Monday, October 13, 2008

McCain's Last Gamble

At the very beginning of the primary season, there were two hot-button, hyper controversial issues—Iraq and immigration. John McCain went all in on both of these issues—he very vocally supported the surge in Iraq, and never wavered in his support for an immigration plan that included amnesty for illegal aliens. Both of these stands were potentially fatal—had the situation in Iraq deteriorated, or immigration remained an important issue, McCain’s campaign would have been finished.

Fortunately for McCain, though, his gamble paid off. Iraq became a winning issue for him, and oddly, people just kind of forgot about immigration (though it’s hard not to wonder whether there are still all that many “jobs Americans won’t do” in our rocky economy.)

As the primaries approached, everyone knew that either Mike Huckabee or Mitt Romney would win Iowa. South Carolina wasn’t supposed to go for McCain (though it did), since McCain’s 2000 run had ended there, and Michigan was almost certainly going Romney. Romney’s deep pockets meant that he would be competitive everywhere, and Rudy Giuliani’s lead in Florida meant that McCain couldn’t plan on a win there. There was only one state that could jumpstart McCain’s campaign—New Hampshire.

McCain risked everything for the sake of a New Hampshire win. He spent little time in Iowa (which was probably a good idea, given his opposition to ethanol subsidies), and instead spent days meeting as many New Hampshire voters as possible.

Had McCain lost New Hampshire, his campaign would have been finished. And he could easily have lost—he beat Romney by only six points, not a terribly comfortable margin given the high stakes. But he prevailed, meaning that he lived to fight another day.

McCain took another big chance with his selection of Sarah Palin for his running mate. Had the choice backfired, his campaign would have taken a massive hit—Obama got a sizeable bounce from his convention, and McCain needed one himself to keep the race competitive.

Palin provided one. Whatever may be said about Palin, it is undeniable that she has energized the conservative base, and has ensured, at least, that the McCain campaign is never boring. And it seems probable that she will attract at least some former Hillary Clinton voters, with could make the difference in a close race.

When the financial crisis hit, McCain went all in once again—he suspended his campaign, flew to Washington, and threw himself unreservedly behind a bill most Americans opposed, or at the very least felt ambivalent about. His poll numbers dropped. After the bill passed, the stock market worsened. McCain’s stock dropped still more.

For better or worse, McCain’s fate is bound up in that of the bailout bill. If it fails, Americans will remember his enthusiastic support of the plan. Its failure will become his failure, and he will lose. If it passes, McCain will live to fight another day, as he has so many times.

But there aren’t many days left, and McCain needs to ensure if the bailout plan does succeed, it will reflect favorably on him as much as possible. It appears that it is working, at least a little bit—the market rose over 900 points today, which is a good sign. McCain needs to try to take credit for that shift.

Wednesday night, the two candidates debate for the last time. McCain must sell the bailout plan as an accomplishment, and must claim credit for the bill’s success—and accept blame for its failure. McCain must go all in on this issue—if the bailout works, he wins, or at least stays in the game. If it fails, he loses. McCain’s campaign has been a series of desperate gambles, all of which have paid off. McCain needs to win just one more.

23 Comments:

At October 14, 2008 at 5:28 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Good analogy, but in addition to gambling with his actions, why doesn't McCain call Obama on his?

 
At October 14, 2008 at 5:44 AM , Blogger Daniel Ruwe said...

Good question Beth, and the answer is...actually, I have no idea. McCain seems to want to run an "honorable" campaign, and he seems to think that means pulling his punches.

 
At October 14, 2008 at 6:59 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

So very true [about McCain pulling his punches]. And yet, the vast majority of his supporters aren't figuring it out yet. Instead, they continue employing this notion that he's everything they "want" him to be.

He isn't. And, there's very little chance he will ever be.

 
At October 14, 2008 at 8:30 AM , Blogger Bob said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At October 14, 2008 at 8:42 AM , Blogger Bob said...

The Master of DOOM, the McCain Hater, the man with the third party solution... Soapboxgod ... has spoken!

Soapboxgod , I didn't hear any solutions but I hear lots of bull about McCain. Why don’t you either put a sock in it or go out and vote for the Marxist? Go ahead and say something constructive instead of always bitching and moaning! You naysayers make me sick.
I realize that John McCain is not a great speaker, and Obama is, but Obama is full of it and you know it.
I love this country, and so do you, and so does John McCain, I’m not that sure of Obama and his bride.
So I’ve got news for you Soapbox and the rest of the John McCain nay-sayers why don’t you realize and understand is that this election has never been about John Mccain. It’s been about me and you and our families and our lifestyles.
Instead of being merely telling everybody how much you dislike McCain, say something CONSTRUCTIVE that’’s to the point, not something that just doesn’t fly!
We have ONLY TWO candidates running, JUST TWO! John McCain and Barack Obama just in
case you need to be reminded. We have ONE vote. So here is the bottom line. We either vote for John McCain OR Barack Obama, or we sit home... That’s it baby! Either John McCain or Barack Obama will wind being President this year!
That’s your three choices, any other choice is pure unadulterated horse manure. There isn’t any other choice. So you can bitch and moan all you want to it just don't matter

 
At October 14, 2008 at 8:51 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

It seems as though I've struck a chord. You can keep telling yourself that you've but two options if that's all your brain can muster.

You want something "constructive" with respect to McCain do ya? Here's something to chew on...

Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining McCain. Don't tell me that you're not going to "raise taxes" and then come out swinging for a plan to spend $300 billion to buy up mortgages. Who do you suppose actually "buys" them up??

 
At October 14, 2008 at 11:15 AM , Blogger Bob said...

"all your brain can muster"
"Don't piss on my leg"
"Here's something to chew on."


No wonder they call you soapbox!
Big talk from a little man soapbox, you know what that kind of talk means...............????


Nothing but more BS.
Soapbox = The Closet Liberal

 
At October 14, 2008 at 5:03 PM , Blogger Beth said...

Well congratulations my Soapie friend, you have joined me (according to the great Bob) as being a Closet Liberal (capitalized because it is a "label" for those of us who don't bow down to the altar of the GOP and whatever candidate they throw at us!)

Ironically, McCain is the real closet liberal (not in capital letters because I am not putting as label on him, just pointing out how he seems to believe in more liberal premises than many but not all Republicans) but Bob will enthusiastically vote for McCain.

Makes as much sense as an ice cube salesman in the North Pole, but whatever makes you happy Bob, keep ranting.

 
At October 15, 2008 at 3:53 AM , Blogger Erics Eyes said...

"but Bob will enthusiastically vote for McCain."

Well I believe that Bob ir RIGHT!
I will not stab Iraqis and US service members in the back by pretending Obama will end the war.

I am tired of his lies and I am sick of the kids glove treatment Obama has received from the press.

Obama lied about his relationship with Jeremiah Wright and had one contradictory story after another before finally tossing the man under the bus.

When he does that with Mr. Ayers, it will be a pattern.

Obama lied about his relationship with Jeremiah Wright and had one contradictory story after another before finally tossing the man under the bus.

When he does that with Mr. Ayers, it will be a pattern.

Obama lied about his relationship with Jeremiah Wright and had one contradictory story after another before finally tossing the man under the bus.

When he does that with Mr. Ayers, it will be a pattern.

Obama lied about his relationship with Jeremiah Wright and had one contradictory story after another before finally tossing the man under the bus.

When he does that with Mr. Ayers, it will be a pattern.

Obama lied about his relationship with Jeremiah Wright and had one contradictory story after another before finally tossing the man under the bus.

When he does that with Ayers, it will be a pattern. Cannot vote for Obama and will not vote for him.
This stranger came out of nowhere with his flowery speeches that his handlers have given him, promising America great things- without specifying how -and droves hang on every word, believe every word and follow without question. If anyone dares to question, they are shouted down with 'Racist'! Bigot'!
This is very very frightening.
It's time to get the message out to a naive public who are jumping on the "black JFK", "camelot","change", "take back America" bandwagon, without questioning who this man is, questioning his past, his present associates and backers and his agenda.Obama is currently displayed as banner boy on the Project Islamic Hope site. Some of the founders of this organization have been indicted for terrorist support.
He is so pro-abortion that he refused as an Illinois state senator to support legislation to protect babies who survived late-term abortions. In a cold blooded speech, he refused to concede that these babies were "persons'- even though they were fully outside their mother's wombs with their hearts beating and their lungs heaving. On the Illinois Senate floor, Obama was the only senator to speak against the baby-protecting bills. He voted "present" on each, effectively the same as a "no."

Obama's ties to 'slumlord' Tony Rezko

I have done a tremendous amount of research on this man and hw is just not the one that American needs. Sp I am supporting McCain

Here we have a man who was BORN INTO ISLAM, expresses his admiration for Islam and vows to stand with the Muslims in his books, a man whose biggest backers are American Muslim activists! Investigate just who this man is, who his backers are.
Are you aware that one of his biggest backers, Tony Rekzo is being brought to trial Feb 25 on federal corruption charges- and that Obama is
linked?
A man whose biggest backers are American Muslim activists.

 
At October 15, 2008 at 6:13 AM , Blogger Name: Soapboxgod said...

Kudos on a job done eric.

While you've been able to accomplish the quite simple task of outlining all of the very reasons one should NOT vote for Obama, you haven't really accomplished the feat of outlining the reasons one should vote for McCain.

Sorry Charlie but "well he's not Obama" doesn't cut it with this guy.

 
At October 15, 2008 at 7:32 AM , Blogger Erics Eyes said...

“doesn't cut it with this guy”
Who cares?
Frankly, my job is not to convince YOU to vote for anyone. When I write a post I am speaking for myself. So you can do whatever your heart (if you have one) pleases. Go vote for the Marxist racist phoney lair. You won’t get any arguments from me. YOU are going to have to live with him as well as I am.
McCain will get my vote! Barack Obama is a fraud and no way is he going to get my vote.

 
At October 15, 2008 at 9:43 AM , Blogger Beth said...

Not voting for McCain does not mean a vote for Obama, there are other choices people!

 
At October 15, 2008 at 12:48 PM , Blogger Bob said...

Can you understand this? I mean really can you really understand this?

It's either Obama or McCain, there ARE NO other choices, other than a wasted vote. And even that would be a vote for Obama.
You are entitled to your own beliefs and principles, but don't fool yourself, a wasted vote is a vote for Obama.

 
At October 15, 2008 at 2:07 PM , Blogger Beth said...

Sorry Bob but a candidate needs to EARN my vote, not get it by default.

 
At October 15, 2008 at 2:21 PM , Blogger Daniel Ruwe said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At October 15, 2008 at 2:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Beth. The candidate should earn the vote. But I also think that if you don;t vote for McCain, the vote is waisted.

 
At October 15, 2008 at 2:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob is right.. If you don't vote, that's a vote for Obama, there is no question about that.

 
At November 2, 2008 at 8:25 AM , Blogger knowitall said...

McCain tries to call Obama out on lots of things, but it doesn't help when so many media outlets favor him. The elitist illuminati have every media, I mean basis covered.

 
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