I have been a friend and critic of Mike Murphy, the Republican consultant. I have criticized him on these pages, chiding him for going "Hollywood" which he denies and pointing out Rick Lazio's terrible campaign that allowed Hillary Rodham Clinton to go to the US Senate. Now is no time to quibble about past races lost. The future is at stake. Today I reverse course. Murphy is both talented and persuasive. The McCain campaign has had no strategic vision, no plan to define McCain or Obama and no message discipline. Surely the Rove gang, headed by Steve Schmidt, can keep the trains running on time - but the campaign needs a strategist. Bill Kristol is right; Obama's campaign is better than he is and McCain's campaign isn't living up to his candidacy's potential. Murphy has a rapport with the candidate and the cleverness to develop a message line which is both pungent and interesting. At this juncture, the wrong strategy is better than no strategy at all which is what you have today. Obama's state senate voting record is ripe with votes that will help identify Obama as the elitist liberal he is to many who do not realize his accurate record. Obama must be pinned on the ideological spectrum and cannot be allowed to be all things to all people. Murphy understands this. Based on Murphy's handling of McCain in 2000, it's also pretty clear that Murphy understands that voters must see flashes of McCain the Maverick in order to attract the Independents and Democrats McCain needs in order to win. The negative message as to why voters cannot trust Barack Obama must be left to others in the political dialogue. The hour grows late. The campaign needs a sure hand; Murphy's the one.