Something doesn't add up for me in this election. I have no "factual" proof of this, but this is what I think happened.
It was clear, all the way back, two or even three years before this election, that the political deck was heavily stacked against the Republicans. People were tired of the war, fed up with Bush and wary of the economy. It's a statistical fact that after two presidential election cycles, the incumbant Party is rejected. Only once in modern times has this not been true... in the case of Presidents Reagan and George HW Bush. I believe the Republican Party hierarchy concluded it was a lost cause and there was no plausible road to victory against Hillary Clinton. Further, they probably believed they would take more "hits" in Congress and perhaps even be stuck with a "veto-proof" Congress.
Knowing this, what candidate would possibly want to put out the massive effort and expenditure of time and treasure required against the natural tidal forces behind the Democrats in this election cycle? No one who is a true leader. And this was when they thought they'd be running against Hillary! Before Obama emerged as the messiah.
You can't actually sit there and tell me you believe that Romney, Thompson, Giuliani, Huckabee et al. simply walked away because they didn't think they could beat McCain for the nomination can you!? Few conservatives, few of the Christian Right felt they could support McCain. None of the conservative talking heads had much appetite for McCain's brand of politics. No. I think all these other candidates played the pretend game, dropping out as early as they could because they didn't want to go the distance knowing they'd drown in an anti-Bush, anti-Republican tidal wave. They all promised to campaign hard for McCain. I don't recall seeing much of any of them after they dropped out.
The Republican Party did what it can always be counted on to do in the face of hard challenges from Democrats and the media. Run away and hide. So the Party bigwigs made a deal with the only taker: John I'll-do-whatever-my- country- asks-of-me McCain. He knew the deck was stacked against him from the very start. Remember the polls? But his Party figured, what the heck, we're going to lose anyway, why not give John the great honor of being our candidate? He earned it, after all. Helll-o... remember Bob Dole!? And John agreed.
But John is a pretty crafty fellow. The "Maverick" was always running across the aisle to form alliances with Democrats. He was pretty much of a liberal Democrat in his record, wasn't he? He got cozy with Hillary when he thought she was going to be his opponent. And then he got even more cozy with Barack when he became the heir apparent. I'm betting John made a bargain with Mr O. Perhaps it went something like this: I know I'm going to lose. It's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it. And I am going to lose with grace and dignity, because that's my style, and I won't personally soil you, Barack, because I'm a good patriotic American. But after I lose and you are President, Barry, I expect you to appoint me to a high post in your administration. I earned it and I deserve it.
C'mon, you saw how McCain actually physically embraced Obama at each debate. As if he were saying hi to his own long-lost son. It wasn't a cordial handshake, like Bush-Gore or Bush-Kerry. You could tell those guys felt good honest detestation for one another. John never got tough with Barack. Like a pasty-faced white man, he was terrified of being labeled a racist. Where were the Swift Boat attacks? Reverand Wright, Bill Ayers, Obama's probable non-American birth, his muslim early upbringing, ACORN et al. were ammunition in the breach of Republican heavy artillery, but John wouldn't pull the trigger. Instead he pulled that silly stunt, suspending his non-campaign and returning to DC to solve the financial crisis. And a fine job he did.
Barack never got real tough with John either, did he? He knew he didn't have to. No one was really challenging him but Hannity, Limbaugh, Coulter and other conservative talkers who Middle America thinks are loons. On the other side was Hollywood, the entire liberal media complex, the Soros fortune, foreign leaders and followers alike. What chance did poor ol' John have against this avalanche of Obama support? None. He preferred being labeled a loser than a racist. It's not easy running against The One, against someone canonized by Oprah. John was running against a certain amount of white guilt. This, more than anything, was Obama's ace-in-the-hole.
Other anomalies? How else can you explain John's selection of Sarah Palin as his running-mate? He knew he would lose. So he got someone young, with lots of energy to go on the stump. Someone he figured could actually gain something from the campaign. Someone who wasn't ready now but who would learn and get smart and be ready next time. John really is a good man viewed from that particular decision. I'm not sure Sarah was clued in however.
And yet. And yet... Obama didn't win by 40 percent. Or even 20 percent. Maybe ten. In the end, without trying too hard, the Republican candidate did better than the Party probably expected. Voters were disgusted with Bush and the Republicans, but many of these same people were leery of The One. And, what the heck, Sarah emerged as an up-and-coming force in the Republican Governor's Conference.
If I'm right, look for McCain to wind up in an important post in the Obama administration. He may even switch to a seat across the aisle, give the Senate Democrats that veto-proof majority. One way or the other, John will do well for himself. But he let the rest of us down. How can you ask for our financial and moral support when you don't intend to fight for us!? It's not fair to us conservative folks. We feel like we have no one on our side. Maybe that's our clue. He doesn't care about us. He never did.
In the next presidential election cycle, four years from now... more probably eight years from now (gag)... who will remember any of these also-rans?
Joe the Plumber said more in one sentence than the rest of these dopes said in months and months of rhetoric.