Can McCain survive?

The plight of Republican Sen. John McCain’s campaign for U.S. president conjures up all sorts of mixed metaphors: On a wing and a prayer, teetering on the brink, one foot in the grave, down to his last bullet.

Can he come back from the dead, rise from the ashes, turn the tide, survive to fight another day? Or has the train already left the station?

Political gurus say it will be extremely hard for him to rebound from financial woes, but that one can never completely rule out McCain, the Vietnam war hero and Arizona senator who gave George W. Bush a run for his money in the 2000 election.

“Sen. McCain’s standing as an American hero and a stalwart defender of his principles will always get him a seat at the table,” said Republican pollster Whit Ayres. “But it’s extremely difficult to run a campaign at any level, especially the presidential level, with very limited resources.”

“The real question right now is why someone would write a check to the McCain campaign if they have not already done so in the past. I have a hard time coming up with a good answer to that question,” Ayres said.

McCain built a campaign planning to raise $100 million. Only about a quarter of that amount had come in after McCain angered the Republican base by backing a U.S. immigration overhaul that critics called amnesty for illegal immigrants.

He also has taken a tough position in support of Bush’s troop buildup in Iraq and, at 70, is competing against two Republicans who offer fresher faces, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Down to its last $2 million, the campaign has slashed costs, dumped staff and is studying more ways to cut its budget while trying to raise money and be in a position to run campaign television advertisements in the fall.


He will focus on New Hampshire, South Carolina and Iowa, the states that hold the first primary elections for the Republican presidential nomination ahead of the November 2008 election.

Polls show him running behind Giuliani and Romney in those states.

“I’m looking at it as a kind of starting over,” said Republican strategist Charlie Black, a senior McCain adviser. “You’ve still got the best campaigner, and a guy who is actually better in an underdog role, and it’s a completely wide open race.”

Bill Greener, a former official at the Republican National Committee, said it was possible to run a lean campaign but he had to have enough money to deliver a message and pay the cost of basic physical operations.

“What it really takes to operate a credible campaign is probably a lot less than we might anticipate,” he said.

Chris Lehane, a political consultant who aided the campaign of Democrat Al Gore in 2000, said the obstacles for McCain were many and he would have to campaign like someone living in the African bush: “Live off land and move on a moment’s notice.”

“A modern-day campaign is like keeping a 757 in the air all the time. It requires a lot of fuel and costs a lot of money. He’s going to have to run a really guerrilla-like campaign,” Lehane said.

Democrat John Kerry suffered financial problems in 2003 and managed to survive to become his party’s nominee. To a lesser extent Gore had some financial challenges.

“This one is significantly different,” Lehane said. “At least in those situations there was a baseline of financial support that still existed, an existing campaign infrastructure that at the end of the day served as a firewall … This appears to be a free-fall situation.”


  1. gene

    The article above ask the question “can he (McCain) come back from the dead, rise from the ashes” Your kidding right?

    It also quotes “Sen.McCain’s standing as an American hero and a stalwart defender of his principles will always get him a seat at the table” (OK) am I suppose to be impressed here? And just whose table are you referring to…”NOT MINE”. I would kick this delusional psycho out of my house in a (heart beat) and I’m big enouth to do it.

    Its really not Mr. delusional (McCain) that blows my (3) precious active brain celss out my ass, its the idiots that make statements “stalwart defender of his primciples” and believe it that really grabs my testicles.

  2. Jeffrey B.

    Not only has the train left the station, it ran him over when he left the Hanoi Hilton – without Paris!

    Someone is kidding – right? He’s burned his final bridges in Arizona and I wish that he would take his buddy Teddy with him – OOPS – I forgot, Teddy has his own bridges to cross.

    As my granddaughter says – “No money – no honey!” Hasta la vista – BABY!

  3. MrHoppy

    If McCain was not savvy enough to not support the least popular president in US history, he is dumber than the chimp himself. Bye Bye forever Chimp Jr!

    You should have showed more integrity and less loyalty. Loyalty is the opposite of integrity.

    George Bush was asked in a debate in 1999 what he valued most and his answer was – :loyalty”. There is loyalty among thieves…

  4. michaelstephenlevinson

    McCain’s candidacy is based on a limited field of choices. McCain and the whole beltway crowd imagine themselves the power players, in charge of our lives, but the populace at large are not inspired. I recollect he was on one of the late night shows, a couple months back mumbling about how he was going to “announce” in a couple months, unable to “announce” a nuts and bolts solution to anything of consequence.

    Years ago he strafed a park with kids there playing, in downtown Hanoi, when he wasn’t doing cartwheels and they nailed him. What is so heroic about strafing unarmed kids? McCain should have had his wages garnisheed to pay for the plane.

    I do not dislike him and iamb sure on a one-to-one personal level he might not be a bad guy – old enough to be a decent Secretary of Defense as the military establishment is his family’s tradition. As president i would consider him. Will.

    I am working on the finishing touches of an essay that is my exit strategy out of Iraq, at the same time working on my campaign web site – interesting that web site, today a repository of my year 2000 writing was hacked and the visuals slightly altered so it is a difficult read, the handiwork of J. Edgarina.

    Here is the first page of seven where I am attempting to carefully establish my originality and talent, setting the stage to then lay plain an innovative plan so we can leave Iraq without a debacle, rather an ally in our corner:

    I’m the “nota” candidate for president, yet to break a sweat from way in the back. When asked about, I poll the most votes, ahead of the pack. “Nota” is my acronym for “none of the above.” I’m guaranteed to win, hands down, upon the nomination of both major parties. Right! I bring to our table the prophetic potential for world peace, for all mankind, given to me aboard ship, on a 40 day 40 night trip, in 1969; my qualifier for chosen poet prophet, the universal nominee.

    During that journey, on an ocean going ship, with the ship’s crew for witness, the LAN Lord uh pin Heaven revealed his word unto my mind, within His every line a delicate sensible rhyme, like what He gave to Dante, when the poet was inspired with His Divine Comedy, and Moses the Teacher, who was given the Pentateuch and Kabbalah.

    Is it a 4th Estate job, locating crew yet alive who rode that ship, to report what they recollect, as though yesterday, 38 yesteryears back?

    People like ‘eye’, given what we have, only come around once every couple thousand years, at most. G-d inspires when His world requires. Be assured the end of His fav planet isn’t coming for 185,000 years.

    I bring to the marketplace a new word order, the ‘mull tie ling well’ Television Scripture, words, world orders, and word hor’s d’oeuvres, written down to be performed on worldwide television, from dusk until dawn, for all the world’s peoples to participate in all at once: nothing less, nothing more. Here in our land of the free and home to the brave I seek to speak my Peace: a new word order, your words reordered.

    This conception: all mankind taking one night off, for a change, to participate together, as a world, in a world wide all channels program, the first peaceful night in five thousand years of recorded history, when all are doing the same thing at the same time, wah chin tell a vision, is worth a Nobel prize for pizza. Your only issue: are my words refracted, renewed, a valued horse of rhyme, thus worth your time?

    The other candidates for United States president, politishinz, aren’t galloping about with words for all mankind, promoting exit courses to get us out of Iraq, with strategies so the Iraqis stay in our corner. Regardless whom you assassinate or elect, my explicit plan will get us out of Iraq, a game plan for our exit with your loved ones intact.

    Do you want world peace? Then alter your format, let the words play. (I would love to post the whole piece as a feature, to get your feedback, but i won’t hold my breath on that).

  5. nuQler Ostrich

    George W. Bush and gang stuck a knife in McCain’s back in 2000 down in South Carolina.

    And in 2004 McCain sucked up to his rapist.

    He’s nothing but a whore and everybody knows it.

    The BS Express is running out of gas and rightfully so. Methinks he’s not the only political whore to be looking for something else to do after being sent home from Washington D.C. in January 2009.

    Americans are tired of these whores.

  6. SEAL

    Someone who fails a mission and spends the entire war in a jail cell being brainwashed by the enemy is not a “hero.”

    The heros are the ones who died or survived in combat with a well trained and discipled army of North Viet Regulars and all the traps set by the Cong. That was very vicious war.

    BTW, who is this michaeletc. fantasy spouter?