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Senatorial Campaign Committee Writes Off McCain

The National Republican Senatorial Committee — the GOP arm charged with helping to get its Senate candidates elected — has produced an ad that nicely illustrates the problems a potentially overwhelming Sen. Barack Obama victory creates for down-ticket Republicans.

The ad, produced on behalf of incumbent North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole — who is in a tight re-election fight against her Democratic challenger, Kay Hagan — basically assumes Sen. John McCain will lose in November.

Production Notes: The spot cautions viewers that “these liberals want complete control of government” — as, presumably, so do conservatives. It closes with an ominous warning:

“If [Hagan] wins, they [liberals] get a blank check.”

Wait a minute. I know it doesn’t look good for McCain, but as Yogi Berra famously said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

The National Republican Senatorial Committee’s doomsaying could represent some blowback against McCain’s strategy of highlighting his “maverick” cred in challenging his own party. In effect, McCain has been saying his party has often been wrong.

The logical inference from this premise is: If the Republican Party, which has controlled the presidency for the last eight years –and both houses of Congress for six of those eight years — has been wrong an awful lot lately, enough so that its own presidential nominee has decided his only viable strategy is to distance himself from his party, then why should people re-elect GOP incumbents, let alone its challengers?

If McCain doesn’t win the election, and Republicans get blown out in both houses of Congress — which is widely expected even with a McCain victory, though McCain is certainly not helping — it will be quite interesting to see how warmly he is welcomed back to Capitol Hill.

(Via Politico’s Ben Smith)

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