McCain is the GOP Nominee, Now What?
(CNN) — Sen. John McCain will win Texas and become the Republican presidential nominee, CNN projects.
His Tuesday wins in Texas, Ohio and Vermont are enough to give him the 1,191 delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination.
McCain will travel to the White House to be endorsed by President Bush as early as Wednesday, sources tell CNN.
This is one of those things that everyone knew would happen, but due to some technicalities we just had to wait a bit for it to be finalized.
However, now that the Republican Party has a nominee, we have to start asking ourselves what has to be done next to propel the campaign to where they need to be, so that they can be in a position to successfully defeat whoever the Democrats nominate.
First and foremost, John McCain has to start fundraising as soon as possible. This is going to be an extremely expensive race, far more expensive than anything we have seen in previous elections. If McCain is going to win, the first victory he has to capture (now that the nomination is imminent) is taking the lead in fundraising.
Now that he will be receiving the endorsement of George Bush, he should put him out to do fundraising right away. Due to the perception of the Bush administration amongst many, it wouldn’t make much sense for McCain to wait until September to use President Bush’s fundraising talents. Instead, I think that between now and August, McCain should work with the President to get as many fundraising events scheduled as possible. After that, let the President raise money for the RNC and other candidates, so that it isn’t a direct McCain activity.
Second, if McCain is going to be successful in this race, he is going to have to find a way to reach out further to the young voters, who up until this point, have been experiencing one long “obamagasm”. If McCain can dig into even a small percentage of the base of young voters that Obama has amassed, those young people will be the foot soldiers the Republican Party desperately needs.
I think that one way McCain can attract youth voters, is by putting his daughter, Meghan, on the campaign trail. Not only is she extremely attractive (just like her mother), but she is also extremely energetic and understands what it is that young people are looking for in a Presidential candidate. She is also a huge campaign resource in that she has used her blog to give everyone the opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at her father when he isn’t at a podium. If she can use her blog to generate even more McCain buzz in the blogosphere, I think that even more people will start to lean towards McCain over whoever the Democrat is. More importantly, Meghan McCain hasn’t come off as a polarizing, partisan figure, but instead has just spoke about her father as she knows him . . . which is exactly what needs to be done.
Third, in line with my previous point, Senator McCain also has to reach out more to the online community. In my opinion, aside from online advertising, the campaign hasn’t done the best job of reaching out to those of us in the blogosphere. I would like to see the McCain campaign expand their resources for bloggers, and have more frequent blogger conference calls so that we have some ownership in making news and buzz for the campaign. This is something that is extremely simple and effective.
However, I think that as politics continues to progress into the digital age, these online efforts are elements of the campaign that can be generated and controlled by non-campaign forces. I’m looking forward to see what the great minds of many of McCain’s supporters will come up with in terms of independent online strategies.
As Huckabee exits, all I can say is: “let the games begin”