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Author Topic: McCain Mistakes in 2000 Primary  (Read 6658 times)
JSojourner
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« on: September 25, 2008, 04:37:03 pm »
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Gang,

What mistakes did John McCain make in the 2000 primary?  And are any of them instructive to us now that we are in a general election?

I honestly don't know.  The obvious one is that he ran to the left of Bush and Republicans rejected him.  But was there more? 

If we look at how he handled that campaign, his supporters may be able to see strengths and weaknesses that can be applied or avoided now.  And his opponents may be able to discern patterns of vulnerability...

Just thinking out loud here.
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Ronnie
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2008, 04:38:50 pm »
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He didn't appeal to the fundies in the south because he appeared so moderate.  I don't really think McCain made so many mistakes, but 2000 certainly wasn't the right year for him to shine.
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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2008, 04:39:30 pm »
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Unfortunately those who know most about (and exploiting) McCain's campaign weaknesses were those on the Bush campaign. Some of whom are on the McCain roll now.
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Franzl
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2008, 04:40:08 pm »
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he was too honorable a man Smiley
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The Mikado
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2008, 05:08:06 pm »
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He wasn't talking about the issues people care about.  Campaign finance reform ranks down with static cling on the American people's list of issues.

I suppose that the rather remarkable fact that people have forgotten that we're in a war that McCain won't shut up about is comparable, but people at least try to pretend that they care about the war.

PS.  I care about the war (both wars, actually).  I'm just saying that the electorate doesn't.
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Einzige is a poltroon who cowardly turns down duel challenges he should be honor-bound to accept. The Code Duello authorizes you to mock and belittle such a pathetic honorless scoundrel.
Kalimantan
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2008, 05:16:17 pm »
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this?

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2000/02/28/MN62687.DTL&hw=mccain+opinsky&sn=001&sc=1000


With new polls showing his campaign dead in the water among California Republicans, Arizona Sen. John McCain has pulled out of a long-scheduled debate with Texas Gov. George Bush, set for Thursday in Los Angeles.

McCain campaign officials tried desperately yesterday to put the best face on their withdrawal, even as a new Field Poll showed Bush far ahead among likely Republican voters in the winner-take-all race for the state's 162 GOP delegates.  [...]

The bait and switch on the debate left the Arizona senator -- whose favorite campaign line is "I'll always tell you the truth'' -- wide open to blistering criticism from his rivals.

"Clearly, this is more double-talk from the McCain campaign,'' said Alixe Mattingly, a spokeswoman for Bush. "Pulling out of this debate at the last minute is an indication that they're pulling out of California, where McCain's antagonistic message clearly isn't working.''

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Former Moderate
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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2008, 09:31:11 pm »
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His biggest mistake was fathering that child with the black woman.
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Torie
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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2008, 09:36:02 pm »
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McCain was flaccid on the issues in 2000. He lacked specifics. He failed to give a rationale that he was better than Bush. I was quite frustrated and I was a McCain supporter and gave him money. He was much better this round, although still not great. I wish McCain were more interested in well - details. The devil is in details when it comes to public policy.
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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2008, 09:39:49 pm »
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His biggest mistake was fathering that child with the black woman.

Obama has done that twice as often. Oh noes.
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Sensei
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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2008, 10:47:44 pm »
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His biggest mistake was fathering that child with the black woman.

Obama has done that twice as often. Oh noes.
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« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2008, 01:24:44 am »
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McCain's biggest mistake in 2000 was probably attacking the religious right in the Republican Primary.
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mokbu
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« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2008, 09:45:06 am »
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Yeah, that was not smart.  It's one thing to have private reservations, but to attack your base isn't a great idea.
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J. J.
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« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2008, 04:46:15 pm »
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One thing that disturbed me was running a negative calling in MI, that he denied at first.
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War on Want
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2008, 02:30:18 am »
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He was too moderate. The end.

Seriously, he was never going to be nominated in 2000, without him being much more to the Right. Just think this is almost around the peak of Evangelical power in the Republican Party. This was also McCain's peak of leftishism.
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2008, 03:44:09 am »
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Too moderate for the mainstream Republican base and most importantly the Religious Right, which voted overwhelmingly into the arms of Governor George W. Bush of Texas. Why is this so? Due to his moderate stances on the issues, his perception of being a "maverick" and his infamous comments about the Religious Right and Jerry Falwell.
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2008, 01:45:35 pm »
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His biggest mistake was fathering that child with the black woman.

That hateful lie sure ed him over in South Carolina. Would he have lost by such a large margin otherwise?
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Dan the Roman
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« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2008, 05:17:49 pm »
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i don't think it was the rumors about the black child and other Bush attacks that did McCain in, it was more his response to them. He made the same mistake that Harald Ford made in 2006, and Kerry made in 2004. Instead of either hitting back or ignoring the attacks he whined about them, got mad and lost his cool. He turned in a disasterious debate performance against Bush in South Carolina, lashed out at the Religious Right, which was not opposed to backing him altogether(Bauer had endorsed him), and alienated his Washington colleagues.

Could he have won? Absolutely. While he did have ideological disadvantages, so did Bush who had a much more moderate record on social issues, especially abortion as Texas Governor than McCain had in the Senate. He made no effort to do so though.

Even then he would not have been completely screwed had he rallied moderates but his erratic behavior post-SC offended them. He had no reason to lose Washington, or even Virginia the week before Super Tuesday and had he won those as well as New York, Maine and California in addition to the four New England states he would have been in good shape. He was close in all of these and they were all within reach.
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2009, 05:41:58 am »
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The right course would have been to call Karl Rove's dirty trick exactly what it was by telling the truth about both the child (a situation entirely honorable) and the libeler. That's how to deal with blackmail and libel: attack the lying b@stard or the exploitative beast. Maybe McCain couldn't see it happening because it was without precedent in the collegial world of American politics. Some of us did.

Karl Rove is a political thug even if he looks more like a banker than like a street brawler. As it turned out, Rove's techniques of rule from the back room would not end until 2006 when conditions changed. He tried to rule through a pliant President and Congressional flunkies much as a General Secretary of a Communist Party does in a "socialist" state as a branch of government in his own right. To be sure, Rove is no socialist, but he stands for a crony capitalism that rewards political supporters richly and $crews everyone else.

Karl Rove has set a precedent for dirty dealings in America, and the next time that that happens, it might be by a Democrat and it will be wrong even if it purports to serve a liberal agenda. Here is a good lesson for all Americans: democracy is not so much getting one's way as it is a respect for basic decencies in political life. When thugs take over, then the formalities become a sham. He has shown exactly what I had never understood in George Washington's Farewell Address: the danger of faction in public life. We will always have partisan politics and rancorous debates; we must never allow a Party Boss to become a ruler in practice.   


 
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Psychic Octopus
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« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2009, 08:09:34 pm »
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I wish he won. Sad
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rebeltarian
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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2009, 02:54:38 pm »
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2000 was my first election and I was a McCain supporter for 2 reasons:

1. he had a fully-functional brain
2. he was not the son of a former President

Looking back (and mind you my views have evolved considerably since then), I can see that we were screwed either way.  McCain would have responded to 9/11 the same way Bush did and been even more liberal on economics.  He wanted campaign finance reform and government social security and bunch of other liberal crap that makes fiscal conservatives want to vomit in their mouths!  I can see now why alot of GOPers saw right through this man for the closet-Democrat he was/is.  Mac still could have won, though, if he had simply retaliated with the same Rove-ian attacks that the Bush campaign slaughtered him with.  It would have turned very ugly and brutal, alas, Mac was too "mr-nice-guy" for that.
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Bo
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« Reply #20 on: January 10, 2010, 10:13:05 pm »
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McCain should have  been more prepared for Bush's attacks and responded to them immediately. Also, he should have continually emphasized the fact that he had a much better chance of winning than Bush (and use polls to prove his point). Finally, he should have talked more about his war hero/prisoner of war status, since that might make many military/foreign policy conservatives vote for him over Bush. For that matter, he should have smeared Bush for using his daddy's connections to escape serving in the Vietnam War (just like Clinton did) and serve in the National Guard instead.
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tb78
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« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2010, 08:56:23 pm »
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Mccain did not really have a chance since Bush run. Bush had the party support, as well as the money.

If Bush did not run, Mccain would have been nominated, he might have even won without no Florida.
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Guderian
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« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2010, 04:36:59 pm »
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2000 was my first election and I was a McCain supporter for 2 reasons:

1. he had a fully-functional brain
2. he was not the son of a former President


2000 was my first election too and I was also a McCain supporter in primaries. My reasons were these:

1. He would have beaten Gore easily
2. He seemed more qualified and deserving of presidency than Bush

Overall, McCain's biggest mistake was that he underestimated the strength and depth of Bush's establishment support. Bush had the party apparatus, religious leaders and big donors in his corner. McCain had the MSM groupies, and that's it. He thought he could skate by with that maverick crap, he never really gave the base (any segment of it - social conservatives, military hawks, free-marketers) a reason to like him more than Bush, nor did he give it to party's kingmakers. You can't knock out a frontrunner that way. If Obama acted like that, Hillary would have wiped the floor with him.

Also, the entire "black child out of the wedlock" issue is completely overblown and probably had very little effect on the Republican primaries. It's just an irrelevant story that gets repeated over and over again by liberals to point out that Republican voters (especially them sick, perverted South Carolinians) are despicable racists and Karl Rove the son of Satan.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 04:40:16 pm by Guderian »Logged
Bo
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« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2010, 05:12:46 pm »
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I wish he won. Sad

Same here.
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