Michigan Republicans scrambled Friday to stanch potential damage to their election chances after Sen. John McCain's sudden decision to halt his presidential campaign, including TV advertising, in Michigan.
Some hoped McCain would resume campaigning in the state soon.
Others were downright mad.
"I don't know what McCain was thinking," fumed Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, a leading state Republican. "He's a general who left the battlefield in the middle of the fight.
"I'm disappointed in his behavior; he's thrown a lot of good Republican candidates under the bus."
John McCain isn't thinking these things through, he's just stumbling from one major mistake to the next.
Harnisch said McCain campaign officials told Michigan Republicans in a call Thursday night that they weren't withdrawing from Michigan. She said a change of events could bring McCain back to the state.[...]
Bill Ballenger, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, called McCain's move weird and poorly executed.
He said campaigns often scale back activities in states without admitting it.
"You really have to lie about it," he said. "You never want to just cough it up and say, 'We're pulling out. We're taking our ads, our staff, it's over.' "
Major Flip Flop opportunity ahead, but will McCain admit he made a mistake, or will he just lie and find some flimsy excuse to reverse himself?
Palin, the Alaska governor, said when she read of the pullout, she "fired off a quick e-mail and said, 'Oh come on, do we have to?' "
Perhaps Sarah Palin will convince McCain to stand and fight -- but obviously Palin is not in the decision loop -- she learned about the Michigan pull-out decision when she read about it? Wow.
Patterson said McCain's withdrawal is a blow to other GOP candidates in other races on the ballot. Presidential candidates are counted on to draw voters to the polls, and the appearance that one has given up could depress his party's voter turnout.
Beyond Michigan's 17 electoral votes, the next biggest prize for state Democrats is winning two congressional seats now held by Republicans -- Joe Knollenberg's 9th District seat in Oakland County and Tim Walberg's 7th District seat stretching from western Washtenaw County to Battle Creek.[...]
Will there be fallout for Knollenberg and Walberg? Both face stiff challenges -- Knollenberg from former lottery commissioner Gary Peters and Walberg from state Rep. Mark Schauer, D-Battle Creek.
Stumbling from one major screw-up to another... The good news is that 30 days from now we won't have to watch the painful process of John McCain making major error after major error after major error.
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