So I’m dumb and naive, and for a few minutes there, I honestly thought we were gonna have a really cool presidential campaign between two genuine adults, butnot so much:
John Weaver, for years one of John McCain’s closest friends and confidants, has been in exile since his resignation from McCain’s presidential campaign last year. With the exception of an occasional interview, he has, by his own account, bit his tongue as McCain’s campaign has adopted a strategy that Weaver believes “diminishes John McCain.”
With the release today of a McCain television ad blasting Obama for celebrity preening while gas prices rise, and a memo that accuses Obama of putting his own aggrandizement before the country, Weaver said he’s had “enough.”
The ad’s premise, he said, is “childish.”
“John’s been a celebrity ever since he was shot down,” Weaver said. “Whatever that means. And I recall Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush going overseas and all those waving American flags.”
Weaver remains in contact with senior McCain strategists and, for a while early this year, regularly talked to McCain.
The strategy of driving up Obama’s negatives “reduces McCain on the stage,” Weaver said.
“For McCain to win in such troubled times, he needs to begin telling the American people how he intends to lead us. That McCain exists. He can inspire the country to greatness.”
He added: “There is legitimate mockery of a political campaign now, and it isn’t at Obama’s. For McCain’s sake, this tomfoolery needs to stop.”
My interest in John Weaver chiefly stems from McCain’s 2000 run, during which hegot his ass kicked by Karl Rove and the same ten-a-penny fascisti who went on to run our government for the next eight years. Technically, he’s right: it would be possible for McCain to live up to his own hype. It would be possible for him to be the guy he says he is, to stop sucking and lying and bitching and jerking around on the national stage, flailing from one line of attack to another like a brain-damaged pit bull. It’s kind of sad, in that looking at this from the outside, here’s a guy whocould be decent, whocould very easily just be the guy everybody already thinks he is, and justwon’t.
McCain would still lose, of course, but he wouldn’t lose the way he’s losing now, as a kind of Lesser Dick Cheney, angry and whiny and snarly and mean. He would still lose, but he wouldn’t lose the way he’s losing now, as the last gasp of a dying party, unable to offer America anything but “the other guy’s prettier than me. BOO!” I feel Weaver here, a bit: “What thefuck, dude?” It’s got to be hard to watch.