Friday, October 10, 2008

The "Real" McCain Emerges

I have generally felt that John McCain is a good man, an honorable man, and a man who genuinely is a straight-talker who wants to do what is best for our country. I have also felt that McCain's campaign seemed, at times, at odds with McCain's own moral inclination. Tonight, McCain took a step away from the campaign who used Bill Ayers and who tried to link Barack Obama to a domestic "terrorist", knowing that terrorist does not connote a white intellectual but a minority, a Muslim, and someone who hates America. Tonight, Senator McCain took a step toward the McCain of old, the McCain I could personally admire even as I disagreed with a majority of his positions, when he said, "No, ma'am. He's a decent family man, a citizen I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that's what this campaign is all about" when a supporter of his said that she did not trust Obama and that she knew he was an Arab.

What I found interesting about the film I saw, on MSNBC, was how subdued McCain seemed and how genuinely broken he looked when he had to defend his opponent's patriotism and his comment that Obama "is a decent person and a person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States". It was clear that McCain still feels as though he is the best man to run the nation. He said so at his rally. But what also became clear, or seemed to become clear, to McCain was that this wasn't about him so much as it was still about Obama. These people showing up to his rallies are not necessarily McCain supporters so much as they are people who do not like Obama, who are frightened of Obama, are worried about Obama, and who fear Obama because he does not - in fact - look like all of the other guys on our money. That revelation seems to have taken some of the wind out of McCain's sails; I feel badly for him because of that, because I truly do not think McCain is racist or intentionally playing to a racist meme even if that is the meme his campaign and Governor Palin are attempting to conjure up.

I have some reservations about McCain as a politician lately. I have been wondering where the McCain of old had gone. I hope that if and when he loses, the Rovian politics that has been the driving force of our political elections since before Rove (I call it Rovian simply because Karl Rove did it better than anyone before or possibly anyone in the future) will die. I want politicians to look at this campaign (and hopefully the next one) as an example of how to run a winning campaign, and how not to run a losing one.

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