Wednesday, November 05, 2008

McCain: The Battle Lost Before It Had Begun?

I read this article that speculates on the how and why of McCain's defeat, and how sad it is.

I'm not that sad. I think McCain shifted way right over the past eight years, and that shift led to his divisive campaign. But the author of the post I linked to above makes a few points that make me wonder. Here are his suppositions:
  1. The Republican party wanted to run against Hillary.
  2. Obama became the frontrunner.
  3. Republican hopes collapsed--they thought they couldn't win unless it was against Hillary.
  4. They chose someone who wouldn't be able to run again in 2012.
  5. McCain was pointed to Palin because, unlike Romney or someone competent, she wasn't going to damage a 2012 run, either.
I don't know that I agree with all the points there--it's not like the Republican party said "Oh well, let's let McCain have a little fun, since we're going to lose anyway." I also don't think that McCain was made to pick Palin since she couldn't possibly run in 2012. It's possible that McCain was steered away from Romney, or that Romney and other serious contenders evaluated McCain's chances and just said no.

But I will agree with the statement that the "Republicans were sure they could defeat Hillary Clinton." I can clearly remember the beady-eyed eagerness I heard in Limbaugh's voice in January this year. The rhetoric that was just beginning. The laughing and pointing. The rolling-out of the old anti-Clinton feeling.

I knew that Hillary Clinton would be an excellent choice for President, but I felt that she would not be successful in capturing a majority of the votes. Too much hostility was already in the air, in the beginning of the year and even in 2007. That's why I argued with my friends who were so pro-Hillary. I told them that Obama was more electable and had more cross-appeal. They did not believe me at the time.

I believe an "I told you so" is in order.

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