How McCain wins the US Presidency?

Just added this to the blogging elsewhere section (should show up in about 1/2 hour)… up to now, John McCain (with the heavy burden of the Bush presidency to carry) has not looked like doing other than being an also ran. But the Democrats are in danger of running their two best horses into the ground, leaving the old nag (no offence John) to saunter over the finish line…

  • Dread Cthulhu

    McCain can win the US presidency the same way most of the rest of the folks who won it — by getting a sufficiently large percentage of the electoral college.

    The campaign staff for both of the Democratic candidates are not ready for prime-time, as evidenced by the series of gaffs and firings over the last several weeks and months. All McCain really has to do is stay on message (and teleprompter) and let the stew that the Democratic party has made for themselves bubble over. Until and unless one of these two gets out of the race, its going to be an on-going war between the two camps, with every ugly trope and scandalous bit of dirt they can dredge up being thrown against the wall. The best campaign ads the GOP has run over the years have come from the Democratic primaries — Al Gore, back when he was a moderate senator from Tennessee, rather than a liberal VP, introduced America to Willy Horton, for example.

    The Democrats bumbled themselves into a delegate selection process only a lawyer could love, where outright victory is a near impossibility without the intervention of the super-delegates.

    Current polling (and I will be the first to acknowledge that mileage will vary by the time of the general election) suggests that about 20% of either candidates camp will not support the other Democrat. This will only be exacerbated if some solution to the Florida and Michigan delegates is not found.

    In short, McCain needs to selected his VP wisely, stay on message, minimize the number of gaffes and let the Democrats keep up their intra-party conflict.

  • wild turkey

    ‘In short, McCain needs to selected his VP wisely, stay on message, minimize the number of gaffes and let the Democrats keep up their intra-party conflict.’

    DC

    1. selected his VP wisely. Condi Rice or Joe Lieberman (Gores 2000 running mate) perhaps?
    2. Stay on message. He can read a teleprompter
    3. minimize number of gaffes. ditto 2 above with additional consideration that Dubya might pull off an October Iran surprise to galvanise the republican vote.
    4. Dems keep up their intra-party conflict. IF nominated there is no way HRC can win the november election. The Billary strategy might be that (a) Obama goes belly up in november. she’s done her best so far to ensure this, (b) McCain is a one term president which then (c) gives HRC a shot in 2012

    by the by, reports out of Michigan indicate a Michigan court decision today effectively precludes any chance of Michigan democratic primary.

  • Greenflag

    ‘McCain can win the US presidency the same way most of the rest of the folks who won it—by getting a sufficiently large percentage of the electoral college.

    Mick to win the Presidency you don’t need a popular vote majority although it helps . You do have to have an Electoral College majority at least 270 in 2008 . Your opponent can have 265 Electoral College votes and 500,000 more popular votes and will lose . Mc Cain in 2008 can win by getting a smaller popular vote than Obama (more likely ) or Clinton (less likely) and as you say by keeping out of trouble

    Obama probably can’t win Florida (apart from a Republican Governor you have all those upset Clinton supporters) or Pennsylvania or Ohio (white working class social conservatives will not turn out in numbers ) Those 3 States command approx 70 Electoral College votes . That was part the point I made in an earlier thread.

    McCain now seems to be distancing himself from Bush as expected . Basra and parts of Baghdad are now back in paramilitary hands. Don’t be too surprised if ‘peaceful withdrawal with honour’ comes out of the McCain camp by the time November comes around . Americans will tend to trust McCain to deliver on that than either Obama or Clinton.

    Obama has the money to buy out the superdelegates many of whom will be glad to get the funds to help their personal re election campaigns . And if the Democrats lose the Presidency in Novemeber well that’s too bad .

    What appears to be happening to the Democrats is that the ‘dream ticket’ is turning into more nightmare than dream . The Dems have until August perhaps to cool it or lose it .

  • Comrade Stalin

    With McCain as President, another four years of military insanity beckons, target a-number-one being Iran as McCain famously quipped a while ago. The other factor that’s going to bite here is going to be the economy, and whether or not a sufficient number of people are screwed by credit crunch (and associated repercussions) by the time November comes around.

  • Harry Flashman

    Missing from the analysis is the large number of disaffected Republicans who are deeply unhappy with McCain. With the media concentrating on the Democrat infighting at the moment they are missing the serious rumbling of discontent among the conservative base.

    No one has any idea of how this will pan out come November, will they hold their nose and vote McCain? Or will they simply stay at home as a crucial element of disaffected conservative voters have done in the UK in recent years and leave their political opponents to make a mess of things and hopefully their own side will pick someone more in tune with their own views next time round?

    It’s the big imponderable that is yet to receive the attention it deserves.

  • Pero

    McCain was always going to canter over the line, in the privacy of the voting booth there is no way the majority of america will vote for a black man or a woman (not that majorities count for much in american democracy!!)

  • abucs

    I don’t know much about McCain but if i had a vote i think i’d vote for him.

    Not sure if that makes me racist, sexist, ignorant, a war mongerer, a red neck or all of the above ?

    I suspect i just don’t like to go with the crowd and dislike the liberal media and the leftish promises i grew up with. I think a Democrat will win though.

    If i were a Democrat super-delegate and steeped in political correctness i’d have trouble voting against Obama. He would also bring a lot of people to vote and i think the Clinton camp would support him once it was all dusted.

    As opposed to that though, Hillary won the big states that they will have to take from the Republicans to win such as California. (and possibly that model state of democracy – Florida).

    In a tight race if McCain puts up a good show then maybe Hillary has more chance to win those vital states, but i suspect it won’t be a tight race this time round.

    Prediction – Obama to be the next U.S. President.

  • Merrie

    I think Trimble would be a McCain supporter. Thank goodness for McCain’s sake he did not do anything for Northern Ireland!

  • Alan

    McCain’s successful candidacy is symptomatic of the poverty of ability in Republican ranks. His runaway victory in the absence of alternatives with real political nous and gravitas is nothing to crow about.

    The problem with hoping that he can keep on reading his autocue is that the presidential campaign will take place as much in front of a researcher’s computer screen as in front of a proof-read speech. McCain has to be on top of all the issues and cover all the angles all the time. He will be totally dependent on a GOP machine that still reveres ballsy, simplistic nonsense that won’t wash when America is at war across the world and struggling economically.

    Obama is a different story. Ballsy, but brilliant, he packs a fearsome array of political weaponry that has kept him in this race. I still, however, doubt his ability to walk into the Oval Office in a fit state to govern.

    Obama is a sprinter; fast, but flighty. It is unfortunate that he seems to expend most of that fancy footwork in avoiding former investment decisions and explaining bizarre choices of personal pastor.

    Obama’s collegiate and popular support seem to stand rock solid, but they have become an anachronism. They represent a point in time before his pastor damned America. Belief in the value of those votes has been suspended. Those suspended votes will likely hang Obama should he face McCain.

    It is curse for the Democratic Party that Obama’s pastor has become a force majeure at such a late stage in the contest. They will curse that they have to make a decision to overthrow a candidate with substantial popular support at convention, but the inescapable political logic is that Obama cannot now win the presidency.

  • ozy

    Couldn’t disagree more – the Pew poll just had has Obama up 10 points over Clinton – 49%-39% – and this was well after the Wright controversy struck.

    Obama’s speech on race has had an enormous impact. The CBS poll on the speech showed that 70% of Americans including almost all Democrats agreed with Obama’s analysis on race. Whilst the controversy hurt him somewhat with his potential to attract crossover republican votes, he has actually come out of the week with his position improved among Democrats (corroborated by Pew, and the daily Gallup tracking poll)

    Given that he’s got a 170 delegate lead going into the final lap, and that he’s more than survived the most threatening controversy over his candidacy to date, I think Obama is set fair to win the Democrat nomination – and then, who knows?

    A lot can happen between now and November!

  • Lafcdaio

    McCain was never an “also-ran”!! certainly not since he got the nomination – getting there was his difficulty, but for some time polls had suggested that were he to be the Republican candidate that he would be the biggest threat to the Democrats (particularly Hillary who he consistently polled well ahead of in a head to head). But thanks to a smart campaign, Romney’s collapse and Giuliani’s no-show things have fallen into place for him.

    He was never too tarnished by association with Bush – yes he supported the war, and was an early proponent of the surge, but he is also unequivocally opposed to, for example, torture. He is his own man.

    My big reservation about him would be economics – he openly admits it’s not his strong suit (although he’s a forthright believer in free trade, which is a welcome respite from the increasingly populist fare on display from the Democrats). His argument is that he surrounds himself with experts – although that looks a little shaky since one of these experts, a certain Kevin Hassett came out with this little gem recently: http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2008/03/confidence_men.cfm

    I reckon that Obama represents his biggest threat, he’s proving a pretty formidable character.

  • Wilde Rover

    I envy all of you who can look into your crystal balls and see so clearly into the future.

    Firstly, McCain is not the Republican nominee. That has to be decided at the Republican Convention in September.

    Any number of things could happen in that time.

    For example, the increasing reports of him showing signs of advanced Alzheimer’s could mean that he would be forced to remove himself from the race. And if that doesn’t make him ineligible then his skin cancer could return. The Grim Reaper could have wrapped him in its cold embrace before the Republican delegates have cast a vote.

    Even if McCain manages to overcome his health issues then he still faces a potential problem with the delegates themselves. True, they are pledged to vote for him, but many of the delegates actually believe in core Republican principles and look upon the idea of a McCain presidency with horror.

    The fact that many of those delegates are Ron Paul supporters is also a factor. Assuming he makes it that far and is nominated, McCain may still have to face a Convention that votes for a Ron Paul platform, including repealing the Patriot Act, ending wire tapping, and reintroducing a policy of non-intervention.

    Of course, this is all assuming that the global financial system doesn’t collapse by then, or that the terrorists don’t exploit the weak border with Mexico and stage another attack, or that President Bush doesn’t feel declaring Martial Law and canceling elections is necessary.

    It’s a bit early to be talking about finishing lines when you aren’t sure of the line up, or even if the race will go off at all.

  • Greenflag

    ‘McCain was always going to canter over the line, in the privacy of the voting booth there is no way the majority of america will vote for a black man or a woman ‘

    You don’t know America . It is possible for Obama to win a majority of votes and become President . It’s more possible IMO that he could win a majority of the popular vote and not win the Presidency just like Gore in 04. Clinton has a better chance of actually losing the popular vote and winning the Presidency as has McCain.

    The USA is not Northern Ireland . It is possible to elect a Catholic , a Black , or a woman as President .

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Harry Flashman: “Missing from the analysis is the large number of disaffected Republicans who are deeply unhappy with McCain. With the media concentrating on the Democrat infighting at the moment they are missing the serious rumbling of discontent among the conservative base.”

    Ah, but it doesn’t nearly rise to the same level… and McCain has better pathways to smoothing out those ruffle feathers. Where he has been conservative, he has been reliably conservative and where he has differed, he has usually had an explanation for his position. He has work to do, no doubt, but his problems are surmountable, especially if the “one term president” theory is in play.

    ozy: “Couldn’t disagree more – the Pew poll just had has Obama up 10 points over Clinton – 49%-39% – and this was well after the Wright controversy struck.”

    Polls have been known to be skewed where issues of race come into play, as much as 10% in one case I can think of — admittedly, that was a more local phenomenon, where white voters didn’t want to tell the pollster they’d voted against the black guy.

    Besides, at this late date, with a handful of races left, national numbers aren’t that important. And a poll can be written such that the outcome is known before the poll is taken.

    Wilde Rover: “Even if McCain manages to overcome his health issues then he still faces a potential problem with the delegates themselves. True, they are pledged to vote for him, but many of the delegates actually believe in core Republican principles and look upon the idea of a McCain presidency with horror.”

    Doesn’t matter — all pledged delegates are obligated to vote for the winner of their state on the first ballot. There will be no smoke-filled rooms.

    As for the health issues, a few gaffes and misrememberences does not “advanced stages of Alzheimer’s” make, or else just about every candidate out there, from Hillary’s “sniper fire” to Gore’s “I was the inspiration for “Love Story” to Bubba’s “torched Arkansas churches,” just to name a couple, would be in the nursing home, drooling on the jammies. The cancer is more troublesome, but controllable.

    Wilde Rover: “The fact that many of those delegates are Ron Paul supporters is also a factor.”

    ROFL… yes, all those Ron Paul pledged delegates. Unless McCain and others were horribly feckless in selecting their delegates, Paul has a spare number of pledged delegates and still won’t come close to Huckabee or Romney numbers, even assuming he gets all the unpledged delegates.

    Even if you assume all the delegates not pledged to McCain are Ron Paul supporters, you end up with a 1260 to 556 imbalance (NYT accounting).

  • H Flashman – good point. I was staying with just such a conservative Republican last week who gave me an earful about the whole thing (who also thinks, incidentally, that “unfortunately” Obama is the most able candidate and will probably win). Will he and people like him bite their lip and vote for McCain? – Almost certainly. But will they give money in the way they did for Bush 4 years ago? I don’t think so, and both Democrats have a massive fundraising advantage over McCain.

    I do not agree that it is doing the Demos any harm to have a lengthy primary process. When is it better for the Jeremiah Wright stuff to come out? Now, or in October. All three candidates have skeletons in their closets, Hilary’s have long been out for public view, Obama’s are now being aired, McCain’s are still there for Kos, Talking Points Memo, Billmon and the rest to rake out.

    Notwithstanding that I now can’t see how Hillary has a hope of winning the Democratic nomination, all three remaining candidates are formidable in their way (think of how insipid the Gore-Bush contest in 2000 was for contrast), none are going to roll over and die, but McCain is still the one who has to fight against his party brand and the overall political environment to win.

    People, here and in the MSM, are way too prone to exaggerating the importance of current events. It’s more than seven months to polling day.

  • Wilde Rover

    Dread Cthulhu

    “ROFL… yes, all those Ron Paul pledged delegates.”

    Uh, no. Look again.

    “many of those delegates are Ron Paul supporters”

    Not quite the same thing.

    I was referring to the voting for the Republican platform, not the first round for the nominee.

    As for the concerns over his mental state, time will tell.

    Although the incumbent has shown that being even remotely competent is not required for this particular Punch and Judy show.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    Sammy Morse: “I do not agree that it is doing the Demos any harm to have a lengthy primary process. When is it better for the Jeremiah Wright stuff to come out?”

    History would disagree with you — Willie Horton, for instance, came out during the primaries and was used to crushing effect during the general election. Likewise, Kerry’s anti-war activities, both before and during his political career, were a matter of record, but were deployed effectively against him.

    Sammy Morse: “Notwithstanding that I now can’t see how Hillary has a hope of winning the Democratic nomination.”

    The skullduggery of politics, Sammy, is all it would take. The Dems are top-heavy with lawyers, two major potential swing states are at risk of being lost to the Dems through their ill-conceived process — admit the votes and the delegates for Michigan and Florida and the numbers, both vote and delegate, become much tighter. A lawsuit here, a threat of non-support there…

    Politics is the art of the possible, Sammy.

  • Dread Cthulhu

    McCain will still rule the roost. The majority of the party will not allow Paul to get much harmful into the platform. Paul does not have the juice to do much of anything.

    Hint: If he really had that sort of support, he’d not be more interested in retaining his House seat than he is in running for President.

  • BfB

    Harry F.

    Well put. I see the republican base recognizing the hapless implosion of those nitwits on the other side, and we are starting to warm up again. My man Mitt, taken in at the right time would fit nicely. McCain, though, is still a very bad candidate. When he wins, he’ll get his nuts handed to him a few times, with Juan Hernandez contributing to the problem, and get the bit in his mouth. That is after quelling the ‘racist’, ‘misogynist’, ‘anti-illegal-criminal’, vote fixing, riots. I hear a few armadas may sail from the isles to set the colonies straight again. That is after they burn Holland down for showing that bigoted Fitna business.
    Tsk, tsk.

  • Wilde Rover

    Dread Cthulhu

    “McCain will still rule the roost. The majority of the party will not allow Paul to get much harmful into the platform. Paul does not have the juice to do much of anything.”

    Harmful? I take it you are referring to harmful to the neo-cons who currently control the party, not to the American people.

    “Hint: If he really had that sort of support, he’d not be more interested in retaining his House seat than he is in running for President.”

    Paul is a libertarian conservative. The fact that he has inspired the silent coup going on in the party right now is pretty much enough for him. The activists will make their stand.

    After all, the presidency as it stands is just a meaningless front operation. Bush, the idiot everyone loves to pour scorn on, is the classic example of getting the masses to divert their anger from those most deserving of it.

    That’s not to say that the efforts of those independent lovers of liberty won’t be squashed by the beast, but as you say yourself, politics is the art of the possible.

    Bob,

    “anti-illegal-criminal’”?

    Are we talking about the same John Amnesty McCain?

    I wonder what the riots would be like if the American people knew what his daddy covered up all those years ago.

  • BfB

    WR

    I mashed the anti-illegal thingy. My point was if McCain (Republican) wins the amnesty crowd will still riot in the streets. They have no contact with reality. McCain’s Hernandez advisor answers the question where he stands on letting criminals rob the US blind. He is a wolf in wolf’s clothing. Imho…

  • Does it really matter who becomes the next Commander in Chief of this bankrupt rogue nation? McCain or Obama, Hitler or Himler? Same same.

  • Comrade Stalin

    The fact that many of those delegates are Ron Paul supporters is also a factor. Assuming he makes it that far and is nominated, McCain may still have to face a Convention that votes for a Ron Paul platform, including repealing the Patriot Act, ending wire tapping, and reintroducing a policy of non-intervention.

    Talk about drowning men clutching at straws. I remember your predictions a few short months ago about how millions of Americans were rallying to Ron Paul’s popular message. Then he got his arse utterly trounced.

  • BfB

    DOC
    Pfft, Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies. What a stunning intellectual gambit.

  • Wilde Rover

    More of a forlorn hope than a prediction, I suppose, Comrade.

    But as you said yourself, Comrade, the military industrial complex would never allow someone like that to get elected, or even if they did, they couldn’t actually change anything.

    All that optimism really has been drowned. Now the only thing left to do is to watch the dirty whores shake their money makers until November, when the next gimp gets ready to take their place on the pole.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Wilde Rover, I don’t think Ron Paul’s failure is because of the military-industrial complex. I think it’s because his policies were uncosted which makes it difficult for people to trust him.

    BfB:

    Whatever happened to

    “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door” ?

    I wouldn’t be in favour of an open door policy on immigration, mainly because it wouldn’t work. But your characterization of foreigners, who want work and are willing to put up with bad conditions and low pay to get it, as criminals seems to be rather wide of the mark. If you want to talk about criminals, look up to Capitol Hill and ask them to explain why half a trillion dollars are spent every year on the military. Shouldn’t at least some of that be returned to businesses and ordinary people in the form of tax cuts ?

    I find it hard to get enthusiastic about either Obama or Clinton, either for or against, mainly because the guy hasn’t explained what any of his policies are, beyond “change”. At least I know where McCain stands, although it’s somewhere the USA definitely should not be going.

  • 6countyprod

    Merrie says: Thank goodness for McCain’s sake he did not do anything for Northern Ireland!

    But maybe he did a lot more for NI than we realise. A Slugger thread by Peter Baker on St. Patrick’s Day, 2005 tells the tale of a McCain who knew exactly what the main problem in NI was, and didn’t hold back any punches. http://www.sluggerotoole.com/archives/2005/03/about_that_endl_1.php

    He was also prescient concerning Iraq.

    I think McCain will make a great president.

  • Since the disinformers of The Ford Motor Company are now apparently dragging me on to the scene, I shall offer my two cents.

    Anyone who predicts the result of this campaign with assurance is simply making a fool of him/or her self.

    While it seems that John McCain – who the North Vietnamese should have left to die in one of their ponds, and I shall never forgive them for not having done so – is a clear winner if the Democrats have a fight to a finish, what happens if Hillary finally blasts her way through the Convention on a promise that she will select Bubba – who would really be a Dick Cheney in her administration – as her Vice President?

    I think that it would be bye-bye Johnny.

    And if Obama prevails, I think he will win.

    So there!

  • Basil Brush

    I personally think the longer the Democrat race goes on the more chance McCain has of winning.With the Democrat race being so tight as well they could have trouble representing themselves as a united party behind their candidate.Also if Obama does win the Democrat nomination is is intersting that he didnt win swins state primaries such as Ohio and Florida,