Skip to main content

We know John McCain likes to gamble (craps is his preferred game). And we know when he's losing, because he always does something unsettling to, as Richard Wolffe put it 'upset the chessboard'.

When Obama nailed his acceptance speech, McCain sensed an impending loss and went for the Hail Mary with Sarah Quayle Palin. We said at the time it would prove to be a disaster for McCain in the long run, and we were right. All the polls not only show her popularity dropping (below Obama's and below McCain's), they also show majorities and pluralities coming to the conclusion she is not qualified to be President. That drag on the top of the ticket was not a 'game-changer', and how much of a drag is only now becoming clear to the talking heads.

Similarly, McCain sensed he was going to lose this election because of his own statements about not being an economics expert, that the 'fundamentals were strong' on a day the market was tanking, on association with Phil (Americans are a bunch of whiners) Gramm and other economic advisors who so clearly had only disdain for ordinary Americans, and on general anger at this administration for getting us into this mess. Given that, and his poor poll performance, he went to the well to rail against the librul media for not being campaign stenographers, and when that didn't work, he tried to suspend his campaign and cancel both his and Palin's debate as if it weren't important for the American people to see the candidates side by side.

In fact, all he accomplished is to make Obama look Presidential, and himself and his sycophants look panicked. Americans don't want an unsure hand at the wheel as President, and his outbursts (fire someone, inject presidential politics into the work of Congress) are hardly reassuring as a measure of Presidential temperament.

In the meantime, the media is getting out of the habit of rewarding bad behavior by crediting McCain with desperation in the form "boldness". That is not something that wears well over time. Still, media people have to get their heads straight about what matters.

McCain's campaign has been remarkable in its ability to -- in the words of NBCs Tom Brokaw -- engage in guerilla political tactics, which allow him to win political battles that on paper he shouldn't be winning. And this debate gambit is the latest example of this (following his town hall challenge the day after Obama clinched the Dem nomination, and even his pick of Sarah Palin). But while McCain has proven adept at winning these battles, can he ultimately win the war?

What matters is the war, not the battles. McCain's tactics have completely eroded his brand as an honorable campaigner. There is no getting that back. That means when McCain in retrospect lies about how important he was to the Congressional bailout process, it won't stick. he's full of these gimmicks, and everyone knows it (see David Letterman, see the View). By the way, if media wants to claim that McCain 'had to do this' because he was losing, then they owe us the honesty of telling us he was losing. Funnily enough, they never do that part. No matter. We do.

Bottom line: this not a guy we want anywhere near the WH when it matters. And if you want to know why, just watch what happens and how McCain acts when he's losing. It's not pretty.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Sep 25, 2008 at 09:40 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site