Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Some Thoughts On Why McCain/Palin Lost

As gracious as McCain was in his concession speech, I was stunned to hear him say he didn't know what else the campaign could have done to win. He could have remained the John McCain of 2000 for starters.

I couldn't help wonder if it was an ill prepared statement, certainly not the speech he had hoped to give, or if he really is clueless. What really made this catch my attention was earlier in the evening, before any results were in and polls were still open, the McCain campaign released a series of robo calls, in Spanish, in southern Florida stating that Castro had endorsed Obama and all the insinuations that go with such a statement. A last minute burst of negativity.

Health issues and age aside, I was turned off when McCain, who had promised a clean and honorable campaign, delivered anything but. Obama too promised the same and kept his word for the most part. Negative campaigning works. That's why the more a campaign finds itself struggling, the more negative it gets. Perhaps it has now run its course. But I wonder if McCain and his campaign couldn't see that it wasn't working.

This morning I heard Sarah Palin stating that she didn't think she was of enough significance to have taken votes away from McCain. What the heck is that supposed to mean? She was his running mate! So of course she did unless you were one of the extreme right who found her enchanting. Her personal political emphasis paired with her own rock 'em, sock 'em style of negative campaigning most certainly did take votes away from McCain, just as her inexperience in matters beyond Alaska did.

It is all moot at this point and my thoughts are nothing more than conjecture. However, Obama won convincingly. It wasn't all for his stance on policy as much as it was his demeanor, his intellect and sincerity and his inordinate ability to inspire.

For those who may still be thinking he is too young and inexperienced to be able to govern effectively, just think about the staff he put together and the campaign they ran. Had Hillary done the same she might have prevailed. The same holds true for McCain. Neither maintained control of the campaigns that bore their names.

The emphasis shifts now. Obama told us last night the future will be a rough road for awhile and that we may not all agree with decisions he makes. That would be true of any newly elected President. The most important thing he said, to me, is that he will be honest with us.

That one thing can make the difference between change and business as usual.

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