Forgive me for being a little premature, but I don’t see any scenario in which John McCain ends up winning in 2008. He’s done. His campaign donations were pitiful compared to his GOP and Democratic rivals. Of all the people in this race, McCain should be second only to Hillary in terms of an election machine ready to raise money and sell him to the undecideds. McCain has been chomping at the bit to be president ever since his BFF Dubya’s campaign started rumors that his daughter is the love child of a prostitute, yet with 6-7 years to get his plans together and the kind of media recognition that any other candidate would kill for, this early in the race, he should be the one kicking ass while the newcomers struggle to build up their campaigns, not the other way around.
Even worse for MaverickTM is that his phoniness is on display more and more with each passing day. His whole persona was carefully crafted on the notion that he would use his “straight talk” to speak truth to power, that he alone is tired of the partisan games and the politics of personal destruction and any other cliches he can squeeze in there. But all the heartwarming rhetoric in the world couldn’t stop him from looking like a goon when he took his stroll through Baghdad last week. You can’t be an out-of-touch backer of an unpopular President and a modern-day Mr. Smith who can be counted on to rise above politics. Not only does it run against the script you’ve been writing, but it just makes you look pathetic.
McCain’s campaign seems convinced that it can’t win without kissing some conservative ass, yet each move is just alienating both sides further. Conservative voters have seen through McCain’s centrist act for years, which is why, despite his recent pandering to “the base”, he seems to have gotten so little support thus far in the primary season. And it’s just gonna get worse. The only question in my mind is whether he’ll be wise enough to pull the plug in the next 6 months of if he’ll have to suffer a humiliating defeat before realizing that he can’t be a partisan and a rebel at the same time.