Some mistakes are forever -- Mann 2012

Nearly 4 years after the 2008 presidential election, I still remember John McCain's ignoring me when I asked him why he didn't define Obama. Even more memorable was Sen. Lindsay Graham's answer when I asked him the same question. I'll explain a bit of campaign goings on before giving the “rest of the story.”

In the very first post on this blog in August 2011, I explained why I came out of political “exile” to try to defeat Barack Obama, the most undefined presidential candidate in history. To repeat a bit, he had no accountable work history, no experience operating or managing anything or anybody, no attributes necessary for a CEO to have. NO, “Community Organizing” for union membership and voter bloc building is not a CEO-like job! His sealed records would, in all likelihood, give some definition that he prefers not to reveal. Why seal the records if they contain information viewed as favorable? All of these factors remain of concern, and after 3+ years in office the lack of experience is quite obvious. His prejudices drive him. All Americans are victims of this.

Of even greater concern to me and many others, was his associations with radical people – socialists, even Marxist-leaning people. In spite of claims to the contrary by his acolytes, especially in the media, he shows these leanings in most of what he does. He has, in part, defined himself in 3+ years, but there is more to surface if he is given a second term.

Now a bit on my personal experience in 2008. I took charge of the McCain campaign in my area. Many associates and friends joined me to lead the effort and 100's of volunteers came out to help. I've written this and won't elaborate more. Frequently, I urged the campaign staff to “define Obama” – all the factors mentioned above and more. They ignored me!

Late in the campaign, we had Sen McCain, Gov. Palin and others of his campaign in our area for an event. My associates and I participated. After the speech, I asked McCain face-to-face why he refused to “define” Obama. He ignored me. He was busy greeting people, but I asked the question at a propitious enough time. Late in the evening when he'd “turned in” at a local hotel, my associates and I sat together winding down and discussing the day. Most people had vacated. But, in walked Sen. Lindsay Graham, whom we had met before, to greet my wife and me and to meet the other people. He then retreated across the room to a seat alone.

I took the opportunity to speak to him one-on-one with no other near to hear the conversation. I asked him pointedly and personally, “Lindsay, why does the campaign not define Obama, why does everyone, including McCain, ignore my urgings and, I'm sure, that of others?” His response shocked me. He asked,
Joe, how old are you?” I was incredulous. I asked him, “what the h... does my age have to do with the issue." His answer, “John is a few years older than you, but you are contemporaries. You should know the answer to your question." He was drinking what looked like a white Russian. I asked him, “How many of those have you sucked down, Lindsay?” We bade each other good night and good luck and that was the end of urging McCain to define Obama.

I pondered his lack of an answer and, after some time, I concluded they were afraid of being accused of racism. In short order I had that confirmed by campaign operatives. They were totally intimidated by the thought of accusations of “being racists.” Of course, they had reason to expect that, but it should not have precluded them from doing an honest appraisal, a “definition,” of Obama. It's quite possible that McCain foreclosed on any opportunity for a future candidate, now Mitt Romney, to do so. McCain's mistake is “forever.”


  1. I don't think it is too late for Romney to get in to this. The only thing lacking would be courage--as it was with McCain... Romeny is very comfortable with himself and can take a hit on racism... What the hell? He's not getting any of the black vote anyway? What the hell are they worried about?

    When in doubt, chose HONESTY and muster to courage to do it!

  2. Bob Hipps01 June, 2012

    My experience in the 2008 campaign was that McCain headquarters totally ignored inputs from us folks "in the trenches." The Romney camp MUST define Obama and make him defend his record. And we must take every opportunity to remind the public just what the current administration has - and has not - done to keep our nation strong and prosperous.

  3. Chuck, Bob, you know I agree with both of you as to the need for this and we intend to get that message to RNC and elsewhere. The reason, however, that I'm cautioning about it at this time is that it will be much more difficult now as we've already seen with the Jeremiah Wright issue. I expect the media to fight to avoid getting the message broadcast. The strategy for defining Obama must be well-developed and formulated soon -- NOW.
    Thank you for the comments. I want them...I need the input and critique!

  4. Joe,

    I don't see any problem with stating clearly what we all view as Obama's shortcomings. As you expressed in your post, the man came out of nowhere, without even a trace of work competence to do the highest job in the land. Defining Obama should focus on his credentials--no business credentials, no governorship experience, not even a complete term in the U.S. Senate--none of which could be considered racist. To be sure, we could define anyone, regardless of the color of their skin, in the same manner. I believe that time is now to present Obama's lackluster performance as President and compare his track record to that of Mitt Romney. We ought not to be too concerned about being labeled racist, if that is what the "progressive" Left wants to call us. We simply can't have this man in the WH another four years. Period!


  5. Joe, I agree with you, but I'm cautious also that with McCain's refusal to do so, it is now more difficult. Please know that I have an initiative along with friends at CARMA to get the RNC to do all you mention above and more. Thank you for your advice and please stay in touch...Joe


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