John McCain…an old dog with a new trick?September 6th, 2008 at 12:50 pm by Louisa Strayhorn under Politics
There are times when your emotions run so high that if you want to be fair, you need to check with others to find out if you have lost your ability to listen without rancor. I found myself in this position as I reviewed my analysis of both Senator Obama’s and Senator McCain’s acceptance speeches. Allegra McCullough, a former member of the Bush administration and a former SBA deputy administrator, agreed to give her thoughts on the speech when I confessed I had heard nothing but rhetoric from Senator McCain during the most important night of his political career. Here is her unvarnished opinion.
Listening to McCain’s nomination acceptance speech left me with a furrowed brow and a great deal of confusion. As an African-American female Republican who has served on the state and federal levels, I was as excited about hearing Senator McCain’s as speech as I am about having my blood drawn…I usually feel….nothing.
As I struggled through his speech of stark generalities, I realized that Senator McCain had changed from the “Candidate with Experience” to the “Candidate of Change”. When did this happen? Did I miss a few news programs? Did I miss a reading few articles? Does this mean that if he could, he would change his 90% voting rate with President Bush – especially on renewable energy or any comprehensive energy-saving plan that he never supported in 26 years?
While the stories regarding his POW years are always heartening, I was surprised to learn that Mr. McCain did not begin to love his country until he was imprisoned. I tried to compare that with the uproar over Michelle Obama’s admission of feeling pride for the first time in America as it voted for her husband during the Primaries. Let me be clear. Both Senator. McCain and Mrs. Obama obviously needed a major event in their lives to each focus on the greatness of this country. This may be true of many of us. The events may differ, but the impact of America’s greatness is relative to our experiences in it.
No one can deny that Mr. McCain is an American hero. But many of America’s Vietnam War heroes did not have a family name to catapult them into the political arena. He made out okay. A great number of our veterans were not so lucky.
During the GOP Convention, Senator McCain’s “country first” mantra turned to “politics first” when he picked Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. There is little about this woman that qualifies her as a possible next President of the United States. Somehow, someone governing a state that averages about 1.1 persons per square mile for 1 ½ years does not impress me. The women of this country crave substance in their lives and in their leaders. Just putting any female on his ticket doesn’t pass the “country first” test.
Maybe the Senator needed a woman who appeared to be an average wife and mother to add a natural touch to his ticket so that no one could accuse him of being an elitist.
For years I was proud of John McCain’s “maverick” spirit. I felt he kept the GOP and the DEMS in check. This time around, I am not sure John McCain knows who John McCain is because he knows that this is his last hurrah and it must be all about politics now. The McCain/ Palin ticket……Neither is a Reagan communicator nor a Gilmore security expert. I am still yawning and still skeptical.