When John McCain won the Republican nomination, and Barack Obama won the Democratic side, we at WinkestLink were delighted. We thought the two best candidates had emerged from the muck, and America would be treated to a higher level of political discourse than we had been during the previous two elections.
Obama essentially came from nowhere and, with the strength of a solid candidate and an extraordinary organization, managed to beat the virtual ‘sure-thing’ candidate, Hillary Clinton.
The already-conservative McCain had to fight his way through a blizzard of even more conservative candidates. To defeat them, he adopted more conservative stances than he had ever held in his life, and professed complete allegiance to many far-right ideas. WinkestLink was not bothered by his conversion, assuming it was necessary on a temporary basis to just sew up the Republican nomination. We thought he had only temporarily set aside the ‘maverick’ that we knew and loved. We assumed that, once the nomination was sewn up, he would be smart enough to express his more moderate views in order to gather up the middle of the road voters for the general election. Any campaign manager with more than two cents worth of brains would have forced him to play to the middle.
A NOTE TO OUR FRIEND JOHN:
‘Maverick’ means little if you hire lobbyists to run your campaign. Lobbyists? C’mon John, what were you thinking? They MUST be great as lobbyists, because they sold you on hiring them.
John, they SUCK at running a campaign.
We used to think you were very smart, and we even bought into the ‘maverick’ thing, but you let the lobbyists pull you further and further right. They insisted you dwell on the Iraq War, as if that would be a winning strategy. They talked you into dwelling on terrorists and terrorism, as if this was 2004 all over again. We know it worked for Bush, but that was four years ago…. The country wants to get past (and OUT OF) Iraq.
You stress your wisdom, but we don’t see evidence of your growth. You must change and improve John.
You and your VP candidate use the word ‘maverick’ repeatedly in all of your speeches, then you display nothing that shows your crowd you are a maverick. During an economic crisis, with budget deficits at record heights, you promise tax cuts for everybody. This is not ‘maverick’, this is ‘panderer’. A maverick would be brave enough to stand up and say “We can’t give tax cuts to everybody because we must pay our bills”.
Vote-grubbing Pol 1 – Maverick 0.
We are hesitant to discuss age, because we DO value wisdom, but you seem stuck in the past. You are doing your best to distract us by telling us Obama cavorts with terrorists, but this tactic only works with people who scare easily, and you already HAD their votes.
YOU NEEDED THE MIDDLE.
Your only (sort-of) effort at the middle was to call Obama’s tax program ‘socialist’. We guess it is socialist because it adds a bit of tax to those who struggle to get by on more than $250,000 per year. (Brief lesson John: ALL TAXES are a redistribution of the wealth. Unless you plan to eliminate all taxes, then YOU are a socialist.)
The Republican National Committee is distributing a mail piece with the bold word “Terrorists” on the front, and it opens to a big picture of Obama with the caption “Not Who You Think He Is.” John, you said you are “absolutely” proud of this ad. Is this the “respectful campaign” you promised?
We like Cindy, John. We wonder if she too thinks your campaign managers are worthless. We wonder if she sometimes wants to slap you and say … “Snap out of this! Stop listening to your moronic advisors! They are killing your one decent shot at the presidency.”
But it all really comes down to you. Not your advisors, not your wife, not George Bush (as much as you would like to blame him), not even to the economy.
It is YOU. You make all final decisions. You had the chance to run an uplifting / maverick campaign, and you elected to go hard right. We believe you could have won this race, but you made the fatal decision to go right – right – right – negative – negative – right – negative – negative – negative – right and negative.
Dividing the country into ‘Real Americans’ versus (fill in the blank…terrorist-lovers, big cities, Hollywood, the media, educated elite, etc, etc) is also no longer a good strategy. You always talk about Democrats using class-warfare. Sorry John, “Real Americans vs Whoever” is class warfare. All Americans are real Americans. Stop dividing us into “Us” and “Them”. Smearing/trashing your opponent just doesn’t sell as well in ’08 as it did on 2004. Using this old tactic is unappealing, and shows a decidedly un-presidential (almost childish) side of you. It also proves that age and maturity do not go hand in hand. You must change and improve John, but it is probably too late for this campaign.
Your legacy shrinks every day, along with your chances of winning.
You have no one to blame but yourself.