Thursday, November 13, 2008

John McCain's return

In the last two days of the presidential campaign John McCain twice interrupted somewhat vulgar crowds with calming comments, one time saying "my opponent is not a Muslim" and another time "my opponent is a good family man". Unlike his running mate the John McCain we once knew was uncomfortable with what his campaign had created. His concession speech was gracious. Now he is beginning to make the interview rounds, speaking for the most part with candor and good humor. This observer, however, is reminded of words in a famous book that is focused on a subject other than politics which observes "He is like the farmer who came up out of his cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife, he remarked, 'Don't see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain't it grand the wind stopped blowing."

After running a Rove/Atwater style campaign for three months focused solely on attacking his opponent with lies, innuendo, and half truths, inciting the worst in his audiences, and claiming foul when Obama ran adds that simply questioned his policies, McCain seems to think that all can go back to the way it was. After choosing a VP candidate that was completely unfit for the job and putting her on the national stage, after his stunt of suspending his campaign for the Treasury rescue and sabotaging the first crucial effort at showing decisiveness on the part of the U.S. government, after charging hard right on issues on which for years he had been a refreshing Republican voice of moderation, McCain wants to go back and reclaim his reputation for straight talk and integrity.

It's good to see him back, or trying to come back, but it will take more than a few days or weeks to recover what he has lost.

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