Monday, September 10, 2007

The Atlantic's Ambinder: "McCain's 'Road to Victory': An Actual Internal Memo"

On Saturday, September 8, Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic published excerpts from an internal strategic memo, reputed to have emerged from Senator McCain's campaign. Here is the full text of Ambinder's analysis, as well as the excerpts from the memo. (Note: italicized text comes from the memo; it has not been italicized by Ambinder.)

McCain's "Road To Victory:" An Actual Internal Memo
08 Sep 2007 01:26 pm

In an internal memo sent to political advisers this week, John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis writes of "four phases" the campaign plans to "roll out" in September.

This isn't one of those internal memos meant for public consumption. It contains unusually specific information about campaign strategy and tactics.

The first phase of our September strategy is to take ownership of the surge and demonstrate again that John McCain is the only candidate running for President who is prepared to be Commander-in-Chief from day one.

After laying down the marker as the only candidate in the race prepared to be Commander-in-Chief from day one, we will highlight John McCain’s record of reform and his often lonely fight in Congress against wasteful spending and earmarks, against corruption and for stronger ethics accountability, and for real institutional reform to decrease the size of government and make it work effectively.

Then comes policy roll-outs, which the campaign calls "Bold Solutions for the Future."

McCain will also speak of his religious faith:

John McCain has faced unique personal challenges in his life; he has overcome them all through his faith in God, faith in country, and faith in his fellow man. Spanning issues as diverse as religious freedom, internet pornography and support for the war against Islamic extremists, faith will play an important role in discussing these issues.

Davis sees the key events of the "Fall Launch" as taking place in three stages. The first -- happening right now -- is the reintroduction of McCain, capped by his appearance tomorrow on This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

On 9/11, the campaign begins its "No Surrender Tour" in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to "build support for the fight against Islamic extremists." After the last event on the tour, McCain will return to Washington and "lead the debate in the Senate against Democrat efforts to force surrender in Iraq."

After the Senate debate, McCain will "finish out the month of September with some high profile speeches, appearances, and an increased focus on the media." That includes a stop on the Late Show with David Letterman on 9/26.

Davis recognizes the need for McCain to have a strong fundraising quarter.

September is not only an important month politically; it is the final month of the third financial reporting quarter. It is essential that the campaign have a good month fundraising and finish the quarter strong.

An attachment lists information about 15 separate fundraising events.

You can read the full text of the original article here. You can contact Campaignia at