NY Times magazine had a long article on Rush. If the best he and talk radio are going to do is be against Obama without being for McCain, how does McCain gain?

Posted by: nclwtk | July 7, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Fire island?

Posted by: wait, what? | July 7, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Obama wins every week. WHY? Because of the BIAS, SLANT, and B S SUPPORT of the media! Obama is a FRAUD! And this is a FRAUD of an "election" on the American people.

Posted by: DEM NOW IND | July 7, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

First Rove Lite, now a Rudi mouthpiece. Is there any doubt the new "message discipline" will be an expansion of the McCain campaign's singular focus on lies and smears?

Posted by: FlownOver | July 7, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

"Mike DuHaime, who managed former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's presidential bid, as political director."

Giuliani's presidential campaign was a disaster. Is there any reason to think that Mike DuHaime is competent? What is McCain thinking?

Posted by: Blarg | July 7, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Schmidt will lead McCain into a strategy of smear against Obasma - especially on the economy. It'll work, but it's going to get messy over the summer.

Posted by: matt | July 7, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

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