Sunday, November 12, 2006

McCain '08

It's funny that the media thought it a story that McCain is running for president. The guy has been campaigning for president since 1999--non stop. I give him props for running one heck of a long presidential campaign.

I'm not sure if anyone noticed McCain's appearance in the talk shows on election night once it became clear that Dems were the overwhelming victors. He looked tired and beaten. It's been a long, hard fought campaign and most of us were tired that night. Though the excitement gave most Dems a second, third and fourth wind--finally. But McCain was beaten on more than the GOP's utter disaster. Though I don't expect him to actually commit suicide.

McCain hitched his pony to the idea that he needed to out-Bush Bush. While Bush threw casual bones to the religious right, McCain openly endorsed and tongue-kissed them. When many Republicans began distancing themselves from Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, he was one of their staunchest supporters. Tuesday was a repudiation of Bush and hence everything that McCain has positioned himself as. McCain became W. Bush part two and saw himself getting rejected over and over again--thirty-five times so far (29 House seats, 6 Senate). Millions of people rejected Bushism and by extension rejected McCain.

It's no surprise that McCain appeared so battered and disillusioned on Tuesday. He hitched himself to extremism that the country does not want. He gambled that the country really was a "Right Nation" and it turns out that it is not. Now that he lost this hand, it will be interesting to see what makeover McCain has in store. He went from "straight talk" to "say anything" rather quickly. My guess is that he'll become "say anything so long as it is not straight."

I think McCain is a true American hero and patriot. But nearly a decade of campaigning for president seems to have taken its toll on him. I find that saddest of all. I'd be happy to have McCain circa 2000 back, but I'm not sure that person exists anymore. If so, he's going to have a hard time convincing me he exists.


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