The Winston Group is a strategy and research firm dedicated to making ideas matter.

McCain Needs to Pick VP Nominee Sooner Rather Than Later

by David Winston

Over the weekend, there was public speculation that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) might announce his vice presidential selection on the same day as Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) acceptance speech.

That would be the political equivalent of putting C-SPAN up against the Super Bowl and expecting ratings.

Let’s face it. McCain could parachute into the Broncos’ stadium with his new running mate, and the media would relegate his announcement to “in other political news yesterday.” This trial balloon, if it is a trial balloon, is a nonstarter. (more…)

Obama’s Latest Change: Now It’s Refinement You Can Believe In

by David Winston

A new word entered Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) political vernacular last week. He no longer simply changes his positions when politically convenient or advantageous. No, the oratorical whiz of the 2008 election is now “refining” his policies.

Thanks to the guy who told us “words matter,” issue “refining” as political speak now enters the realm of such classics as “revenue enhancement” (tax increases) and “strategic redeployment” (retreat). If this were just another politician, this kind of behavior would hardly be surprising.

But for the past 18 months, Obama has marketed himself to his supporters, especially his youngest backers, as a new kind of candidate, wrapping himself in “change we can believe in.” (more…)