John McCain & Press Access

Article courtesy of DailyKOS.

There's just 84 days until the election, but more and more, John McCain's campaign is doing everything they can to shield their candidate from the press. Apparently fed up with foreign policy blunder, after blunder, after blunder, and mixed messages on exactly who speaks for John McCain, along with his habit of being known: sign off on big campaign decisions and then to march off his own reservation.

...the McCain campaign decided to clamp down. After all, they don't want McCain ruining another great GOP tire gauge give-away. So they cut off access to the traveling press, and now are trying: cut down on Mr. McCain’s use of his cellphone and limit the people who have regular access to Mr. McCain in an effort to keep him more focused, advisers said.

Yes, this wannabe leader of the free world is on friend and phone restriction so he doesn't get distracted. But you can't really blame the campaign when McCain continues to serve up gems like this:
I think the thing that helps me, I probably -- I don't know if you like this much detail -- if I can sleep in to about 7:30 or 8, then it really helps me. When I get up real early, like 5:30 or 6, then, you know, you don't go to bed until 10, 10:30 or 11 -- it seems to help me to get up a little later in the morning. [...]

I just get a little more tired. Never cranky, or testy. I just think I do better. I kinda can tell, and I think [my staff] can tell you, if I put in three or four 18-hour, 20-hour days in a row, then I'm not sharp. It's just a fact. I can be sharp if I get a little more rest.

Yes, there's an image you want to project...a president who won't be too sharp when that 3:00 a.m. call comes, and won't be up to speed without a solid eight hours.

So, it looks like the McCain campaign's strategy for the duration is going to be to try and keep screw-ups to a minimum and the press at a distance. Which is quite a change from the vow McCain made about press access in the days after he was implicated in the Keating Five scandal:

I would henceforth accept every single request for an interview from any source, prominent or obscure, and answer every question as completely and straightforwardly as I could...It is a public relations strategy that I have followed to this day, and while it has gotten me in trouble from time to time, it has on the whole served both my interest and that of the public well. [Worth Fighting For - page 192]

Apparently John McCain has decided that public interest is going to have to take a back seat to self interest.