McCain Prepares for Defeat

As John McCain remains comfortably behind in the race which ends two weeks tomorrow, his thoughts are turning to his inevitable defeat:

Mr McCain, speaking moments after his old friend Colin Powell, the former Republican Secretary of State, had endorsed Mr Obama, said that a loss would not devastate him. He said that he had thought about it, “but I don’t dwell on it”.

The Republican nominee continued: “I’ve had a wonderful life. I have to go back to Arizona and live … with a wonderful family, and daughters and sons that I’m so proud of. I’m the luckiest guy you have ever interviewed and will ever interview. I’m the most fortunate man on Earth, and I thank God for it every single day.”

If he lost, he told Fox News Sunday, “don’t feel sorry for John McCain and John McCain will be concentrating on not feeling sorry for himself”.

Don’t feel sorry for John McCain? As if any rational person would. Not only are his robocalls offending many of even his most ardent supporters, but the lies are getting bigger:

Overnight Friday, the McCain forces ramped it up. I got a recorded message from the Republican National Committee at my Virginia home that said in part:

“Hello, I’m calling for the RNC and John McCain because you ought to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers . . .”

Obama debunked the smear during the debate. It is the worst I ever heard about that one candidate delivered against another.

None of McCain’s, Palin’s or the RNC’s charges are true. Nothing can make them so. Yet McCain & Co. keep piling it on, broadening the lie from “palled around,” to “associate with” and now “worked closely.”

But John McCain’s biggest problem is his campaign’s incompetence. Having flailed wildly from indulging in the candidate’s own erratic, impulsive decision making (which resulted in Sarah Palin), through to trying to play by the Rovian playbook, he’s ignored conditions on the ground, which Obama has used to his greatest advantage:

But beneath the obvious challenges he faces lies a deeper cause of McCain’s troubles in Florida, the swing state which, he acknowledged at the Miami rally, his struggling campaign “must win.” It’s not so much that McCain didn’t tap Crist for his ticket; rather, it’s the widespread feeling that McCain hasn’t tapped into the more civil, issues-driven political style most Floridians have embraced since Crist was elected in 2006.

On top of that, despite the race tightening, a poll shows most Americans don’t believe Bill Ayres is a legitimate campaign issue:

Skepticism about the Ayers issue was one of the factors cited by Colin Powell in his endorsement of Obama yesterday, and in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, likely voters broadly agree: 60 percent say Obama’s relationship with Ayers is not a legitimate issue in the presidential campaign; 37 percent say it is.

And this is starting to get backed up by conservative commentator after conservative commentator:

Obama’s campaign has exploited hindsight to full advantage. Yet he has also emerged as the candidate who will move the country ahead.

Obama better understands the real economic fears gripping the middle class – and his tax and health care policies reflect that.

Obama better understands the kind of regulatory reform required to prevent a repeat of the financial market meltdown.

Obama is better equipped to build a diversified, versatile energy infrastructure, arriving at a strategy something more nuanced than a “drill, baby, drill” mantra.

Obama is better prepared to restore America’s allies abroad, building the coalitions required in a turbulent world.

And even more spectacularly (explanation):

The Eagle, Bryan/College Station, Texas

We are faced with a choice between Sen. John McCain, who claims to be an agent of change but promotes the policies of the past, and Sen. Barack Obama, who also wears the change mantle, but offers a vision for the future, even if he has yet to fully explain how he would carry out that vision if elected president in little more than two weeks.

Every 20 or 30 years or so, a leader comes along who understands that change is necessary if the country is to survive and thrive. Teddy Roosevelt at the turn of the 20th century and his cousin Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan — these leaders have inspired us to rise to our better nature, to reach out to be the country we can be and, more important, must be.

Barack Obama is such a leader.

(both via Andrew Sullivan)

When the political narrative coalesces like this there’s only one way which it’ll go.


6 responses to “McCain Prepares for Defeat

  1. barack obama 2008 enough said…

  2. blah : )
    Obama has charisma but you’d be hard pressed to not notice that his chief opponent (hillary) started the race with half the country adamantly opposed to her candidacy. The country wanting a change of leader ship to the democratic party. McCain was vilified, by his own party and succeeded only by implosion of his chief opponent, and the obvious religious overtones of his other two rivals, Huckleberry and Romney.
    Obama has charisma and a degree of gravitus, beyond that he has no record, no accomplishments, no history, and a string of friends and associates that would have cost most candidates the race. I see no reason to gloss the issue, nor to try and pretend the faults don’t exist. He stands to do little even with a democratic congress and has already back tracked from his campaign pledges BEFORE EVEN WINNING! If he does become a great president I’ll be surprised, if he manages not to start a new war, I’ll be thrilled.

  3. Obama has charisma and a degree of gravitus, beyond that he has no record, no accomplishments, no history, and a string of friends and associates that would have cost most candidates the race.

    A very strange statement, which holds Obama to a different standard to his opponent and imminent predecessor. Palin has more executive experience but is a complete loon, McCain has been a senator longer but his judgment and temperament are complete disasters, and Bush has arguably been the worst president ever. I fail to see why having good ideas, good temperament and good judgment then become unimportant.

    I’ll grant that even a potentially transformative leader like Obama will still likely be beholden to the status quo which has driven America since the post-WWI era. After all Clinton, Carter were, alongside their Republican counterparts. But we’re in a time when neo-liberal economics have collapsed and the Iraq War has thoroughly repudiated American military policy. Interesting times are ahead.

  4. Tim needs to speak his mind and stop shrouding it in the nonsense he’s talking.

    This man has many accomplishments in his lifetime and has risen with his party and within the U.S. due to what? Charisma?

    Read “Audacity of Hope” if you really want an idea about what his policies will be based on. He taught Constitutional Law for 10 years at the University Level, did int’l studies in undergrad, worked his way up from the bottom as a community organizer, then state Senator, and U.S. Senator. What more do you want?

    McCain got his seat in the Senate with NO experience and the backing of his father-in-law in a state where he wasn’t even a resident. His wife’s family lived there.

    Who would vote for 2 less than average intellects to lead them instead of 2 admittedly well-trained Lawyers? It boggles the mind.

  5. He stands to do little even with a democratic congress and has already back tracked from his campaign pledges BEFORE EVEN WINNING!

    Tim you don’t get to have it both ways. You argued some weeks ago that it was conventional and acceptable wisdom to tack to the centre on issues like support for Israel, gun control and the death penalty. Were there any formal pledges you had in mind which he’s u-turned from?

    I also fail to understand how a Democratic president could, with the benefit of hindsight to 1993, fail to get anything done with a Democratic Congress. Was there a deeper point you wanted to make?

  6. lol okay the pulling back on the campaign promises I think was actually a smart move but politically it will be costly to him if he wins because the far left will feel betrayed. Than again they always feel betrayed so who cares.

    as for formal pledges, he’ll have to stick with the war in Iraq, no pulling troops out, He’s not going to do anything different in Pakistan, considering we are already making cross border raids, and theres no money to tackle health care without cutting benefits something he pledged not to do. His tax cuts will never fly with the blue dog democrats nor will any dramatic social changes because that would tip the population towards the republicans. He’s not going to tackle gay issues cause he’s afraid of the same blow back that Clinton got and he’s going to find that our international “allies” aren’t going to agree to any missions in Darfur or any substantial increases in Afghanistan. He’ll probably try to increase unemployment benefits, while trying to cobble together a infrastructure/ energy bill. That’s really all I see possible.
    Compare Bush’s position he had a republican congress and senate and still couldn’t get his agenda through. Obama’s lack of long term contacts beholden him to his party and their flunkies rather than a cadre of personal friends whom he knows and trusts.

    Jason I’m probably just belly aching, as a single gay that actually earns money I stand to gain the least and have my taxes raised the most. All the time hear dems talk about the joys of redistributing wealth. Sorry it just doesn’t appeal to me.

    @Tyriq yes his rise is due entirely to personal shrewdness, charisma, and the chicago political machine. He spent his entire senate career running for president and his state senate career not voting. Several of his papers from his time as an nontenured law professor are well written, but somehow I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count for much in the real world.

    His time as a community organizer was pointless considering he abandoned it because he felt it wasn’t making a difference, and his time over seeing the chicago school project was a disaster that wasted 10 million dollars and lowered school achievements. Don’t pretend a politician is what you want them to be. Just learn to use them for what you want.

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