John McCain's election night watch party might be missing John McCain. Instead of appearing before a throng of supporters at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix on the evening of Nov. 4, the Republican presidential nominee plans to deliver postelection remarks to a small group of reporters and guests on the hotel's lawn.
Aides said Thursday that the arrangement was due to space limitations and that McCain might drop by the election watch party at some other point.
McCain's remarks will be piped electronically into the party and media filing center, aides said. Only a small press "pool" — mostly those who have traveled regularly with the candidate on his campaign plane, plus a few local Arizona reporters and others — will be physically present when he speaks.
I do try not to get swept up in daily events, because it has always been a weakness of mine. Better to carefully consider and reflect upon each event, and wait mindfully for a moment before reacting. It's very hard to look at this and not see that McCain has conceeded the race. I don' t know what other possibility there could be for him to shun his own election night party.
If this is true (and we'll hear greater details in the next couple days if it is true), well, I'm speechless. I'm very surprised. Perhaps it's just eight years of Bush-Cheney, and standing alone in protests so many times. It's hard to believe this is over. It's hard to believe we're going to win, and win a historic landslide. This really does feel like the closing chapter of an era. I'll have to start printing out diplomas for everybody :)
Getting back on track, if this is true, it speaks very poorly of John McCain. This race is still relatively close, and his staff must still work night and day until November 4. He must also coordinate with the GOP on Congressional races, plan strategy, allocate resources. Heck, these people need coffee and doughnuts, dagnabbit!
And here is McCain, the war hero, the maverick. Turning tail and sulking off. He's been behaving like a spoiled brat who can't have his cookie for ages. This election has been one endless humbling for his ego; another great surprise of 2008. I never expected this of the man. I thought better of him. But I've been saying that with great frequency this year.
Now the possibility of a landslide, a blowout, looms larger and larger. If the GOP base could stay fired up, McCain could still keep Obama's victory relatively small. But now? How much longer before the inevitable defeat infects the entire campaign, and then the voters themselves? Seeing McCain walk away and skip his own election night party sends a strong signal: it's over.
The polling next week, as we close in on Halloween, will be very telling. If McCain's floor bottoms out, it will happen then. And we will continue to work as hard as ever. We must work as though it's the year 2000, and the race is tied. Every vote counts. Never forget that, kids. Every vote counts. I can't win this game without you. I need you to completely destroy this wretched political machine. I never want to see the Republican Party in power again.