I remember in 2000 when McCain would camp out with the media, perhaps, as some say, trying to win them back after the Keating scandal amid his campaign finance speeches. Reagan and Clinton both had those early phases when they would relish frequent press conferences as a bully pulpit. They all enter a later phase when scandal keeps them from interfacing with the press: Reagan during Iran-Contra while suffering from Alzheimer’s, Clinton after Starr investigated the Monica cover-up. The disinfo for the Iraq War made Bush and Cheney largely off limits long ago. The week that McCain has accepted the Republican nomination, he is already slipping into the second phase after they fear press questions about the vetting process of Sarah Palin, and Ms. Palin is likewise unlikely to be the ubiquitous surrogate talking head that Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney auditioned for as they fear her responses to policy questions.
McCain chief Steve Schmidt has now said there will be no further information about his vetting process and has declared open war on the media. This comes at a time when Rupert Murdoch seems to have become a Obamacan and The O’Reilly Factor, which may be expected to have a Sarah Palin pep rally for the night McCain speaks, is hosting Obama in what Obama is hoping will be a congenial exchange. The best response to comparisons of Obama’s and Palin’s experience is having Obama do a lot of interviews to force Palin out to the cameras herself. The week when the GOP traditionally slams the Democratic nominee they are defending their own VP nominee and the judgement of McCain.
Update 9/4: Palin handler Nicole Wallace has now said that Palin will not do interviews: