Can McCain Possibly Win Without Playing the "Fear Card"?

@anniepa (27238)
United States
July 21, 2008 1:44am CST
This was the topic on the Chris Matthews Show today. Now, I know many of you here are against Obama and you disagree with his call for "change" but the truth is the majority of Americans do want change and when the economy is doing poorly the party in the White House usually suffers. So, what they were discussing and what I'd like to discuss is this - can John McCain paint himself as a "candidate of change" instead of an extension of the Bush Presidency or is his only chance to win using fear-mongering and going negative on Obama? Ten of the twelve regular panelists on Matthews show said that he can't win without playing the fear card and I tend to agree. What do you think? Can he simply run on his own record and proposals or will we be seeing another batch of Swift-boat type attacks? Annie
2 people like this
3 responses
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
21 Jul 08
I really have mixed feelings about the elections. I know that Americans have short memories, and that Republicans love to play the people of this country. I feel that McCain will not only play the fear card but I also feel that the country will see a huge drop in gas prices right before the election and McCain will take the credit for that. Even though the US is one of the G-8 I feel that we as a nation are so behind in the times. We still have so much discrimination and hate compared to the rest of the world. We still have the issue of abortion that is debated so often compared to the rest of the world. There is so much bias against religions that are not the traditional Christian types, we might as well be considered China or some other strong hold government. With all of that said, I will be very surprised if the American people will elect Obama for president. I think that they would much rather have another Republican in office than a black man, that may or may not have been a muslim at some point in his life, and allow that said Republican run the economy down much more than it already is. I can just see the newspapers in 3 years, "People now living in McCainvilles all over the US". And, for those of you that do not recognize the term it refers to the Hoover Administration. But those are my personal opinions and no one has to agree with them but history does repeat itself over and over.
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@anniepa (27238)
• United States
21 Jul 08
I can't tell you how much I hope you're wrong but I sure do see where you're coming from. There is so much negativity against Obama, I've never seen anything like it before and I'm 55 years old and have been interested in politics since I was a kid since it was the topic of conversation at every meal for as long as I can remember. There have been plenty of attacks against every Presidential candidate I can remember but never like this, never to the point of seriously calling someone the "anti-Christ"! Annie
1 person likes this
@ZephyrSun (7385)
• United States
21 Jul 08
I cannot tell you how much I hope I am wrong as well. I really do not want to live in McCainville Ohio. I hope that the people of this nation will remember and not want to continue this downward spiral. When I go to the polls this November I WILL be voting for Obama, because I want some real change. I want a better economy! Annie, in your age (I'm 33) can you ever remember the British Pound or the Canadian Dollar being worth more than the American Dollar? I cannot and I think that this is absurd that this has accurred!
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@anniepa (27238)
• United States
22 Jul 08
It certainly hasn't happened in my lifetime either and I'm 55. The thought of McCain winning really scares me and nobody has to play any fear card to make it so! Annie
@tentwo67 (3384)
• United States
21 Jul 08
I saw an article online talking about voting machine problems and it had a hook on it that said, "Worried that the election might be stolen? It already has been." I really hope that this is wrong, but I don't count McCain out. I'm not even particularly a Barack Obama fan, although I do like him a great deal. I am more against McCain because he scares me. (That's different than the fear card, I fear him!) I am pleased when I see poll results that are very positive for Obama and yet I look at them and think that there's a lot of time between now and November. I hope that dirty politics don't come in to this, but I'm sure they will. And I just hope that there will be no positive impact for McCain's campaign. I think it is positive that the official in Iraq has endorsed Obama's plan for withdrawal, although I have to confess that I didn't read the stories carefully. I just have to believe that McCain can't realistically present himself as the candidate of change.
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I agree with what you wrote about McCain - I fear him, too and it's not the fear card with me either, he's just a scary old man. That's mean, but I can't help it. He made another big gaffe today, talking about the Iraq-Pakistan border but as usual the media nearly completely ignored it. Dan Abrams sure has it right when he calls McCain "Teflon John". Annie
@tentwo67 (3384)
• United States
22 Jul 08
I heard Gayle King interviewing someone from MSNBC, who said that the media simply doesn't find McCain interesting and that's part of the reason he gets away with this c**p. I have no idea how true it is, but if there is a nugget of truth he will hopefully get more interesting to them, or they'll get over their boredom to report more accurately on him.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13924)
• United States
21 Jul 08
Annie, do me a favor and clarify what you mean when you keep bringing up Swift Boat attacks. Since Obama has no military experience and has no real accomplishments to brag about, I can't see any attack even remotely similar to Swift Boat happening. When I think Swift Boat I think of blatant lies told by people who were not even witnesses to the events they're lying about. As far as I can tell Obama's biggest accomplishment he brags about is that he worked his way through college. That, of course, has already been proven false so I'm not sure what else a Swift Boat tactic can be applied to. Back to your question. Change is a buzzword. It sounds good and people love hearing it. It was Bill Clinton's favorite word and he didn't bring about any radical changes (intentionally) so there's no reason to believe Obama will. To answer your question, No, McCain can not paint himself as a "candidate of change" because he's not willing to lie to the American people and give the impression that significant changes can happen overnight. Troops can't be brought home overnight, the economy can't be fixed overnight, and healthcare can't be made affordable overnight. Many of Obama's followers seem to believe that these tasks are easy and Bush's incompetence is the only reason none of these goals have been accomplished so far. They fail to realize that in 8 years Bill Clinton wasn't able to make any changes like these happen either. I don't think the fear card as you put it is McCain's biggest asset. I think the "Experience Card" based on his experience both in the senate and the military will be what he's running on. It's the area that Obama is thoroughly incapable of matching him. He'll also be focusing on his willingness to work with democrats instead of against them.
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