We are well into the post mortem phase of the 2008 US Presidential election. McCain is clearly the loser. Steve Sailer suggests what McCain might have done to win.
As you may have noticed, John McCain hasn't had any kind of theme to his campaign. He can't go after Obama on what Obama is vulnerable on because that's all tied into race, so Obama gets a free pass on that.
What John McCain should have done in this race is embrace his Grumpy Old Manness and run as the we've-got-to-live-within-our-means candidate. Run against the whole Debt Debauch, the no-money-down culture, the get rich quick attitude. Run against Bush's campaign against down payments.
Don't run in favor of "regulation," run in favor of "thrift" and "prudence," on old fashioned non-ideologue conservatism.
I am not convinced we would have been better off with McCain as President. Both McCain and Obama have such big downsides that it is hard to tell which would be worse. But I like Steve's idea because this is a message that the American people really need to hear. The political support for "no money down" from both sides of the political aisle deserves to be called out and highlighted to the American people. They need to be made extremely aware that this was done and that this flies in the face of common sense.
The problem is that while McCain likes to think of himself as a maverick he's not deep enough to recognize what is wrong and make fundamental criticisms of his peers in our elites. That's a shame because a lot of easy pickings are on display.
Audacious Epigone points out that more Democrats support McCain than Republicans support Obama.
"Republicans for Obama" and the various media reports that Obama will appeal to many GOPers aside, McCain has greater support among Democrats than Obama does among Republicans. A Pew survey taken earlier this month shows 10% of registered Democrats supporting McCain, while 7% of registered Republicans support Obama.
Those figures are nearly identical to what occured in the '04 Presidential election, when 11% of Democrats voted for Bush and 6% of Republicans voted for Kerry, and also in '00, when 11% of Democrats voted for Bush and 8% of Republicans voted for Gore.
But which side is more demoralized and less up for even going to vote? The Democrats seem all pumped up. Many are thrilled at the prospect of voting for such a novelty. Many Republicans are demoralized by the Bush presidency and thoroughly unthrilled by the Iraq war.
Still, McCain has one thing going for him: Obama's image has gotten excessively inflated. Obamamania has made him vulnerable to a counterattack that undermines Obama's pretensions. Obamamania worked better in the Democratic primary than it will in the general election.
But Obama has something really big working for him: recession works against the incumbent party. But most of the times when the incumbent party lost during a recession the president or vice president was running. Does McCain pick up the blame for the recession?
We have had only one election since 1900 where there was no president or vice president on the national ticket and also there was a recession in the year of election. That was 1920, and the incumbent Democratic Party did lose in a landslide. But that is a single data point. Will voters this time around blame John McCain for a recession or lousy economy caused by a collapsing housing bubble?
Speaking as someone who thinks both McCain and Obama will make a bad president I do not feel like I have a dog in this fight. I can't figure out which of them will be worse. If we are lucky the Iraqi government will make the US withdraw our military even if McCain gets elected. So maybe McCain's position on the Iraq war won't matter that much. But if Obama wins and Peak Oil begins to bite then the Democrats get the blame and I'd rather the Republicans not get blamed for the economic contraction that is coming.