Friday, April 13, 2007

Desperation aboard the Straight Jacket Express

Posted by --Blue Girl at 4/13/2007 12:31:00 AM

John McCain has fired some of his campaign staff in an effort to reanimate his disastrous, doomed and disintegrating bid for the nomination.

His fate was sealed before he took that stroll in Baghdad – but that craven stunt pretty much severed the brakelines on the careening Straight Jacket Express.

Aides tried to paint the staff-cuts as a cost-savings measure, rather than a shake-up. There could be an element of truth in there somewhere – he only raised $12.5 million in the first quarter of the year.

"Presidential campaigns are dynamic organisations, and we are focused on ensuring that ours is as efficient and effective as possible," Mr McCain's spokesman, Tucker Bounds, told the Arizona Republic.

But whatever his aides say, there is little doubt Mr McCain is struggling. His decision to support President George Bush's policy in Iraq combined with a sense among some that he has lost the maverick status that attracted voters during the 1999 Republican primary, has left him with a real fight on his hands if he is to secure the party's nomination.

His position has not been helped by the emergence of Mr Thompson, a former senator from Tennessee and an actor best known for his work on the television crime series Law and Order.

McCain was long considered the front-runner for the nomination, but that lead has evaporated like the sense of security in the Shorja market. In a recent L.A. Times commissioned poll, former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani was in the lead at 29, Thompson was at 15, and McCain at 12. Only Mitt Romney, the first-quarter fundraising leader polled behind McCain.

And remember - Thompson isn't even in the race.