In response to a blog post — a freakin’ blog post — Connie Mack’s campaign manager picked a fight with those who buy ink by the barrel, responding to a headline that read ‘Mack Campaign: Why We Will Squash LeMieux Like a Bug’ by blasting the Tampa Bay Times.
“(F)or the Tampa Bay Times to write and attribute a snarky, unprofessional statement of this nature to our campaign is patently false and horribly unprofessional,” Cohen wrote in this election cycle’s most bizarre press release. “It’s tabloid journalism at its worst. It is arrogant. It is sophomoric. I would fire anyone who said such a thing.”
I initially weighed in on a couple of reasons why I think Cohen made a mistake (you can also read Kevin Cate’s take on the matter here.) Thinking about this matter further, it’s clear Mack has a “gravitas” issue.
After recently addressing a women’s group and a Tea Party organization, many in those crowds walked away thinking Mack was a lightweight.
Now it’s not just Mack, but also his campaign that looks not-so-ready for primetime.
‘Confident campaigns don’t do that’ is what one top Republican strategist thought about Mack’s media meltdown. This person also called it “amateurish” and “weird”, echoing a second GOP consultant who lamented about the “amatuer funk on that thing.”
These are heavy-hitters saying this, the type of people who help shape Republican opinion — and the flow of donor dollars — before anything appears on Twitter, the blogs or in newspapers.
That first bit, about a “confident campaign” is telling.
The truth is, $1.3-$1.5 million in the bank isn’t a whole lot when Bill Nelson likely has several times that. Losing two recent straw polls doesn’t help.
Then this meltdown?
Picking a fight with the news media can be effective (it was for Newt Gingrich for a spell). But it shouldn’t be squandered on something so quotidian.