2008: McCain Falling Apart
Former GOP frontrunner John McCain is seeing his freefall from the top of the '08 Republican heap continue with sharp rebukes of his Iraq strategy and a drubbing in a new poll.
First up; the poll. McCain has been losing ground to the surging Rudy Giuliani in many polls. But it was still hoped for in the JMac camp that he would still beat Hillary in a head-to-head matchup. That had been the case over the last several months. No more. McCain is down to top Dem Hillary by 7 points in the latest Newsweek poll. Hillary give JMac a GOP-in-November sized whupping. That's bad.
Meanwhile, his top nemesis Rudy is going strong. He's in a statistical tie with Hillary in the poll, a solid showing.
But why is McCain tanking so badly? Here's one take:
The fact is, as noted in earlier posts, McCain’s main appeal to Republican primary goers is, or maybe even was at one time, his general election power. But now that that’s getting flushed down the toilet, what else will McCain have to offer grassroots conservative voters other than his annoying insensitivity to social conservatives, his aggravating disloyalty to fellow Republicans, his old age and feeble lackluster stage presence, his glaring lack of executive experience, and his lack of good recent foreign policy experience? The one reason that McCain had so many Republican primary voters willing to hold their noses and put up with him in the first place was because they thought he could win. But now what?
Sounds like some pundits are already set to pack away JMac for the history museum. And why not? Rudy's got broad appeal, a strong bas in Independent and GOP moderates, and he's a (very recent and public) hero to many Americans. McCain '08 might really be imploding.
Harsh attacks on JMac's Iraq plan do not help matters. 2008 Dem candidate Tom Vilsack is piling on, with zingers like "...additional troops would make the Iraq government “more dependent instead of less dependent” on U.S. troops".
The esteemed GOP traitor Colin Powell also bashed the more troops Iraq scenario.
"Let’s be clear about something else, Bob, that gets a little confusing. There are really no additional troops. All we would be doing is keeping some of the troops who were there there longer and escalating or accelerating the arrival of other troops".
McCain and Co. have yet to enter damage control mode, a decision that is far past due. They had to have thought of the very real possibility that JMac's fevered pitch to conservatives and pro-war neo-cons would harm his moderate and independent image, something that was needed to insure that McCain would grab at least the nomination. The right-wing pandering was a waste of time, with GOP conservatives surely never willing to let go of their deep concerns with his conservative credentials on many issues. A move to the right was something that would have served his campaign much better right before the primary, when the prospects of RW's Romney and Gingrich would have been known better than they are now.
Bottom line? How could JMac have ignored Rudy??!!