Frum on McCain

David Frum explains why Sarkozy won, and how the failure of Republicans to reckon with the failures of the Bush years and a Kerry-like focus on biography undermined the McCain campaign.

It’s been evident for a long time, for example, that the average American worker did not benefit much from the Bush economy. Real wages stagnated between 2000 and 2006, while prices of essentials, such as food and fuel, rose. But the Republican party and the conservative movement asserted against the facts that everything was fine — that the Bush economy was the “greatest story never told” and that those who thought otherwise were “whiners.”

Had McCain attempted a more innovative and responsive economic policy, he would never have won the Republican nomination. By the time he got the nomination, he had so firmly locked himself to the Bush economic legacy that he had no space to pull off a Sarkozy. In the same way, had McCain chosen the running mate he wanted, he would have faced a walk-out from the floor of the St. Paul convention center.

Over-attached to old policies, Republicans could not develop an interesting new platform for McCain.

You said it, sir.