McCain = Gore, without the benefits

Originally uploaded by johnvierdsen

Years ago, a political operative told Vierdsen, “There are two sure-fire slogans in politics: ‘It’s time for a change‘ and ‘Things have never been better.'” Well, Sen. John McCain is caught between a rock and a hard place on both counts.

In 2000, Vice President Al Gore tried to run on both, succeeding at neither. The situation now is that it is time for a change, and for most Americans, life is worse than in 2004, and even worse than it was in 2000. That should be a bad thing for the Republican nominee.

The most absurd part of the ’08 presidential campaign has been McCain acting like he’s a change agent. Let’s see: the Republicans have held the White House for the past eight years, and among those years, held the House of Representatives for six years and the Senate for about five years. So, why should the American public believe that a Republican senator with 26 years in Congress and a 90 percent voting record with George W. Bush is going to bring “change?”

Answer: He won’t.

But, because the voters don’t back Bush or his policies anymore, McCain is forced to run like a change agent, and is in a similar position to Gore, but without the benefits. In 2000, President Bill Clinton had good poll numbers, but the public was tired of him, even if they liked how things had been going. Hence, they knew it had never been better, but they were ready for a change. Gore fucked it up.

McCain, on the other hand, has a much tougher row to hoe. He has to try to be the change agent, even though he’s been in national politics since 1982 and is of the governing party.

Unfortunately for him, it’s not making it across. After the convention bump, McCain’s numbers have been trending down and, within two weeks, Sen. Barack Obama will regain his leads in places like Virginia and New Hampshire, solidify his leads in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan and may take the lead in North Carolina.

Whatever bullshit McCain speaks, he can’t get away from the fact that it isn’t going well now, and that his party has been in power. The whole reason he got the nomination was that he shook off the “maverick” label to embrace Bush’s policies and the bigoted views of people like the late Jerry Falwell. Now, he wants to say that, after embracing everything he eschewed, he’s back to being McCain 2000? Nah. Not buying it. And, according to the polling trends, the American public isn’t buying it either.


4 Responses to “McCain = Gore, without the benefits”

  1. September 18, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    hmm…I can sort of get your point, but pointing McCain at someone as liberal as Gore still sends a smaller message. You’d actually be better off comparing him to someone more right.

  2. September 18, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    John’s point is that McCain is a bad candidate, to the point of incompetence. He’s willing to say or do anything to be president, and he’s severely hamstrung by the fact that his party has been the one that has fucked things up for the past eight years. It has little to do with actual policy and more to do with the effects those policies have wrought. If Bush and the Republican Congress’ policies had given us a budget surplus, peace and economic expansion (see: Bill Clinton, Republican Congress [1995-2000]), McCain would be in the clear.

  3. September 18, 2008 at 11:30 pm

    Also, for what it’s worth, Vierdsen’s first vote was for McCain in the 2000 Virginia GOP primary. John really liked the 2000 McCain (hell, he probably would have voted for McCain over Gore in the general), but not so much the ’08 version.

  4. 4 coelder
    September 18, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    great article and site! my good friend just did a compare contrast piece on the two candidates. pretty intriguing.

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