They Came to Bury McCain, Not to Praise Him

By Jennifer Parker

Mar 6, 2008 5:03pm

We all make predictions that are proven wrong.

But now that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is the official Republican presidential nominee, it may be worth looking at those who prematurely danced upon his grave.

Our great Political Unit intern Talal Alkhatib helped me dig some of these up…


McCain’s Campaign Collapses, by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, February 28, 2007

"The excitement Rudy’s candidacy has generated has swelled his poll numbers at a time when McCain, who announced too early and campaigned for too long, was fading. As Rudy surged in January 2007, it was clear that McCain had peaked too soon…If Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, it will be Hillary vs. Rudy in the battle of the giants. And poor John McCain will go back to the Senate."

McCain is Finished, Head of Conservative Union Says, by Ronald Kessler, May 6, 2007

"Sen. John McCain’s presidential candidacy has ‘fatal problems,’ says David A. Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, the country’s oldest and largest conservative grassroots lobbying group.

"’I can be proven wrong, but McCain is dying a slow political death right now,’ Keene tells me over lunch at BLT Steak in Washington. ‘There are a number of reasons for that. On the right, he’s simply not trusted, doesn’t have credibility. He is not a small government conservative, and that’s the basic underlying problem.’

"McCain’s second problem, Keene says, is that he has ‘never come to grips with the kind of candidate he was and the kind of candidate he has to be. He’s almost schizophrenic about it.’"

McCain Death Watch, by Ryan Sager, June 25, 2007

"It’s the prediction of this blog that John McCain will not make it so far as the first primary in the 2008 Republican primary, due to a number of factors:

"1) He leads in no national poll, and, in fact, has fallen to at least third place — with fourth place on the way.

"2) He is in dire straits when it comes to fundraising.

"3) There is simply no logic to his candidacy: He’s neither a straight-shooting maverick (the logic of his 2000 run) nor the true conservative (the supposed logic of this run) nor the fall-back consensus candidate (the Dole ’96 model — which is hardly operational in such a strong primary field).

"Thus, the John McCain death watch…"

The Beginning of the End for McCain, by Michael Fauntroy, Huffington Post, July 11, 2007

“I am about to go out on a thin limb on this one: John McCain’s presidential campaign will not make it to Iowa. At some point between Halloween and Thanksgiving — and after months of sinking poll numbers, fundraising that is heading in the wrong direction (the third quarter report is going to be a mess), and staff shakeups that smell of panic — it will occur to the senior Senator from Arizona that Republican primary voters do not want him to be their nominee in 2008.”

John McCain: Dead Man Walking, Toby Harnden, The Telegraph, July 11, 2007

"There are plenty of political obituaries being written on the Arizona senator tonight after his two most senior aides resigned – and the conclusion that he is a dead man walking is difficult to avoid."

And in the subscription-only Cook Political Report, Charlie Cook wrote: "For all intents and purposes, McCain’s campaign is over…The physicians have pulled up the sheet; the executors of the estate are taking over. Paying bills and winding down – not strategizing, organizing, and getting the message out – will be the order of the day."

It goes on and on, but you get the idea.

– jpt

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