AS SOUND and fury dominates the Democratic race, on the Republican sidethe candidate quietly plods on. It is unclear precisely how much JohnMcCain is benefiting from the prolonged scrap between the Democrats,which is widely assumed to be gradually eroding the reputations ofBarack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Certainly Mr McCain is spared, fornow, the expense of devoting resources to besmirching his rivals.Beyond the South he is looking for a national strategy for the comingmonths.
Some of this is a canny move on race.
Mr McCain is getting less attention than his Democratic opponents, buthe is using his time to lay foundations for the general-electioncampaign.A “victory fund” has been set up led by an activist, LewisEisenberg, a former partner at Goldman Sachs, and Carly Fiorina, whowas the boss of Hewlett-Packard until 2005. Another Silicon Valleyconnection is John Chambers, the chief executive of Cisco Systems, whoadvises Mr McCain on technology.