Skip to comments.Five Ways for McCain to Beat Obama
Posted on 02/16/2008 4:12:55 AM PST by rhema
On Tuesday night the magnitude of the Barack Obama wave became clear. The MSM pundits eyes lit up and they seized the moment to -- guess what -- predict doom for John McCain and the Republicans in the general election.
How would McCain possibly compete against such an eloquent man? Look at the giant screaming crowds! One even went so far as to agree that McCain was right that Obamas rhetoric was fluff but that it didnt work to run against hope. McCain currently trails Obama in the polls and the huge turnouts in the Democratic primaries suggest that McCain will have his work cut out for him.
But is it really so hard to beat the Senator ranked as the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate? McCain can do five things that will substantially improve his chances.
First and foremost, McCain must make the argument clearly and emphatically: Obamas view of the world is naïve and his qualifications and ability to navigate through dangerous times are entirely lacking. Obama contends that his unbending opposition to the Iraq war is a net plus. That might be true if the election were in 2006 but events on the ground and public opinion, despite Obamas denials, have shifted dramatically. Rather than adjust with reality his view of Iraq remains frozen. The surge has reduced violence, the Iraq Parliament has voted in favor of a partial amnesty bill and new budget and American public opinion has recognized progress.
In an early February CNN poll in response to the question In general, do you think the U.S. military is or is not making progress in improving conditions in Iraq and bringing an end to the violence in that country?" voters said Yes by a margin of 52-45%. If the war was managed badly, McCain certainly can contend that the policy he championed made things better while the policy of immediate retreat which Obama still favors would spell defeat and chaos for American and its allies.
Aside from Iraq, McCain can argue convincingly to conservatives and moderates that Obama is the captive of the liberal civil rights lobby and does not even represent the middle of the Democratic Party. His recent vote on the reauthorization for the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act (FISA) was telling. Obama voted against cloture on the issue of immunity for the telecommunications companies that assisted in terrorist surveillance. Not even liberal Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Mikulski agreed with that position.
In short, not since George McGovern has the difference between presidential candidates been so great. McCain, even his most dogged conservative critics would agree, is suited to point out that this is no time to hand the White House over to a man whose first travel plans will be to the living rooms of the worlds worst dictators. McCain can phrase the question simply: Who do Americans trust to go toe to toe with the world tyrants?
Barack Obama voted against confirmation of Justices Samuel Alito John Roberts. He took exception when the Supreme Court voted to uphold the partial birth abortion ban. He declined to sign the brief by 55 Senator and 250 members of Congress in favor of upholding the D.C. Circuit case invalidating the ban on handgun ownership. He called the Supreme Court decision last year invalidating assignment of children by race a serious obstacle in the way of achieving the vision of America.
In short, Obama looks at the courts through the lens of the liberal civil rights lobby: the courts are there to achieve progress on the liberal agenda that could never be enacted by the elected branches of government. Most Americans do not favor handgun bans, abortion on demand or race-based affirmative action. They do not think the courts are the proper vehicle for imposing that agenda on the country. McCain can make clear how radical Obamas view of the courts is and how out of step he is with most Americans values.
WHAT HAS HE DONE?
His supporters are fond of comparing Obama to John Kennedy, but Kennedy had served in the military, the House of Representatives (1947-53) and the U.S. Senate (1953-1960) before entering the White House. Barack Obama has served approximately 3 years in the U.S. Senate. (Yes, he also was a state legislator for 8 years.) The paucity of accomplishment and the lack of executive experience is laughable.
While Democratic primary voters can hardly be blamed for preferring his inexperience to another Clinton regime, the choice in the general election will be between him and someone who actually has been tested in crisis and has a record of accomplishment. Focus group guru Frank Luntz reports that he can utterly stump his focus-group voters by asking to name a single Obama accomplishment.
While music videos and chants of Yes We can may amuse stadiums of college students and fixate the media, McCains best bet is to point to the stature gap and hope that after another 6 months the Obama-hoopla wears thin. We are, after all, electing a president.
McCains positions on topics such as campaign finance reform and the environment have little appeal for his own partys base but have helped attracted Independent voters who, in many primaries, provided the margin of his victory. Some of them were voters who fled the Republican Party in the 2006 over earmarks and corruption.
The battle for the Independents is a key struggle in each presidential election and for once the Republican seems to have an inside track. For Independents who like bipartisanship, McCain (as conservative know all too well) has a long record of cooperating with the other party. For those who like good government few have done more than McCain to go after earmarks, corruption and pork barrel spending. Framing that issue for these voters is easy: which contender has the ability to fix Washington and which one is as far from the middle-of the-road than any nominee in a generation?
HELL GIVE YOU CHANGE ALRIGHT
The number of American who say we are on the right track grows smaller each month. (The latest AP poll put that number at 25%.) Which is why Obamas change message has resonated, especially with disgruntled Democratic primary voters. McCains task is to explain what will change and why his will be better. Several things Obama will change for the worse: tax rates, the bipartisan commitment to free trade, secret ballots in union elections, and the private healthcare system.
Obama has made clear that he wants to repeal the Bush tax cuts and lift the current cap on wages subject to social security tax. His website candidly declares: Obama supports increasing the maximum amount of earnings covered by Social Security.
He also would like to revisit NAFTA. (His website explains NAFTA and its potential were oversold to the American people.) While he declares his intention to fix NAFTA, the savvier will see that this is code language for placing requirements on other countries to match U.S. wages and working conditions, the very definition of protectionism.
Obama also thinks secret ballots for union elections are just a means for employers to thwart the will of workers. His website describes the Orwellian titled legislation that would do away with the system of secret ballots: Obama cosponsored and is strong advocate for the Employee Free Choice Act, a bipartisan effort to assure that workers can exercise their right to organize. In his world, union bosses will be able to look over the shoulders of workers deciding whether to organize.
His healthcare system will sweep millions of Americans into government run care. Aside from mandatory coverage for all minors (defined as those up to age 25 yrs old) he will construct an enormous government apparatus to determine insurance policies and pricing. (The Obama plan will create a National Health Insurance Exchange to help individuals who wish to purchase a private insurance plan. The Exchange will act as a watchdog group and help reform the private insurance market by creating rules and standards for participating insurance plans to ensure fairness and to make individual coverage more affordable and accessible. Insurers would have to issue every applicant a policy, and charge fair and stable premiums that will not depend upon health status.) It may have another name, but it bears a striking resemblance to HillaryCare.
If you need more evidence of his plans to remodel America, his website has all the details. And details are exactly what McCain should focus on. Change sounds lovely, even inevitable, but once the level of generalities is broken an underlying reality is made clear: Obama is running on a platform that is nothing more than a liberal wish list.
So if the election is about the best video or the most elegant speaker or hope then the Obama wave will likely sweep him into the White House. But if it is about the real world, the future of our courts, the best choice for conservatives and Independents, and the type of change we will have then McCain has a fighting chance.
1. Grow 30 years younger.
2. Go on Prozac
3. Go back in time 30 years and become a conservative
This whole argument falls apart when you consider that Obama will have his base sewn up and will be able to sprint to the center with the media running interference. McCain doesn’t have the base and will spend the whole campaign whipsawing between trying to sew up the base and trying to appeal to independents.
Properly wordsmithed, this could be quite effective. Obama is mirroring President Bush's biggest mistake concerning the war, just 180 degrees in reverse.
Regarding the war, the criticism of President Bush and Sec. Rumsfeld that McCain can powerfully and legitimately make, because he was making it consistently at the time, was that they failed to adjust to the situation on the ground and persisted too long in an ineffective strategy.
Now it is Obama who stubbornly refuses to admit that the situation has changed. It's the Bush of 2005/6 in reverse. But President Bush, who in the final analysis is committed to victory, ultimately demonstrated the ability to learn and change. Obama, who in the final analysis is committed to appeasing MoveOn.org, has shown no such ability.
That's not quite the way to phrase it -- if McCain wants me to write the speech I'll invest some time polishing it up -- but it's got the makings of an effective line. Start with a fair criticism of Bush and turn it into a side-by-side in which Obama's rigidity compares unfavorably to Bush's (belated) flexibility. Get it down to three well crafted sentences and it's a tv ad.
1. Fireplace poker
3. Louisville slugger
5. Tire iron
And this differs from McCain how?
Frankly they can beat each other’s brains out for all I care. Not voting for either one! Not voting period! Lock and Load.
I despise McCain, but in a race against Obama...tough choice.
It may come down to how our chances in Congress look.
This is a nice list. Of course it does not mention the elephant sitting in the room, but abracadabra is so empty mckennedy won’t have to.
It is one thing to hate mccain, but it is just wild swinging foolishness to think he won’t beat obama. He will. If this was Sept. the ratmedia MIGHT have a chance to cover for obama’s emptiness, but it aint and they can’t. The older people will begin to ask questions by the summer and the youth vote, you know the people who showed up in huge numbers to elect president algore and president frenchie, will come out just as strong as they did before.
No mention of what McCain must do to heal the rifts in his own party or the fact that McCain and Obama hold the same positions on amnesty.
I was kind of thinking the same thing. McCain will sell us down the river to 20 to as high as 40 million illegals changing America in so many ways forever.
After garnering a minute number of career base hits with one, I have too much reverence for the Louisville Slugger to see it employed in any use other than America's pastime. It's too hallowed to use on a politician.
Most immediately in the fact that they are all Democrats. After Amnesty how many Republicans will there be in Washington D.C.?
20 to 40 million illegals now. And as soon as Amnesty is regarded as a done deal, we will be flooded with many millions more. There will be no more fence than we have now. Congress will not fund it.
yawn...really this view is getting VERY tiresome...Hey I have my issues with Mccain as well-but c’mon here-OBAMA WOULD BE A DISASTER...but many of you just don’t care...I’ll be swinging on the lever voting for McCain if that is what it will come done to...JEEZZZZZZ!
There's one last chance to stop McCain
Before nominating's done.
In primaries that still remain
Votes rejecting him can stun.
Let's get out! Vote against McCain!
Let's get out! Vote against McCain!
Stop this lib'ral RINO shoo-in!
Our party he would ruin!
Let's get out! Vote against McCain!
tune by John Philip Sousa (1884) for a Republican presidential campaign
words by John McDonnell (2008)
“This whole argument falls apart when you consider that Obama will have his base sewn up and will be able to sprint to the center with the media running interference.”
That could easily be correct. However, once Obama starts running to the center, a lot of his newly found base will bolt. The youthful moonbats that Obama appeals too are as volatile as any voting bloc. As soon as he starts to move center, and they hear him soften his positions on ending the war (he can say whatever he wants, but the reality is that we’ll be there until we can leave, and that won’t be in 16 months)when he says we need alternate forms of energy(but he won’t promise a green economy). In my estimation the far left will turn out to be as shaky for Obama as the conservatives will be for McCain. I do agree that Obama may pull it off behind media interference, but I don’t think he’s the lock that he seems to be at the moment.
Prior to last Tuesdays voting, McCain had won only 31% of the total primary vote and had become the presumptive nominee of the party. What party is stupid enough to nominate its maverick as the standard bearer? Answer: the GOP. McCain gamed the system and won. We will pay for it in November.
“1. Fireplace poker
3. Louisville slugger
5. Tire iron”
There’s also the possibility of “Arkancide.” Remember the mysterious deaths suffered by those who get in the way of the Clintons. Vince Foster, Jim McDougal, Ron Brown, and even their dog Buddy.
That video and those charges, even if true, would only endear him to this current generation.
I wish that were true but most of them have no clue what he is position on anything is. He is the most blank slate everything to every listener con man of a politician ever. When he speaks he is so empty, so vacuous that every listener is able to project what ever they want to believe onto him and believe he is promising it to them. He can say what ever he wants and his fans will simply lap it up. Talk about real mind numbed robots!
I disagree. The last two elections have proven, if nothing else, that the country is split down the middle and the margins of victory for any candidate are slim. Obama will run as the anti-war candidate, and I think the appeal of that is vastly underestimated by the people on this forum, which is something of an echo chamber. If we had found WMD in Iraq it’d be different, but we didn’t. Ask any five people at random about Iraq and you aren’t going to hear “Let’s stay 100 years” from any of them. The Dems and the media will paint McCain as an old, out of touch, intemperate hotheaded warmonger, and that alone will get the youth and the base of the Dem party to the polls.
“I wish that were true but most of them have no clue what he is position on anything is. He is the most blank slate everything to every listener con man of a politician ever.”
Right, and that’s why I think the moonbats will bolt on him.
they want to know that there will be some payback, and he can’t promise that. He’s trying to appeal to the moderates in the middle, who he absolutely has to have in order to win. Being a reader of lots of blogs I know how pissed the Obama True Believers were when Obama said he didn’t see any grounds to impeach Bush on. He’s also said that there’s no reason, should he become president, to start a bunch of investigations. The grumbling has already started among his more rigid supporters. JMHO, but true believers get disenchanted pretty easily and tend to give up. Remember Howard Dean and his Deaniacs? Right at the moment Obamas supporters are going on blind faith because he hasn’t said anything to make them doubt him, but in the GE he will have to court the middle. There’s also the very real possibility that should he get the nomination, Hillary will quietly torpedo him in the GE so she can come back and run against McCain in 2012.
No, it is serious rational consideration of the current political situation in the country and a mature acknowledgment of the personalities and the politics involved.
Simply posting over and over "he will win" is the projection of desperation and fear of the poster onto reality.
Loyalty to a candidate is a fine thing. Blind feverish fanatic adoration of a candidate is not.
VERY difficult for any party to win the WH 3 years in a row. Stevension could not in 1952, Nixon could not in 1960, Humphery could not in 1968, Ford could not in 1976, Gore could not in 2000. The only one to pull it off, Bush 1, road Reagan's legacy in 1988.
Think McCain can ride Bush 2 legacy in 2008?
McCain, old, tired nearly broke 25 year DC insider who is going to be going against an articulate, smooth, 1 term Senator who is out slicking the Clintons in spreading the "Agent of change" BS.
McCain is going to get outspent about 7 to 1. He is going to be running with a depressed base against highly energized Democrat base who see in 2008 their 1st chance to control all 3 branches of Govt in 14 years.
The media is going to be screaming, fraudulently, about the Economy "being in recession" this fall. Obama alone is currently receiving MORE votes in his primaries then all the Republican Candidates combined. etc etc etc etc
Republicans should be working like mad to elect as many Congress critters as possible. It will be their only hope to derail any part of the Leftist freight train baring down on us.
Only problem is that is a total lie. Only people who have been consitent on the war has been Team Bush. McCain has had a different plan each year of the war. You can bet your last dollar Democrats are going to be highlighting McCain different position on Iraq. He only got solid on Iraq last Summer when it was clear the Surge was working.
“Obama will run as the anti-war candidate, and I think the appeal of that is vastly underestimated by the people on this forum,”
I agree with you that most people are tired of the war. I saw a poll recently though that showed domestic issues were the main concern this election. You could absolutely be correct that Obamas anti-war stance could push him to the top. Except i don’t think he can pull off what he’s promising, and I expect McCain to ambush him. As soon as Obama has to take a solid position he will start to lose supporters. JMHO, and I’m not trying to start a flame war but it seems Obama is trying the same thing GWB did. He tried to bring everybody together, and be all things to all groups, and he actually had some success at first, but it’s impossible to hold, and I think Obamas followers are more volatile than the conservatives are.
That's where 100% of our focus should be. McCain is a losing candidate for the general election, whatever he does to gain one conservative vote, he loses two mushy middle votes over.
I'm certainly not going to spend one precious dollar on McCain, and I won't waste a half puff of my breath trying to tell friends, family members, and co-workers to vote for him. I'd rather treat Obama or Hillary as a fait accompli, and strongly suggest that the best part of the Clinton administration was when he was balanced by a Congress from the other party. Surely, there is enough natural distrust of Hillary out there to make this plausible, even to leftward-leaning people who despise McCain. There may well be enough of a squirm factor on Obama to get people to make sure there are grown-ups in Congress for him to work with, and besides, he's promising to work with everybody in government without animosity, isn't he?
Since Congress has an especially low rating, a "throw out all incumbents" movement would be particularly fruitful this fall. Since Rats hold a majority of the seats in Congress, they'd predominantly be the ones swept out. Of course, in very conservative districts that send non-RINO Republicans to Congress, fear of Obama would make sure they kept that representative in place.
The strategies of "Keep Hillary honest, vote for a Republican Congress," or "Give Obama a new Congress to work with, we need fresh air in both elected parts of government," are the only way to begin rebuilding our party from the disaster it finds itself in presently.
You hit the nail on the head. McCain lost before he even gets the nomination. Best chance we have is McCain picking a conservative runnning maker and then being unable to run.
You hit the nail on the head. McCain lost before he even gets the nomination.
That would be great, but McCain is going to pick some old timer liberal rino moderate who’s “next in line” to be on the ticket, and we lose bigtime
My republican daughter is going to vote for Obama. “he’s different”. lolol.
I do agree with my daughter though that if Obama is elected the republicans and blue dogs will stand in his way. THAT could be a very good thing.
If not, it will be a carter re-do.
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
You are right. You can see the naivete in the crowd’s faces at his rallies. It’s like Oprah’s audience making fools of themselves for her givaways on her “My Favorite Things” shows. Obama is Santa Claus.
No flame wars here. We’re both prognosticating, and your guess is as good as mine. It’s true that the youth vote usually doesn’t show up at the polls and the elderly vote does. That could make the difference, although, so far, the youth vote is showing up in the primaries.
This election is going to break new ground on a lot of fronts. It’ll be the first minority, either black or female, vs. the first Republican trying to win without the full suppport of his base. Nobody knows how that’s going to play out.
Exactly, unfortunately. McCain is the worse candidate the GOP has ever chosen. He is worse than Bob Dole who was a good guy at least and did not stab Repubs in the back while in the Senate.
My 18 year old son will vote for Obama also. If you go back and listen to some of the Reagan speeches, you will note that Reagan did not talk in specifics-like Obama. He was criticized for this at the time.
Americans like to hear about hope and prefer an optimistic message. I am a Repub, I will probably not vote for the president this year. However, when I hear laundry lists about what a person will do, the cost etc. I think how can anyone really know specifics before being elected. Tell me where you want to take the country, not the nuts and bolts of the thing.
McCain is not believable and can do nothing to win my vote. He has no GOP support (less than 50%). In my opinion, he would be worse than a Democrat-colludes with Dems and forces/gives cover for Repubs to go along to get along passing a Dem agenda. No candidate who has show such disregard for the first amendment (McCain - Feingold) will ever receive my vote.
You are correct about that. It is really funny listening to Rush’s latest Obama parody, a commercial. (One like the Democrats are running.) of Liberal’s reasons for voting for Obama.
The first time I heard it, I needed oxygen to recover. It is so brilliant and intelligent that it should be made national.
Have you heard it? If not, listen to Rush, he will play it. It is one of his biggest hit parodies.
Juan McCain came right out and said he doesn’t need Conservative voters to win the primaries. But of course after the statistics came in and he found out just how many Conservatives out there refuse to support him, he changed his tune. He also sees the more than double turn-out for the Dems.
He started thinking that maybe he might need us on his side after all. Hence the latest beg session from his campaign to convince us he is really Conservative. (Most of the time.)
Well, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on ME!
The man is an empty suit making hollow promises to get elected. His corrupt character will go back to it’s old self if the unthinkable happens and we help elect him.
Like I said before; Fool me once..........
That means we would have to vote for Huckabee..........
NO OPTION, NO WAY!
This election is not about “party”, it’s about “country”. The Clintons would be very bad for the USA, Barack Hussein Obama would be a disaster. It’s time to grow up and realize there is something bigger than ideological “purity” at stake. An Obama presidency would be the end of America as we know her.
You got it...first order of business for Pres. McCain would be to teach those uppity conservatives a lesson by bringing back fairness doctrine. Wake up Repubs- McCain is more dangerous than either Dem candidate. They would be reined in by Repubs-but not Johnny boy the maverick. He would spit on Repubs and cater to Dems as usual.
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