Monday, July 16, 2007

Whatever happened to John McCain?

Last week a number of media reports surfaced indicating that Senator John McCain, Republican candidate for president in 2008, has been having difficulty raising/keeping money and has dismissed ("parted ways"?) a number of campaign staff. This had led the piranha-minded media to speculate that his candidacy is on the verge of death, although the McCain campaign strongly denies this. So this begs the question: What happened to the McCain campaign, that it finds itself in this position? I offer a few observations....

It has nothing to do with his age. Much Americans have no idea how old he is.

First of all, he has already long ago alienated the right-wing of the Republican party. They remember that in 2000 he ran as a moderate, slamming George Bush a bit too viciously...and now they're aghast that he is trying to portray himself as the second coming of Ronald Reagan...which he isn't.

And, he alienated the left-wing of the Republican party with his strong support of the president's stand on the Iraq war. Personally, I think he should be commended for this. The lesson remains, though: They who take strong stands on controversial issues will displease some people. Those who don't take strong stands should not be president.

Then, of course, he alienated nearly every intelligent member of the Republican party (not currently in Congress) by being a big supporter of the ludicrous immigration bill which—hallelujah!—died a proper death in the Senate a few weeks ago. I don't claim to know why he supported it; I would certainly think that a senator from a state overrun with illegal immigrants would have instead supported far more reasonable legislation.

Could it be, that in attempting to read the political winds, he miscalculated? Could it be, that by hiring scads of political consultants months ago, he spent too much time "positioning" himself and too little time taking the stands that republicans want their president to take? Or that he lost touch with the electorate? There are lessons here; and the good news for other republican presidential candidates is that there is still plenty of time to learn them.

2 comments:

David McGuire said...

Ken,

You are right on target. The liberal mainstream media would like us to believe that the reason John McCain's campaign has gone down in flames is his support for the Iraq War. That's totally wrong.

It was McCain's position on immigration and campaign finance "reform" that sank McCain's campaign. John McCain is a genuine Vietnam War hero, but he is a tone-deaf presidential candidate.

Ken Matesevac said...

How on earth did I forget the campaign finance reform bill (from Bush's first term)?? That was another bad idea that conservatives should not forget.

Good comment, David: He is a genuine war hero. America should thank him for that.