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McCain's brother blasts McCain campaign

By Jimmy Orr / October 15, 2008

Jake Turcotte

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Sensing that something has to happen to avoid an Obama election day victory, John McCain's brother sent out an email blasting the McCain campaign with a familiar refrain:  Let McCain be McCain.

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In the nautically-themed email, which is posted in its entirety on the Baltimore Sun's websiteJoe McCain says he sees a shipwreck ahead and is calling out one last time to be heard.

"As a sailor who sees his ship sailing into shoals while the rest of the officers and warrants are poring over plans and maps and high-minded thoughts, I make one last effort to ring the bell and put a light on these shallows I see as we steam toward destiny with but three weeks left in this long voyage," he writes.

Straight talk

The younger McCain makes a plea to return to the time where the Arizona Senator would open himself up to the press corps.

"This policy of trying to so tightly 'control the message' by cutting off those who know him from the cacophony of national and local voices - the reporters and the editors - is counter-intuitive, counter-experiential, and counter-productive," he writes.

"It has gradually bled away all the good will that this great man had from the press, for he alone among politicians would talk to them openly, without finesse, without guile," he continues.   "And regardless of the their political lean - and whether we like it or not, reporters think and have opinions - they loved him nonetheless."

Change of course

His solution is not as drastic as New York Times columnist and FOX regular William Kristol -- who advocated for firing the entire campaign this past Sunday.

Rather, his strategy is press-based.  Let McCain and his surrogates (he mentions himself) speak to the press at will.

"Let us talk to these reporters and tell them of the John McCain we know," he writes.

The younger McCain says reporters are "angry and frustrated" because they don't have the access to the candidate and his surrogates that they were used to.  Why?  According to him, because the campaign has "muzzled" those who know McCain best.

"...You cannot control the media by keeping them from information, but you can lose all their good will," he says of the press corps.  "

McEverest

Moving from the sea to the mountaintops, Joe McCain wraps up his email with an optimistic note.

"Let us climb this McEverest together," he says.  "Not as a taut, careful clatch all back to back facing outward, but each scrambling up the various paths we each know with elan and an eye fixed on the Summit!"

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