Patterico's Pontifications

11/14/2008

Was John McCain Truly the Most Electable Republican?

Filed under: 2008 Election,General — Patterico @ 9:12 pm

Sometimes you go back to one of your old posts and think to yourself: you know, this post really holds up with the passage of time. (Then there are the ones you’d like to forget about — so you do.)

One post that I think has held up pretty well is one that I wrote on February 4, 2008, while the Republican primary was still going hot and heavy. My post was titled John McCain: The Myth of an Electable Candidate. Responding to a Wall Street Journal piece by Steven G. Calabresi and John O. McGinnis calling John McCain the most electable Republican, I said this:

It’s my view that McCain only seems electable because of his media image, which will collapse once the country actually gets to know him in the general election.

. . . .

Many voters will eventually learn that McCain’s image is nothing like the reality. People who know nothing of McCain except his image are finally going to sit down and watch a debate. At that point, a lot of them are going to say: “Holy crap! That’s the guy I thought I liked?!” The antiwar crowd will finally realize he makes George Bush look like Neville Chamberlain. And everyone will see McCain’s smug condescension, born of a background of elitism and privilege. It will manifest itself in that self-satisfied mockingly contemptuous grin that he can’t hide.

In response to the assertion by Calabresi and McGinnis that the nomination of Mitt Romney could cost Republicans, not only the White House, but the ability to filibuster in the Senate, I said:

It could. But I believe that the nomination of John McCain is far more likely to create the same result.

And here we are, facing recounts that could well put Democrats over the magic number of 60.

My conclusion was simple:

[E]veryone is certain that [McCain] is the most electable Republican, based on what is known now. I believe that is wrong.

Of course, I continue to maintain that any Republican would have lost this election to Hillary or Obama. And there’s no way of knowing whether Romney would have been better than McCain. Maybe he would have been worse.

But I think he would have been better. Romney campaigned on fixing the economy from the get-go; he brought it up in every debate, while McCain kept talking about the war. McCain’s economic policy truly was little more than “Drill, Baby, Drill!” McCain is a guy who got nailed (however unfairly) for saying that the fundamentals of our economy were strong, and openly discussed his relative weakness on economic issues.

I’m not saying that Mitt Romney would have been some kind of savior.

But McCain sure wasn’t, was he?

69 Responses to “Was John McCain Truly the Most Electable Republican?”

  1. No, but as one who would have voted for Thompson, Romney or Giuliani (in that order) over McCain if any of the three had still been in the running at the time of the NC primary, I have to ask who, if anyone, had any way of knowing that the financial market would tank in September, making the election almost entirely about the economy, while the surge in Iraq would prove a victim of its own successes and essentially become a non-issue? If the election had been about foreign policy, either McCain or Giuliani would have won by a landslide. Would Romney have won under those circumstances? Who knows?

    One “silver” lining: at least we don’t hear McCain bragging about having won the “silver” last week.

    Xrlq (62cad4)

  2. No, quod erat demonstrandum.

    Mary (80d847)

  3. I too agree that Romney might have been a better candidate in terms of his ability to explain the issues, but he wouldn’t have stood a chance against Dear Leader-elect. Look at the way in which the LDS Church is being demonized by the anti-Prop. 8 lobby; do you think for one moment the left wing of this country would not have had a sophisticated whispering campaign against Romney on the grounds that you can’t trust a Mormon? If Romney was on the ballot, the GOP would have lost Arizona, South Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, and perhaps even Montana and the Dakotas to boot.

    JVW (89c289)

  4. he lost because he didnt secure the base, plain and simple. he hates the conservative movement and believed he could win w/o them. he also had trouble staying on message and contradicting things people in his campaign would say. also attacking other GOP’ers publicly didnt help. he couldve told the NC GOP behind the scenes to lay off Wright (bad move though in my opinion). there was the time before the recess when he talked about how great pelosi and reid are when at the time GOP congress people were fighting them tooth and nail, he hit big oil in an ad while the house GOP was showing up to a dark Capitol to show that dems were doing nothing about oil prices. those things cut the legs out from under the party and dishearten those in the trenches. the talk of lieberman for VP and other dems in key spots. hurts the morale of long-time party folks who have worked hard and deserve those jobs.

    he certainly handled the economic meltdown poorly. running back to DC and then looking like he was wandering around doing nothing. maybe that was just what the media spun it as but if he was leading the way on the ill-conceived bailout he didnt show it.

    i think several of the other candidates couldve beaten obama, yeah the media covered for him but john just cant bring himself to hit a dem hard in the mouth like the others could. this obama is a sleazy thugged up corrupt socialist slimeball and any of the other candidates wouldve made sure those things came out.

    chas (802767)

  5. Bush lost us this election.

    nk (87c95e)

  6. I’m still shocked you guys rejected Huckabee in the primaries. He captured the exact same base that you tried and failed to recapture with Palin. And all politics aside, he was funny, likable, and reassuring, as crazy as I found his positions. Any interview or debate involving Huckabee would be improved simply because the guy was interesting to hear.

    Aplomb (b6fba6)

  7. I hated that guy.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  8. Bush lost us this election.

    He didn’t help, but the problem with blaming it entirely on President Bush is that it avoids facing up to the deeper issues in the Republican party which have hurt their public image and ability to govern. As early as the late 1990s we saw Republican leaders (think George Pataki) who thought nothing of using tax dollars to purchase votes by offering big spending increases on “popular” initiatives when economic times were good. This started well before Bush came on the scene. Just because George Bush is leaving in January doesn’t suddenly mean the Republicans will get back on track and remember the principles that lead to their coming to power. At least being in the political wilderness will allow them to regroup without the responsibility of actually governing.

    JVW (89c289)

  9. I didn’t hate Huckabee — like Aplomb I thought he was witty and basically likable — but I don’t want to see the Republican Party devolve into cheap populism. Not after I have spent the last twenty years holding my nose at the mention of Pat Buchanan. Even Sarah Palin, as much as I love her, strayed too close to the William Jennings Bryan line for my tastes.

    JVW (89c289)

  10. i thought huckabee came across as a snake-oil salesman. im hoping Sarah’s forays into blaming evil greedy capitalists was a product of mccain’s campaign. he seemed to like that meme so maybe that was why she threw it out in the debate.

    chas (802767)

  11. I think “Why the f**k are we rewarding greed and stupidity with a bailout paid with taxpayers’ money?” would not have hurt McCain in the least. To say the least.

    nk (87c95e)

  12. I think “Why the f**k are we rewarding greed and stupidity with a bailout paid with taxpayers’ money?” would not have hurt McCain in the least.

    Sincerity from McCain was no match for Dear Leader’s insincerity.

    JVW (89c289)

  13. I don’t think that “There’s no reason to allow Barney Frank to buy sex with taxpayers’ money” would have hurt either.

    nk (87c95e)

  14. I’d have a beer with Mike Huckabee, but I wouldn’t elect him to catch dogs. He’s virtually the worst candidate imaginable – a big government, soft-on-crime, dishonest incompetent.

    The economy tanked. When the economy tanks, the candidate loses.

    I had a lot of conversations with a friend of mine regarding my frustration with Bill Clinton’s lack of foreign policy, but as my friend noted, “No one cares about foreign policy, except maybe you.” Now, my friend is a foreign policy professional (working in academia and now government) so he was kidding a little. But elections are won and lost on the economy.

    McCain’s best clear shot missed was to reject the bailout, and give a detailed counter-plan. He didn’t do that. I think he ran a pretty good campaign.

    The other contenders were mostly non-starters. Thompson and Giuliani ran awful, deserve-to-lose campaigns. Romney’s kind of an empty vessel.

    –JRM

    JRM (355c21)

  15. I don’t think you get it. Yes, McCain was a complete loser as a Republican candidate but who gets to decide the MOMENTUM of the Republican primary? It’s blue state voters who lean towards moderates. By the time the campaign reaches the Red states, the RINOs have pushed the ‘moderate’ loser RINO into the lead in the primary and by the time most RED state conservatives get to vote the primary is just about wrapped up.

    Second: The electorate got ONE shot to vote for a real conservative and her name was Palin. She didn’t have to suffer the indignity of a primary campaign and wasn’t that a good thing? The media and pundits and networks and RINOS instantly started tearing her to pieces and denigrating her as some sort of troll from the instant she was named as the VP nominee. Can you imagine what these assholes would do to such a candidate who announced a run at the start of the Primary? Within 3 months they would have reduced her to a laughingstock with their lies and made up stories and she would be out of the race.

    That’s what’s going to happen to any true conservative who runs for president. We are going to be stuck with democrats like Snowe, Spectre, the Terminator and the rest of those losers as our republican voice in Congress.

    I see tiny fringe concerns about the undecided Senate races and the republican party unable to filibuster and laugh. 57, 60, whatever! The RINOS have reliably voted democrat in every single challenge to date. We can count on them to vote with the democrat majority every single time. Bring on the gang of 14 and that idiot cross-aisle butboy McCain reliably out there to offer anything at all to the democrats in order to eschew partisan politics.

    Curtis (e21caf)

  16. Within 3 months they would have reduced her to a laughingstock with their lies and made up stories and she would be out of the race.

    I don’t normally do this, but you made a typo Curtis.

    It should be: Within 3 months they would have reduced her to a laughingstock with her lies and made up stories…

    truthnjustice (d99227)

  17. I think Republicans need to realize that they are fighting on hostile territory. That territory is the mainstream media. Then they need to figure out a way to hold a primary on non hostile territory. As long as they are selecting a republican with the press putting it thumb on the scale. They won’t get a candidate that the party can truly get behind.

    People might say that the republicans need to select a candidate the the press can support, because otherwise the press will rip them apart like they did Palin. But there is a flip side to that choose a candidate that no one truly believes in and neighbors won’t support him to their neighbors. This leaves supporters in the position of defending a candidate by saying well the other guy is worse, because they aren’t really enthusiastic about their candidate either.

    Republicans need to run a candidate that honestly energizes the party, while knowing that the enemy to defeat isn’t the Democrats, it is the press.

    Joe (c61755)

  18. All of you Monday morning GOP armchair quarterbacks miss several salient points:

    1. The GOP will NEVER win any election with the sole support of primarily their base. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. Evan if the GOP had a 100% base support that is less than 32% of the electorate. You have to capture the middle ie., Independents, undecideds and a few Dem defectors.

    Here are one Independent’s views:

    1. It was insulting to run a female with the ignorance of Palin, Charisma, beauty and hyperbole not withstanding. We don’t want religious nuts or civic dummies for our leaders.

    2. It was disingenuous to run someone as a reformer who was as dirty as the rest with earmarks, ties to separatist groups. ethics questions and penchant for lies as any DC insider.

    3. Never have a platform of family values and then jettison them just because your candidate fails the test (McCain’s Cindy was his former mistress/ Palin’s family was/is dysfunctional)

    4. All of the above point to the failed judgment of McCain in picking such a loser. You can deny it or ignore it–but Palin was and remains in the eyes of most of us–an Airhead. Disregard and run her again in 2012 at your own risk. She better learn the value of honest study and effort and learn that Africa is a continent, not a country–she also better learn that nothing is more insulting than a stupid woman being elevated by men–or buying a 7 year old a Louis Vuitton handbag with political donations.

    That said, Bush-destroyed almost all GOP chances and when it came to a hail Mary, McCain subbed the word, “Hell” for Hail in finding his salvation.

    As for the economy…grandstanding with fake campaign suspensions and failed bailout brokering only underlined the hypocrisy of claiming to put country before party or politics on the one hand, while trying to make that airhead second in command on the other.

    The right may LOVE Palin–but the right cannot elect an President on their own–please find someone competent to give the rest of us a real choice.

    sandy (e5f100)

  19. You can deny it or ignore it–but Palin was and remains in the eyes of most of us–an Airhead

    If that’s so important, then why did so many Americans look the other way when the bigger airhead, Joe Biden, say recently that Franklin Roosevelt was president during the great stock market crash of 1929 and addressed the nation with his fireside chats on (get this!) television?

    I think if a majority of Americans want liberals running things, then they have no right to complain about stupidity, corruption and incompetency (and “airheads”). After all, most sleazy Third-World nations (and trashy urban American areas) are managed by people of that ideology and ilk—-and their biggest admirers tend to be another group of airheads (or certainly super flakes): Hollywood celebrities.

    And if another shining example of an airhead, Hillary Clinton, becomes Secretary of State, she’ll fit in perfectly with all the other nitwits in Obama’s cabinet. After all, Hillary claimed not long ago that as First Lady she came under sniper fire on a tarmac in Bosnia.

    Mark (55f973)

  20. I think sandy has cornered the market on straw men.

    Steverino (db5760)

  21. For people who are actually interested in facts re: Gov. Palin’s accomplishments:

    http://www.baseballcrank.com/archives2/2008/10/politics_the_in_1.php

    Adriane (b8ecd8)

  22. All this particular election proved is that as a nation we would seek out and nominate a couple of asswipes to run against one another.

    Population over 300 million, all we could come up with was a socialist and a member of the geriatric squad?

    Personally I’ve nothing against 70 yr olds. They have much wisdom, but they are running for the hearts and minds of kids that have a Pentium implanted, and such was NOT so much as on the potential menu of a “mccain”!

    If Mitt actually had three wives I think he may have had a better chance. Ya gotta fit the perception!

    Dave Matthews band sings a great song that really puts it into pretty clear terms. Called Grave digger, the beginnings are priceless.

    “Cyrus Jones 1810 to 1913
    Made his great grandchildren believe
    You could live to a hundred and three
    A hundred and three is forever when you’re just a little kid So Cyrus Jones lived forever”

    Sad as may be, our young folks today, from gen x on do not believe in having a long life, can’t comprehend a person over 70 yrs of age capable of anything! Sans pissin themselves in their depends.

    Sad but true!

    Oh and lets face it, many are tired of being man handled for self enjoyment, watching their friends in the same boat, hate any war to death, Many of them learned about such via video games and watching CNN in 91, (I do not blame them at all, the war was a svivid as video games of the time, and lasted about as long as the local CNN blurbs of it, with endless hero stories for national bluster), and can’t manage to figure out why the hell Bush does not seem to know how to use the VETO button on his desk!

    They are correct in their thinking, put something REAL different into a position of power, if he/she messed up, then throw them out in 4 years. (I’ve a feeling the MSM will turn upon the one in short time). Their problem may be that in doing so, they actually formally and finally kill their own industry.

    But their single biggest lacking is to where the real power of this country is held and ordained, within the trust fund babies of the elite and the halls of congress. A Place that only says no to to those with real challenges, and throws open the halls for the attorneys of the carnage of lobbying firms.

    Such I find is the true crime of the MSM, ignoring that which does represent real change, which they so hold so high. I’ll bet none of them actually the potential changes before them.

    Did the repubs put forth a candidate worthy? No they did not. They had one, though a bit different thinking, even radical by some standards right there, but threw Ron Paul over the ledge. Yet ron P was the only candidate that actually told us EXACTLY what he would change and how!

    Though some of the nation thought we voted for change, which the nation did, it was , I do not believe, the type of change that most folks really desire.

    Saw a real funny one the other day, about the “nation divided at a 51% vote for bush in 04, and a nation united at a 52% vote for “the one” in 08. got a kick outta it.

    I do not normally give a hoot in hell about what others say in this forum. but Sandy did say something noteworthy.

    “3. Never have a platform of family values and then jettison them just because your candidate fails the test (McCain’s Cindy was his former mistress/ Palin’s family was/is dysfunctional)

    A. it is not abnormal to be divorced in today’s society, if you really think so then we would have only 10% single/divorced mothers standing in line for the govt handouts available to them. Instead of the close to 50% or above.

    B. The Domestic violence act would be gender neutral, it’s not! Even in the fact that 60% is caused by women.

    C. Sara’s family is pretty daaumed normal as far as I can see, and I only have to look around me here in the deep heart of Utah and even within my own family, immediate and extended to see what homo sapiens are.

    D. face it, many men and women make a wrong choice of their first mate, don’t mean they could not make it work, don’t mean there will not be transgressions during, but when one finally realizes that they will not be happy, as a nation our divorce rate of above 50% speaks for itself. We choose to find a mate to be HAPPY with, rather than making do.

    The GOP has many problems facing it. first seems to become what they are, they consistently prove themselves to be something else. They are asses and deserve to be treated as such, but the left wing as well deserves the same treatment, and that does not seem to be appearing on any horizon.

    Ok that is way too much, CIAO

    TC (0b9ca4)

  23. My impression of the McCain campaign implosion is based on the pick of VP.
    While McCain is a war hero and all and Obama didn’t have any track record, their choices informed us about their leadership.
    While Sandy’s #18 is a hayloft, the mischaracterization of the McCains’ relationship should have been addressed.
    In his book he noted that not only did he go through a transformative series of events, his 1st wife Carol also did as well. They remain on the best of terms and she is a supporter of McCain.
    There is a great deal about this relationship which was hardly discussed. John McCain has paid 100% of Carols medical expenses througout the years, which after her car crash is a considerable effort.
    But therein lies the problem with the McCain candidacy. He was too restrained, too aloof (or seemingly so) and unconnected with the nation.Additionally he never truly appeared comfortable onstage and rarely (if ever) appeared Presidential.
    Then he he taps Palin for the VP slot.
    Yikes. What a polarizing individual. Unabashedly conservative, too attractive to be unstudied as she was and she has an average American family.
    But it is that chioce buttressed up against Biden that made people (at least those around me) wonder “What the hell is he thinking?” and then he suspended the campaign to do…what?
    While I wanted McCain in the worst way, Obamas’ candidacy was head and shoulders above McCains’
    Over all, the events that transpired leading up to election didn’t necessarily help the incumbent party, that aside, I feel that a decisive, dynamic Romney would have had a clearer plain and more connected rapport with the nation.
    In the end it probably would have just been a better dogfight.

    Paul from Fl (4dd8c4)

  24. Michael Barone recently said, to a group of academics, that the reason the national media resented Palin was because she did not abort her Downs baby. It got all of their panties twisted.

    I saw for myself, in a conversation with two Obama voters last night, that there was a lot of truth in what Barone said. It started with one saying saying “She wore her Downs baby like a badge” and when I called him on it both their little minds and mouths spiraled into a rant about abortion culminating to “the taxpayers supporting Trig for the rest of his life”. I swear.

    And these are intelligent, well-educated people.

    Liberals have a sick philosophy which is part of their personal definition of themselves and they cannot tolerate anything or anybody who threatens it in any way.

    nk (87c95e)

  25. McCain won the nomination when the economy seemed to be in pretty good shape and the surge had proven to be successful. In my opinion it was the economy that cost him the win. Fair or not Palin’s pick did hurt him with some independents and moderates. Charles Krauthammer wrote a very good piece about McCain being the best nominee to lose the election. Here that makes a little more sense of why this election turned out the way it did.
    I am not that confident that the christian right would have been that supportive of Romney under any circumstance. Just as many of the GOP would not have been very supportive of Huckabee, other than the Christian right.
    As for savior… perhaps the search for a savior is the problem. It seems the GOP keeps trying to find the “Reagan in the rough” instead of a leader for the current day.Let’s look for a leader instead. Reagan turned out to be a “savior” in many ways but was picked due to confidence in his leadership.
    Obama was picked as a “savior” but not by an overwhelming majority. If he can’t demonstrate good leadership, as I expect he won’t, his support will crumble in many areas. However, if the economy gets well before 2012 he will likely be re-elected, barring an international affair screw up.
    There is a good piece about the voters at large here

    voiceofreason2 (4b3df0)

  26. Argh the words “that makes a little more sense of why this election turned out the way it did.”
    should have gone after the second link.

    voiceofreason2 (4b3df0)

  27. “And these are intelligent, well-educated people.”

    nk,

    You forgot to offer evidence in support of the contention.

    Women who have chosen to kill the offspring they should have nurtured are very well represented in the electorate. The total comes to more than 30 million (and counting). Every one of those women needs to clothe their legal homicide in some sort of rationale, whether it’s “choice” or “defect” or upickem. Palin will always present a problem to those women. Always. She and Todd did make a choice and the choice they made is a slap in the face to women who took the legal homicide path in evasion of responsibility for the burden which nature places upon the female.

    Progressive tolerance doesn’t extend to those holding up a mirror reflecting the ugliness of progressives. I don’t know whether Palin can overcome the deep antipathy she which she generates in the baby killers. I do know that Obama’s support of baby killing abortionist’s didn’t hurt him among those foolish enough to have fallen for the “choice” line in hiring those same baby killer’s to effectuate the remedy for their poor decisions concerning having sex without adequate contraception.

    Rick Ballard (e3e91f)

  28. Well there is the situation that guys like Romney started or were at the tip of the financial collapse

    Really doubt Joe the plumber would pull the lever for Mitt the Mauled (Romney’s group took a huge beating last few months)

    EricPWJohnson (cc9286)

  29. Romney was a much better candidate for this election cycle. Smart, articulate, successful businessman, successful conservative in a moderate state, loyal family man, and a beltway outsider. He had the ability to run as a conservative in the primaries, and then in the general election cycle run as a moderate based on his actual past in MA.

    McCain ran it in reverse, and had to run conservative in the general just to get a base. losing moderates in the process.

    Not saying Romney would have won, but he would have been a more viable candidate for the moderates than an old cranky McCain who himself said he knew nothing about economics.

    Ray (8cfb7a)

  30. FYI, Romney was in private equity, which had nothing to do with the current financial crisis with banks.

    PE funds use private money to buy companies, improve them over 3-5 years, and then sell them for a profit. When the market valuation of companies decrease in a recession, the value of a PE fund decreases. It’s out of their control, just like the decreasing value of a 401k based on the decreased market value of the stocks in the 401k.

    Private Equity has been an important source for high productivity cash to sustain a growing economy.

    Ray (8cfb7a)

  31. An enemy of your enemy is your friend …..
    **The MSM hates Bush therefore they are your (MCCain’s) Friend**

    McCain bought it hook, line and stinker. He thought he would ge a fair shake at the NYT, CNN, etc …… lesson learned Conservatives.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  32. Frankly, had a couple of close states swung slightly the other way (after being outspent 7 to 1 and having an in the tank entrenched media shilling for the opposing candidate)…would we be discussing why Senator McCain was the ONLY guy who could have won?

    Or how Governor Palin won the election?

    Cheating the campaign financing laws, cheating the public out of any serious vetting, cheating the system on basic background information, cheating the public out of the underlying reasons for the mortgage crisis, the wholesale slander of the VP candidate….sorry, I simply can’t get my arms around any analysis of how the election would have “turned out” with someone else.

    My mind can’t conjure up any scenario that doesn’t start with a gang raped information stream hell bent on stealing the election.

    cfbleachers (1f4df1)

  33. “the taxpayers supporting Trig for the rest of his life”.

    … your response, “then get rid of all the feel good programs and start with those programs enslaving the able bodied to government via welfare, etc.”

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  34. Even the polls who had McCain down by over ten points had him with a 57+% approval rating, nearly as high as Obama’s. The problem was NOT that the public opinion soured on McCain, the problem was that his public opinion was not enough to overcome the public’s sour opinion of Bush.

    Sean P (4e644b)

  35. McCain is roughly a Democrat, in that he looks to the government for solutions. I wasn’t going to vote for him, and ended up doing so, reluctantly, out of a foolish association that he might lean toward the government ideals espoused by his choice of running mate. In retrospect, I am ashamed to have enabled the GOP in its participation with the DEMs, to erect a bigger Federal government.
    .
    The GOP has lost all of its credibility, to me. It’s not evil like the Democratic party, but it’s functionally useless as a vehicle to regain the Constitutional Republic. McCain is just the latest in a fairly long string.

    cboldt (3d73dd)

  36. Mitt Romney looked the part of “president,” and I preferred him ideologically. However, when the economy starts to tank, a lot of people in a nation begin crying “I want mommy!!” “I want a shoulder to cry on!!” “I want a safety net a mile wide, a mile long!!”

    Consequently, they find themselves leaning left and falling for the rhetoric of feel-good, lazy liberalism.

    Of course, such an approach has done wonders to Third World societies everywhere, and most of the urban areas, or certainly moribund inner cities, throughout America.

    Mark (411533)

  37. Rudy would have killed in debates against Obama. It should have been Rudy.

    But how do you decide the most electable is someone other than the guy who got the most votes in the primaries? The Dem primary turnout was much better than the Rep, and McCain held his own in the general.

    When the Reps had all three branches, they blew it. There wasn’t going to be a Rep this time.

    MayBee (d8edb1)

  38. It should be: Within 3 months they would have reduced her to a laughingstock with her lies and made up stories…

    Pretty bizarre. An Obama-Biden voter accusing Palin of lies and made up stories.

    Gerald A (adb85a)

  39. Gerald, yep the cognitive dissonance should have created a miniature black hole in truthnjustice’s skull.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  40. ______________________________________

    You can deny it or ignore it–but Palin was and remains in the eyes of most of us–an Airhead — Comment by sandy — 11/15/2008 @ 12:19 am

    If that’s so important, then why did so many voters look the other way when the bigger airhead, Joe Biden, said recently that Franklin Roosevelt was president during the great stock market crash of 1929 and addressed the nation with his fireside chats on (get this!) television?

    I think if a majority of Americans want liberals running things, they have no right to complain about stupidity, corruption and incompetency (and “airheads”). After all, most sleazy Third-World nations (and trashy urban American areas) are managed by people of that ideology and ilk—-and their biggest admirers tend to be another group of airheads (or certainly super flakes): Hollywood celebrities.

    As for another shining example of an airhead (or, again, a major flake), there is Hillary Clinton. That’s why, should she become Obama’s Secretary of State, she’d fit in perfectly with all the other nitwits in the upcoming cabinet. After all, just as Biden lives in an alternate reality–where history is quite different (eg, the time and details of FDR in the Oval Office)–Hillary also resides in some kind of Twilight Zone. One where a First Lady has to run from sniper fire on a tarmac in Bosnia.

    Mark (411533)

  41. McCain made a career of sucking up to the media attacking people in his own party. His nomination could have been a result of having such favorable press.

    But along comes the bigger media darling: The One. Clearly we saw the press swoon over “the Big O.” Didn’t he enjoy better coverage than Hillary as well?

    I have heard two theories for McCain’s defeat: (1) The conservative base stayed home; and (2) He didn’t get the vote of independents and conservative Democrats. I suspect it was more of number 2.

    It is hard to believe that McCain suffered because the surge was successful. If Iraq had continued down the same path, voters would likely have wanted to pull the plug anyway.

    Because Obama is such a big leftist, conservatives held their noses and voted for McCain.

    Bottom Line: I think voters wanted a change after eight years of a Republican administration.

    Be careful of what you wish for!

    Alta Bob (4456c1)

  42. John McCain was our John Kerry. He had no strong convictions in common with the part. He was loved by the media ( until his nomination ). He was electable. Electable is the code word for acceptable to the NYT/WP/CBS/NBC/ABC/CNN/NPR/PBS axis. Since this is Patterico, I’ll add the LAT but, in spite of their self image, they’re a minor player in axis politics.

    Obama is the media’s President. They loved him and protected him from day one. They assured the weakest possible opposition. In the next catastrophic four years, even the dolts who still believe the traditional media produce news will find out how bad it was.

    Ken Hahn (e27b63)

  43. Someone with McCain’s “positions” (I use the word with hesitation), but who was a more forceful advocate of those positions, might have won. Of course, even today, the question is, what were McCain’s “positions”? He was the lowest common denominator candiate for the Republicans, and excited no one (fear of Obama /= affirmative excitement).

    The Romney mystery is still the most salient question: would he have turned off more voters than he turned on? At this point, I am so pessimistic about the IQ of the American electorate, that I haven’t a clue. Pass the prozac, please.

    ParisParamus (1ec888)

  44. Mark (#38 8:13 am), I agree that Biden is an airhead. What is so maddening is that the media gives him credit for being an intellectual, just because he holds the same liberal views as they do. The reality of course is that he is stuipd and oafish, and that will be apparent very soon.

    I disagree that Hillary Clinton is an airhead. A liar no doubt, but not an airhead.

    JVW (89c289)

  45. Since McCain actually did lose, the other Republicans can still say, “Well I could have won.”

    Ira (28a423)

  46. Obama is 10X the airhead Hillary is. Biden is 100X the airhead Obama is. But no one beats Sanders from VT.

    Hillary is smart but not brilliant. Bill is brilliant. Neither has principles in the least — well greed is something both believe in.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  47. Comment by SPQR — 11/15/2008 @ 8:11 am

    To have a “black-hole”, you must have an enormous amount of mass that attracts everything within gravitational range, including light.
    In this case, there is just a hole!

    Another Drew (bb1716)

  48. Ray

    Romney was one of the financial instrument architects of some of the investment strategies and their group invested in financial bundles to fund acquisitions

    Look I’m not anti Romney but even having seen Wall Street was probably not a plus for ANY candidate

    EricPWJohnson (cc9286)

  49. 46. Bain did no such thing. Do you understand the PE market? If you really believe what you claim, you should have some links to back it up.

    Ray (8cfb7a)

  50. 46. Also, PE is not Wall Street, they are private companies, big difference.

    Ray (8cfb7a)

  51. “In this case, there is just a hole!”

    AD – is there an “an” missing in that sentence? It makes more sense to me when I insert one.

    Rick Ballard (e3e91f)

  52. I disagree that Hillary Clinton is an airhead. A liar no doubt, but not an airhead.

    If “airhead” refers to someone whose judgment is so bad–so ditzy and juvenile, if not even a bit certifiable–that he or she unwittingly does self-destructive and idiotic things, then I still contend Bill Clinton’s doormat is a airhead. How else to explain Hillary’s ridiculous assertion that as First Lady she had duck to avoid sniper fire in Bosnia, and even when caught in that lie, continued to repeat it to listeners in other public forums?

    Mark (411533)

  53. Ray, there is a “big difference” between Wall Street and private equity?

    I didn’t know Oiram had a brother.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  54. I love the sandy “independent”-types, who then do nothing but spew manbearpig and Kos talking points.

    People always say they were insulted by Gov. Palin’s nomination. Nobody has ever explained why nominating a conservative woman Governor with more experience than Baracky would insult anyone.

    JD (94c827)

  55. Ray,

    I’m no going to link, I can but no one else on this thread cares

    Romney is a Wall Streeter – buys and sells companies financed with the same firms that just went under

    For Romney to be viable he wold have to be a Waren Buffet

    But for a guy who engineers the acquisitions with corporate paper (those same flexible instruments that backfired so splendidly lately) it would be easy to tag him as an insider – and the Dems are not shy about throwing dirt.

    If you look at his impressive list of acquisitions (Dollarama?) most of those firms in fact almost all of the drowned under the weight of a bad deal

    Some headlines of his acquisitions as they are today

    2008-09-12, NXP announced that it is going to restructure its organisation to reduce costs which will result in 4500 job cuts world wide

    EricPWJohnson (cc9286)

  56. Personally I did not like any of the candidates and we could have done better.

    What drove this election was Huck locking up the religious right vote and the independents ended up choosing from the rest who would run as the Republican candidate.

    THE ONE had his Black Identity politics going and the youth vote that has their head so filled with PC mush and no concept of their choice impacts that they were gathered up by the Web 2.0 outreach for the American Idol president.

    Rick also hits it on the single mom types who cross into both of those groups.

    If Obama doesn’t deliver in major ways to what those groups and the nutroots want they will turn on him like a junk yard dog.

    daytrader (ea6549)

  57. Huckabee is the GOP’s “Peanut Jimmeh;” all populist and no skill.

    Romney -the darling of the country-club Republicans- is the conservative mirror of Obama: a spineless politician who says anything which will get him elected.

    McCain is an aficionado of the nanny-state. Take note of his recent accusations against Wall Street, or his brags about how he “takes on Big Tobacco.”

    I’m beginning to think that -God forbid- Ron Paul might have been a better choice. 😉

    There were in reality no good candidates on either side.

    Casey (9ee427)

  58. Biden will serve as Obama’s court jester, all “big, blowhard doofus” without cynical intelligence. More politely, Karl Rove has now rendered the final definition: “Joe Biden has just the right mixture of longwindedness and longevity that passes for experience in Washington.”

    Frau Jedöns (4a19d7)

  59. As a libertarian, I think here’s what the GOP is getting it wrong. They’ve fielded pro-life candidates in the last 5 elections and have gone 2-3. No I’m not gonna say that they need to field a pro-choice candidate. I’m saying this.

    It’s not enough to merely be pro-life on abortion to get “the base” to support you. If you have a list of “conservative views” and you throw most/all of them under the bus save abortion? You’re going to lose. This is why I think Huckabee would fail in 12, and unless Palin shows something more than the argument over the “bridge to nowhere” she’ll have a hard time in 12 also.

    h0mi (d2c7b6)

  60. Comment by Rick Ballard — 11/15/2008 @ 10:18 am

    Well, your mileage may differ; but,
    No, no “an” implied, just a large, empty cavity, completely devoid of sentient matter.

    Another Drew (bb1716)

  61. Comment by h0mi — 11/15/2008 @ 11:01 am

    No, I don’t think it has anything to do with pro/anti-abortion.

    Those three losses were all campaigns of generational differences:
    Bush-41 v Bubba (WW-2 vet, v VN draft-dodger);
    Dole v Bubba (same match-up as above);
    McCain v Obama (VN vet, v a “young” empty suit).

    It is assumed that no pro-life candidate can survive in the Dem Party,
    so where do you suppose any politician with ambition, and pro-life beliefs, is going to gravitate?

    Another Drew (bb1716)

  62. and another thing…
    The GOP has fielded pro-Life candidates in every Presidential Election since (and including) 1980!
    5/8 isn’t bad.

    Another Drew (bb1716)

  63. 55, It appears you have some mental image of what happens that is just very, very incorrect. Please, educate yourself on how PE really works and you will understand Bain and the other PE firms have zero connection with the causes of the financial crisis. They don’t finance with “corporate paper”, they call it private equity for a very important reason.

    Bain did a great job increasing the productivity and valuation of their companies up until very recently, well beyond the time Romney was involved. As I stated previously, the valuations of private companies are suffering just like public companies due to the financial crisis. The actions they need to take to keep fiscally solvent are correct and common during a recessionary period. There is no unexpected or shocking news in that. Plus remember, they are in the business of flipping companies after 3-5 years, they don’t do the long term holds. If the companies they used to own fail years later it is the failure of the new owners, not the PE firm.

    If anything, PE firms are victims of the crisis, not causes. Really, you need to break out of that incorrect paradigm of Bain and other PE firms. There may be legitimate reasons to dislike Romney as a candidate, trying to peg him as some kind of inside wall street banker is a very incorrect one.

    Buffet would be much closer to that mold than Romney. Buffet has been the one who made some monster mistakes in recent years, not Romney.

    Ray (8cfb7a)

  64. If “airhead” refers to someone whose judgment is so bad–so ditzy and juvenile, if not even a bit certifiable–that he or she unwittingly does self-destructive and idiotic things, then I still contend Bill Clinton’s doormat is a airhead.

    OK, I can get behind your point based upon that definition. I define “airhead” in the pseudo-literal sense: someone who does not have any brains and whose beliefs are simply what he/she are told to think by their intellectual superiors. Biden is a great example of this. To me, HRC is very smart (but, I agree, not brilliant) and hyper-devious. She knows exactly what she is doing, and it is coldly calculated and serves an obvious purpose. The fact that her Bosnia comments blew up on her is only owning to the fact that she hadn’t accounted for (1) the New Media which helped spread this story and (2) the Old Media’s lack of interest in carrying her water they way they carried WJC’s water 16 years ago and BHO’s water this year.

    JVW (89c289)

  65. YES, he was.

    Get over it.

    Icy Truth (84d054)

  66. Romney/Jindal 2012!!!

    Please sign the petition. We need Mitt.

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/romneyjindal/index.html

    SED (75e8ae)

  67. It should be: Within 3 months they would have reduced her to a laughingstock with her lies and made up stories…

    Comment by truthnjustice

    “Truthnjustice” What a crock. What are you referring to with “her lies”? You are such a shallow minded liberal, you probably don’t even know.

    She scares you doesn’t she? Because she is a natural communictor and also a genuine American – something not seen in the Democratic party since… since…. damn… since Hary Truman!!

    red (c80113)

  68. Looking ahead, Jeb Bush is very smart and comes across that way.

    ed j (c1cdb1)

  69. It will be several generations before anyone named Bush will be acceptable to the American People,
    let alone the Republican Party.
    GW squandered that legacy.

    Another Drew (a9bf4b)


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