McCain Losing with Honor?

Craig Crawford pays a backhanded compliment: “If presidential campaigns had such a thing as an honorable discharge, Sen. John McCain could get one.”

Noting the string of bad poll numbers and comparatively poor performance in fundraising, “McCain has gone from presumed front-runner to enduring rumors that he might not even stay in the race.” No worries, though: “If he dropped out, McCain can always blame his support for the unpopular Iraq war — highlighted by his recent trip to the region — and exit with dignity.”

I’m sure he’d take great comfort in that.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Tano says:

    I think the GOP race is gonna be a real boost to popcorn sales.

    MCain seems to be imploding – and given his performance as “Baghdad John”, he might be lucky to escape this campaign with his dignity intact.

    Rudy seems to have just committed political hari-kiri, with his renewed support for federal funding of abortion – seemingly as a constitutional right.

    Romney seems to be fatally attracted to the “good hair, flip-flopping Massachussettes candidate” theme, which is not necessarily a recipe for success (especially in the GOP).

    So suddenly an actor, with an undistinguished political career, is the latest hot ticket.

    And, of course, whoever does emerge is going to have that very difficult tightrope to walk in which they need to be good loyal republicans, and yet need to run as fast and as far as possible from the current administration.

    Are there any rays of hope for the GOP?

  2. legion says:

    Not really. McCain, who sacrificed his honor long ago on the altar of sucking up to Bush, finally seems to be losing the ‘aura’ the press has accorded him the last few years… And as Gore and Kerry can tell you, once the press turns on you, you’re screwed.

    Rudy’s biggest strength is that, so far, he’s been the lead in discussing his own shortcomings; nobody’s really hit him with the sort of ‘gotcha’ that puts huge holes in your credibility (see McCain, above). If he can keep that up, he’s got the best shot at taking the nomination, but it’ll be sorely tested as more hard-core oppo types take aim at him.

    Romney’s just an idiot. His anchorman style & name recognition will keep him around for awhile, but wait for the first real debates – his lack of cred on any policy position would allow him to be disassembled by Dan Quayle, let alone the folks he’ll be facing this fall.

    Fred Thompson right now is the GOP’s Obama – big name, but a big question mark on what he’d actually do if he won. As long as he stays nebulous, he’ll continue to get lots of ink.

    And Newt? Please. The GOP might as well put Limbaugh on the ticket with him & call it the “Permanent Democratic Majority” tour…

  3. Jim Henley says:

    There’s no more honor in McCain’s recent Iraq pantomime than in a czar’s visit to a pretend town. It’s as desperate and phony a maneuver as any American politician has undertaken.