We all know the John McCain we have seen in this presidential campaign is not the McCain he tried to embody 8 years ago when he was more of a Straight Talker and even a bit of a maverick in bucking party orthodoxy. I doubt even he is happy with the kind of negative and divisive campaign he has ran, especially since it hasn’t (fortunately) been effective. I figure he has one chance to try to salvage his integrity on Nov. 4 in a concession speech to bring the nation together. Here is what he could say:
With deep felt feelings, my friends, I want to congratulate President Elect Obama on his victory tonight, a result that in many ways is a victory for the nation. This has been a hard fought campaign. At times in the campaign, people in the audience or in the media made comments that were not appropriate and I tried my best to always repudiate them. But let me make it clear once again, here in the spotlight, that I truly believe Barack Obama is man of integrity and courage and the highest of ideals. He is not a terrorist or a socialist or anything but a patriotic American who has chosen to serve our country in its highest office, and I wish him the greatest of respect in this.
Throughout this campaign, Barack Obama and I have articulated the same goals for America, although we may have disagreed on specific policies. We both share a desire for a vibrant economy, strong defense, security and peace, accessible health care, and educational opportunity for all. Above all else, what I have tried to stand for throughout my political career is getting beyond party labels and loyalties to put the interests of all Americans first.
Today we have come together as a nation in our most sacred democratic practice of selecting our next President. I am as proud today as any day in my life to be an American, to have the freedom for all citizens to choose our leader, and on this historic occasion, to demonstrate that America truly is the land of opportunity for all.
As I offer my congratulations to President elect Obama, and thank all who have supported me throughout this campaign, I pledge once again to work together with our next administration and all those who will fight for the best America can be, to revitalize our economy, assure our security, and reestablish our reputation at home and abroad as a world leader and a beacon of hope.
Let me close by paraphrasing from our next President. As we showed today as we came together as a nation to participate in the world’s oldest and greatest democracy, there is not a white American and black America, a rural America and an urban America, a red state America and blue state America, a Democratic America and Republican America...We are one America, united in common purpose and dedicated to the freedom and opportunity that have been a guiding light for over 200 years. Again, my congratulations to our next President (avoid saying "that one"). Thank you and may God Bless America.