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Thread: THE best conservative voice weighs in.......

  1. #1

    THE best conservative voice weighs in.......

    [B][SIZE="4"]The Campaign Autopsy[/SIZE][/B]
    [B]By Charles Krauthammer[/B]

    [url]http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/11/the_mccain_postmortem.html[/url]

    WASHINGTON -- In my previous life, I witnessed far more difficult postmortems. This one is easy. The patient was fatally stricken on Sept. 15 -- caught in the rubble when the roof fell in (at Lehman Brothers, according to the police report) -- although he did linger until his final, rather quiet demise on Nov. 4.

    In the excitement and decisiveness of Barack Obama's victory, we forget that in the first weeks of September, John McCain was actually ahead. Then Lehman collapsed, and the financial system went off a cliff.

    This was not just a meltdown but a panic. For an agonizing few days, there was a collapse of faith in the entire financial system -- a run on banks, panicky money-market withdrawals, flights to safety, the impulse to hide one's savings under a mattress.

    This did not just have the obvious effect of turning people against the incumbent party, however great or tenuous its responsibility for the crisis. It had the more profound effect of making people seek shelter in government.

    After all, if even Goldman Sachs was getting government protection, why not you? And offering the comfort and safety of government is the Democratic Party's vocation. With a Republican White House having partially nationalized the banks and just about everything else, McCain's final anti-Obama maneuver -- Joe the Plumber spread-the-wealth charges of socialism -- became almost comical.

    We don't yet appreciate how unprecedented were the events of September and October. We have never had a full-fledged financial panic in the middle of a presidential campaign. Consider. If the S&P were to close at the end of the year where it did on Election Day, it will have suffered this year its steepest drop since 1937. That is 71 years.

    At the same time, the economy had suffered nine consecutive months of job losses. Considering the carnage to both capital and labor (which covers just about everybody), even a Ronald Reagan could not have survived. The fact that John McCain got 46 percent of the electorate when 75 percent said the country was going in the wrong direction is quite remarkable.

    This is not to say that McCain made no errors. His suspension of the campaign during the economic meltdown was a long shot that not only failed, it created the McCain-the-erratic meme that deeply undermined his huge advantage over Obama in perception of leadership.

    The choice of Sarah Palin was also a mistake. I'm talking here about its political effects, not the sideshow psychodrama of feminist rage and elite loathing that had little to do with politics and everything to do with cultural prejudices, resentments and affectations.

    Palin was a mistake ("near suicidal," I wrote on the day of her selection) because she completely undercut McCain's principal case against Obama: his inexperience and unreadiness to lead. And her nomination not only intellectually undermined the readiness argument. It changed the election dynamic by shifting attention, for days on end, to Palin's preparedness, fitness and experience -- and away from Obama's.

    McCain thought he could steal from Obama the "change" issue by running a Two Mavericks campaign. A fool's errand from the very beginning. It defied logic for the incumbent party candidate to try to take "change" away from the opposition. Election Day exit polls bore that out with a vengeance. Voters for whom change was the most important issue went 89-to-9 for Obama.

    Which is not to say that Obama did not run a brilliant general election campaign. He did. In its tactically perfect minimalism, it was as well conceived and well executed as the electrifying, highflying, magic carpet ride of his primary victory. By the time of his Denver convention, Obama understood that he had to dispense with the magic and make himself kitchen-table real, accessible and, above all, reassuring. He did that. And when the economic tsunami hit, he understood that all he had to do was get out of the way. He did that too.

    With him we get a president with the political intelligence of a Bill Clinton harnessed to the steely self-discipline of a Vladimir Putin. (I say this admiringly.) With these qualities, Obama will now bestride the political stage as largely as did Reagan.

    But before our old soldier fades away, it is worth acknowledging that McCain ran a valiant race against impossible odds. He will be -- he should be -- remembered as the most worthy presidential nominee ever to be denied the prize.
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 11-07-2008 at 07:00 AM.

  2. #2
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    Misleading title- I thought CBTNY was posting again.:D

  3. #3
    The Republicans screwed themselves by not standing up for fiscal conservative principles. Thet got what they deserved!

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    [QUOTE=MnJetFan;2846599]The Republicans screwed themselves by not standing up for fiscal conservative principles. Thet got what they deserved![/QUOTE]

    +1

    I still say that if McCain had any balls and came out strongly opposed to the Bailout, he would've won this thing.

  5. #5
    Pretty good analysis, although I take issue with the emerging GOP meme that the economic crisis was some sort of fluke that cost their guy. The crisis basically illuminated the fact that McCain had no economic message or credibility to speak of going into it, and whose fault is that? The whole "shutdown" fiasco also exposed his campaign for what it was: A series of empty tactics with no broad theme.

    I also think the whole "McCain was winning" thing is overblown. His lead peaked about a week after the convention --a very, very common occurance after a successful convention-- and had been declining steadily for more than a week before the crisis struck (pollster.com's chart bares this out), largely because his terrible veep choice imploded in front of Katie Couric. Excitement over Palin, of course, fueled his surge, and it seems that scrutiny of her would have deflated it regardless of whether or not there was a crisis, as was clearly happening already.

    Obama meanwhile had a more consistent, better communicated message throughout, showed greater poise through the crisis and won the debates handily.

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    [QUOTE=Guido Monzino;2846608]+1

    I still say that if McCain had any balls and came out strongly opposed to the Bailout, he would've won this thing.[/QUOTE]

    Agree. At the very least he should have skewered anyone receiving the pork that was added.

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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2846734]Pretty good analysis, although I take issue with the emerging GOP meme that the economic crisis was some sort of fluke that cost their guy. The crisis basically illuminated the fact that McCain had no economic message or credibility to speak of going into it, and whose fault is that? The whole "shutdown" fiasco also exposed his campaign for what it was: A series of empty tactics with no broad theme.
    [B]
    I also think the whole "McCain was winning" thing is overblown. His lead peaked about a week after the convention --a very, very common occurance after a successful convention-- and had been declining steadily for more than a week before the crisis struck (pollster.com's chart bares this out), largely because his terrible veep choice imploded in front of Katie Couric. Excitement over Palin, of course, fueled his surge, and it seems that scrutiny of her would have deflated it regardless of whether or not there was a crisis, as was clearly happening already.[/B]

    Obama meanwhile had a more consistent, better communicated message throughout, showed greater poise through the crisis and won the debates handily.[/QUOTE]
    Agreed. All the economic meltdown did was prevent major GOP infighting as it was scapegoated rather then Palin

  8. #8
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    The Republican Party is (rightfully) Dead.

    The failed to stand up for the things they claimed to represent, they failed to manage Government correctly, the failed to limit spending, they failed to respect personal freedom, the failed to enforce Responsabillity (bailout) and they failed to do a single thing correctly in the Camapaign.

    And if the choices in 2012 are Palin, Huckabee and Romney, I hope, with every OUNCE of my being, that they STAY Dead.

    Conservativism is going to be on a long vacation in my opinion, from National Politics. And the Republican Party is DIRECTLY to blame, at fault, for this.

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    [QUOTE=Piper;2846760]Agree. At the very least he should have skewered anyone receiving the pork that was added.[/QUOTE]

    skewered pork... my one weakness

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    [QUOTE=Warfish;2846771]The Republican Party is (rightfully) Dead.

    The failed to stand up for the things they claimed to represent, they failed to manage Government correctly, the failed to limit spending, they failed to respect personal freedom, the failed to enforce Responsabillity (bailout) and they failed to do a single thing correctly in the Camapaign.

    And if the choices in 2012 are Palin, Huckabee and [B]Romney,[/B] I hope, with every OUNCE of my being, that they STAY Dead.

    Conservativism is going to be on a long vacation in my opinion, from National Politics. And the Republican Party is DIRECTLY to blame, at fault, for this.[/QUOTE]


    Why lump Romney in?

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