Here are a dozen, guaranteed, money-back reasons why John McCain won’t be the next president. (I can only offer a limited-time, money-back guarantee, since unfortunately I can’t control world events.)
1. The McBush factor. McCain’s support of the Iraq War will make it impossible for him to break from Bush, the most unpopular president in living memory. The photo/video of McCain hugging and being kissed by Bush will become increasingly embedded in the collective consciousness of the American people as the months roll on. See the McCain on Bush YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U5KZzgaB2k&feature=related
2. The Republican factor. Yes, McCain is a Republican. He will not be able to deny this fact. Currently, this is not the best party to have behind you in a push to the White House. Witness the recent loss of three traditionally Republican congressional seats and the declining number of Americans willing to identify themselves as Republicans. And then there are the comments of Congressman Tom Davis. “The political atmosphere facing House Republicans this November is the worst since Watergate and is far more toxic than it was in 2006” (NY Times, May 15th, 2008).
3. The Last War Syndrome. McCain and the operatives running his campaign are like generals fighting the last war. They are still convinced that negative advertising will be as successful against Obama as it was against Kerry. However, “The Times They are A-Changin.” And this leads to the next factor.
4. The Change Factor: Hillary tried experience, but this race is about change and the future. McCain appears to be operating a time machine that has only a reverse gear.
5. The Money Factor: Obama can raise a lot more, and a lot more quickly…..enough said.
6. The Age Factor: McCain’s age will hurt him. (I am not claiming that this is fair, but it seems to be a fact. Older voters are especially concerned about McCain’s age.)
7. The Not So Straight-talk Factor: McCain has built his reputation on being a man of principle. This has two features: he believes in something and he sticks with what he believes in. McCain has recently begun to backpedal on principles and commitments. He is vulnerable to being viewed as a flip-flopper, if not dishonest, which will undermine his hitherto greatest strength. See “The Carpetbagger Report” for an extensive list of McCain’s Flip-flops.
8. The Organizational Factor: The evidence thus far suggests that Obama has a far better campaign organization. There will be a volunteer gap, that is, Obama will have a lot more of them and they will be more enthusiastic than McCain’s campaign workers.
9. The Skeleton Factor: The Keating Five and lobbyists, need I say more.
10. The Anger Problem: It’s real.
11. The Crass and Crude Comment Problem: A corollary to the anger problem. He has made outrageous, crude, sometimes vile remarks, and most Americans don’t know about them, yet. For examples, see article here.
12. And last, but not least, The Lack of Background in Economics Factor. McCain has acknowledged that he needs to read up on economics. Not great for building confidence in a candidate in the midst of a recession.
Okay, that’s twelve. But let’s make it a baker’s dozen.
13. The “My Friends” Factor. I don’t believe that Americans will be prepared to live with four or eight years of being addressed by John McCain as, “My Friends,” especially when it is followed by that rather strange little grin.
UPDATE: 8/30/08 Due to McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as his VP, I am afraid that I must add another point to this list, even though it takes it beyond a baker’s dozen. (I have been tempted to add other points, but this one is too big to resist.)
#14. Palin will eventually prove to be a bad choice for VP, especially after McCain promised to be very careful in his selection due to his age. Given the sheer political nature of this choice (i.e., to gain votes), he will have to give up his slogan, Country First. Can you imagine the totally inexperienced Palin eyeball to eyeball with Putin? How about eyeball to eyeball with any senator, except for Alaska’s Ted Stevens, in the Senate? ( Just think for a moment about how the debate with Biden is going to go.) Hey, John, your answer to every problem is not to pick a pretty woman. Just because Cindy helped put expensive shoes on your feet….See “McCain Just Lost the Election with a Hail Mary (or Political Ambition 21, Country 0)” Link Here.
UPDATE, September 19, 2008. Today I supply a brief point by point rebuttal to a commentor who disagrees with my list of reasons. See, Comments. Btw, “A Dozen Reasons Why McCain Won’t Win…” was originally published on May 15, 2008. I believe that the list is holding up pretty well. Even some of the points that have looked like they may not be on target in the past couple of weeks–for example, #4 regarding Change–should hold up as the race continues. (In the case of #4, McCain will not be able to sell himself as the change candidate. The economy will take care of that. )