John McCain

John McCain, Loveable Loser

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On Sunday, still energized from blaming World War II on Ron Paul, Sen. John McCain picked up the endorsement of New Hampshire's conservative Union Leader newspaper.

We don't agree with him on every issue. We disagree with him strongly on campaign finance reform. What is most compelling about McCain, however, is that his record, his character, and his courage show him to be the most trustworthy, competent, and conservative of all those seeking the nomination. Simply put, McCain can be trusted to make informed decisions based on the best interests of his country, come hell or high water.

It got buzz-a-plenty, but how much will it matter? Howard Mortman points out that the paper has a record of endorsing no-hope paladins of the right who'll stick their middle fingers high and wag them at the establishment.

1972 — endorsed John Ashbrook (did not win the NH primary)

1976 — endorsed Ronald Reagan (did not win the NH primary)

1980 — endorsed Ronald Reagan (won the NH primary)

1988 — endorsed Pete DuPont (did not win the NH primary)

1992 — endorsed Pat Buchanan (did not win the NH primary)

1996 — endorsed Pat Buchanan (won the NH primary)

2000 — endorsed Steve Forbes (did not win the NH primary — John McCain did)

Two of those losers lost by a nose, Buchanan '92 and Reagan '76. Still, we're looking at three and a half decades of contested primaries and only two elections when the Union Leader endorsee won the primary, and one when he was elected president.

Actually, the McCain rationale sounds a lot like the Forbes argument of eight years ago.

Steve Forbes is not charismatic. (Some would say he looks like a geek.) But he's also not a phony. Ask him a question, you'll get a thoughtful answer, not a soundbite. He is one tough, smart customer who can be the strong, principled leader America needs.

Also… if McCain's such a straight-talker, what happened to the guy who the paper pilloried in 2000?

McCain… wants big government to take over even more of our decisions. Campaign finance reform is allegedly of great concern to McCain. Unfortunately, and this is especially sad for his younger supporters, it is pretty clear now that McCain is a phony on this issue. McCain wants it both ways. He campaigns as the golden knight who will "reform" political fundraising, even as he thumbs his nose at the voters by continuing to take big corporate money AND still doing favors for those companies by leaning on the government agencies that are supposed to regulate them.

When he was electable, the paper shunned him. Now that he's losing, the paper figures McCain would make a good protest vote.

NEXT: Banned in Boston

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  1. Ed Muskie is crying in his grave. (Or alternately he’s wiping some melting snow off his face.)

  2. I have never trusted McCain.In truth He belive’s we need him to think for us.Of course ,I’ve never trusted anyone who makes a career out of being in congress.

  3. still energized from blaming World War II on Ron Paul

    I don’t know how McCain managed to get “energized” by that whole thing. With the exception of his Dr. Paul attack, he looked about as energized as a recent release from the Hanoi Hilton.

    (boos from crowd)

    What? Too soon?

  4. It was sad and amusing to see how “energized” the Great Pink Chipmunk was by his astounding historical ignorance, and by the continued failure of the MSM to call him out on it. I suppose he believes that Pol Pot caused the Vietnam War also, if we follow his “logic”.

    Go back to hoarding nuts for the winter, Great Pink Chipmunk —- you are a laughingstock, and the American public rejects you!

  5. We disagree with him strongly on campaign finance reform.

    Only right-wing fascists are against campaign finance reform. You know, those right-wingers with their long history of free-wheeling, anything goes, devil may care attitude…

  6. It’s the right-wing version of the best-as-enemy-of-the-good spite that caused the cranky 2000 American left to support Nader and help Bush win (or lose very narrowly, whichever story you prefer).

  7. McCain may be energized by his smack at Paul, but his polling numbers aren’t. In the Rasmussen poll released today McCain fell a point and Paul is up to 7% nationwide.

  8. The best part of the whole debate was when John McCain blamed WWII on the people wanting peace instead of the people who launched preemptive wars, and the audience booed him roundly.

    There is hope for America after all.

  9. An interesting point about the polling. When this whole circus kicked off several months ago, I could swear that when the MSM would give the poll numbers they would show the top four candidates. This morning they only showed the top three. I’ll call it “suspicious.”

    And please, no comments about my foil hat being loose – it has a chinstrap.

  10. To be fair, the quality of Republican candidates has seriously gone downhill in the past eight years. John McCain only looks better to them this time by comparison.

  11. To be fair, the quality of Republican candidates has seriously gone downhill in the past eight years.

    I’ll go along with that.

  12. Sorgatz –

    Except in this case, the non-Paul Republican nominee is not likely to be the good.

    By any reasonable libertarian measure, the first Clinton administration was vastly superior to W’s administration, and vastly superior to what we’re likely to get from Rudy, Huckabee, McCain, Romney, or Thompson. [OK, MAYBE not Thompson, but he won’t be the nominee either so it doesn’t really matter.]

    So we have no grounds to think that the best is the enemy of the good this year. The best is the enemy of the truly shitty this time, to the benefit of the merely mediocre.

  13. Who would have thought we’d live to see the day when the Union Leader would support a liberal Democrat for the Republican nomination. While they certainly don’t appear to have a great track record at ‘picking winners’, they were usually at least attempting to pick a conservative candidate. I don’t know what is motivating them on this endorsement. Certainly the endorsement itself does not really answer the question.

    It seems like the transformation of New Hampshire into a county of Massachusetts is now complete. Fred Thompson is one of the few real conservatives running in this cycle. I suggest conservatives take a close look at Fred’s positions on the issues. Once they do, I don’t think they will need a paper to tell them who to vote for — Fred is the obvious choice.

  14. It seems like the transformation of New Hampshire into a county of Massachusetts is now complete. Fred Thompson is one of the few real conservatives running in this cycle. I suggest conservatives take a close look at Fred’s positions on the issues. Once they do, I don’t think they will need a paper to tell them who to vote for — Fred is the obvious choice.

    I was down on Fred at first thinking he was another “Compassionate Conservative”, but I’ll admit I was wrong. I really think hes the second best choice besides Paul in the Republican primary. Just having a politician mention the Tenth Amendment is refreshing to say the least.

  15. That’s pretty sad when the best that the Republican Party can offer is Fred Thompson.

    ( I don’t give the party credit for Ron Paul. )

    IDL

  16. McCain is trying to rewrite history with his version of how Hitler came to power and how WWII started. Sure, we never lost a battle in Vietnam, but it still doesn’t mean we lost the war. Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran? This man is dangerous.

  17. “Straight talker”?

    After what Robertson and Falwell did to him in 2000, this time around he went crawling to them on his belly like a whipped dog begging for their imprimatur. If he’d been any further up Falwell’s ass, they’d have had to bury them together.

    And after the despicable, slanderous push-polling Bush’s surrogates did in 2000, McCain endorsed the swiftboating of Kerry.

    McCain, not to put too fine a point on it, is beneath contempt.

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