McCain would be OK if not for Obama

Yeah, I know: duh.

But I mean Obama rather than another Democratic candidate.

McCain really became visible on the national political radar in the 2000 primary season, when he could still plausibly claim to be a “maverick.” Even though he was one of the most conservative Senators out there in most areas, the supposedly Liberally biased press adored him, and quite a few people, both liberal and conservative, did as well. Many of them, I think, view McCain’s shift in positions over the past few years as posturing to the extreme right and believe that he really would shake things up if he were to get into the White House, so they’re willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

This year, the polling indicates that desire for change is one of, if not the, most important issue(s) for this election. McCain would have been able to use that, had he not been up against Obama. Unfortunately for him, he is up against Obama, and Obama had the Change market pretty well cornered before McCain seemed to even realize that Obama was going to be his opponent. I doubt any other Democratic candidate could have pulled this off as well - Obama’s oratory style and his comparatively brief time on the national political scene make the idea that here’s someone who is actually new and different running reasonable. And, of course, it doesn’t hurt that he is and always has been a bit to the right of center compared to the majority of left-wing Democrats.

So, the question up for debate: Would McCain have had a significantly greater or even as great chance of winning against a different Democratic opponent? (I’m not talking Hillary here, because the degree of irrational Hillary hatred in this country, IMHO would certainly have prevented her from winning.) I think McCain could have done better if he had been up against someone else who was not Hillary. He could have done very much better against Hillary simply because she was who she was, and for some reason a lot of people hate that - Dems as well as Repubs, people who liked Bill Clinton fine but couldn’t stand her, and people who hated both.

I may not be able to get back to this thread tonight, so please bear with me if I don’t respond until the morning or even afternoon tomorrow. Thanks in advance for anyone who decides to chime in on this.

I’d guess the maverick thing stuck as long as no-one closely examined it, but a presidential campaign is where everything gets dragged out and microscoped. That would’ve happened no matter who the opponent was. McCain’s biggest enemy could easily turn out to be McCain.

Suppose McCain wins? You seem to be assuming that Obama’s a done deal, and November 4th is just a formality.

I think McCain’s biggest problem is Bush, not Obama. McCain might be ok if he were more aggressive in distancing himself from Bush, but embracing him is embracing death.

No, actually I’m not assuming that McCain will lose. I find it an unfortunately real possibility that he may win. But at this moment things are not looking very good for him.

But Change is the issue Obama has been hammering from the start, and he pretty much owns it now. McCain tries to distance himself from Bush, but the fact is, he is *officially * in agreement with much if not all of Bush’s policies, which would make him vulnerable to just about any Democrat. He’s also got a hard row to hoe against any Democrat because he can get either the far right or the indies, but he’ll have a problem getting both. But doesn’t it make it harder when he’s running against the guy who’s been jumping up and down giving inspirational speeches about Change for the past year and a half or so, and basically has his name intertwined with the concept?

Good night, folks. Bedtime.

I couldn’t vote for him regardless of who he’s running against; if he was up against the world’s most incompetent and or socially conservative Democrat, I’d not vote.

There are several reasons, but two are his views on gay marriage and abortion. I find the “we must defend marriage” notion absolutely ridiculous coming from a divorcee and adulterer and I would love to hear him taken to task for this- I mean sink into him and just don’t let up until he’s exhausted rhetoric and has to actually answer- but I’m doubting it will happen. I detest it all the more so because I think he is cozying up to the Religious Reich in a time when GAWD KNOWS most people have a helluva lot more to worry about than whether Bob and Ted or Carol and Alice have legal recognition of their unions.
Abortion: same story- how can you be a divorced adulterer and argue morality, or how can you be a multimillionaire old man and try to deny the right of a penniless woman to end a pregnancy before the fetus has brainwaves? (And will you tell me it would not have crossed your mind if one of your mistresses had become pregnant while you were running for office, of if one of your daughters had become pregnant at 14?) Either he really believes these things or he’s just toadying, and I honestly don’t know which is worse and alone they’re enough to disqualify him for my vote, but they’re far from alone.

Obama’s wishy-washy on gay marriage= he won’t actually support it (civil unions but not actual marriage) but at least he’s not anti a state saying “same sex marriage is okay”.

I will never forget McCain’s advocacy of genocide just after 9/11/2001. His statement then made me think that he will never be a president I could trust. I also think the only economic plan I have heard recently that was worse was Ron Paul’s.

Did you have a link to that? Thanks in advance.


I think we’re getting a little bit away from my point, perhaps because I’m not making the point clear. Some of us, myself included, wouldn’t have voted for McCain if Mickey Mouse or a tree trunk had been running against him. Others wouldn’t have voted for the Democratic candidate even if he’d walked across the pond in front of the Washington Monument (I know that pond has a name, but I can’t think of it right now) to be inaugurated.

In this thread I’m talking about those who could be swayed either way by the qualities of the individuals. The John Maces of the world, only most of them are less thoughtful. I’m postulating that with those potential voters, McCain has a worse chance against Obama than he would have against other potential Democratic candidates because against any other Dem candidate, McCain might have, based on his prior history of at times strenuously disagreeing with the Republican party, successfully billed himself as the candidate of real change. With Obama, he can’t, because Obama got there first and better (see my OP). NOT whether or not you would vote for him or why you would or wouldn’t vote for either of the candidates unless you are a swing voter and Change is the issue you’re voting on.

Note: this is not a praise thread for Obama or a knock thread for McCain. It is a “notice this characteristic of the election” thread.

There is only one John Mace. And we can thank the non-existent deity for that!

The Reflecting Pool.


That’s it! Thank you!

I think certain swing voters are interested in the Charactor of the candidate. Others are interested on policy, and others still are interested in an icon.

What does McCain represent for America? What does Obama represent for America? These are not tongue in cheek questions these are real questions for real voters out there. My father was a swing voter, a republican leaning man most of his life, he’s voting for Obama but it has taken him a while to come around. [through no fault of my own I promise]

He has many reservations about Obama - much like John Mace - yes you say things very similar to my Dad [at times] - but in the end he believes Obama will do the better job for our government over time.

My thoughts are that no Republican would be acceptable because I do not think the Republican party she be rewarded with the White House after 8 years of the worst Presidency, Rovian politics, bad economics, fear tactics, and the most destructive period to the great American experiment started in 1787.

I am convinced that Hillary Clinton would have beaten McCain pretty solidly. She was up against the more formidable of the two main opponents she had to deal with when she faced off against Obama all spring, and while she did lose you can’t exactly characterize it as “he mopped the floor with her”. McCain would’ve had his hands full.

As for McCain himself, his second biggest problem as far as positioning himself as a change-candidate is that McCain '08 is not McCain '00, which is when his maverick cred was solid.

All he’s got remaining in his arsenal of arguments for voting for him is

• the experience thang

• the CIC thang (subset of the above, national defense specific)

• party loyalty, so far as it can be kindled: I’m a Republican and that guy ain’t. Problem is, the right isn’t happy about McCain.

• whatever Anyone But Obama fervor can be stirred up. A few racists, perhaps, but he isn’t anathema to many people.

You haven’t experienced any widespread Hillary-hatred? I have, even among moderate liberals.

His platform is considerably different from Obama’s. Your post assumes that Obama’s is the default preference across the board. That simply isn’t true. So no, that’s not “all he’s got remaining in his arsenal”.

If this were the McCain of the 90’s I’d be sitting squarely on the fence right now with mostly such a strong distaste of republican politics these last years keeping me away.

But McCain stinks more and more of Bush politics and I despise Bush. I strongly dislike McCain for cuddling up with Bush as well on so many things where there should be zero love between those two.

At this point McCain is irredeemable in my eyes. He has flip flopped so much on such notable issues to this point that any switch back to the McCain I once liked I think would be just more pandering on his part.

What platform? The McCain 2000 one, the 2002 one, or the 2008 one that looks a lot like mainstream Bush? If elected, would he return to the principles of yesteryear or still be a hostage to the right? The uncertainty of this is what would have made me vote for Hillary, if a bit unhappily.

This is not changing position when new data arrives, which would be a pleasant change after the last 7 years. This seems to be changing based solely on political expediency.

Please. Again, this thread is about whether or not Obama grabbed the Change Issue so that McCain, who otherwise might have, couldn’t. Not whether or not McCain is good or bad. My question is, do you think McCain would have had an easier time against another Democrat who wasn’t able to present as The Change Candidate?