Patterico's Pontifications

11/6/2008

Debating Why McCain Lost

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 12:13 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

This Washington Post article is a good example of the continuing explanations and recriminations for why McCain lost. Take your pick:

  • Not enough money.
  • The fallout from Sarah Palin’s pick.
  • Too few (or too many) attacks on Obama.
  • Moving to the right instead of acting like the maverick he is.
  • Impossible polls for the GOP following the Bush Presidency.
  • Taking a high-risk approach instead of focusing on his experience and leadership.
  • Media support for Obama.
  • The timing of the financial meltdown.
  • Bad luck.
  • I may have missed a couple but, in my opinion, McCain’s campaign suffered for all those reasons but he lost for one reason buried in the center of the article:

    “And his campaign had spent no time developing a comprehensive economic plan.”

    The economy took the center stage in this election as it does in many Presidential elections. Unfortunately, and borrowing from President-elect Obama’s playbook, formulating a comprehensive economic plan was apparently above McCain’s pay grade.

    I think all but the most partisan Americans are more flexible than pundits believe on hot button political issues like gay marriage, abortion, and the Iraq War. We respect differences of opinion in our candidates just as we do in our neighbors and co-workers. But Americans insist that candidates care enough about the economy to formulate and try to communicate their economic policies.

    Even though I don’t like his policies, Obama had an economic policy and he tried to communicate it to the voters, although he was often vague. McCain’s policy seemed limited to his belated support for tax cuts and drilling, and that left him with a lot to criticize but little to communicate. The reason Palin’s support for drilling as part of an economic/energy policy and Joe the Plumber’s “spreading the wealth” helped McCain is that they gave him clear positions on economic issues that his campaign previously lacked.

    Before he ever announced his candidacy for President, the first thing McCain and his advisers should have done was formulate policies on the war and the economy that McCain could clearly articulate. He did the first but he never did the second, and that made him appear aimless and clueless when the financial crisis hit. In my opinion, that cost him the election.

    – DRJ

    135 Responses to “Debating Why McCain Lost”

    1. I think all of these post-mortems miss the forest for the trees. Because we were immune to the Siren Song of Obama, we underestimated its power. That’s why we lost the election.

      rightwingprof (fbb932)

    2. The timing of the financial meltdown, and McCain’s lack of a forcefully delivered economic plan (DRJ is right) has to be seen as a major — if not THE major — factor driving people into such a desperation move. Combined with Bambi’s mindless cult of personality, it was a hill that just could not be climbed.

      Icy Truth (0466e6)

    3. No matter how many times I look at this, I still come back to the fact that the MSM was so in-the-bag for Baracky, that he was able to get by with his empty hollow message of hope and change.

      JD (008a90)

    4. I felt the media coverage favored Mr. Obama.

      happyfeet (71f55e)

    5. Agreed.

      As some (twist arm patting self on back) said during the campaign, McCain’s claim to fame consisted of (1) blind support for US troops, which manifested itself in his support for the surge, and (2) objecting to much of the GOP platform, and only because it enhanced his ‘maverick’ label and not from a deep philosophical approach to economics (primarily because he had none).

      Not only that, but McCain is not a guy I have a lot of confidence in when it comes to economic theory (and even less when it comes to defending it). Drilling and tax cuts are but planks in a conservative economic approach, they flow from conservatism, they don’t comprise conservatism

      stevesturm (369bc6)

    6. If…
      As DRJ stated, there was no economic plan, and when the economy (Wall Street) went south, McCain had nothing to put before the American people.
      Prior to the melt-down, McCain/Palin was slowly closing (if not pulling away in some polls) on Obama/Biden. But, when the crisis hit, he lost all momentum and had nothing in his quiver to use.
      The fact that the Drill Now/Drill Here/Lower Prices message was a positive for McCain and Republicans in general, and the positive reception to the question that Joe presented to Obama, just reinforces the fact that McCain had no economic message.
      At the beginning, he should have formulated that message, and had a top-notch, respected economist/businessperson who could push that message every day (Carly Fiorina was not that person – he needed someone with less baggage, a “Arthur Laffer” or “Steve Forbes” type).
      He didn’t, and couldn’t, and lost.

      Another Drew (57deb8)

    7. Why would John McCain spend time developing a comprehensive economic plan when according to him, “The Fundamentals of our economy are strong”?

      Oiram (983921)

    8. And his campaign had spent no time developing a comprehensive economic plan.”

      Was what Obama put forth a comprehensive economic plan?
      I don’t think pay everybody’s mortgage, pay everybody’s college, give everybody money, tax the rich, give everybody medical insurance, and go through the budget line by line really counts as an economic plan at all. I think it’s a giveaway with no way to pay for it plan.

      MayBee (37070f)

    9. more…
      He was not the best candidate, but he was chosen by the GOP in its’ primaries, so the fault is on those primary voters, and the other candidates he faced in those primaries for not putting forth a more positive image/program/message.

      As we all know, Obama – but for his perceived race – would have had no chance in beating Hillary, or any other candidate, with his experience level.

      Another Drew (57deb8)

    10. Comment by Oiram — 11/6/2008 @ 12:42 pm

      At this point, all you are doing is reinforcing your obtuseness.

      Another Drew (57deb8)

    11. McCain admitted early on during the campaign that economics were “not his thing,” and it turned out to be a fatal flaw that wound up hurting him grievously in the closing days.

      his blind support for US troops, which manifested itself in his support for the surge, and

      Completely and utterly wrong on this point; his so – called “blind” support for US troops was predicted on two simple operating principles for McCain:

      - when you go into a conflict, make sure that you go in to win the war, but also win the peace;

      - when conditions change during the course of the war (as they always do), admit your mistakes and make the necessary strategy changes in order to keep unnecessary casualties to a minimum, and complete the objective.

      McCain wanted Rumsfeld and his Pentagon Generals replaced long before the surge, because he understood that the dynamics on the ground called for a different strategy, and that the current leadership was unwilling to admit a mistake and change course. You’re stating a leftist canard about McCain on this subject, and your understanding of the man himself leaves much to be desired on this score.

      Dmac (e30284)

    12. JD,

      I agree that if the media had investigated Obama and publicized the results as dramatically as it did with Palin, Obama would have lost. But the MSM coverage was beyond McCain’s control. I think he could have still won if he had been able to communicate a clear economic policy, which would have helped him convince voters he could handle America’s economic problems.

      DRJ (cb68f2)

    13. DRJ – my esteem for you is immense. But, I disagree with you on this one.

      If the sheeple would not listen as JSM pleaded the case against BHO, in BHO’s own words, why on earth would they believe him when he trotted out his laundry list of economic initiatives which were theoretical, at best, and doomed if sent to Pelosi and Reid for enactment?

      To me, there was scarcely a chance for ANY GOP candidate given the historic cycles. Once Hank “Chicken Little” Paulson sounded the air raid sirens, it was over.

      BHO tapped the collective’s willful denial of reality and soared to victory.

      I shall always think of this election in the words of Eliza Doolittle as she leads into “Show Me!” “Words, words, I am sick of words.” The collective was deaf. Now, they shall be fleeced.

      Ed (04ae8e)

    14. Amen, MayBee.

      The Fundamentals of our economy are strong”?

      I will call you Mario when you are being mendoucheous.

      Mario – If you have a good and strong point to make, you do not need to distort and misrepresent what the other side said.

      JD (008a90)

    15. #9 Thanks Geraldine Ferraro

      Oiram (983921)

    16. McCain lost because more people voted for Obama.

      How the people who actually liked and voted for McCain/Palin can understand why this happened is a mystery.

      How can you avoid overlaying your own biases on this “problem?”

      snuffles (677ec2)

    17. FWIW – I said when John McCain was nominated that it was a horrible choice. Only by nominating Baracky was the Democratic party able to make me vote for McCain.

      DRJ – I think this election cycle was a perfect storm for the Dems, and even then did not perform up to the level of expectations. Included in that perfect storm was the Republican party nominating someone that many conservatives only would vote for as a not-Baracky vote, or a vote for Gov. Palin. Given the circumstances in the economy, coupled with the hamstringing he gave himself by taking a remarkable differntial in fundraising, exacerbated by the daily Baracky-fest in the free media, I cannot see how McCain could have done better.

      This was a self-inflicted wound, in my opinion. The media just hastened the infection.

      JD (008a90)

    18. Ed,

      That’s a good point and I agree McCain might still have lost. But I think it’s notable that several polls showed McCain even or ahead, and with momentum, in early September — immediately before the fed takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Everything went downhill from there.

      DRJ (cb68f2)

    19. sniffles – When we want your opinion … well, we don’t. And won’t.

      JD (008a90)

    20. This is the third straight election in which I have voted Republican less because the GOP gave me a reason to do so than because the alternative was so much worse. At some point, the GOP has to get people like me reasons to vote for it instead of against the Democrats.

      Diffus (cb9f4f)

    21. Congratulations to President Obama. Now it’s time for us to see some results. Personally, I would like to see some environmental reform. Further, I think it is important for us, as consumers to support ‘green business’. For example, http://www.simplestop.net stops your postal junk mail and benefits the environment.

      Clark (28f59e)

    22. For all those reasons. Mostly, I think McCain treaded water for most of the campaign. His approach might have worked in a year when the media wasn’t so sloppily in the tank for the opposition. It might have worked if he were not from the incumbent’s party. It might have worked if the likes of Rush, Hannity and nearly the entire base had been enthusiastic about McCain. We just weren’t. Palin? Heck yeah. McCain? Not so much.

      McCain’s problem was essentially McCain.

      Also, the interview about 3 days before the election when he said he would have Democrats on the cabinet I nearly lost it. And I knew he was going to lose it.

      Vivian Louise (eeeb3a)

    23. Wanting an opinion from sniffles, would be like accepting the word of Mario as profound;
      an indication of the need to be institutionalized.

      Another Drew (57deb8)

    24. #14 JD, so ridiculous.

      This post is about reasons why McCain lost. Correct?

      McCain did say “The fundamentals of our economy are strong” did he not?

      DRJ wrote:
      I may have missed a couple but, in my opinion, McCain’s campaign suffered for all those reasons but he lost for one reason buried in the center of the article:

      “And his campaign had spent no time developing a comprehensive economic plan.”

      I’m being called “mendoucheous” (I can live with Mario) for giving another reason?

      Please tell me how I “distort and misrepresented” this post.

      Oiram (983921)

    25. Nice AD.

      Think of this question as a Rorschach test.

      Your answer says more about you than the truth.

      snuffles (677ec2)

    26. There is no debate as to why McCain lost. The fallacy that McCain and his handlers bought into is simply not true. America is hungering for a conservative voice and John McCain is not that voice. He failed to point out the faults of his opponent. He has no problem attacking republicans but won’t call a democrat out on anything. Weak kneed an lilly livered is what he is. He lost because he failed to realize going across the aisle is not what we desire. Stand for what’s right and you will!

      Jim (53d5e1)

    27. #1 Media coverage
      #2 Economic downturn as a Sept surprise, then the media pointing it out as a republican problem.

      ASH (ac2ec7)

    28. I think people are too eager to throw McCain under the bus. Sure, he had problems. But we need to figure out where to go from here instead of playing the blame game.

      Kevin (6f7b8c)

    29. #23 Another Drew, I’m glad you feel that way. Really I am. Because the likes of you does not want to hear a dissenting point of view as most here welcome the chance to debate.

      I would be frightened if you found my words “profound”.

      Oiram (983921)

    30. McCain did say “The fundamentals of our economy are strong” did he not?

      Yes, he did. And if that was all he said, Mario, then he would have been justifiably criticized. He said much before, and even more importantly, after that cherry-picked sentence where he defined exactly what he was referring to when he said that. That you choose to ignore that shows that you prefer the MSM reporting half truths than the actual truth.

      JD (008a90)

    31. The GOP did a horrible job with Hastert and Frist running the show. Horrible.

      McCain is McCain. He was one of several that ran for the nomination, and the voters chose him.
      It wasn’t the GOP, it was other voters.

      When the downturn happened, it just reminded too many voters in the center how much they hated Bush and blame the GOP for a bad economy.
      Barack Obama hung back and did nothing, then began preaching his method of buying votes as some sort of solution. The people were no longer looking for a real “economic plan”, as Obama’s victory demonstrates.

      MayBee (37070f)

    32. I would be frightened if anyone found his words “profound”.

      Icy Truth (0466e6)

    33. #30 Actually LOL I got that from the one little piece of liberal radio: Air America, not the MSM (I still cringe at the fact that you all here are conveniently omitting radio from “MSM”).

      But yeah your right, it probably was cherry picked.

      Tell me what McCain said prior to that, and after please.

      And then show me the dozens of time you and others here have cherry picked Obama’s statements.
      If you can’t show them to me, your the one who is ahhh… what was it???? Oh yeah “mendoucheous”.

      Oiram (983921)

    34. Nice to see points from my prior posts being adopted with no credit.

      McCain’s lack of understanding of economics is not an excuse. Does Obama have that background? No, and he said nothing substantive at the time. The only president who ever had a firm grasp of the interrelationship of the federal government and the economy is Bill Clinton. The man has many faults, but if you ever get to meet him, talk to him about economic issues.

      No, McCain’s job was to solicit sensible ideas from his team. However, he stuck to the Rovian talking points. Part of the problem is that fixing the financial system means attacking the vested interests of many of his supporters. But there were plenty of people he could have turned to, like Nouriel Roubini, for some good ideas on what to say.

      Instead of going to an economist, who did the campaign pick? Joe the Plumber, a guy who would be totally at home on this site. Instead of showing that he could field a deep bench of expertise, he picked a nobody as the vacant centerpiece.

      That’s the “Palin cancer”. Ronald Reagan never dismissed intellect or expertise, or elevated a nobody as his economic spokesperson. McCain and Palin both bought into the Republican tendency–a tendency that this site and its commentators are the best example of in the Internet–that believes that sneering at intellect and attacking the other side for who they were photographed next to is a substitute for putting forward competent management skills and thoughtful policy.

      McCain’s original theme was experience. Well, when a crisis did come, he failed the test of showing how his administration would be better than the existing one. That ended him.

      At the end of the day, neither McCain nor Palin did their homework; when the opportunity to show what they were capable of doing arose, they failed to rise to the occasion. Thus they not only lost, they deserved to lose.

      Obama, of course, got away with saying nothing, but he was ahead already, so he could keep quiet and wait to see what McCain put out first. So yeah, he got a pass, but that is perfectly appropriate when the party of the other guy is in power.

      Cyrus Sanai (4df861)

    35. “And his campaign had spent no time developing a comprehensive economic plan.”

      Amen that this failure was the primary reason for McCain’s loss. Further, his seeming endorsement of the Bush Administration’s Wall Street bailout made it seem like he really was “another Bush.”

      Stu707 (7fb2e7)

    36. Cyrus,

      See #18. And claiming that Obama was under no obligation to have a thought about the financial crisis because he was the challenger is simply absurd. Oddly enough, McCain had economists advising him. And Obama did not rely on Roubini (and there are reasons for that, btw).

      Karl (f07e38)

    37. McCain did say “The fundamentals of our economy are strong” did he not?

      Yes, he did. And if that was all he said, Mario, then he would have been justifiably criticized. He said much before, and even more importantly, after that cherry-picked sentence where he defined exactly what he was referring to when he said that. That you choose to ignore that shows that you prefer the MSM reporting half truths than the actual truth.

      Comment by JD — 11/6/2008 @ 1:16 pm

      Another “fundamentalist” said:

      “This is a very stable democracy with a fundamental economy which has been damaged now but which we expect to come back.”

      And

      “I think it’s clear that the fundamentals (of the markets) are better than the psychology.”

      I wonder who that was…

      CW Desiato (614aa7)

    38. Cyrus
      Palin saved McCain from earlier defeat. I for one would not have voted for McCain and would probably have stayed home. She should have displayed her expertise on energy. I am sure she is capable of more than DRILL DRILL DRILL on the issue. She has extensive knowledge on energy and did not display it. Did the campaign advise her to keep it simple?

      Dennis D (ae900a)

    39. “Tip” O’Neil once said that all politics is local, and in large measure that’s true. One of the reasons McCain lost is that he went around the country campaigning to be elected president of the District of Columbia.

      For example, he took great pride in derailed the USAF tanker contract to Boeing, and sending it to Airbus. So, exactly how many votes did he expect to get from French aerospace workers??? Maybe he should have gone to Seattle and told the folks there, “You should vote for me because I will get you laid off, and send your jobs to France.” You do suppose that that would work??? But, in DC, he would no doubt get many pats on the head for wrecking yet another part of America’s technological industrial sector.

      After kissing off the State of Washington, he then kissed off the State of New Mexico by promising to shut down development of a small bunker-buster nuclear bomb. Goodbye, all the votes in Albuquerque, Los Alamos, and Santa Fe.

      Of course, McCain’s plan to give amnesty to all the illegal aliens did wonders in terms of getting votes from American construction workers, and others who have seen their standard of living collapse in the economic “race to the bottom.”
      Then, of cousre, he lost almost all the votes by Hispanic Americans, because they are among the worst hit by the invasion.

      Dumb, dumb, dumb. Chosing Sarah Palin was the one smart move, and now his aides are blaming her for not helping those idiots make a more complete screwup of things.

      Any successful candidate has to GET OUT OF DC and visit the USA and figure out that the lobbyists are not telling the truth.

      Ken (bbfcfd)

    40. The best strategy moving forward is to let them be Liberals. Let them pass radical extreme left policy without filibusters to stop them ( with a few exceptions like the Fairness Doctrine). Let Americans decide if they really want far left liberal policies. My bet is they don’t..

      Dennis D (ae900a)

    41. Ken

      The one major difference in this election was the media. All of media from Newsrooms to Hollywood . From Cable TV to Jon Stewart and Colbert and MTV. McCain was defeated by a biased media. An All out Assault beginning with ” Bush Knew” about 911. GOP GAFFES were magnified. Democrat Gaffes were swept under the carpet. Obama was allowed to make ignorant ” I was only 8″ defenses with no opposition. Rarely were the Obama economic plan numbers questioned.

      Dennis D (ae900a)

    42. When Senator John McCain went to the initial White House meeting called by President Bush on the breaking mortgage crisis, (Senator McCain made a show of suspending his campaign to return to DC to attend) both Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd were at the table, along with Barrak Obama: the Democrat and Republican Party leadership was also there, so was President Bush and appropriate members of his Cabinet.

      Since Frank, Dodd, and Obama were recipients of large campaign contributions from the very agencies which had precipitated the crisis, and since both Frank and Dodd were on-record defending those GSEs from the Congressional oversight the committees they chaired was supposed to provide, it was tantamount to an admission of collusion for either Bush or McCain to participate in any forum with Frank and Dodd.

      McCain could have denounced Frank, Dodd, and Obama right then and there. He could have put the responsibility for the mortgage crisis exactly were it belongs, on the Democrats in general, on ACORN who pushed it to criminal levels, on Franklin Raines who cooked the books to keep it afloat (and to line his own pockets), and on Congressman Barney Frank and Senator Chris Dodd who sullied themselves shielding FannieMae and FreddieMac from lawful scrutiny, scrutiny McCain himself had called for.

      Neither George Bush or John McCain had the guts to step up and take the lead, to speak truth to power, to level with the American people. During his first term, George Bush had seemed like such a leader, but not now. John McCain isn’t a leader either, he never was, his “bi-partisan” record proves it. McCain doesn’t take the lead, he compromises, and this time he turned his back on the interests of America’s taxpayers. That’s why he lost.

      Ropelight (1c7bd1)

    43. I think people are too eager to throw McCain under the bus.

      People have been throwing shit at McCain since the primaries — a war hero — and calling it “principled.” That’s not principled. That’s spoiled brat narcissism.

      Who cares about the MSM? The blogosphere, the pundits, the columnists, all of the self-described “true conservatives” have been throwing their monkey shit at McCain the whole time. Just look at the jackasses in this thread.

      rightwingprof (fbb932)

    44. and calling it “principled.”

      Do we have to outline for you all of the times where he most certainly did not act like a conservative on important issues?

      He fought tax cuts.
      He supported amnesty.
      He participate in the Gang of 14.
      McCain fucking Feingold

      Every time he went on about being a Maverick, I remembered all of those times he was more interested in making nice with the Dems than in Republican principles.

      JD (008a90)

    45. Why I think McCain lost:
      He started off running as the UnConservative hoping to attract moderate Democrats and independents; then in midstream he switched to standard Conservativism, which he signalled by his pick of Gov. Palin–which lost him plenty of votes because he was no longer attractive to the middle, and because a lot of people simply could not believe that Gov. Palin was anywhere near the level she would need to be as a serious potential POTUS. I know at least a score of people who were considering a vote for McCain but lost interest in him when he picked Gov. Palin.

      Next, not only did he not articulate an economic policy, but he gave the impression of being a headless chicken–”the fundamentals of the economy are strong”-”I’m suspending my campaign because the problem is so bad”–”I’m going to the debate anyway”. Whereas Obama, while not exactly offering a real economic plan, did the reverse, appearing as if he were calm under fire. The comparison worked in Obama’s favor.

      Third, McCain didn’t actually articulate a war policy. What did he plan to do now that the surge was over? What did he plan to do in Afghanistan? What did he plan to do globally against the jihadis? I don’t remember hearing anything. Even on Iran I’m not sure what his plans were. Obama fudged and evaded as much as possible, but there are actual specific ideas he mentioned. If McCain did this, it escaped my attention. And his other forays into foreign affairs made him seem even worse off–for instance, the grandstanding over Georgia. People figured that Obama would never take us to war over Georgia, but they weren’t sure about McCain.

      Fourth, the Ayers attacks and similar tactics were a waste of resources. For one thing, once people began to focus on Wall Street, they became irrelevant for most people. For another, they contrasted directly with the idea that Obama started off with–namely, those sort of attacks did not belong in American politics–that campaigns should focus on the issues in attacking each other, instead of trying to portray the other guy as a slimeball. That’s what attracted a lot of people to him (a certain British Catholic homosexual emigre blogger is a good example), and therefore that kind of attack had no chance of attracting them back to the GOP. It’s the reason they didn’t like the GOP in the first place. (And yes, I realize Obama did use the same sort of peronal attacks, but they were much more muted–at least, those that actually originated with the campaign, as opposed to those that originated with Greek village girls who marry American millionaires and British Catholic homosexual emigre bloggers). As evidence of this, I would point to the apparent closing of the gap by McCain when he did switch to attacking Obama’s economics and tax plans. Had he done it form the beginning, he might well have been in a better position when the Wall Street meltdown hit, and possibly have won.

      kishnevi (e88f15)

    46. Mr Sanai, why don’t you go back to posting pictures of naked women painted as cows. That was a lot more intellectually stimulating than your analysis of the election.

      As some (twist arm patting self on back) said during the campaign, McCain’s claim to fame consisted of (1) blind support for US troops, which manifested itself in his support for the surge,

      This is nonsense as has been pointed out by others. And another reason why I doubt your profession of voting for McCain.

      McCain had a strong issue until the surge won the Iraq War. Then it disappeared from the campaign. Democracies do not do wars well. The Democrats all voted for the war, then ran away. Bush could have published a collection of their pro-invasion speeches on the White House web site but he was an inept spokesman for his policies and his party. Most of his problems are his own doing by not vetoing spending bills and by his failure to communicate.

      Both Bush and McCain tried to stop the Fannie Mae meltdown but they did not do enough. This could have been seen from 2005 when Raines was forced to step down under fire. Bush could have told Bernanke to raise interest rates to stop the speculation. He didn’t and Greenspan and Bernanke bear a lot of responsibility for what happened.

      We all thought that modern economics and information technology would allow us to avoid bubbles and panics. It has made them worse. The people who designed these derivatives don’t understand them.

      McCain had a great issue in energy although he, himself, was part of the problem with his lunatic adherence to the global warming hysteria. Sarah Palin was a great choice, in part, to return sanity on energy to the administration.

      The financial meltdown was fatal for his campaign. Drill Now ! disappeared. I don’t think he could have done anything to rescue it at that point although I still thought he had a chance right up to the election. I did not anticipate the gullibility of the electorate.

      The ones most at fault for this disaster are Hastert and DeLay who tried to make bribery part of the Congressional strategy with the K Street Project and who convinced Bush that wild spending would guarantee electoral success.

      I think the Republicans need to return to their traditional policies of low spending and low taxes and wait for Obama to implode. Part of the target audience for Republican ideas are social conservatives who, contrary to moonbat theology, do not “dominate:” the party but who provide a good base with the willingness to volunteer at elections. Many of the religious conservatives are also the small business people who are interested in our economic message.

      It is time to return to thinking about the future. For example, we need a Republican approach to a national health plan. It may be superfluous if Obama rams through a Canadian-style single payer plan but there are better ways and it should be kept in reserve for 2012 if the opportunity is there. We should be thinking about the economic program that Republicans will run on in 2012 when Obama has trashed the stock market and we are in another period of stagflation.

      We may also have a domestic terrorism problem by then, given his unwillingness to defend the country. I can’t predict the future but I can say we need plans to deal with the likely results of a left wing Democrat rule for four years. We can look at Sacramento for an example.

      Mike K (531ff4)

    47. None of the above.

      McCain lost because of the American people.

      We are about to get Change that we deserve. You don’t elect the most unqualified candidate for President ever without severe consquences. God help Israel and Taiwan cause we won’t.

      Roy Mustang (2f688e)

    48. There are a lot of reasons why McCain lost and a lot can be written about them all. I dont think any 1 specific thing caused McCain to lose.

      First and foremost, McCain-Feingold.

      1- It was a bill that angered the base
      2- It was a bipartisan bill
      3- McCain (or Bush who signed it) has received absolutely no “props” whatsoever for supporting and pushing this bit of “campaign finance reform” … legislation that liberals have agitated for for the better part of a decade
      3a- Both campaigns received negligible amounts of praise or criticisms for their decisions as it relates to embracing public financing of the campaign. The reaction to both campaigns’ actions on this issue reflects the same sort of double standards we’ve seen on pretty much every and any other issue.
      4- The campaign (both of them) decisions regarding public financing directly affected how effective either campaign would be.

      Obama managed to raise 600 million +. For people who clamor to remove private money from campaigning and the like, they should be horrified, shocked and outraged. Not a single peep; if anything this is viewed as proof he is qualified for the office.

      h0mi (a21964)

    49. McCain and Palin both bought into the Republican tendency–a tendency that this site and its commentators are the best example of in the Internet–that believes that sneering at intellect and attacking the other side for who they were photographed next to is a substitute for putting forward competent management skills and thoughtful policy.

      You obviously haven’t been here very long, or you would know that Patterico and his cobloggers, and most of the commenters here, are the very reverse
      And compared to other sites (Ace of Spades, Michelle Malkin, to name but two), your statement is utterly laughable.

      And I speak as someone who normally disagrees with what’s posted here.

      kishnevi (e88f15)

    50. I think all but the most partisan Americans are more flexible than pundits believe on hot button political issues like . . . the Iraq War. We respect differences of opinion in our candidates just as we do in our neighbors and co-workers.

      Wish that were true in my life. All I get from neighbors and co-workers is “Warmonging Republicans!” When “we” respect differences of opinion on this, it seems that “we” are only the Republicans. It’s exhausting.

      m (331aa1)

    51. Do we have to outline for you all of the times where he most certainly did not act like a conservative on important issues?

      He fought tax cuts.
      He supported amnesty.
      He participate in the Gang of 14.
      McCain fucking Feingold

      Every time he went on about being a Maverick, I remembered all of those times he was more interested in making nice with the Dems than in Republican principles.

      Comment by JD — 11/6/2008 @ 2:03 pm

      Gang of 14 was a wonderful piece of work despite what Rush and Malkin says. Or do you not want to filibuster Obama’s crazy “emphatic test” judges?

      The same can be said of McCain’s support of drug importation. Too many of us follow the conservative opinion leaders (McCain bad!) without actually thinking about the issue ourselves.

      Roy Mustang (2f688e)

    52. JD- you know I love you, but-

      He fought tax cuts.
      He supported amnesty.
      He participate in the Gang of 14.
      ====
      McCain was a good fiscal conservative. He’s voted against tax cuts, but he’s voted against increased spending as well as tax increases. He’s been against Farm Bills and Highway Bills and spendy energy bills.

      I have mixed feelings about the gang of 14, but I cannot argue with the results.

      MayBee (37070f)

    53. Why McCain lost? “It’s the economy, stupid.” – James Carville 1992

      #28 Kevin – “But we need to figure out where to go from here instead of playing the blame game.”

      Spike Lee: “The Republican Party has got to do something because their base is totally white.”

      US Minority Population Continues to Grow

      “Slightly more than one-third of the population of the United States — 34 percent — claims “minority” racial or ethnic heritage, a jump of 11 percent from 2000.

      The May 1 Census Bureau report, covering estimates for the year 2007, confirms that the U.S. population is becoming increasingly diverse. Hispanics and Asians continue to be the two fastest-growing minorities.

      There are 45.5 million Hispanics living in the United States, accounting for 15 percent of the U.S. population. Blacks comprise the second-largest minority group, with 40.7 million (13.5 percent), followed by Asians, with 15.2 million (5 percent).

      It wasn’t always so. In the 2000 census, whites accounted for 77.1 percent of the total population. … In 2000, whites were the majority in every state but Hawaii.

      Whites are now 66 percent of the population. Today in Hawaii and three other states — New Mexico, California and Texas — more than 50 percent of the population is composed of people other than non-Hispanic whites.”

      Peccator Dubius (0a6237)

    54. Not enough money.
      He could have had plenty of money if he had chosen to not disenfranchise as many conservatives as he did. I would have supported him if at any point in time after he picked Palin he would have shown he was going to actually have some conservative values in being president, I think many conservatives felt as I do that they could not in good concience support the Maverick liberal senator who will act as much liberal as conservative once elected.
      The fallout from Sarah Palin’s pick.
      Sarah Palin had no fall-out, at least not with people who mattered. Sarah Palin is just as loved by moderates as she is by conservatives. John McCain lost this because conservatives allegedly stayed home this election.
      Too few (or too many) attacks on Obama.
      I agree with both too few attacks that mattered on things people would have changed their minds about. Too many attacks on subjects that would make someone maybe not like Barack Obama as much, but not sway their vote anyways. John McCain was too blind to be able to see the whites of their eyes.
      Moving to the right instead of acting like the maverick he is.
      He moved to the right? I am sorry, I never saw that. Maybe it was when he voted for the $700,000,000,000.00 start the socialism now bail-out of greedy wall street executives, hide the misdeeds of the democratic congress over the last 30 years, and give hand-outs to people who irresponsibly borrowed more for a house they could not afford? No, that is not likely it.
      Impossible polls for the GOP following the Bush Presidency.
      McCain led from when he Picked Palin until when he chose to suspend his campaign in order to gather support against for the $700,000,000,000.00 boondogle that Paulson the newly minted king is lording over every single large company in the country. He should have stayed on the right here and demanded that capitalism be allowed to run its course correction, and once the correction was near complete have the government give the economy a jumpstart.
      Taking a high-risk approach instead of focusing on his experience and leadership.
      I do not understand what his high risk style was. Maybe it was how he tried to out liberal the liberal by promising $300,000,000,000.00 of the $700,000,000,000.00 to the lowlifes who cannot pay for the homes they purchased? That was pretty high risk, in fact I think suicidal. Who the hell was it designed to sway the votes of? The only votes that changed with that were people slightly more willing than me to vote for McCain, and it moved them to either stay home like I did, or to support Barack Obama.
      Media support for Obama.
      Not a problem, all he had to do was keep up the Celebrity theme. Move it more aspects of the man, but instead all his comercials were one shots that did not stick in the minds of the viewer. John McCain’s best opportunities were when the media had the least opportunity to get in the way of the message. Debates 1, 2 and 3. Each of which were wasted by McCain. Imagine if in the first debate he would have either stayed in Washington and came to the conclusion that the bailout was a mistake and that he would oppose it, sending Palin to stand in for him. It would have humiliated Barack and shown McCain to have a true Country First position. Or if he would have shown up for the debate and told the American people he did not support the bailout, that socialism was not the way for America to go. That capitalism would correct this problem, and that the reason we were in this mess to begin with was because of socialistic ideas that people who cannot get loans because of low likelyhood of paying the loans off were being given loans by force of government mandate. Just imagine if the bailout proceeded to get passed and everything that has happened since then still happened. Market dives, 401K losses, job losses and a government hamstrung from being able to do anything because it just added over $1,300,000,000,000.00 to the deficit in one month. Think maybe a few people would have decided to go with That Guy in stead of That One?
      The timing of the financial meltdown.
      Shit happens, prove you can lead no matter what happens. In this case McCain was being led down the path to hell by his good masters. If McCain wanted to win he would have opposed the Bailout, and called for immediate tax releif to companies that were going to survive. He would have called for the treasury to step in and help liquidate the assets of the companies that could not survive. He would have done what anyone with a grain of capitalism in his veins would have done. Instead he followed the leaders down the path to demolition of capitalism and sewed the seeds of marxism into our future heritage.
      Bad luck.
      Bad choices. The party made a bad choice, we got what we chose. McCain chose to be democrat light, another bad choice. There was only one good choice in all of this and that is the choice of Palin as VP and hopefully future President.

      A Stoner (4c5fb7)

    55. The Wapo, by definition, cannot get this right.

      McCain lost in one instant — when Palin sat down with Charlie Gibson.

      It wasn’t Palin’s performance.

      It was the signal of surrender to the major media. McCain had made the big, bold gamble with Palin and was roaring around the country giving Teddy Roosevelt speeches before swelling crowds. But the old establishment Senator just couldn’t get over that gnawing need for media love and approval. He hadn’t solicited the media about Palin, and the guilt was piling up inside him. So he went back, hat in hand.

      He flinched, and was slaughtered for it.

      Rewind to that decisive moment, and here’s how it could have played out: He shuts out big media and declares that C-Span will get the only exclusive national interviews with Palin. C-Span, he says, is America’s best hope for informed and civil discourse. He snubs the MSM.

      He barnstorms the country with Palin and hits every local market with radio and TV interviews.

      He makes the MSM the issue. He gives a serious, statesmanlike speech on a college campus or major institution on the corruption and debasement of the modern media and its impact on national discourse. He names names and cites facts. He enrages and shakes the media off their Obama antibody crusade and makes them defend themselves. He shifts the national conversation to one about the media, with critiques each day, with a running log on bias and abuse. He never mentions Obama but marginalizes him as a media concoction.

      He forces fair coverage or simply declares that the media is incapable of it.

      Of course, he never came close. McCain never understood his enemies, either Obama or the media. How could he possibly defeat what he didn’t understand?

      rrpjr (e98cdc)

    56. According to exit polls Sarah Palin was “a major factor” (not the major factor . . . ‘a’ major factor) for 6.8% of the people that voted FOR Obama. Even if it was the only factor, the outcome would’ve been the same if they had switched their votes, just closer.

      Icy Truth (0466e6)

    57. Gang of 14 was a wonderful piece of work despite what Rush and Malkin says. Or do you not want to filibuster Obama’s crazy “emphatic test” judges?

      Do you understand that the cloture rule is a Senate rule and can be changed, as it was in 1975 by Robert Byrd, by simple majority. If you think Harry Reid will stop for a nanosecond in confirming a left wing judge nominated by Obama because of a cloture motion, I have some property in Nevada to sell you.

      Mike K (531ff4)

    58. As much as these analysis’ may be correct, the fact remains that more than half of this country weighed the “credentials” of these two men over 22 months. Americans are not gullible as in the past elections to buy into the “old school” Repub smear & fear tactics that have worked in the past in order to get their candidate elected. Americans looked at character, leadership, judgement, and the candidate’s ability to convince us that he/she could take us into a new direction. A new direction is what American’s and, obviously, the whole world is wanting!!! The choice was made clear by voters on election day. Accept the choice and come up with productive solutions to move us all forward

      MER (e2a4a5)

    59. One thing to keep in mind: Even in defeat, McCain’s personal popularity level was well over 50 percent, and may have been higher than Obama’s. That means a lot of voters who liked McCain more than Obama voted for Obama anyway. That doesn’t explain why McCain lost, but it does indicate that the defeat could have been much deeper had we picked someone who was less well liked by the country.

      Sean P (e57269)

    60. MER – what rubbish. The country was told nothing of Obama or provided the slightest examination of his “new direction.” I work in Hollywood and met dozens of fanatic Obama supporters (educated, accomplished people who, in all aspects of their professional lives are fairly discerning) not one of whom — not one –knew the least thing about him.

      rrpjr (e98cdc)

    61. Add one more reason to the list:
      Community organizing, or lack thereof.

      Lots of chuckles not long ago about Obama having been a mere community organizer rather than, say, the responsible-person-in-chief in a jalopy junction somewhere.

      Community organizing?

      Look at this example from Newsweek Magazine’s big election special:

      — The power of the Obama operation could be measured: doubling the turnout at the Iowa caucuses, raising twice as much money as any other candidate in history, organizing volunteers by the millions. (In Florida alone: 65 offices, paid staff of 350, active e-mail list of 650,000, 25,000 volunteers on any weekend day.) The ultimate test would come Nov. 4. In the meantime, there were indications of a great storm brewing. At the end of August, as Hurricane Gustav threatened the coast of Texas, the Obama campaign called the Red Cross to say it would be routing donations to it via the Red Cross home page. Get your servers ready—our guys can be pretty nuts, Team Obama said. Sure, sure, whatever, the Red Cross responded. We‘ve been through 9/11, Katrina, we can handle it. The surge of Obama dollars crashed the Red Cross Web site in less than 15 minutes.

      Larry Reilly (d11f9a)

    62. Any successful candidate has to GET OUT OF DC and visit the USA and figure out that the lobbyists are not telling the truth.
      Yes! They have to go visit “real Americans”, in contrast to the drones in DC.

      “…we need a Republican approach to a national health plan.…”
      Actually, the approach that McCain tried to articulate, and which was just last year advanced by those now advising Obama, is a good foundation to build that policy upon; move health-care from an employer item, to an individual item.

      Another Drew (57deb8)

    63. Comparing Bambi to The Huntress again, Larry?

      Icy Truth (0466e6)

    64. A new direction is what American’s and, obviously, the whole world is wanting!!!

      Does anyone really give a flying fuck what the rest of the world wants? How does their opinion matter in our domestic elections. The only people that seemed to care what Germany thought about our President was Baracky. Wonder how many donations he received?

      JD (008a90)

    65. Comment by MER — 11/6/2008 @ 2:57 pm

      You need to bookmark your words here so that you may revisit them over the next six to twelve months as the details of Obama’s history are dripped out by a slowly disillushioned media.
      We will just take this opportunity to say:
      We Told You So!

      Another Drew (57deb8)

    66. Do you understand that the cloture rule is a Senate rule and can be changed, as it was in 1975 by Robert Byrd, by simple majority. If you think Harry Reid will stop for a nanosecond in confirming a left wing judge nominated by Obama because of a cloture motion, I have some property in Nevada to sell you.

      Sure, if Reid uses the Nuke, he’ll be a hypocrite. There are still some Senators up there on both sides that care about that sort of thing. We’ll be totally justified in revoking unanimous consent. Hell, we can just re-release some of their old press releases about revoking unanimous consent from 2005. At the very least, this will slow down confirmation of Obama’s judges. There will be no public outcry because of the Gang of 14.

      Roy Mustang (2f688e)

    67. World Opinion…
      I’ll give a flying …. about world opinion the next time a Northridge earthquake, or Hurricane Katrina strikes, and those oh-so-concerned EU’s are sending us rescue crews, food, clothing, etc.

      They are incapable of dealing with their own matters, and they should be considered as the irrelevant sillies that they are.

      Another Drew (57deb8)

    68. Comment by Roy Mustang — 11/6/2008 @ 3:21
      pm

      Do you actually think that Reid gives a damn whether or not he appears as a hypocrite?

      Reality check needed!

      Another Drew (57deb8)

    69. Well,

      1) Media pile on
      2) Financial Mess in September
      3) Old Dude — Bob Dole II
      4) Other Candidate is “nicer” to look at

      Robert Rodriguez (50bdb0)

    70. Do you actually think that Reid gives a damn whether or not he appears as a hypocrite?

      Reality check needed!

      The American people care. In that way, Reid won’t be able to whip a frenzy about us obstructing confirmation of judges like he did with the Part D drug reimportation issue. I still don’t know how you people can defend not allowing drug reimporation.

      Roy Mustang (2f688e)

    71. Sure, if Reid uses the Nuke, he’ll be a hypocrite.

      Roy – And that would bother him, why?
      I guarantee that if they did that, the MSM would sell it as the Republicans being hypocrites, and leaving the Dems no other choice.

      JD (008a90)

    72. And yes, the American people will react the same way to our excuse of “Drug reimporation from Canada a safety issue!” as they will to Reid’s arguments in favor of using the Nuke. The American people can smell bulls***.

      Roy Mustang (2f688e)

    73. In the past 10-15 years, McCain did more to undermine the Republican party than most Democrats. It was no surprise that Republican turnout in support of McCain was underwhelming.

      Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

    74. In the past 10-15 years, McCain did more to undermine the Republican party than most Democrats. It was no surprise that Republican turnout in support of McCain was underwhelming.

      Comment by Perfect Sense — 11/6/2008 @ 3:37 pm

      McCain’s amnesty bill. Bush’s Part D and socialization of the financial industry. Stevens et al’s pork laden bills. And us…not supporting Bush’s social security reform (smaller government!). Don’t use McCain as a scape goat. All of us (McCain, Bush, GOP leadership, GOP grassroots) bear some fault for straying from the principle of smaller government.

      Roy Mustang (2f688e)

    75. Gotta laugh at this from tepid-truth at #62: Comparing Bambi to The Huntress again, Larry?

      The Huntress? You mean like hunging the trap-released or the tethered? As in all that game brought down in the aisles of Nieman Marcus?

      I hope you continue your Darwinian down-spiral to the shallow end of the gene pool and get big-time into the Redstate/Malkin movement to tear down any of those persons who have leaked information about Palin’s less-than-messianic tendencies. Rage on. Kill Carl Cameron, for example. (Love that intra-familycide.)
      Etc.
      I think that would be a great and beneficial effort. Though not for you, but never mind that. Such is the Darwinian result.
      Tee-hee.

      Whatever you do, don’t watch BBC news these days. It will depress you.

      Larry Reilly (d11f9a)

    76. The question that merits consideration is more “Where do we go from here ?” There are lots of reasons McCain lost, as others have pointed out. One that suggests a strategy for 2012 is here, although almost hidden. There is a lot of ad man BS in there but there is a nugget.

      Voters have more access to information and more touch-points and influencers in their lives than ever before. Oftentimes, this causes consumers and voters to make decisions on brands they like, products they want to buy or candidates they want to support much earlier than they did in years and decades past. The engagement and interest in Campaign 2008 never really subsided; it continued to grow. As a former pollster, across the board I saw the “undecideds” shrink much earlier than in past cycles. Voters were making up their minds earlier than in the past.

      Virginia allowed early voting six weeks in advance. By the time Election Day actually rolled around, nearly 35% to 40% of the entire electorate of America had already voted. Because both consumers and voters are now in control, in many places there is no longer an Election Day. It’s been replaced by “election month.” Obama geared his campaign strategy around these two massive shifts and reaped the rewards. The coup de grace: When the global economic collapse hit over five weeks ago it stopped the clock for the media, making it virtually impossible for a competing story to garner any major attention, thus freezing McCain in time.

      The much-heralded 72-hour campaign is dead. Election Day is no longer. Voters, like consumers, are now in control.

      There is the nugget. Early voting has to be taken into consideration in the timing and rhythm of a campaign. McCain didn’t have the money to set up all those Obama offices, etc. Of course, a lot of that Obama money was illegal but we’ll never know. What we do need to realize is that a campaign has to deal with early voting. I vote absentee every year and wait until a week before the election to see the ballot arguments about propositions. Many didn’t wait and the candidates have to get the message out earlier than in previous years.

      I agree that McCain was in trouble with the party base over some of his previous positions but Palin fixed that. There were a LOT of people who voted for HER. I’ve read a number of accounts where voters said that to interviewers.

      She has the communication skills that Reagan had. She needs some seasoning and that is why I expect to see her in the Senate. either after Stevens resigns or after she beats Lisa Murkowski in 2010.

      Mike K (531ff4)

    77. As a Democrat and Obama supporter lurking on this board, let me give my friends on the right my two cents about this question. Please, take it or leave it as you wish, but I do genuinely want to see Republicans go through this soul searching and return with a stronger, more competitive party, because I believe our country is only strong with two strong parties testing their ideas.

      Quite clearly, the market meltdown in September turned the election to Obama’s favor. Until then, everything was going against Republicans (i.e., Bush), but still, McCain was running a pretty good, neck-and-neck campaign. And I agree: McCain was unprepared to address the economic calamity.

      For a Republican, the economic crisis was the equivalent of what a terrorist attack would be for a Democrat: hard for the candidate to come back in that environment. But I don’t think McCain got much traction either with Joe the Plumber – polls show him only moving opinion by a point or two, when he needed to move it by six.

      What I think really sunk McCain and widened Obama’s margin was McCain’s immediate reaction to the crisis: not only did he look unprepared, he completely changed his tune every other day. But this wasn’t all McCain’s fault: his advisors packaged McCain as a candidate for 2004, not realizing that fear of terrorism and secular liberals was so last year, and this year was about the economy. Couple that with McCain’s age and Palin’s creepiness, and I think this whole thing really scared a lot of the great middle. It was McCain’s Achilles heel. Someone like Romney, Giuliani, Bloomberg (maybe even Huckabee) wouldn’t have reacted like that – even if they hadn’t been prepared, they could have improvised, and possibly could have survived those events. IF ONLY, Palin had been a better candidate, she would have been a great pick. But that Hail Mary pass just wasn’t completed. And unfortunately, when it comes to young, folksy, attractive, fundamentalist conservative women, Republicans just don’t have that deep a roster. Perhaps if McCain had gone with someone a little less leggy and a little more brainy like Kaye Baily Hutchenson…but then, we can second guess forever.

      So, guys – console yourselves that you did pretty good, considering the confluence of the events running against your team, and the fact that your candidate ran a campaign on issues that weren’t the issues on the public’s mind.

      Next time, get some better pollsters on your team who can figure out what voters in 2012 will be focused on; and get a candidate who knows how to formulate a disciplined campaign message on those issues, and stick to it without getting distracted by all the opposition and broo-ha. That’s what the Dems did this year, and it worked for them.

      Marty (019343)

    78. Quite clearly, the market meltdown in September turned the election to Obama’s favor. Until then, everything was going against Republicans (i.e., Bush), but still, McCain was running a pretty good, neck-and-neck campaign. And I agree: McCain was unprepared to address the economic calamity.

      The voters turned against the GOP because we took credit for the fradulant CRA home ownership boom, not because of McCain’s response. It’s funny when I hear Malkin, Rush et al complain about CRA because they were complicit with Bush for taking credit.

      Roy Mustang (2f688e)

    79. All of the above are reasons why McCain failed plus one that maybe someone has mentioned that perhaps I missed. America has been sleeping. Patterico, I understand the need to hash out what went wrong, I understand the need to vent and discuss, but what I’ve been waiting for the last 2 days is a posting for comments on how we go forward. I see no reason why we cannot go back and forth on these current posting’s (I think they are healthy) while at the same time having a posting addressing how to proceed to 2010 and beyond.

      I for one will be tuned in to every little thing going through the house and senate, nationally and in CA. and writing my reps. (or as in the case of the bail-out bill I emailed every single one of them to vote no) on all issues if for no other reason than to let them know people in America are no longer sleeping, we are now awake and watching them and will no longer stand idle for either Reb.’s or Dem.’s. Its a place to start and the more people watching them and writing them the more effect that will have.

      Whether we like Obama or not we are unfortunately stuck with him for at least 4 years, and stuck with a Dem congress for at least 2. We have a choice, we can all sit around whining about it and arguing about what’s happening during that time (which is constructive to a point) or we can make our voice known so that each and every one of us cannot be accused of doing nothing. Our government, regardless of who is in charge, is supposed to be for the people. The people need to wake up and take it back.

      If I am angry (which I am) then I must take action for to be angry and argue and whine without action is to be no better than the Dem.’s have been for the last 8 years. I refuse to stoop to their level.

      Watching everything they do and writing my Rep.’s and encouraging others to do so is where I’m starting but I’d love to see a thread with other’s ideas on how to go forward and be a force to be reckoned with. Maybe someone out there is a little more creative than me.

      A Californian (485ef9)

    80. Marty, you didn’t mention MSM’s love affair with Obama, their refusal to examine his record, to check out his background, to be so bold at to actually ask him a question. Obama wasn’t elected, he was anointed.

      Ropelight (1c7bd1)

    81. #79 Those Limbauesque talking points are getting pretty tired Rope.

      Oiram (983921)

    82. #79 Those Limbauesque talking points are getting pretty tired Rope.

      Comment by Oiram — 11/6/2008 @ 4:27 pm

      Can you say with a serious face that the media actually vetted Obama? They failed to ask the simpliest questions. I still want to know what Obama thinks about Black Liberation Theology.

      Roy Mustang (2f688e)

    83. The media Has pretty much been vetting Obama, pretty much since his speech at the 2004 DNC.

      Try paying attention.

      Take a look at my straight face.

      Oiram (983921)

    84. Lack of Discipline

      Most McCain supporters never caught onto the fact that Obama was very disciplined in his message from the beginning. The basic message from Obama never really changed from the time his campaign started. McCain lurched from one response to the next trying to figure out what would work. Lesson for Republicans – find a message that works and stick with it relentlessly.

      Doug (38ad86)

    85. So, tell me, Oriam, what does Obama think of his religion? Particularly the Black supremacist parts and its origins from Communism. Should we destroy God if he is not on the side of Black people?

      Roy Mustang (2f688e)

    86. #82, that’s how come we all know why Obama sat in Reverend Wright’s church listening to racist hatred and religious bigotry.

      MSM investigative reporters put their talents and instincts to the task and uncovered the deep, dark, hidden truth: Obama heard nothing untoward in over 20 years. Reverend Wright was spewing hate and bigotry hither and yon but THE ANOINTED ONE just wasn’t paying attention.

      Ropelight (1c7bd1)

    87. Why did McCain lose? Why not ask, why did Obama win?
      I will give some reasons.
      (1) He sensed the mood of the moment and made himself the answer to it.
      (2) He had one message that encapsulated that mood, “Change!”
      (3) He hired the best campaign team.
      (4) He specified clearly what each person had to do. He also enforced unity and common vision among them.
      (5) He developed a strategy for winning. He also had a plan “B” for every plan.
      (6) He reached to the people in the middle with a message of unity and bipartisanship.
      (7) He used his weakness to his advantage.
      (8) He worked on personal discipline. Never letting his emotions to get in the way.
      (9) He was consistent in his operation. “If it aint broke, don’t fix it.”
      (10) He continued to fine-tune his message while sticking to his core arguments.
      (11) He anticipated the economic downturn and prepared for it. He made the economy his strong strength by surrounding himself with experts.
      (12) He chose a good running mate. One who would cover his weakness. Foreign Policy.
      (13) He ran an insurgency campaign by recruiting new and fresh faces into the political process.
      (14) He had a plan to fund his campaign and executed it flawlessly.
      (15) He allowed people to underrate him. That was his strenght.
      (16) He used George Bush maximally.
      I could go on…. But meditate on these. There is more.

      love2008 (1b037c)

    88. Comment by Roy Mustang — 11/6/2008 @ 3:28 pmI still don’t know how you people can defend not allowing drug re-importation.

      First of all, you can’t be in favor of small government and advocate re-importation at the same time, since, the only way those drugs are cheaper in another country is that that country imposes mandatory price controls (big government) on them.
      Re-importation would only work in the short term, since the drug manufacturers, seeing a large amount of drugs coming back from “Canada”, would ration shipments to “Canada” that would barely cover their domestic needs. And, since they would be seeing lower sales/profits in the U.S.A., they would have less dollars to plough back into R&D, thereby reducing the number of new breakthrough drugs that might come to market in the future, thereby endangering lives that might otherwise be saved.

      So, short term, re-importation looks good on paper;
      long term, it hurts the consumers in the country that allows the export back, and it hurts all consumers who might be effected by a lack of drugs in the future.

      Everywhere that price controls are imposed, no matter what segment of the economy, people get hurt as the market is distorted.

      Another Drew (57deb8)

    89. It’s funny when I hear Malkin, Rush et al complain about CRA because they were complicit with Bush for taking credit.

      Comment by Roy Mustang — 11/6/2008 @ 4:14 pm

      Nice allegation. Do you actually have some facts to back that up with?

      Another Drew (57deb8)

    90. I still want to know what Obama thinks about Black Liberation Theology.

      Comment by Roy Mustang — 11/6/2008 @ 4:35 pm

      He supports it; or, at least he did while he sat in the pews at Trinity for twenty years, until the publicity got too hot for him and he had to throw it and the Rev. Wright under the bus.

      Another Drew (57deb8)

    91. The media Has pretty much been vetting Obama, pretty much since his speech at the 2004 DNC.

      You just cannot be this obtuse, it must be intentional. Tell me who among the US media “vetted” the following regarding Obama:

      - Ayers
      - college friends (hell, any friends from his past)
      - half – brother
      - fundraising activities
      - work as a “community organizer” – specifically, his accomplishments
      - full and detailed medical records
      - record of grades in college

      Let me know what you find out.

      Dmac (e30284)

    92. I still want to know what Obama thinks about “reparations.”

      Official Internet Data Office (df6254)

    93. First of all, you can’t be in favor of small government and advocate re-importation at the same time

      As opposed to a small government conservative that wants to the government to step in and restrict how a consumer can buy his prescription drugs?

      It is not the role of government to subsidize Pfizer R&D’s budget. It will lower drug companies’ revenues. Perhaps it will also force their hand to oppose Canada’s price fixing. Again, whether or not this decreases Pfizer’s profits is inconsequential. Government should not be taking away the rights of an individual to buy his prescription drugs in the manner he sees fit.

      Roy Mustang (2f688e)

    94. He could have won if the financial meltdown in September had not happenned. That ruined his chances. I think there are things he could have done but I really don’t know if anything would have helped. It would have helped McCain if those brigades had been removed from Iraq two weeks before the election rather than it being announced after the election.

      I don’t know that Sarah Palin was a bad pick. He needed her because nobody in the GOP really gave a damn about getting him elected. And, she could help him on the energy issue. But that issue faded when the financial crisis hit.

      Mike Huckabee. They would have brought up his pardon of that killer ad infinitum. And, they would have discussed how his proposed value added tax would have hurt the middle class.

      Rudy Guiliani-When a candidate starts taking cellphone calls during speeches, something is wrong.

      Tom Ridge-As the Director of Homeland Security, he was responsible for FEMA. That alone is enough to destroy him.

      Let’s face it. Obama won because he got unbelievable turnout from the black community. Sen. McCain got 64% of the white vote in North Carolina. In past years, that would have easily been enough to win. That brings him to 47% of the vote before counting the remaining 26% of the vote. But Obama got 90% plus or so of the nonwhite vote including 95% of the black vote.

      In reality, only the white vote there was up for grabs. The remaining vote was going for Sen. Obama. So its ridiculous to say, Sarah Palin cost him this election. Its all about turnout. And, nobody has ever generated the turnout levels among their voters as Sen. Obama did in Indiana, Florida, North Carolina and Ohio.

      Obama had three times as much money, he puts tons of money into ground operations (it would have bene nice if he paid his canvassers) and it was just too much.

      David (690974)

    95. I want to know when I’m getting my tax cut. Is Obama going to start making my mortgage payment this month, or do I have to wait around till after he’s inaugurated?

      Ropelight (1c7bd1)

    96. Oiram wrote:

      The media Has pretty much been vetting Obama, pretty much since his speech at the 2004 DNC.

      Try paying attention.

      I have been paying attention. More than you have. When vetting results in the verdict that someone is namn dear perfect, it hasn’t been done right — or at all.

      Pay attention to this and this consider the fact that NewsBusters had difficulty narrowing down the competition to sixteen.

      Maybe you missed Charlie Rose the last two nights, when MSMers Tom Brokaw and Newsweek‘s Evan Thomas — both pretty sure of Obama’s pending victory — mentioned with mere moments remaining in the campaign that Obama is still a mystery in many respects and that they don’t really know much about what makes him tick (Brokaw) and that the cult of personality surrounding him is “creepy” (Thomas).

      Take a look at my straight face.

      Here’s a tip, partner: Don’t quit your day job to play poker with the pros on TV. You’ll end up along the road in the Nevada desert wearing nothing but a barrel.

      L.N. Smithee (ecc5a5)

    97. Comment by Roy Mustang — 11/6/2008 @ 5:28 pm

      “When the government is robbing Peter to pay Paul, it can always count on the support of Paul.”

      Thank you for your concern about whether or not the drug companies should be in business, Paul.

      Another Drew (57deb8)

    98. I honestly don’t think there was a candidate that could have beat Obama. Everything was Bush’s fault and therefore, McCain also being a white, Republican male was seen as nothing but an extension of Bush. But so would any white male Republican. The deck was certainly stacked against McCain and much of it just bad luck (financial meltdown) and much of it because of Bush’s unpopular decisions. Again, I don’t believe any candidate whose hat was originally in the ring, could have won.

      And the media’s ever growing infatuation with Obama certainly did tip the scales. If they had been in the tank for McCain and shamelessly promoted him as they did Obama, he may have come a whole lot closer to a win. Securing it, who knows.

      “The press was a factor,” Salter said. “We had a well-financed opponent — a very talented opponent with a disciplined campaign — a bad economy, the weight of the Bush administration, and that was enough to beat us.

      “But I do believe, and will never be dissuaded otherwise, that the media had their thumb on the scale. Maybe if the media had been fair, we still would have lost. But there were two different standards of scrutiny for us and Obama.”

      Dana (79a78b)

    99. Comment by Dana — 11/6/2008 @ 5:40 pm

      Hey, just ask Evan Thomas of Newsweek.
      He said in 2004 that the media were worth 15-pts, and that they would do all they could to defeat Bush that year.
      They didn’t need 15-pts this year, but I got to think they were worth 10.

      Another Drew (57deb8)

    100. From a discussion witha rabid Obama supporter:

      “What reason do we have to trust Republicans? Where is our manufacturing capacity? In China. What is our labor base? Illegal immigrants. We have dropped our pants and bent over “the investors”.”

      nk (95bfab)

    101. Dana,

      McCain could have easily separated himself from Bush, but he chose to pander to the religio extremists wing of the Republican party from the start instead.

      That’s when he lost my vote.

      snuffles (677ec2)

    102. *to “the investors”

      nk (95bfab)

    103. Please. McCain never had your vote, you slacker, even if he had written you a check for $1,000.

      Official Internet Data Office (df6254)

    104. Thank you for your concern about whether or not the drug companies should be in business, Paul.

      If a drug company’s business model depends on government subsidies as well as government enforced disadvantageous customer behavior, then they deserve to be out of business.

      Roy Mustang (2f688e)

    105. Marty, I was pretty much agreeing with you until this:

      IF ONLY, Palin had been a better candidate, she would have been a great pick. But that Hail Mary pass just wasn’t completed. And unfortunately, when it comes to young, folksy, attractive, fundamentalist conservative women, Republicans just don’t have that deep a roster. Perhaps if McCain had gone with someone a little less leggy and a little more brainy like Kaye Baily Hutchenson…but then, we can second guess forever.

      Do you know how old Kay Bailey Hutchinson is ?

      You make the usual mistake calling Palin “Fundamentalist.” The media poisoned the atmosphere about her and told many lies. She did NOT advocate creationism, suggest banning books or advocate banning abortion. Her first major executive act as governor was vetoing a bill that reversed a court decision mandating civil union benefits for gay couples who were state employees.

      The lies of Nicolle Wallace are an attempt to drive a stake through Palin’s heart. I don’t know why but she is apparently the source of all the anti-Palin gossip. You would do well to look beyond such blame shifting.

      Mike K (2cf494)

    106. More on why Obama won.
      * He stayed focus on the important thing- winning. That focus controlled his actions. He was disciplined to stick to the script.
      * He was young and fresh and represented a generation that could relate with him.
      * He made peace with enemies, once he felt they could be of help. With him there were no permanent enemies. Only permanent interests.
      * He could play the game of chess, very well.
      * He defined McCain as old, out-dated, angry, out of touch. And it stuck!
      * He saw his moment and seized it. This was not the year for the Reps. He knew that and used to his advantage.
      On the other hand, how did McCain help Obama to win?
      * He did not anticipate the economic downturn. Infact, he underestimated it. He banked on the hope that towards October, there would be a major foreign policy issue or worse, a terrorist attack that would sway public opinion towards his strong suit. He may have secretly hoped for a little help from OBL. ( Where are these terrorists when you need them, anyway?)
      * He pandered too much to the desires of his base. He was less of a maverick.
      * He chose Sarah Palin. A tactical error.
      * He had no steady message. Kept jumping from theme to theme.
      * He was banking also on the hope that racism was still going to be a factor. He hoped the Bradley Effect was going to be in play.
      * He ran a negative campaign that turned people off. He did not learn from Hillary’s lessons. People like Obama and they frown at folks who attack him. Why? They think he is a decent man who does not attack first. He won their hearts.
      * He did not know the difference between the America of today and the America of 10, 20 years ago.
      * He painted for himself an image of a warrior wihtout realising how wary Americans are about war and fighting.
      * He underrated Barack Obama.
      More later.

      love2008 (1b037c)

    107.      Loads of great comments. A lot will be learned from the successes and failures of each campaign, and some of the things learned will be applicable to campaigns 4 years from now.
           In my opinion, there was an event which changed EVERYTHING. That event is the financial meltdown. Until then, foreign policy and homeland security were the big issues, and Obama had been just plain wrong on those issues. You could call the event a “but for” event. But for this event, the outcome would have been completely different.
           The financial crisis made the economy THE major issue, and it appears to me that the public came to the conclusion, rightly or wrongly, that blame for the financial crisis belonged to the REPUBLICAN administration. Given the choice of choosing a Democrat or another Republican in view of the financial crisis, the Democrat got the nod. In my opinion, if the Bear Stearns disaster and all that followed hadn’t happened until the end of November, we would be talking about President Elect McCain.

      Ira (28a423)

    108. And when McCain did develop a relatively coherent economic strategy, those of us who were still warm to him couldn’t stomach the idea of a Palin presidency or vice presidency.

      Say what you want about Palin energizing the base. That was a short term boost that eventually disgusted or scared off us non hockey moms. McCain, and some of the idiot bloggers here, didn’t see the long term. Even a Romney VP would’ve brought in more votes, as the right-wing base would’ve been energized enough to stick with McCain because of Obama’s follies.

      What a terrible gamble. May Palin never rear her head out of Alaska again.

      Abbey (46310f)

    109. I’m not a big Palin supporter but I have no idea why you people actually hate her on a personal level. Say she’s stupid, etc. But realize that unlike Hilary, Elizabeth Dole, etc, Palin is a self made woman. That’s a plus in my book.

      Roy Mustang (2f688e)

    110. __________________________

      I’d personally have preferred Mitt Romney as VP. However, I sensed a peculiar undercurrent against him — from conservatives, no less — some of it due to Romney’s Mormonism. Totally puzzling and foolish to me, but I did observe signs of that ambivalence in certain people (eg, a registered Republican I work with), in certain polls. In fact, there may have been more nagging doubts about Romney’s religion in the minds of a subset of crucial voters than similar reactions towards Obama’s racial background.

      Mark (411533)

    111. McCain lost primarily because he does not know anything about the economy and our economic problems. Neither does Obama, but the difference is that Obama is glib about his ignorance where McCain isn’t.

      SPQR (26be8b)

    112. I don’t think it was due to Obama’s attracting so many new voters. Each year there is an increase in the number of voters.

      From various TV and radio commentators and reports, it appeared that voter turnout for this presidential election was so much higher than for the last presidential election. However, this year’s increase is actually not all that great.

      From
      http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe1996/gevote.htm
      In the 1996 presidential election, the total number of votes for all presidential canditates was 96,277,634.

      From
      http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/2000presgeresults.htm
      In the 2000 presidential election, the total number of votes for all presidential canditates was 105,405,100.

      From
      http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2004/federalelections2004.pdf
      In the 2004 presidential election, the total number of votes for all presidential canditates was 122,295,345.

      From
      http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/president/allcandidates/
      At 6:45 p.m. PST, with over 97% of precincts reporting, the total number of votes for all presidential candidates is about 123,143,400. Calculating for 100% of the vote yields about 127,000,000 votes cast for president.

      So, the increase in voter turnout was bigger for the 2000 to 2004 period (over 16 million more voters in 2004 than in 2000) than the increase for the 2004 to 2008 period (about 5 million more voters in 2008 than in 2004). In fact, the increase this year over 2004 is smaller than the increase from 1996 to 2000 (more than 9 million).

      Ira (28a423)

    113. I may have missed a couple but, in my opinion, McCain’s campaign suffered for all those reasons but he lost for one reason buried in the center of the article:

      Hard to know precisely what influences voters in this or any country.

      However, I’m sure all the turmoil in the financial industry and stock market over the recent past spooked a fair number of people in a way that shifted their sentiments to the left. When things start to look gloomy economically, many folks seek the safety and comfort of “mommy,” meaning their philosophy gravitates towards iron-clad-safety-net liberalism.

      I guess the reverse of that is when high rates of crime, or a battered national security (eg, 9-11), makes people so nervous they start looking for the comfort and security of “daddy.”

      However, if a nation has enough people who embrace empty-headed liberalism no matter what, such as is true of a large number of folks living in Mexico (or countries similar to that), their society can be screwed up indefinitely with high rates of both crime and never-ending poverty — and dysfunction in general always going off the deep end — and yet they still seek out politicians like Barack Obama (or, a far more extreme example, Hugo Chavez).

      If America in the future starts to reflect that way of thinking and voting, it’s destined to be the world’s biggest Banana Republic.

      Mark (411533)

    114. Say what you want about Palin energizing the base. That was a short term boost that eventually disgusted or scared off us non hockey moms. McCain, and some of the idiot bloggers here, didn’t see the long term. Even a Romney VP would’ve brought in more votes, as the right-wing base would’ve been energized enough to stick with McCain because of Obama’s follies.

      What a terrible gamble. May Palin never rear her head out of Alaska again.

      Comment by Abbey

      This is really interesting. Along with the lies by Nicolle Wallace, I’m fascinated by the women who hate her. I assume you are homely but I don’t know what else it is. It would be a good topic for a psychology study except how would you get any of these women to tell the truth?

      Well, I’m off to the National Review cruise in the morning and that should be interesting.

      Mike K (2cf494)

    115. McCain lost, because, like his father, he was a stooge for David Rockefeller. McCain never read about America’s Greatest Strategist; the Greatest Strategist since Alexander the Great: The President of The Louisiana State Seminary and Military Academy, now L.S.U., nor his memoirs, nor his disciple’s, who did both, and won against the Philippines Moro’s. McCain never made Admiral, and has no military talent, nor does McCain think he needs any, nor has he ever sought any, nor will he ever do so.

      McCain had the example of a Victorious campaign, laid out before him; but such would have enraged David Rockefeller. So John McCain, pulled in his Horns.

      McCain would have to have moved left and ran Obama, off the Road to the left. Politician’s fear the Oil-Banking Combo. End of story.

      McCain stated that he admired Teddy Roosevelt; but both Presidents Roosevelt, admired and modeled themselves on the Man who gave “The Cross of Gold Speech.”

      Today we need a “New Cross of Gold Speech,” to be called “The Cross of the Federal Reserve and the Gigantic Crude Oil Refineries Speech.”

      Many Mock “The Cross of Gold Speech’s” speech giver. But a man who deeply influences two of the 20th Century’s Greatest Presidents, is above and beyond, the barking dogs of mockery. The dogs bark, and the Great Caravan of Mankind, passes on.

      Xeno77777

      Xeno77777, ST. Petersburg, FL, USA. (d87a65)

    116. THE EGO OF CYRUS SANAI KNOWS NO BOUNDS!!!!!!!

      “Nice to see points from my prior posts being adopted with no credit.”

      Charles Emerson Sanai drops a couple of unnoticed comments in earlier threads and then has the unbridled ego to actually believe that people are talking about points raised initially and exclusively by him in his comments without rendering him his due credit. Yes, people are unable to think for themselves or analyse an election without the input of Cyrus the Great. What a collossal, puss-filled, festering putz.

      daleyrocks (60704b)

    117. #114. I hear you. Within 24 hours of Palin’s selection I received a shrieking email from my liberal Phd sister-in-law about how stupid and vile Palin was. She didn’t know of Palin’s existence the day before.

      rrpjr (e98cdc)

    118. Mc CAnt lost becoz he is such a F@#$^ LOSER!

      and his BOSS George BUSH is and will ever be the lousiest President that America had!

      yy (b6112b)

    119. Mc CAnt lost becoz he is such a F@#$^ LOSER! from the very beginning

      and most of all he is endorsed by no less than
      a F@$^%* LOSER like him George BUsh!

      So isnt that obvious you people!

      yy (b6112b)

    120. I believe:

      1) The people who think that Partial Birth Abortion is evil believe it is murder of innocents. On that basis, they have a point. I don’t agree with them. I don’t think an infant is human …. yet. I also don’t have any way to prove my position. Partial Birth Abortion is at best disgusting. Calling it evil really isn’t that much of a stretch, and Obama is for some practices that really go beyond Partial Birth Abortion to the moral equivalent of exposing babies on the hillside, like the Romans.

      2) Obama has deliberately and with forethought consorted with, sought the support of, and supported at least one organization that has committed vote fraud on a scale to make Tammany Hall envious. I am sure that, like so many of the Left, he genuinely believes that this is justified in some cosmic fuzzy way. I think it makes him a crook.

      I don’t think Obama is a good man. I think that the facts on the ground show that he is a liar, a cheat, and a criminal. I think that the lying, cheating, and criminality are built in to his version of what the Far Left believes. Whether he is actually evil remains to be seen. It wouldn’t surprise me.

      C. S. P. Schofield (2f879a)

    121. He should have stressed that Obama’s tax plan gives rebates to those who don’t pay taxes. If he had made that the issue, instead of Joe the Plumber, he would have done a lot better.

      The financial meltdown took out McCain, and he failed to tie it to the Democrats. In this McCain not only let the party down, he let the nation down. Because now we will have more of the same policies that caused the meltdown.

      I would have liked to see Obama try to defend it.

      Amphipolis (fdbc48)

    122. That’s when he lost my vote.

      The mere idea that sniffles was once a Republican supporter is laughable.

      * He was banking also on the hope that racism was still going to be a factor.

      Evidence of this slander, please?


      I don’t agree with them. I don’t think an infant is human …. yet.

      No matter how many times I read this comment, I still cannot believe what I am reading.

      JD (008a90)

    123. Mike K.

      Do you know how old Kay Bailey Hutchinson is ?

      Point taken. I really have to wonder, however – didn’t Republicans have any other conservative women to offer other than Palin? I know that people like Susan Collins don’t appeal to the base, and McCain needed to do that, but was Palin the only choice out there? Bay Buchanan, for instance? I mean, say what you want about her, at least she would have held her own in an interview with Katy Couric.

      Yes, McCain exacerbated the problem by trying to hide Palin from the press and over coaching her. But it seems from post-election reports she was also pretty hard to work with. If McCain had just let her do her thing, would she really have been more gaffe-prone than Biden? But couple McCain’s heavy hand with Palin being a complete unknown and a slow study, and the media fest was inevitable.

      Marty (019343)

    124. Obama won primarily because the MSM was in the tank for him. All negative info was discounted or ignored completely. Vetting was almost non existent by the MSM. McCain had negatives highlighted, or sometime even made up. Joe Biden’s many gaffes and both Obama and Biden avoiding press conferences were ignored, while Palin was vilified for not having press conferences.

      James Ward (ac829f)

    125. If a drug company’s business model depends on government subsidies as well as government enforced disadvantageous customer behavior, then they deserve to be out of business.
      Comment by Roy Mustang — 11/6/2008 @ 5:58 pm

      Please explain the highlighted portions of above.
      Plus, if these companies all relocated to (say) Switzerland, would you as a consumer, be better off?

      Comment by Xeno77777, ST. Petersburg, FL, USA. — 11/6/2008 @ 8:07 pm
      Moro War??? David Rockefeller??? “Cross Of Gold Speech”???
      Did I miss the Amber Alert on an escaped patient?

      Comment by JD — 11/7/2008 @ 8:44 am
      So Much To Do, So Little Time!

      Comment by Marty — 11/7/2008 @ 9:10 am
      Collins couldn’t get elected Dog-Catcher outside of New England as a Republican.
      The rest is just an example that McCain did a lousy job in selecting his campaign staff.
      They didn’t serve Gov. Palin well, and in that they certainly didn’t serve the interests of Sen McCain well either – unless his objective all along was to lose.

      Another Drew (fd30bc)

    126. the MSM was in the tank for him [Obama]

      ok – guys, don’t hate me too much for what I’m about to say. But I say it out of love. ;-)

      I think it’s a bit of a danger for Republicans to blame ALL this on the media. Yes, the bias against McCain/Palin got strong toward the end, particularly on late-night, but that was AFTER the Palin pick and AFTER, really, a lot of the tactics of McCain’s campaign strategy begin to look a bit…ok, again, don’t kill me…but a bit of an overreach, especially when people actually compared how the two men (McCain, Obama) came off on TV (which is to day, I think Obama looked more reasonable than McCain on TV, which was an unexpected switch for people, I think).

      Listen, I understand there are hard feelings, but it’s easy to blame everything on the media. I would echo Another Drew’s point that you also need to look at the kind of campaign McCain ran. I just don’t think the public is going to respond to a culture-war campaign any more. But there’s plenty of evidence that the conservative economic campaign still works. So I think McCain got things backwards until the very last week, when he finally seemed to have a strong consistent attack. Now if only he had started with a positive economic message to couple with that with from the beginning, he might have had a good chance. Instead, just like Hillary Clinton, he underestimated Obama’s capability to be consistent over the long haul, and he let that unnerve him.

      Marty (019343)

    127. I would definitely agree that McCain picked the wrong people to run his campaign and that he was probably a little too smug in underestimating Obama. Now we’ll see how long it takes for Obama and his leftist illuminati ideals to turn off many of the voters who originally supported him.

      Jeff (024c6a)

    128. Obama is superior in so many different respects that it only makes sense to offer up the one reason Obama won: Obama was the better candidate.

      pwb (209d2a)

    129. Point taken. I really have to wonder, however – didn’t Republicans have any other conservative women to offer other than Palin?

      I was also in favor of Meg Whitman, who is the only self-made female billionaire, but who would have had even more trouble with the press, which was going to go right after any McCain choice.

      I know that people like Susan Collins don’t appeal to the base, and McCain needed to do that, but was Palin the only choice out there? Bay Buchanan, for instance? I mean, say what you want about her, at least she would have held her own in an interview with Katy Couric.

      Bay Buchanan is not a Republican in the usual sense of the term. Palin was a great choice. She was susceptible to the sort of attack she was subjected to because she had not been in the area about international issues. She will be better the next time.

      The hate politics of women hating her is still the most interesting part of the story. I used to see this with women physicians. They were so worried that they would be mistaken for nurses that they were absolute assh**es to nurses and were hated. They eventually settled down and it is not a problem any longer but it was for a while.

      I think there is an issue with people like Nicolle Wallace who think they are more qualified than any female candidate and resent the attention someone like Sarah Palin gets.

      Yes, McCain exacerbated the problem by trying to hide Palin from the press and over coaching her. But it seems from post-election reports she was also pretty hard to work with.

      Reports from women with a problem.

      If McCain had just let her do her thing, would she really have been more gaffe-prone than Biden? But couple McCain’s heavy hand with Palin being a complete unknown and a slow study, and the media fest was inevitable.

      Comment by Marty

      You are depending on people, like Nicolle Wallace who have problems with female candidates, for your information. I think your premise is flawed.

      Mike K (981533)

    130. Mike K,

      Did the hurricane disrupt your travel plans?

      DRJ (cb68f2)

    131. McCain lost for one reason – he had no Axelrod.

      Palin was the right choice for VP but the campaign management failed utterly to predict or to properly handle the disgraceful media riot that ensued. An Axelrod would have had a lawyer perched atop every dumpster in Wasilla.

      No campaign advisor should have been permitted to discuss Palin with the press until they’d met her; instead, we got the ridiculous Carly Fiorina incident.

      Now we find out that the campaign actively prevented her from speaking to friendly media outlets, e.g. O’Reilly, before the Gibson and Couric interviews. Patent stupidity.

      Palin has won more seriously contested elections on her own initiative than McCain has; it’s not to wonder after treatment like what she got that she’d conclude the campaign was run by idiots.

      Then came the financial-industry meltdown, and once again the campaign was caught flatfooted; the government takeover of FNMA and FHMLC dropped a golden opportunity in their lap, the opportunity to run against Frank, Dodd, and Obama as the Democrat Enablers Of Disaster, but they didn’t take it. They could have taken a simple message and hammered it all the way to the White House, but all we heard for six weeks was “Wall Street greed.” Idiots.

      How much of this foolishness came from Schmidt et al and how much from McCain himself is hard to judge at this point, but it’s clear that the campaign had no focused commitment to winning.

      Palin put a hundred percent into dragging this mess across the finish line; the campaign buffoons who would now attack her should be dragged into an alley and beaten.

      mrkwong (a0f32a)

    132. Marty – a slow study? My God, she had, what, a week to get in line with the campaign’s positions? We know she’s not eye-to-eye with McCain on AGW, probably not on a number of other issues; she’s sitting there with Couric and she’s having to run every answer she gives through a “am I stepping on the campaign’s positions?” filter.

      This is the first campaign she’s ever run where she’s been promoting someone else’s position and not her own. Okay, she hasn’t had a few years at Harvard Law or twenty-plus years in the Senate to learn how to lie convincingly, as Biden did two dozen times during the debate.

      When she started speaking for herself she carried all before her, sometimes to the discomfort of the McCain staff who were disinclined to rock boats.

      The campaign was Pearl Harbored by the press after the Palin announcement, and now the campaign staff who were asleep at the radar display are blaming the victim.

      mrkwong (a0f32a)

    133. Amphipolis: “He should have stressed that Obama’s tax plan gives rebates to those who don’t pay taxes.”

      I don’t think this has much traction as an argument since it’s what we already do all the time.

      Obama’s plan would provide a $500 refundable tax credit to low- and middle-income Americans. It’s not a new concept and is very similar to the existing Earned Income Tax Credit that has been been part of the federal tax law since 1975.

      Like Obama’s new credit, the EITC is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. When the EITC exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund to those who claim and qualify for the credit, meaning it gives “rebates to those who don’t pay taxes.” In pracitce, the EITC is the largest federal poverty program. In 2004, almost 21 million American families received more than $36 billion in refunds through the EITC. In addition, as of 2006, some 20 states and the District of Columbia had their own EITCs.

      The Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that monitors tax policy, described and criticized the Obama Plan as follows:

      “Obama’s tax plan [includes] a “Making Work Pay” credit that would offset payroll taxes on the first $8,100 of earnings, generating up to $500 per person or $1,000 per family. The campaign said that would eliminate income taxes for 10 million low-income Americans.

      …There is really no need for a new credit for low-income people. If Obama wants to accomplish the end he is aiming for, then the “Making Work Pay” credit could just be coupled with reforming/expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and an expansion of the standard deduction rather than having some new credit designed to lower income taxes on low-income earners. Or he could move in the direction of the Tax Reform Panel and make a uniform Family Credit to replace the standard deduction, personal exemptions, and the child tax credit, and a uniform Work Credit to replace the complex EITC.”

      Peccator Dubius (0a6237)

    134. A tax-cut for 95% of working Americans….
      This was McGoverns $1000 check with new wings so that it could fly. It was bad policy in ’72, and it hasn’t gotten any better over the years.

      Another Drew (fd30bc)

    135. The sad part is that the real reason is missing from the list because it is discrimination as well: “Too Old.” Whenever I tried to convince someone who was on the fence, we would go through the whole argument, they would agree with everything, and then in the end say “but he’s so old.”

      I really got mad at this because we all age differently inside. I know people who are in their 40s that are older inside than he is. Still, there it is, age discrimination. I really think that is what cost him the election.

      John Likeglass (50a9f5)


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