Limbaugh mentioned dragging him over the finish line several times, and it was absolutely true. Whenever we’d get any momentum going, he’d do the exact thing necessary to destroy it. I’ve said before that the “Look, the Dems are even WORSE!” tactics of the Republicans would backfire on them. Whenever McCain moved grudgingly to the right, his numbers improved. If the old coot had gone home three weeks before the election and not done any interviews he’d probably be in the WH now. Every day I ask, “Lord, why is Barack 0bama President,” and follow up with, “Thank you that John McCain isn’t.” BTW, yes I voted for Sarah and McCain happened to be on the ticket, so don’t say I was the reason 0bama got elected.
I don't believe in conspiracy theories and don't think anyone with a legitimate shot at the presidency voluntarily gives it up, but it's hard to see what McCain could have done different to intentionally blow it.