The McCain campaign is planning on a major “reboot” of its campaign in some point in advance of Wednesday night’s debate. This will take on something of the form that Bill Kristol advocates in his must-read Monday AM piece in the Times, including some combination of (i) pledging to run a positive campaign; (ii) firing/demoting Steve Schmidt and or/Rick Davis; (iii) apologizing for his campaign’s tone. In fact, Kristol’s column may be something of a trial balloon for this strategy.
What the McCain campaign really, really doesn’t want is for this move to be portrayed as desperate stunt. McCain has already developed a reputation for being a bit erratic under pressure — the ABC/Post poll now shows that a 48-45 plurality of voters trust Obama to handle an “unexpected major crisis” — and Bill Burton and Robert Gibbs must be foaming at the mouth waiting to spin something like this.