September surprise?

If you were looking for a new angle in the upcoming presidential election, Steve Rosenbaum has a doozie for you. He predicts that John McCain will lose the race — not because he won’t get the votes — but because he will no longer be a contender:

When the Republicans choose their candidate on September 4th, there is a very real chance that they could throw the election into an unexpected chaos as they pull a genuine September Surprise

I think there is every reason to believe John McCain won’t be the nominee. Ok, let me say that again. McCain will not be the Republican candidate in November.

Here’s how it could happen:

At some point in mid August, John McCain will announce that he has decided that he can not accept his party’s nomination for president. The reason will be health-related, and that may turn out to be the truth. Anyone who’s seen him on stage these days knows he looks like he’s about to keel over. And anyone who’s been on a presidential campaign knows the physical demands are grueling and can be a challenge for a young man.

But excuses or facts hardly matters. He won’t be accepting his party’s nomination.

Alright, at least humor Mr. Rosenbaum. He does, after all, hit upon one glaring point: McCain can’t win. At least not without the Hillary voters he can’t. Sorry for the harsh truth… but this campaign is Bob Dole redux, folks.

Never mind Obama’s lack of depth and unsavory political ties.. the man is young, hip and charismatic. If I may revive a tiresome media term from the 2000 election, he has gravitas. He knows the power of good marketing and he’s mastered the art of the buzzword. In today’s America that’s often all a candidate needs. Add to that the fact that a lot more African American voters will be making a trip to the polls this year — sure it will be symbolism over substance but symbolism can be a powerful factor in an election. Beyond that, all Obama needs to in order to really ice this thing is to win over the angry Hillary voters (probably not the first time you’ve seen “ice” and “Hillary” appear in the same sentence).

But on his main premise: for Rosenbaum to think that McCain is going to sit this one out is to grossly underestimate the willful ignorance of today’s Republican party. They actually have it in their heads that they can get enough voters excited about this man. Republican voters will no-doubt pull the lever for him based on the ABO (anybody but Obama) principle. But centrists and un-decideds will ultimately go for the one who is packaged the best. The cult of personality is in full force in today’s political climate. I didn’t say any of this was right or just… but it is the way things are in America today.

But, let’s humor Mr. Rosenbaum for a while longer for the sake of entertainment. He has come up with a list of possible replacements who may step into the spotlight as “fresh new faces” once McCain takes his final bow. These include:

Condoleezza Rice (Secretary of State)
Colin Powell (fmr Sec. of State)
Marilyn Musgrave (Colorado Congresswoman)
Mitt Romney (fmr Massachusetts Governor)
Mike Huckabee (fmr Governor of Arkansas)
Charlie Crist (Florida Governor)
Tim Pawlenty (Minnesota Governor)
Bobby Jindal (Louisiana Governor)
Mark Sanford: (Governor of South Carolina)
John Thune (Senator from South Dakota)
Dick Lugar (Senator from Indiana)
Chuck Hagel (Senator from Nebraska)
MIchael Bloomberg (NYC Mayor)

Among these, the only one I would consider a real contender is Condi (who I would vote for in a heartbeat). Aside from her or Colin Powell, I don’t think any of the others would do any better than McCain. They just don’t have that presence about them. McCain at least has the respect that a war hero might warrant. That won’t be enough to put him over the top (and the goofy SNL appearances aren’t helping you either Johnny) but I don’t see him leaving the race anytime soon.

But I can’t blame him at all for fighting the good fight. Anything can happen… as we know just one ill-advised photo-op is all that is needed to ruin a very promising campaign. Right now I’m visualizing Barry wearing an oversized helmet and riding around in a tank…


2 Comments so far
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Good article. I’ve been saying for the past few months that if McCain and the Republicans want to beat Obama, they need to bring Condi into it as VP.

Comment by lojah

Absolutely. She has always really impressed me. A brilliant woman who is a credit to her race AND her gender (since those seem to be such hot issues these days). The MSM has tried their best to make her into a Bush parrot but her qualities still come shining through every time she speaks.

Comment by hopperbach

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