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03:04 PM on 10/19/2008
McCain did this to himself. I wish everyone would quit blaming his advisors. THIS IS THE CAMPAIGN MCCAIN CHOSE TO RUN! Did you see him on FOX today. He LIES even when the truth is right there in front of his face. Wallace asked him about the robocalls and how damaging they were when he ran in 2000, yet he will not stop them now. You are seeing the REAL MCCAIN. You are seeing his REAL TEMPERAMENT! Quit blaming his campaign. IT IS MCCAIN! He could have stopped this train wreck at anytime. This proves that WINNING is first with McCain NOT country!
01:42 PM on 10/19/2008
i am in my 40's, white, female, well off, and a conservative Christian. pretty much the voter constituency mccain is currently trying to target, right?

never gonna happen. i am also a psychologist who specialized in dispute resolution and there is no way i can miss the anger, the hatred, the rage of unfulfillment, and the panic arising in the mccain campaign which will allow him to say anything. reading back over his life, i know - this guy will never represent me nor anything i stand for.

not my president. not the guy to represent me.
01:37 PM on 10/19/2008
How anyone call call himself a Maverick when he votes with the status quo 90% of the time is a complete farce! He couldn't stand up to his handlers, he couldn't choose his own VP pick. This man is an absolute shell of the person he used to be and is not fit for the Presidency. We cannot again have a puppet president.
01:18 PM on 10/19/2008
I agree and it's sad; the McCain of year 2000 was an honorable man. I disagreed with his positions, but never questioned his honor. That his career might effectively end with the darkening of that honor is a sad chapter in politics. However, I think it's a mistake to count him out -- Neocon shenanigans might well pull it off for him, if only to get Palin one step closer to being even more of a puppet than Bush ever was.
02:11 PM on 10/19/2008
Prior to this presidential campaign I respeced Senator McCain as a man and as a soldier, and for his service to the country. Because of the way his campaign has been conducted, my respect factor has just about slid off the scale.
01:07 PM on 10/19/2008
Obviously Mr. Barnicle didn't take the time to check McCain's long voting record. McCain the man, Mr. Barnicle, has been consistently against the interests of the American Joe & Jane Sixpacks. From opposing increases in the minimum wage to opposition of equal pay for women and other issues in between.

Either Barnicle is stuck in the 2000 McCain v. Bush primaries (any enemy of Bush is my friend) or McCain has totally conned Barnicle.
01:00 PM on 10/19/2008
“Guilty as sin, free as a bird…it’s a great country” William Ayers. Rezko wasn’t as lucky. Maybe Obama will pardon him!
With friends like that Obama doesn’t need enemies! He stands on priciples but all his “friends” are bombers and criminals???????
Konnichiwa. Hajimemashite. Karasu desu.
02:27 PM on 10/19/2008
What flavor was that Kool-aide?

Remember the First Law of Democracy:

A voter may not injure the country, or through inaction, allow the country to come to harm.
My New Novel
12:55 PM on 10/19/2008
When McCain hitched his political wagon to the same team that produced the last 8 years of failure, what in heavens name did he expect would be the outcome. As a center right Republican (a General Power Republican) who once was a strong supporter of Senator McCain, it pains me much to see John stoop so low. Until thinking Republicans regain control of this right-wing nightmare of a party, I plan to vote a straight Democratic ticket.
12:53 PM on 10/19/2008
A true maverick would have step to the front and took control of the campign but not mccain he chose to let it go down in flame like his planes,he has managed to fail at many steps in his life and this is yet another one. I believe what you see now is the true McCain a man filled with hate, he knows very well the failures of his life and very little time to change the outcome. I think you are seeing a man with the on set of dementia who is willing to strike out at any and everyone he thinks a enemy.
02:44 PM on 10/19/2008
Just because you call yourself a "maverick" does not make you one forever. "Mavericks" were unbranded cattle in the old west days in Texas. McCain is running under the Republican ticket, and his advisors are hard right ideologues, so NO he is not, nor ever was a maverick, or he would have gone Independent. He would pursue the same policy of Bush and the ones that would be running the country under him would be his hard righters. We've had enough of this gang of thieves! They've destroyed our economy, bankrupted the nation with their stupid wars, and created more enemies than ever for us. McSame is NO maverick, we all see that now, he is just a puppet. And the American people don't want another puppet. If they corrupt the election again, there will be a revolution, as we will ALL know it would be stolen. Put him out to pasture and put the corrupt bastards that have tried to destroy our democracy in jail! Obama is WAY ahead of McSame and the media had better start reporting the truth!
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12:20 PM on 10/19/2008
Good article. I think that McCain's advisors are a group egotistical, bumbling idiots who are so busy defending their own agendas that they have little time to assess what is best for McCain. The same was true, for Hillary's advisors. On the other hand, Obama appears to have gone out into the political community and tapped advisors who are low key, well informed and have provided him with the support that he needs to put his message across. Guess those community organizer skills came in handy after all. Sarah, please take note.
01:00 PM on 10/19/2008
Barnicle - just say it - you just never really knew John McCain - an honest person worthy of respect never let another or any group destroy what they worked for all their life - think about it - remember our parents taught us this - don't let the crowd dictate who you are -
Yes, I know my micro-bio is empty!
06:23 PM on 10/19/2008
But if McCain is such a Maverick, no one would be able to lead him down the path he has chosen. He has no one but himself to blame if he loses.
12:13 PM on 10/19/2008
what makes anyone think he would handle national security any better then economy the first thing he would do is jump out and talk about war the man is still living in the vietnam era
11:54 AM on 10/19/2008
I think when you look back, as one does with Richard Nixon, it becomes clear that this great guy MCcain who has changed by allowing others to influence is all a myth. It's the old "you can fool all of the people some of the time , some of the people all of the time, but never all of the people all of the time." Of course there are those people who were never fooled. To me, Senator McCain is as he was in the past, is now, and will be forever. The only difference is his ability to create a persona though successful for a long time has been has fallen under the weight of his true character. It's hard to keep up the illusion when there is so much boiling beneath the surface, and under the close examination of a long campaign it was destined to collapse. I think the recent Rolling Stones article would give a psychiatrist a hay day.
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Happy, joyous, and free--on a good day.
11:25 AM on 10/19/2008
We got a glimpse of "the old McCain" at the Al Smith dinner in NYC. He was charming, funny, self-deprecating, and intelligent. He out-performed Obama--no mean feat. He seemed relaxed, in charge, and grown up. So what happened? Did the handlers give him a night off to be himself? Or did he realize that the hard-right angry old dude stuff woudn't play in this room, so he changed his act? Which is the real McCain? Is there a real McCain? For me, the old McCain died a shameful death when he caved on the torture issue. He was the one man in his party who could have stood up and stayed stood up to the craven right's cowardly stance that torture is what real men do. This country defeated Hitler and Tojo without tossing away the Geneva Convention, for God's sake, so now we have to shred it because of a bunch of nuts with box cutters? The craziest thing about the crazy so-called conservatives is their abject fear in the face of "international terrorism." McCain was at one time a beacon of sanity on this issue, recognizing that we dared not surrender our own rights and values because we faced a foe who did not value them. So was that man, the man who stood up against torture, the real McCain or was thed poltical stance that was easily tossed aside when it became a political liability?
10:26 AM on 10/19/2008
Good article. I once supported McCain, but many things factors have compelled to change my mind. I'll be voting for Barack Obama tomorrow.
09:57 AM on 10/19/2008
STill , Watch the voting machines, already problems in West Virginia. Watch PBS's Moyers on how easily 2000 and 2004 could have been (or were) rigged!
09:10 AM on 10/19/2008
I've been thinking about your column overnight, Mike, and find that I can't buy into your heartfelt, but sentimental view of McCain. The problem is not that he allowed his repulsive advisors to steal his honor. The problem is a constellation of character flaws that have always been there but have never before been exposed to the harsh light of public examination for long enough for the "real" McCain to reveal himself. This is an angry, rebellious, narcissistic man who never grew up. He is still the impulsive and intellectually undisciplined hell-raiser who would have flunked out of Annapolis but for his connections, the reckless (and apparently poorly-skilled) man who crashed planes instead of cars, the smart-ass who made cruel jokes about others but who is himself remarkably thin-skinned -- in short, a man without judgment, without principle, without a reliable, consistent moral compass, without a center.

He is not entirely without better instincts, but his narcissistic wounds are so profound and the gap between how he needs to see himself and what he actually knows himself to be is so wide that he has, over the course of this campaign, revealed himself for all to see. No one put a gun to his head and forced him to hire the sleaziest politicos in America to run his campaign. Whatever compassion there may be for McCain, who is clearly a tormented man, it is not equal to the instinct for self-preservation of the electorate.
10:25 AM on 10/19/2008
1dogs2 - this is a brilliant assessment. Thank you. Your insight is the best I have ever read about McCain & it applies to many other people as well. I'm going to remember your words. & thanks again to HuffPost for this forum.
Stop repeat offenders. Don't re-elect them.
10:35 AM on 10/19/2008
I agree with many of the posters here. Like George W. Bush, McCain himself made the choices that are bringing him down. He is no victim of anyone else. He is the victim of his own flawed decisions and has only himself to blame. He made a conscious choice to employ the strategists he did and that in itself shows that McCain's (thin) hair is on fire to win at all costs and has complete disregard for what's good for this country and even his party.

I live in Arizona and have had the (dis)pleasure of having to be exposed to McCain for many, many years. It has long been evident in Arizona that MCain is not working for or even involved with the people of Arizona. McCain's wife didn't live in Washington so McCain would come home to Phoenix once in a while but not very often. He was uninterested in Arizona issues. He hasn't had the time because McCain has been working for many years on his pet project, which is the self-promotion of John McCain. Also like George W. Bush, McCain is a man molded by his obsession of one-upping his father (and grandfather) after many years of being the screw-up embarrassment of his family. Also like George W. Bush, McCain's obsession has been, in fact, blown up by the very same type of irresponsible decision-making that has dogged him all his life.