I believe that in his heart, John McCain is a decent man. I also don’t think he is stupid. So for the life of me I can’t figure out why he has become so polarizing and extreme lately. Surely he knows that he needs the moderates in order to win this election…yet he has suddenly become Church Lady, scoffing at the mother’s-life-is-in-jeopardy excuse and other such nonsense. He has Palin to energize the base and if he wants the moderate vote he should know that the hard core right wing rhetoric will have the opposite effect. Could it be that on some subconscious level he* wants *Obama to win the election? This is a serious question. I can’t otherwise make heads or tails of his actions.
Yes, McCain does want Obama to win.
I agree with Rand Rover’s sarcasm. The world may be coming to an end.
Seriously, McCain wants the job, and is too stubborn to admit that he’s losing badly, partially because his tactics are losing him support with independents. Remember, this is the same crowd that used “reality-based community” as an insult.
Hell no. But in his heart of hearts, I’d be willing to believe that McCain probably thinks Obama will make a decent president.
I seriously doubt this, or the opposite. I mean, Johnny and Barry have to be way more wrapped up in their own visions of how the country is and should be than people on this board are, and we freaking hate each other.
McCain knows how to win elections.
You must be joking. Did you see McCain’s body language in the debates when Obama was speaking? It looked like contempt most of the time and barely contrained rage a lot the time.
There must be something about Obama that brings out the worst in people who try to oppose him. First the Clintons, then McCain. I think McCain does respect Obama, but wants to be president so much that he’s putting that behind him. It must be infuriating to have worked your whole life toward being president, but this upstart rookie swoops in and snatches it away, and he makes it look so easy! Hillary and McCain have thrown at him every trick in the book with Obama managing to deflect each blow, and still come out with a humble smile. I can see how such frustration would lead to desperation tactics.
If Obama wins, and after we’ve distanced ourselves from this election a bit, it will be interesting to hear McCain’s view on what was really going through his mind during these past few months.
But yeah, obviously McCain wants to win. Running for president is exhausting and emotionally draining, you don’t put yourself through that unless you really want to win.
We do? This is news to me. I don’t hate anyone on this board (with the probable exception of those who deliberately eschew proper punctuation). The liberals? I love 'em, because they articulate my own views so beautifully. Conservatives? I love them too, because their challenges force us to examine and strengthen our own positions (except when they are being willfully stupid, in which case they are wildly entertaining).
Debate is FUN and without an opponent, you can’t engage in it. Why would I hate the people who are essential to my fun?
Granted, the vitriol in the Pit suggests that some people do feel genuine hate. But don’t presume to speak for all of us, Rand. (And even in the Pit, I assume that some of the epithets spewed forth are simply part of the Pit zeitgeist, rather than real-life hatred.)
“Rescuing stray kittens, inviting lost souls to my house for Thanksgiving, and voting with bleeding-heart liberals since 1980.”
McCain’s actions aren’t that hard to explain. For reasons divorced from his actual positions, he was the “moderate” Republican in this cycle. This made him an object of distrust for the Republican base. These people needed placating in the primaries and they have generally been ready to bolt at the least sign of centrist movement. This is one of the reasons for the Palin pick: shore up the base.
In this, McCain is refighting the last was. Bush was able to win by turning out the base heavily. He had to sacrifice the middle to win the primaries and now he has to repeat Bush’s feat to win the general. Trouble is, there aren’t enough Republicans this time around to pull that off. But now he’s stuck, he has to keep going with his attacks, even though he’s bleeding moderates.
Basically, it seems to me that McCain didn’t have enough credibility with the center to pander to the right without losing his original base. Mayhap the Republicans should have chosen someone with more credibility on the right so that he could freely go after the center without risking a revolt. Trouble is, such a Republican would have had a terrible time convincing those moderates as charges of “more of the same” would have stuck even harder. Terrible spot for the Republicans to find themselves in. I’d feel bad for them if I wasn’t having so much fun.
So, it isn’t that McCain is trying to throw the election, he’s just boxed in. He has people working for him who know only how to fight nasty and he’s going along with it because he lacks options.
Speaking of nasty, why did McCain seem so upset about attacks ads during the debate when today he has callers still banging on the Ayers thing?
I think he (or if not him, his advisers and constituents) thinks that the Ayers thing is The Awful Truth that the Liberal Media is suppressing to get Obama into the White House, while the Obama ads are just baseless smears.
Here’s what McCain said at the Alfred E Smith Dinner last night. When I heard it, I was stunned. And he actucally seemed like the old McCain, comfortable and sincere, and even a bit emotional in a pro-Obama way.
“I don’t want it getting out of this room, but my opponent is an impressive fellow in many ways,” McCain said. "Political opponents can have a little trouble seeing the best in each other. But I’ve had a few glimpses of this man at his best and I admire his great skill, energy and determination. It’s not for nothing, but he’s inspired many folks in his own party and beyond. Senator Obama talks about making history and he’s made quite a bit of it already. There was a time when the mere invitation of an African-American citizen to dine at the White House was taken as an outrage and an insult. Today is a world away from the cruelty and prideful bigotry of that time – and good riddance.
“I can’t wish my opponent luck, but I do wish him well.”
With the masterful way Obama has played the game this election cycle, I’m encouraged that the structure of future national election campaigns, at least at the presidential level, will be quite different than those of the last 30 or so years. Obama has single-handedly destroyed the conventional wisdom of the tools a candidate must employ to win elections. Granted, he has at times fallen back on the familiar, to my disappointment. In the main, however, he’s run a new type of campaign, and it’s working for him.
Count me among the number who feel McCain actually wants to win. I do believe, however, the reality that’s it’s probably not going to happen has sunk in at this point. What can he do though? He can’t quit.
If, because of the result of this election, the social conservatives, and the loose coalition of other ideological groups, bolt, blown to the four winds like so many dandelion seeds, the Republican party will be in disarray for quite some time. I therefore believe McCain’s job at this point is to shore up a potentially disillusioned base for the next election, not for him, but for the party.
I think there’s a certain amount of pre-emptive sour grapes here (“well, I didn’t want to be President if the american public is such a bunch of ninnies anyway”), combined with a poison pill (“oh, yeah, Barack? Let’s see your career survive being president during this crisis…”), as well as maybe a hint of “fuck, I’m 72; wth am I doing?”
Conventional wisdom suggests that the Senate contest between Obama and Alan Keyes in Illinois was pretty much sealed up at the moment during the final debate when Keyes whipped out a stiletto and screeched “I will cut you motherfucker” at his opponent, and then barfed up seven and a half dollars worth of Canadian nickels. I don’t usually go along with the conventional wisdom but in this case I would have to agree.
I agree about McCain. But in 1992 there was an interview with GHW Bush that was filmed before the election and broadcast after he lost.
He didn’t want to win. It was so obvious in that interview. He wanted to lose that election. He was devastated by the experience of leading a country into war. He cried about it during the interview. He sounded tired, and sad, and beaten.
I don’t think an interview with McCain would show that.
This can’t not be a factor.
Oppose him in elections, yes. Oppose him in legislative efforts, not so much, Obama worked with a lot of Republicans in both the US Senate and the Illinois Senate, and he was known for being good at getting both sides to agree to compromises to get a bill that was agreeable to everyone.
Good analysis. That and McCain has come off in these debates rather badly, imo. If he says “my friends” again, I may explode. That, and he just comes off as seeming so…old, and crotchtey and out of touch. And then there’s the Palin choice, too. Ugh.
I tend to vote Republican but I can’t really see a reason to vote that way this time.
I may “hold my nose” and vote for Obama yet!
I worry about his “plans” and how to pay for them though.
I also wonder at his “Joe the Plumber” moment where he tries to explain to the Spawn Of Keating Five how he’ll pay for some of his “changes”.
I think Obama is going to be terribly expensiveand I also think we may need the tax smackdown to bring us to our senses, PROVIDED that money is spent as promised.