Friday, October 31, 2008

Last Thoughts on McCain

I have one question for John McCain: were you always a fraud or did your presidential ambitions turn you inside out?

Starting with David S. Broder's What We've Learned About McCain:
"We suspected, and soon had confirmed, that he had limited interest in, and capacity for, the organization and management of large enterprises. His first effort at building a structure for the 2008 presidential race collapsed in near-bankruptcy, costing him the service of many longtime aides. From beginning to end, the campaign that followed has been plagued by internal feuds and McCain's inability to resolve them.

The shortcoming was intellectual as well as bureaucratic. Like Jimmy Carter, the only Naval Academy graduate to reach the Oval Office, McCain had an engineer's approach to policymaking. He had no large principles that he could apply to specific problems; each fresh question set off a search for a 'practical' solution. He instinctively looked back to Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive era, with its high-mindedness and disdain for the politics of doling out favors to interest groups. But those instincts coexisted uneasily with his adherence to traditional, Reagan-era conservatism -- a muscular foreign policy, a penchant for tax-cutting and a fondness for business.

McCain was handed a terrible political environment by the outgoing Bush administration -- a legacy of war, debt and scandal that would have defeated any of the other aspirants for the nomination. But because McCain could not create a coherent philosophy or vision of his own, he allowed Obama and the Democrats to convince voters of a falsehood: that electing McCain would in effect reward Bush with a third term.

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The frustration for McCain and his closest associates is their belief that he is ready to practice the kind of post-partisan politics the country wants -- and which they believe Obama only talks about.

Should McCain win the election, it will demonstrate even more vividly than the earlier episodes in his life the survival instincts and capacity for overcoming the odds of this remarkably engaging man. And the country will have to hope this campaign has honed his leadership skills.

On the other hand, George F. Will uses Call Him John the Careless to castigate McCain for his stance on campaign reform.

I can understand wanting to vote for the John McCain of 2000. Unfortunately that McCain has gone MIA. I see a Republican National Committee ad talking about the need to elect a President who can steer us through the current bad times. Hmmm, the Republicans got us into the current mess(es). McCain shows no ability to break away from the thinking that lead us into our disordered economy and position in the world. No, McCain means well but he cannot help us at this time.

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