John McCain goes back to positive messaging in his newest ad … well, only in the campaigning sense.  With “Broken”, McCain positions himself as an outsider and makes the claim that he’s the solution:

Washington’s broken. John McCain knows it. We’re worse off than we were four years ago.

Only McCain has taken on big tobacco, drug companies, fought corruption in both parties. He’ll reform Wall Street, battle Big Oil, make America prosper again.

He’s the original maverick.

One is ready to lead — McCain.

The “Washington’s broken” line is a risk for McCain.  He wants to attack Barack Obama’s strength by positioning himself as the real reformer, and with good justification.  He has fought corruption and taken political risks for reform, neither of which Obama can claim in his three short years in the Senate.

However, it provides a harmonic to Obama’s message, and Obama can counter by asking why Washington is still “broken” after McCain spent 26 years there.  The answer doesn’t make for good sound bites; one man in 100 can’t do much more than McCain has attempted, and even a President only has limited ability to change the air in DC.  McCain shouldn’t run on a theme that DC works, but perhaps he should look for better messages that resonate to his benefit and doesn’t underscore the message of his opponents.

Why not keep hammering Obama on energy?  McCain has barely mentioned his own Lexington Project since its launch.  Instead, he adopts the “big oil” nomenclature on which Obama’s populist drivel depends.  “Big Oil” isn’t the problem; it’s Big Government getting in the way of the people who can produce American energy from American resources.

We need more message discipline from the McCain campaign.

Tags: Barack Obama