Monday, August 9, 2010

Someone still hasn't gotten over the 2008 Presidential Race

The first clip is from the highly publicized "health care summit," where John McCain seemed rueful about having lost the campaign.

The second two clips are commercials that McCain is currently running in Arizona. They portray him as the intrepid maverick he never was. Salon writer Steve Kornacki wrote a great article in April detailing exactly why McCain departed from the mainstream of the GOP in the early 2000s and why he's right back in the middle of the base's ideology now. I want to highlight just three paragraphs:
Was McCain's defiance of his party's leader part of some long-standing ideological rift? Hardly. McCain's congressional voting record had always been reliably conservative -- until Bush had the audacity to beat him in an election. So McCain used ideological dissent to pursue a personal grudge -- and to position himself for 2004.[...]
In the last 17 months, we've seen a similar story play out. When he lost to Barack Obama in November '08, McCain delivered a notably humble concession speech. But the same resentment, bitterness and defiance that was so evident in the early days of the Bush presidency is just as obvious now. With Obama as president, McCain has emphatically reclaimed the hard-right turf that he abandoned when Bush took office, angrily fighting Obama on healthcare, foreign policy, even cap-and-trade (once a McCain pet issue). 
The constant in all of this is hardly ideology. When he lost to Bush, McCain veered to the left. When he lost to Obama, he went far to the right. In both cases, though, he made the most of an opportunity to torment the guy who beat him. And that's a trait we usually associate with sore losers.
Despite all this serious talk, these commercials provide comedic value if nothing else. I really do laugh every time I see them. I know politicians are supposed to "sell themselves," but if these aren't the most hilarious examples of self-worship I've ever seen in politics, I don't know what is. The second one is particularly funny because it assumes that because McCain wants 3000 additional troops, then that's the number we ought to send.

McCain's main objective here is to portray himself as a strong conservative. He's being challenged from the far right by a Tea Party backed candidate (J.D. Hayworth), but it seems McCain is now comfortably ahead in the polls. Who knows, maybe these commercials worked in Arizona.

No comments:

Post a Comment