I decided a few months ago that I was not a John McCain supporter anymore.
I don’t think I ever could have voted for him.
But I was for McCain in that outrageous Primary race that George W. Bush waged against him in 2000. And I was deeply offended by the George Bush/ Karl Rove smear tactics used against him, in which they said that John McCain had fathered an illegitimate (black) baby. (Yes, I was aware of Bush’s denial of being involved, but it didn’t particularly cut ice with me, because of Bush’s subsequent inaction.)
[The smear of course was utterly untrue –as we know– so I found it especially revealing of what Bush/Rove clearly considered “the worst lie they could tell against” an opponent: we note the sexual content and the racism. His campaign was in desperate trouble in South Carolina, but how could George W. Bush stoop so low!]
Now, just to provide some context:
John McCain had not particularly taken my attention before 2000.
(I did remember him being involved in the Keating Five Savings and Loan scandal of the late eighties, but with my paying less than full attention at the time, and also no doubt because the financial complexities of the case, I was not aware of the details of McCain’s individual involvement in the scandal, and was somewhat aware that he had made a case for mitigation, more or less.
Another obfuscating factor was the polarized reporting –I was unclear as to the real and relevant facts, as opposed to the spin, of the case.
Nothing else about John McCain stood out in my memory.)
Until 2000 and his run against George Bush, where the maverick got clobbered by the machine. That’s probably when I –and probably many many others– became McCain supporters.
Although –as I say– I don’t think I ever could have voted for him.