Huffington Post has a copy of a leaked McCain campaign memo:
John McCain was widely ridiculed several weeks ago for fielding reporter's questions in the cheese aisle of a grocery store. But the location of the impromptu press conference was hardly random. The McCain camp, in a strategy memo, has pinpointed grocery stores as an important venue for the Senator to push his economic agenda.
In a McCain campaign "Economic Communications Plan" that was obtained by the Huffington Post, an aide to the Senator lays out several themes, tactics and objectives to shore up the Arizona Republican's standing on the economy and paint Barack Obama as a "job killing machine."
"Our polling tells us that Americans are still not tuned into what the candidates might do to fix the economy," reads the memo. "We have an opportunity to fill in that gap."
The strategy, which was authored by Taylor Griffin -- a veteran of the Bush White House and Treasury Department who serves McCain as a senior adviser -- seems built around traditional themes. The McCain campaign will paint Obama as being "aligned with trial lawyers" and "unions (card check, trade, education reform)," and push the frame that he "raises taxes" and "will kill jobs."
In contrast, McCain will be positioned as a bold leader on economic matters, someone who has a "record of taking on corporate interests" and will "fight speculation driving up prices of oil and food" as well as "the lawsuit culture."
"People are tired of big corporations, lobbyist and special interests who they feel prosper at their expense," the memo reads. "People must understand that John McCain is not only thinking of their future, but their children's futures as well."
To do this, McCain's camp plans to utilize a number of tactics, including "family budget roundtables, grocery store visits," and "roundtable events heavily tilted towards women to discuss the pressures the economy is placing on family finances and how McCain's plan would help." The campaign also will work the fourth estate. As detailed in Taylor's memo, McCain will "provide compelling set of programming and surrogate activity to drive media interest," and "mobilize economists in target states supporting the McCain plan to engage the media in support of our plan."
I belong to a non-political website that includes women across the country from all economic strata, educational backgrounds and ages. Those who are working class and young as well as retirees are starting to talk, non-stop, about the economy, specifically prices. These aren't political people, as I said. Indeed, they don't even frame these discussions in political terms. They just comment on how hard it's getting for them to adequately feed their families, budgets are tight, they are cutting back. They ask for advice on how to make their dollars stretch and complain that they can't give their kids what they want. The pinch is very real.
McCain is smart to focus on that particular group, if that's what he's doing, because they are really looking for help. The fact that he's the last man on the planet to give it to them isn't relevant. If he's speaking to them and they feel they can trust him they may just vote for him. All they know is that they are having a hard time making ends meet and the details are probably less important than the idea that he knows they are hurting and promises to help.