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McCain's Amazing Grace

What is it about loss that makes men so lovely? John McCain just gave the best speech of his political life. He looked tired, as he should. But he was inspired and profound, the noble soldier many wish had prevailed in 2000.

My transcription may be imperfect, but the gist is clear and inspiring:

"His [Obama's] success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. … Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain... And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.. . . I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited... It's natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again."

That's the definition of grace. Someone had to lose this election, but in losing, McCain reminds us of our great good fortune. In America, it really can happen. An African American can rise to the top. And an American hero can concede without rancor. So it goes in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

By Kathleen Parker  | November 4, 2008; 11:48 PM ET
Categories:  Parker  | Tags:  Kathleen Parker  
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Next: Proud of America


Absolutely McCain's finest moment.

I hope it had some real meaning for the his voters, with whose bitter disappointment any Democrat can empathize.

Posted by: scientist1 | November 5, 2008 12:22 AM | Report abuse

Senator John McCain did make a very graceful concession speech, offering his best wishes and his assistance to a successful Obama presidency. He remains true to his slogan, America First. And he called on supporters to rally behind an Obama presidency as well.

Contrast that with the lack of grace of Al Gore and his supporters during and after the election of 2000. One hopes Republicans resist the urge to give the Democrats what they dished out in narrow, partisan mean spiritedness for eight years.

And as John McCain finished, "God Bless America."

Amen to that.

Posted by: hyood | November 5, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

Obama didn't just win tonight.

The United States regained its soul ...

Integrity and Honor!!!

Posted by: Martinedwinandersen | November 5, 2008 12:31 AM | Report abuse

it's too bad that this mccain2000 disappeared from the race this year. very classy.

Posted by: tempbase | November 5, 2008 1:01 AM | Report abuse

Where has that McCain been? I could have been persuaded by that McCain, but he seemed so far gone through this campaign that I lost faith that post-election he'd return. It was a very good speech.

Posted by: auntiemare | November 5, 2008 1:12 AM | Report abuse

@ hyood
Mr Gore's supporters' bitterness was perhaps forgiveable given that they actually won the 2000 election. Today, Mr Obama won fair and square - and rather handsomely -, a rather different scenario.

What Senator McCain's concession speech showed is that the Republican party has become so degenerate that, even when presented with a candidate of integrity and principle (a rarity, I concede), its election machine forces him to become untrustworthy, low and nasty.

Had McCain been allowed to run as McCain, he might well have won . And, were he to have done so, Democrats might well have greeted his victory graciously.

Posted by: PBAndrew | November 5, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

i agree with auntiemare -- if this McCain had been running for president I'd have given him a much closer look (although the Palin thing is still a deal breaker).

Too bad he kept this McCain locked up somewhere -- he'd have given Obama a tougher run for his money.

very nice speech, just three months too late.

thanks to parker, too, for gracious columns -- too bad Gerson has to be the brat, but maybe he's happier that way.

Posted by: summicron1 | November 5, 2008 1:16 AM | Report abuse

I'll believe John McCain is gracious toward Obama when he can look him in the eye when they meet.

Posted by: troutcor | November 5, 2008 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Parker, you hit it on the head. THIS is the John McCain of 2000, a man of character and depth. He revealed himself in his moment of loss as a deep human. I couldn't believe that his finest speech came when the race was no more! I voted Obama, and cried during Obama's acceptance speech, but was blown away by McCain's very obvious bipartisanship. Had he been this way all along, I wonder what could have been. Pres. Elect Obama, we all look forward to a brighter tomorrow.

Posted by: tanya_smith | November 5, 2008 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Please think for a moment about the so-called negativity of this campaign versus what could have been. McCain took race off the table. Never brought up Wright. The Post, in my mind, deemed nearly all criticism of Obama -- beyond pure policy -- as negative and somehow racially tainted. It was a ridiculous standard.
To me, McCain was always a class act, and this stuff about an ultra negative campaign is just BS. His campaign didn't do anything over the top. They tried to define Obama as an elitist liberal lightweight. The horror!! The shame!! Obama defined McCain as Bush II. We know which one was more successful. But which one was more unfair?

Posted by: Pac10voter | November 5, 2008 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Welcome back, John McCain. Where have you been lately. Be careful whom you call your friends. I have a saying, "If you sleep with dogs, you can only blame yourself if you get fleas." I bet you need a shower.

Having said that, you were very gracious in you speech, and it is appreciated.

Posted by: DrWho2 | November 5, 2008 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, Senator McCain finally tonight touched me as a decent and sincere man. It is somewhat tragic that it was not meant to be for him, but along with several other posters I am asking myself: where was this man during the campain? How sad that he had such a lousy team behind him, and a half baked alaska to tag along...

Posted by: rivestf | November 5, 2008 1:31 AM | Report abuse

It was a very classy speech.

Bush did not win the 2000 election. The supreme court was responsible for Bush's selection. Even now you can't let go of the venom and viciousness.

Posted by: sbundley | November 5, 2008 1:36 AM | Report abuse

I agree completely that this was a McCain who was missing in action during the campaign. The speech was heartfelt and eloquent, and extended an olive branch across the aisle.

What distressed me was the reactions of his crowd. As thoughtful and genuine as McCain was, the crowd he was in front of was less than polite, booing at mentions of Obama even as McCain was doling out sincere compliments. It was shocking and rude, and I hope McCain supporters in general will support our new president-elect better than that.

Posted by: alaninboston | November 5, 2008 1:50 AM | Report abuse

yes right. As long as McCain is praising dems he is a good guy.....

Anyway, this is the McCain who was there throughout the campaign. Too bad the press did not want to show that side of him.

Congrats to Barack Obama and to his supporters. This was a great fight and you all won fair an square.

Posted by: RoseL1 | November 5, 2008 2:05 AM | Report abuse

McCain a good guy? Well, you can't stay in the Senate for as long as he has and not be influenced by that body's tradition of civility and collegiality. And that applies as well to the traditions of duty and service that run in his blood as a 3rd generation Naval Academy grad and Navy officer. At the same time, you have to wonder about someone who let himself be pushed around by the fear-peddling hate-mongers of the Rove/Atwater school of politics. So on balance I'll grant you that McCain's a good guy, but the Republican party has become deeply weird these past few years. ("I'd like to see his birth certificate?" Please, go crawl back under your rock.)

Posted by: egalizeit | November 5, 2008 2:22 AM | Report abuse

I must echo the comments about the gracious manner in which Sen. McCain conceded the election. I truly wish this had been the tone of the campaign.

Sen. McCain as Sen. Obama noted on many occasions is a great American. What I will always appreciate about Sen. McCain is that he truly did not want to turn this into a race war and he kept his word about that. Bringing Rev. Wright into this discussion especially with that wicked woman from Alaska would have really turned this campaign into a very very ugly event.

Best Wishes to you Sen. McCain and to Caribou Barbie continue to keep your eye on Russia as you command the Alaska National Guard.

Posted by: clifton40 | November 5, 2008 2:54 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Senator is a class act: a real and sincere individual (so rare in politics) and magnanimous in defeat as in victory.
Lifts up my heart, combined with our American triumph in electing Barack Obama.
Is it too much to hope that McCain's gifts can be integrated into the new administration?
In any case a soldier-patriot-hero's candor and courage and grace ... shows McCain's true grit and beautiful character.

Posted by: fenwayfem | November 5, 2008 3:11 AM | Report abuse

While I was watching his speech I kept thinking, "Where was this guys during the campaign?" THAT guy from the speech might have had a chance...

Posted by: wildlaurel | November 5, 2008 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Let me see if I understand this.

Honest John ran a scurrilous campaign accusing Brother Neo of just about everything short of wife beating (though I admit I may have missed that charge).

And now that Honest John gives a two minute concession speech, homilies on his fine character and grace start appearing.

Sorry it doesn't wash with this former Republican.

Posted by: R49Thomas | November 5, 2008 6:33 AM | Report abuse

If McCain would have orated like that during the campaign and picked a running mate with half a brain he might have done better.

Posted by: CHICO13 | November 5, 2008 7:07 AM | Report abuse

Sen. McCain was as is always as been, a class act.

To those looking for where that man was during the election, I believe you need to look at it from his perspective: he had a huge mountain to climb, and little support to do it. He not only needed to compete against Sen. Obama, he needed to compete against President Bush, then the economy faltered.

But I really think this election proved that premise that Sen. McCain really should have been President in 2000. I really wish we could get a mulligan on that.

Posted by: kolbkl | November 5, 2008 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Parker, I have always enjoyed your column, even when I have disagreed with you. Today, we are in agreement.

I saw in defeat the John McCain I had admired in 2000. I said he had reclaimed his soul. I beleive him when he says he will reach out to President-Elect Obama. I also beleive this time the gesture will not go unrewarded.

Bravo, John McCain, Bravo.

Posted by: Thatsnuts | November 5, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

I agree too, McCain's speech was a model of graciousness.

McCain's crowd was not. Didn't he have to quiet the booing of Obama three times? Sorry, "clods" is the nicest word I can come up with. (McCain was cheered, pretty heartily, when Obama mentioned him during his victory speech.)

Oftentimes you vote for the lesser evil. This time, I voted for Obama with the pleasure of making a positive choice. But, even given a lesser candidate, I would have been voting against the Republican party that stands against science, against engaging the world, against equality - basically, a party that favors ideology over reality. That isn't an attractive stance, and it sure isn't a winning one.

All the people who will now be critcizing McCain for the race he ran are missing the point. The Republicans didn't need a better race, or a better candidate. The candidate needed a better party.

Posted by: jdbosmaus | November 5, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

McCain got caught up in the Rove political machine beginning in 2000. He showed guts back then, but then had to kowtow to Bush, the religious right, and others to gain the mantle of Republican torch bearer and to run for President for their party. In running for President, he adopted Rove style campaigning tactics which was his downfall. Of course the state of the economy didn't help him either.

Still, his concession speech last night showed us that the good old McCain is still around. And if Obama is sincere about crossing party lines, he'll ask John McCain to be his Secretary of Defense. Having spent 5 years as a POW, I believe McCain will not send our brave soldiers into battle unless absolutely necessary and certainly not on the basis of fabricated or flimsy evidence.

Posted by: JJH1 | November 5, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Mr. McCain's speech was classy. However, I was also struck by how classless his supporters were when they booed every time Mr. Obama's name was mentioned. Unfortunately, that seems to be par for the couse in our society nowadays. Heck, I heard booing when the GM for the Phillies acknowledged the wonderful season the Tampa Bay Rays had last week and was similarly appalled by the classlessness of Philadelphia Phillie partisans. It really is a shame we can't set aside differences and acknowledge our adversaries with dignity and class. I thank John McCain for setting a good example last night, but I continue to worry about our country's attitudes towards those it disagrees with.

Posted by: scott032 | November 5, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

hyood apparently missed Al Gore's concession speech after the 2000 election. It was every bit as classy and gracious as McCain's.

Posted by: jprice2 | November 5, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

If McCain/Palin had campaigned with any of the decency and dignity he showed last night it would have been a race.

Godspeed Mr. Obama.

Posted by: MHawke | November 5, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

All the people who will now be critcizing McCain for the race he ran are missing the point. The Republicans didn't need a better race, or a better candidate. The candidate needed a better party.

Posted by: jdbosmaus

couldn't agree more...

Posted by: echidna1 | November 5, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I thought the speech sounded much more gracious in Al Gore's 2000 original. And McCain left out the crucial "now it's time for me to go" line.

For me the most telling part was when McCain pretended to be shocked as his supporters booed the new president.

Posted by: chase-truth | November 5, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

While I agree with the concept that McCain needed a better party, he didn't have to toe the party line.

Many people weren't discontented so much with the GOP, but with the current NeoCon, aggressively religious/fundamental attitudes that dominate it.

Had Mr. McCain stuck to the eloquent type of speech he had in 2000 and exhibited again last night (which probably would mean he wouldn't have chosen Sarah Palin as his VP candidate), I think he could have defeated Mr. Obama.

Many people I know (and myself) didn't vote for Obama/Biden, so much as they voted against McCain/Palin. Because McCain didn't really give us a choice.

I think Mr. McCain should fire every last one of his advisors - both the ones who made these horrible recommendations and the ones who may not have liked them but didn't bother speaking up. Because once McCain secured the appropriate number of delegates, he could have toned back the rhetoric. Instead, he increased it, ignoring the large swath of moderates who were looking for someone a bit more centrist to vote for.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | November 5, 2008 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Oh. I see. Now we are just supposed to put the evil, pathological nature of the McCain/Palin campaign on the back burner, let the gas die down and go on our way to a more united America after McSame's concession speech.
One problem with this scenario is that McCain and his minions are directly responsible for whooping up the most vile hatred against a candidate and a polical philosophy that hasn't been seen in this country since the McCarthy era.
It's going to take infinitely more than a less-than-convincing, pejoritive mea culpa from a Pathetic Old Warhorse to calm down his "base" of Pithecanthropi, most likely hell-bent on vengence of some kind because their Messiah and his Sainted Sarah didn't scrape their way to the top of the heap.

Posted by: hyjanks | November 5, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

Actually - did anyone notice that Sarah Palin tried to take the podium after McCain? (You could see her in the far left of the shot after McCain went to depart the stage.)

Anyone think she was ready to give a Palin in 2012 speech at that moment?

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | November 5, 2008 9:24 AM | Report abuse

hyjanks, you won. Try to show a little class. Follow President Elect Obama's lead, and realize that the problems this country is facing is going to take the hard work of people from both sides of the aisle, from both red and blue states, to solve.

To the couple of people who posted about McCain's supporters booing Obama, but Obama's cheering McCain - do you really think McCain's name wouldn't have been booed during an Obama concession speech? Of course the losers are going to voice some disappointment, while the winners will show some grace through the jubilation. I'm pretty sure McCain's supporters would have applauded Obama's good effort had McCain been accepting the Presidency.

Posted by: jason171 | November 5, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Yes. Hyjanks. We are to move on. Obama expects grace from his supporters and I intend to behave as gracefully as McCain. Thank you, Ms. Parker, for this article.

Posted by: Sidda | November 5, 2008 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Senator John McCain did make a very graceful concession speech, offering his best wishes and his assistance to a successful Obama presidency. He remains true to his slogan, America First. And he called on supporters to rally behind an Obama presidency as well.

Contrast that with the lack of grace of Al Gore and his supporters during and after the election of 2000. One hopes Republicans resist the urge to give the Democrats what they dished out in narrow, partisan mean spiritedness for eight years.

And as John McCain finished, "God Bless America."

Amen to that.

Posted by: hyood

-I'm with you on the fantastic grace and humility that McCain showed with his speech, but to compare this election with 2000 is ludicrous. Was this one decided by the Supreme Court or the people? There's a reason people were up in arms 8 years ago and it's pretty clear who was right to be upset.

McCain's supporters at the rally on the other hand were classless and surprise there. McCain needs to repudiate the campaign tactics from the reality of Obama as a person. I'd guess 20% of his supporters are fearful of Obama after this campaign and they need to be de-programmed if we're going to move forward as a nation. I'm still upset that McCain embraced the Rove machine because it clearly creates losers in any election no matter what the outcome. It creates divisions that are very difficult to overcome.

Posted by: theobserver4 | November 5, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

You missed the ads and flyers that called him a terrorist, that called him un-American and unpatriotic. You missed the speeches that said he was dangerous and by electing him we would be giving our country to terrorists. Saying he is liberal, inexperienced or has poor judgement is acceptable in politics, but Palin and officials in the Republican party tried to makea vote for Senator Obama as a vote against America. The speeches about Pro-America portions of the country, the "real" America, the Anti-American ideas was too much for most of us. We have hear it for the last ten year - Democrats don't love their country because they see flaws and problems. Only blind acceptance is acceptable and questioning is anti-American. They forgot their history - the forgot that America was created by people who saw problems with the system, with the status quo and who thought something different was needed. History books call them Patriots and today the people who see the opportunity to make this country better than it is are also patriots - and they want to make the country better because they love it so much.

Posted by: puppiesandkitties | November 5, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I disagree completely with your analysis;

McCain was saying it was a victory of Black over White, of Obama over magoo.

Never did ole' magoo concede that Obama had the better plan for America - new vs old, different vs. the same.

No, ole' magoo is as intellectually bankrupt as ever.

Faux news still worships turdblossom, so we can safely predict that the 2012 election is safely in the bag for the Democrats.

Posted by: vote4magoo | November 5, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I am disappointed to see the ugliness that is coming out in these responses.

It is a matter of maturity to accept McCain's words and move on. If any of you are true supporters of Barack Obama, you realize he would never condone the comments seen here.

Change means moving on, embracing one another, and facing the future as Americans, not bitter losers and sore winners.

Posted by: Sidda | November 5, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps you should mention the utter lack of grace of the audience. The Obama crowd applauded the mention of McCain -- they did not boo the opponent as the Republicans did. The ugly campaign and especially Palin's rhetoric encouraged this kind of animosity and partisanship -- McCain needs to go a bit further and assist in putting it back into the box.

Posted by: fmjk | November 5, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

agreed fmjk and I loved the spirit of the Obama supporters with their respect and applause of McCain...but even so to continue to finger-point is non-productive.

For those who are bitter this morning over Obama's win...the next months will show his mettle.

For those bitter over McCain and Palin...follow Obama's lead. He is not concerned at the moment with what has been said. Only with what lies ahead.

:) He inspires me so much.

Posted by: Sidda | November 5, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

McCain's speech was well done - well delivered- and frankly he looked and sounded relieved. I started out a Hilary supporter and when Barack Obama became our party's nominee he became my candidate. I never took a look at McCain because I live by - to everything there is a season and a time for every person. His time has come and gone - He was honorable and gracious in defeat. I hope he will follow thru and help our new young president.
God Bless Him and God Bless America.

Posted by: valjalo1 | November 5, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

A classy concession speech, but it came at the end of a loathsome campaign. It's hard to separate the two.

I wish McCain and his supporters well. I only hope we learn from this lesson and never lightly & unjustly call our opponents terrorists, socialists, America-haters, etc.

Posted by: sarahabc | November 5, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

It was McCain's finest moment. If his campaign had that tone instead of the Bush (Rove) tone, maybe this election would have been tighter. Although, I still would have voted for Obama. These last 8 years have been just ridiculous. Form the get-go, I knew George W. Bush was a light-weight (to put it kindly) and some how a slight majority of America thought he was the right guy - twice, no less. And somehow, a seemingly decent guy like McCain gets screwed by Bush twice - once in 2000 and again in 2008. Everything always seems to work in favor for W, while in his wake, everything else gets destroyed - US image, Iraq, the economy, Republican party, and even McCain.

P.S. I'm wondering if anybody is planning a National "Get to Steppin' Bush" Party around Jan 20th (possibly at Lafyette park) when his pitiful reign will finally be over.

Posted by: gmby1 | November 5, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

As an Obama supporter, I feel sad for Mac. Still like and honor him (and would have voted for him in 2000). If the guy who gave the concession speech last night was running, he might have won.

Unfortunately, he ran to the base. That, Bush, Palin and the economy were too much, but he is a good man. But sad as I feel for him, the best man won. The situation does call for a more thoughtful, deliberative and centrist leadership - that will need to look beyond the tired cliches from Reagan era to address today's problems.

Still, most impressed with Obama, and look forward to his term with hope!

Posted by: kavm | November 5, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

McCain gave an excellent concession speech. All is forgiven.
It is my greatest hope that McCain's backers will show the grace of McCain and fully support our new President.

Posted by: spro | November 5, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to add the respect I have developed for Kathleen Parker, David Brooks, George Will, Peggy Noonan and others who had the courage to go against the flow to call the Palin choice as they saw it. Although I lean towards a different end of the spectrum, they have gained a reader and I have gained some intelligent points of view in times to come.

I hope the David Brooks version of conservatives succeed over the Rush Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Palin culture war mongers. And, I hope what Obama said about listening more carefully to the critics holds true.

Thank you!

Posted by: kavm | November 5, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I supported and voted for Obama and I really feel the need to commend McCain on his speech. THAT was John McCain, the Senator and honorable POW and WAR HERO.
Even if it was at the final moment...I'm glad he finally showed up. He showed so much grace and respect and relayed the message in such a way- it really brought tears to my eyes. I pray he will look around, see his beautiful wife and all his blessings. Life is too short and he's served this country nearly 50 YEARS. It's time for him to rest and enjoy the well deserved fruits of his labor. I have no doubt his experience and wisdom will be an asset to the new administration.
The torch has been passed; now its up to us to WORK to make the dream of ONE AMERICA a reality. I pray we use the failures and mistakes of the last few years as stepping stones to bring this country to its fullest potential. Last night- for a CHANGE we really put COUNTRY FIRST- and no matter who took office, there were no losers. "America" WON!

Posted by: lioness_ohyes | November 5, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Instead of re-running the CLinton primary campaign, he should have run as the John McCain we thought we all knew. Most Americans respond to decency, and whatever his other flaws, McCain is a decent, honorable man. I'm glad that McCain is back, finally.

Posted by: gbooksdc | November 5, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Amen and amen, Kathleen.

BUT . . . I thought equally telling was the boorish response of part of McCain's audience. It really encapsulated something for me -- this man was better than his base, but embracing that base, and it's ugliness, cost him dearly.

The sneerers and jeerers during McCain's gracious speech, and the millions like them across the country, should realize that THEY are the ones whom the majority of Americans have exiled from power. But I doubt they will.

Posted by: markedwards1 | November 5, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

He gave a fine speech last night. Maybe I just imagined it, but I thought he looked perhaps a little relieved not to have won...

Posted by: pdech | November 5, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I am reminded of a quote from "Macbeth," and Shakespeare will not mind his words being slightly changed: "Nothing in his campaign became him like the leaving of it." Had McCain conducted his run for the Presidency, especially after the democratic convention, with the wisdom, grace and patriotism he showed last night, he might well be President-elect this morning. He opted not to and "to throw away the dearest thing he owed as 'twere a careless trifle."

Posted by: irishpoet1 | November 5, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

And how then does McCain look his colleagues in the eye after his choice of Palin helped them to lose even more than they were going to?

How does McCain look Obama in the eye when he is inaugurated on my birthday (what a great present hey), how does he take back all the filth he has thrown at an essentially modest and decent human being.

It aint' that easy.

But, Kathleen as others have mentioned I was pleased that you bucked the trend and went against the Palin crowd, she is one ugly mama.

Posted by: shepherdmarilyn | November 5, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

If the McCain of last night had run, he would have probably won.

Posted by: fake1 | November 5, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Let me see if I get this straight. For the last 3 months Johnny Mac has run one of the nastiest, filthiest, dirtiest campaigns ever. He couldn't (or wouldn't) stop the hate-mongering against Obama at his rallies. He didn't stop the robocall attacks on Obama. Yesterday, after he is soundly trashed, he says things that anyone would normally say in a concession speech and this makes him classy? Please!

Posted by: umichgoblue2003 | November 5, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Where was his grace and respect for his peer and rival during the campaign? Maybe he meant those words, maybe he didn't. Just seems to me that had he displayed this belated dignity, a little respect towards Barack, rather than his perpetual condescending and often odorous demeanor, who knows who things may have turned out.

Posted by: tydicea | November 5, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

this is the john mccain i voted for in 2000.

i agree that this was his best speech. with the exception of the tail end remarks about palin, i think it is one of the finest things i have ever heard.

let us hope that president-elect obama will reach out to senator mccain in the same spirit for the good of us all.

Posted by: gompa | November 5, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

I think that John McCain gave a heartfelt speech last night. I voted for Obama, because he always speaks from the heart, and truly listens & cares about People and their problems. I did not get that feeling from McCain, until last night. It was too late. If he had campaigned more positively, and really spoke from heart. I may have had a hard time deciding who to vote for.

Posted by: tomsavacol21st | November 5, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

John MCCain is a man of honor. Nothing could have been done for him or Hillary Clinton to win against Obama. He was criticized for bringing out questions about Obama, a man who is now going to be our president and we really know nothing about him. John MCCain was criticized for going back to Washington when the crisis happened. Funny that no one thought that as a Senator shouldn't both of them have gone back to Washington? That was their job?
No matter what no one could have beat Obama. The disappointment in Bush, the crisis was the perfect storm for Obama. His campaign was masterful. His eloquence is masterful. He had the support of the press and the media who gave him many passes on his past and some of his radical ideas such as putting into place a civilion army along with other questionable ideas that he has peppered through many of his speeches that led this Democrat to vote for MCCain and to believe that this country may have elected a man who may have fooled everyone if they were not looking at him closly. If I am right this election of Obama would be the biggest sting ever pulled off in America. Just hope that the press and the media do their job right this time Now that Obama has the position as president he has much to prove and the American people need to be a watchdog of this man who had connections with folks who really did not like our country, only ran an election masterfully, and no experience. I truly hope I am wrong and that all America will not be disappointed. Time will tell. God Bless America.

Posted by: vmu1 | November 5, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

It's all very noble to call on people to cooperate after inciting their hatred in the first place. This the man who threw the words "terrorist" and "socialist" -- convenient substitutes for "Black" and "Jew" -- at Obama every chance he got. The racist fervor he stirred up will last for years. One speech cannot redeem him.

Posted by: datpto | November 5, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

His speech was truly gracious……..

However, it would have been 100% better had he requested the talk radio show hosts who’s support he sought to give it a rest for just one day……….
I am listening as I write and as usual the bile is despicable…….

May God bless America !

Posted by: pspurio | November 5, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, too late.

Once you've sold your soul to the devil you don't get a do-over on the deal. The devil lies to get you to put it on the dotted line then immediately collects, and there's no recourse.

Whatever the political opportunist John McCain might have once done in his long career will be soon forgotten and his legacy will rightly be that he was the last general of his era to fall on his sword for the army of darkness.

His concession was just one more slippery trick. The weasel in him continues to triangulate. He knows two inevitable events will be shortly coming down the pike: 1) His career in the senate may soon be over and he's hoping that if he lives long enough to run one last time he needs to become more conciliatory to the guys on the other side of the aisle if he's going to survive with any sort of relevance; 2) He is not a well man and though he successfully stonewalled on release of his medical files it is fairly apparent to even the most casual observer that he is rapidly aging day by inexorable day. And his arrogance and ego makes him desperate to rehabilitate what he regards as his precious "legacy" before the reaper catches up with him.

Sorry, too late. The damage is done. John McCain's legacy will be his unleashing Sarah Palin on America and perhaps even worse his hugging the master-torturer George W. Bush, well after the rest of the world had come to recognize him for the monster he was.

A sad, beaten, doomed old man. Who in his desperate final days came to regard his soul as worthless and so gave it gleefully away. His defeat and demise might be an object lesson to a generation of fledgling politicians who aspire to follow in his now-shamed footsteps, but somehow you just know that won't likely be...

Posted by: bugjackblue | November 9, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

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