McCain Suggests He May Not Seek Second Term

One day before the Iowa caucuses and John McCain continues to show life in the polls, most notably in New Hampshire, where the latest Suffolk University tracking poll shows him extending his lead over Romney to 9 points, and nationally, where the latest Pew poll has him eke ahead of Giuliani for the first time since January, holding a statistically insignificant 2% lead. Hell, it's even looking like McCain will have a 3rd place ticket out of Iowa tomorrow night after having hardly even campaigned there. So what does this all mean?

Well, I've said before that I believe McCain would be the most daunting Republican candidate to go up against in November and I do think that our best case scenario out of tomorrow night is a. that the story is mostly about Romney v. Huckabee, thus making 3rd place irrelevant and b. Romney exceeds expectations so that he goes into New Hampshire with momentum and snuffs out McCain's insurgency 5 days later. Assuming this perfect storm doesn't hit, however, and McCain is able to translate a New Hampshire win into an infusion of money and support to snowball him through the rest of the early states to the nomination, how to take him down? McCain today revealed what he thinks is his greatest vulnerability: his age.

John McCain is 71 years old, but the issue of his age comes up only occasionally at his town meetings. That is why a query this morning at Pembroke Academy was striking. A woman asked whether McCain had the stamina to serve as president for eight years.

McCain responded by leaving open the possibility that, if he is elected, he might not seek re-election.

"If I said I was running for eight years, I'm not sure that would be a vote getter," McCain said shortly before leaving New Hampshire for Iowa.

John McCain has carefully tried to nurture a relatively strong and youthful persona this campaign season, both through ads featuring images of him as a young soldier and through the appearance of his 91 year old mother on the campaign trail to remind us just how many more years he has in him, but here he seems to undo it all with the implication that his stating that he'd run for a second term would be straining credibility with voters because he's so freakin ancient. Very odd.

Which brings me to what is likely McCain's actual top vulnerability: not just his age, but the kooky sort of off-message things he tends to say in the guise of "straight talk" ("Bomb bomb bomb Iran" comes to mind) that cumulatively make you think "maybe he is too old to trust the presidency with." In other words, we're much more likely to get a macaca moment out of nominee McCain than nominee Romney.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, age, John McCain, Republican nomination (all tags)



Both McCain and Huckabee will accept FEC money,

so they'll both be hamstrung financially relative to the Democratic nominee, unless it's Edwards, in which case they'll ALL be hamstrung (and it could be a very quiet election, amazingly).

So, just by that calculation, I'm rooting for McCain and/or Huckabee, in fact moreso the latter because he's far weaker in the general I believe.

by verasoie 2008-01-02 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Suggests He May Not Seek Second Term

Oh, I dont know about that last line.... Romney is the most likely Macaca candidate I've ever seen.

by AaronE 2008-01-02 11:27AM | 0 recs
So he won't run for re-election to his Senate seat


Those words could be used against him if he loses the nomination but tries to run for his Senate seat again.

Also, it makes you wonder if he'd run for his Senate seat again if he were to lose the general.

by verasoie 2008-01-02 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Suggests He May Not Seek Second Term

He's seems to be saying that if people do the math and think that he will be pushing 76 at re-election, they'll balk.   There is no way in hell that McCain gets into that White House and gives it up without a fight.  When it's time for reelection at 75, he will pull his mother out of her rocking chair again and tell us how fit he is.  He may even buy one of those Bush mountain bikes and take us on a desert ride through AZ.  

by Kingstongirl 2008-01-02 12:02PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Suggests He May Not Seek Second Term

Here is a point of trivia--He hiked the Grand Canyon last year with his son. That is an amazing feat!

by del 2008-01-02 05:45PM | 0 recs
Huck v. McCain might tear the GOP apart

If the Huckster wins Iowa, and McCain wins NH, then I'm thinking it'll be civil war in the GOP.

The fundies will have their candidate in the Huckster; everyone else in the GOP will have theirs in McCain.

Who cares who wins, between those two?  If it goes fifteen rounds, it may be difficult to stitch this party together again.

by RT 2008-01-02 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Huck v. McCain might tear the GOP apart

If Huckster wins Iowa, McCain wins NH. However, if Romney wins Iowa, one cannot be so sure. He may get back the momentum and knock out McCain. If McCain wins NH by more than 5 points, he will knock Romney out in Michigan and knock the bottom out of Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer (who will go down in history) on Super Tuesday by winning CA, PA, OH, IL and other big ones. In the end, McCain and Huckster may come together on the same team..may or may not happen.

by Boilermaker 2008-01-02 01:10PM | 0 recs
Re: McCain Suggests He May Not Seek Second Term

Well, that should do it. Didn't Dole make a similar statement? Nobody can survive admitting they're too old for the job.

by BlueinColorado 2008-01-02 02:47PM | 0 recs


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