We have just learned that the McCain campaign has been offering payment to frat boys to show up outside the debates and show their support for McCain/Palin. A great tactic for creating photo ops that can pump up the perception of a successful candidacy. At the same time, we also have news reports about how the Iraq government is now officially taking charge of paying the Sons of Iraq for their allegiance to the Iraqi/US government. The strategy was great for pumping up the perception of a successful "surge."
The Sons of Iraq are Sunni tribal leaders who were paid by the US to switch their allegiance and join with the US military forces to combat al-Qaeda in Iraq. Although some are former members of al-Qaeda in Iraq and had been fighting against the Americans, the $300/month payments changed their minds. It's a fragile peace, and officials are worried about the possibility of a renewed surge in violence.
The frat boys were offered a free lunch and $200 for their fraternity kitty. We don't know if they support McCain or not, or even if they are registered to vote. An injection of cash may be the quick fix for helping our economic crisis, but it just might be the wrong strategy for success in Iraq and the wrong tactic for the McCain campaign to be taking from the Bush playbook.