Letter to Rick Davis, McCain 2008 Chairman

Sent 6:45 p.m. 4/14/08

You just lost an eight-year-long McCain supporter.

I spent a good deal of time in the McCain 2000 office in Northern Virginia. Not as a volunteer, but as an enthusiast. When that effort fell through, I followed McCain and cheered him every TV appearance. No longer.

If this pablum you’re sending is indicative of your campaign this year — and it probably is — then you’ve lost my vote. Americans weren’t bitter during the Great Depression? Check your history. As many cursed America as any sane, thinking grown-up might expect during that period of deprivation.

You’re making political hay out of Obama’s remarks, which were a sincere effort to tell the truth. But you can’t really do that in politics. The Straight Talk Express will apparently see to it.

You and John McCain and your whole inner circle thinks that to be president it is sufficient to be a character and a sonofabitch. That’s why you love him. You think that delightful character is enough to be president. Well, it’s enough to be loved by the history books. But in the faces across generations is true legacy writ large. You people aren’t offering one thing to help the common man. There is no more concern evinced in your campaign for the common man than in any other mediocre politician’s campaign. And so, I am led to reasonably expect that McCain’s presidency will be just like any other large-personality president’s: long on colorful historical anecdotes and memorabilia, short on concrete benefit for your fellow man.

What are you really going to do with the power of the presidency? What positive, original works will you create? Is the rare phenomenon of a politician with character, a real human being truly enough to justify your confidence in your campaign? Or is it just a more virtuous sense of entitlement, which you ridicule in Clinton’s? Beware this Achille’s heel: personality is in the final analysis just vanity; you will be judged by the works you create.

> Dear Friends,
> We’ve all said things that we’ve regretted. Sometimes they result from a
> mere slip of the tongue and sometimes they reveal deeply held beliefs that
> you’d rather not communicate to the world.
> A few days ago, at a San Francisco fundraiser, Barack Obama described
> Americans who live in small towns or other areas that have experienced a
> loss of jobs as “bitter” people, adding that it didn’t surprise him that
> they, “..cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like
> them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to
> explain their frustrations.”
> These words are revealing on a number of levels, and expose the
> out-of-touch beliefs to which John McCain offers stark contrast. Today,
> John McCain offered a different account of small town America:
> “During the Great Depression, with many millions of Americans out of work
> and the country suffering the worst economic crisis in our history, there
> rose from small towns, rural communities, inner cities, a generation of
> Americans who fought to save the world from despotism and mass murder, and
> came home to build the wealthiest, strongest and most generous nation on
> earth.
> “They suffered the worst during the Depression, but it did not shake their
> faith in, and fidelity to, America. They did not turn to their religious
> faith and cultural traditions out of resentment and a feeling of
> powerlessness to affect the course of government or pursue prosperity. On
> the contrary, their faith had given generations of their families’ purpose
> and meaning, as it does today.”
> These hard working men and women aren’t “bitter”. They love their country,
> their faith, their family and their traditions. They are the heart and
> soul of this country, the foundation of our strength and the primary
> authors of its essential goodness – Barack Obama should get to know them.
> If Barack Obama is the Democrat nominee in the general election, the
> American people will have a clear choice between two different visions –
> Senator Obama’s liberal, elitist philosophy and John McCain’s faith in the
> small town values that continue to make America great. John McCain will
> not forget them or write them off. Neither should Barack Obama.
> We are up against a large fundraising hurdle if Barack Obama is the
> nominee and we need your help now. Even before the general election
> begins, the differences are clear, we must do everything we can to make
> sure these beliefs don’t make it into the White House.
> I hope you will make a contribution today.
> Sincerely,
> Rick Davis
> Campaign Manager
> P.S. – Barack Obama’s belief that small town Americans are “bitter”
> exemplifies the differences in this election. We cannot allow this elitist
> philosophy to make its way into the White House. Please contribute today.
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> John McCain 2008
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