The pain of being John McCain

The old man took on the new kid on the block for the second of three Presidential campaign debates Tuesday night and planned to expose the kid as a wild-eyed radical with dangerous ideas that would destroy the United States of America.

He failed.

Barack Obama beat John McCain handily in a “Town Hall” format that was supposed to be McCain’s strength. He won by keeping his cool and being…well…boring…and, by contrast, exposed McCain as the hothead with dangerous ideas: Which was one of the few moments of truth to come out of the extended hyperbole that passed as serious debate.

McCain didn’t lose his cool either but he still came across as the bully in the pulpit, the angry, bitter old man who can’t stand his opponent and can’t conceal his contempt for the uppity black man from Chicago who stands in his way on the road to the White House.

Like Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, McCain sees the Presidency as something he deserves, something that is a right, not a privilege. He still can’t grasp the reality that Obama and the American voters want to deny him that self-perceived right.

Astute viewers saw a desperate man on stage Tuesday night, a struggling political candidate who keeps throwing Hail Mary passes that fell lifeless to the turf.  His gamble on Sarah Palin is sinking into the mire of his and her own political mud. His grandstanding ploy on the economic bailout plan failed miserably.

So upset was he over his failed performance that he left the arena abruptly after the debate while Obama lingered to talk and shake hands.

McCain went into the debate knowing the end is near. He left with that end in sight.

With nearly a month left in a rancorous political campaign that has defied all the rules a game-changing event is still possible to rescue the sinking McCain campaign but a longtime friend and Republican political consultant may have summed it up in an email that arrived via Blackberry shortly after the debate.

“It’s over,” he said. “Time to start thinking about 2012.”

Comments

  1. brcarthey

    Mr. Thompson,

    What do you think of the “Bradley effect” in terms of this election? Could it still happen 26 years later?

    Blitz Carthey

    “It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation.” –William Tecumseh Sherman

  2. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Mr. McNuggets did not rag on Obama about Ayres during the 2nd debate and this was because one of McNugget’s biggest financial campaign contributors is good friends with Ayres, and I can’t recall what his name is, but told McNuggets to stop the ‘Obama is friends with Terrorists’ rhetoric.

    McNuggets is such a crotchety old whiner, the wheels really are falling off the McNugget’s campaign.

    Interesting also that McNugget’s didn’t mention Barracuda B*tch not once during the debate, not once.

    I am disgusted by the D-Crappers and especially Sir Obama of Camelot’s past action of voting for retro-active immunity for telecoms.

    I see no end to the D-Crappers caving into neo-con scams.

    The lesser of two evils rationale does not cut it with me, I still can’t allow myself to vote Democrapper.

    Where the Hell is it going to stop.

    Yes, Obama is preferable to Mr. McNuggets but the D-Crappers let Chimp get away with so much that I can’t vote D-Crapper.

    No More Fancy Pants Suit Wenches like Hillary & Fancy Pants Pelosi.

    Vote Nader

  3. EffPee

    CNN says what most of us think about Virginny (and Virginians) in their 10/9/2008 headline:

    Obama in position to steal Virginia from GOP

    The GOP owns the Commonwealth of VA. And now it seems that some “Black Guy” (or equivalent language) thinks he’s gonna steal it away from its rightful owners?

    I hardly think so. Those who revere the memory of Robert E. Lee would never allow that ultimate heresy.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/09/virginia.battleground/index.html

  4. DejaVuAllOver

    Nice, Doug. I’m an engineer by training and long ago gave up trying to out-analyze opponents. To paraphrase an old joke, “It wastes your time and annoys the pig.” But you really nailed this one: McCain’s severe personality defects were obvious to anyone with the people-skills of a sewer grating. The man is one nasty dude.

  5. raedawn

    Great rant! I’ve only recently begin reading the “Blue” again, and I’m glad I did. I find it, and especially your rants, to be a refreshing retreat into “speaking” Truth to Power. Thank heaven there is still someone “out there” who is willing to do it.

    What I find absolutely frightening is McNugget’s refusal to date to effectively moderate his extremely angry and potentially violent audiences. I know he recently, at a speaking engagement, asked the audience to not respond so vehemently negatively … too little, too late. The flamers are taking over McNugget’s campaign (sorry … stole this from another rant responder because I like it so much), and, in addition to lobbing charges at Obama, calling him a “traitor” and a “terrorist,” are shouting things like “kill him” and “off with his head.” I’m glad that the Secret Service has told McNuggets to tone down his rhetoric, but I’m afraid the damage is already done.

    At a recent appearance, when McNuggets said that Obama was a decent man and asking them to stop the negative shouting and rhetoric, his own supporters booed him. McNuggets has gone far beyond appealing to the far right, straight past the bounds of reason, to accepting the support of those who might actually support terrorism in the U.S., as they’ve done in the past, by blowing up buildings, killing talk show hosts, etc. Thank goodness that Obama is holding his ground, not stooping to the low level of mud slinging and, instead, showing his colors by staying on message.

    Thanks, Thompson, for keeping it on point.
    Linda in Lowell, MA