Irreverent, inflammatory talk radio recordings.
Sharing billing with questionable types at events.
Now an avid supporter breaks into a nursing home to photograph your opponent’s ailing wife, and your campaign manager and communications director can’t get their stories straight.
All are incidents where the responses on behalf of the Chris McDaniel campaign brought unnecessary scrutiny onto itself, ballooning stories and placing the challenger in a negative spotlight.
In all honesty, communications and media relations have not been the strong suit of the McDaniel campaign.
However, McDaniel supporters continue to naively believe these things are no big deal.
Take my recent Twitter dialogue with Petal Mayor Hal Marx:
“@MayorHalMarx: @frankcorder This is the most non-scandalous “scandal” I’ve ever seen. There’s nothing to it, but one crazy blogger. #tcot MSsen”
“@frankcorder: @MayorHalMarx That’s what it would have been had the response been clean.”
“@MayorHalMarx: @frankcorder Fog of war. People speaking without all info available. Misstatements, not cover up. #tcot #MSsen #MSpol”
“@frankcorder: @MayorHalMarx Communications matter. One of most important for a campaign & elected officials. Getting it right before it goes out crucial.”
“@MayorHalMarx: @frankcorder But at same time if @senatormcdaniel had been slower to comment, he would be slammed just as much. #tcot #MSsen #McDaniel4MS”
“@frankcorder: @MayorHalMarx Maybe, but accurate far better than quick. Politics (and Life in general) 101.”
“@MayorHalMarx: @frankcorder Reality is, conservative candidates like @senatormcdaniel always criticized by media, regardless. #tcot #MSsen #MSpol”
“@frankcorder: @MayorHalMarx So why give them more fodder by rushing an answer to appease them. Not hard to get it right if truthful.”
From an inside baseball standpoint one of two things is happening on the McDaniel campaign: Either his inner circle is selectively telling the candidate what they think he needs to hear and acting beyond his direct purview or his campaign staff is attempting to leave McDaniel some plausible deniability when these incidents knowingly arise, and they continue to arise.
Well, there is a third option: They just don’t know what they are doing.
Either way, it reveals a problem within the campaign a prospective U.S. Senator cannot have if he’s going to hold one of the highest offices in the nation.
Heads should have rolled on the McDaniel campaign months ago at the first sign of ineptitude given the magnitude of the challenge; the overall strategy should have been adjusted, that is unless McDaniel himself is condoning such activity that appeals to the lowest common denominator amongst the conservative fringe element.
Therein lies the hesitancy many conservatives have with McDaniel.
Is all of this merely concocted rhetoric being propagated by his opponent and mishandled by a dysfunctional staff or is this the real Chris McDaniel?
This latest incident may provide voters with clues to that question in the court of public opinion.