Saturday, June 16, 2007

McCain Has been Used and Abused by the Bushites

And he has yet to figure this out for himself. This, alone, disqualifies him for president.

Of course, Romney is even worse!

McCain's run for presidential candidacy in trouble, experts say

Sheldon Alberts,

CanWest News Service
Published: Saturday, June 16, 2007

WASHINGTON - Of all the insults that get hurled at a U.S. presidential candidate during the course of a long campaign season, few sting worse than attacks motivated more by pity than anger.

Just ask John McCain.

When the Republican senator from Arizona this week accused GOP rival Mitt Romney of flip-flopping on the abortion issue, the former Massachusetts governor brushed McCain off like an elephant swatting its tail at a nettlesome mosquito.

"The McCain campaign's motives are obviously born of desperation," Romney's press secretary said in a statement. "Their actions are both sad and unfortunate."

That any leading Republican candidate would blithely dismiss McCain seemed improbable just five months ago. But hardly a soul in the party batted an eye this time because Romney's remarks rang so true.

After waiting eight years for a second chance at the Republican presidential nomination, McCain and his famed Straight Talk Express - the moniker given his campaign bus - have officially hit the ditch.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll this week showed McCain, the presumptive Republican front-runner as recently as January, languishing with just 14 per cent support, 15 points behind the front-runner, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. According to the nationwide poll, Romney had pulled even with McCain, despite lacking McCain's name recognition.

Worse yet for the 70-year-old senator, he trails Republican actor and lawyer Fred Thompson, a candidate who has still not formally entered the Republican field.

"McCain is sinking," says Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.

The apparent collapse of McCain's campaign has stunned longtime Republican fundraisers and activists, who only last year scrambled to donate money and sign on as political advisers.
How did it go so wrong? The most obvious reasons for McCain's woes, say analysts, are his unswerving support for the war in Iraq and President George W. Bush's recent troop surge. McCain's unpopular stand has driven away independent voters and moderate Republicans who supported his insurgent campaign against Bush in 2000.

Never popular with Republican conservatives, McCain has recently alienated them further with his outspoken defence of controversial legislation that would give 12 million undocumented immigrants a path to American citizenship.

"He is crosswise to conservatives on immigration, and the people who were most excited about him in 2000 - the moderate Republicans - are mad at him on Iraq," observes Cal Jillson, a presidential historian at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "The political base is just not there for him in nearly the same way it was in 2000, and he's eight years older."

But the growing ambivalence toward McCain has developed for reasons that go beyond his unpopular stands on two hot-button issues, experts say.

When he first ran for the presidency in 2000, McCain positioned himself as the antithesis of Bush. He was the political maverick; Bush the establishment candidate. And McCain's status as a war hero who endured five years in a North Vietnamese prison camp contrasted well with Bush's more suspect military service.

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....And The Truth Shall Set Us Free

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