There were many excuses for the Republican Electoral College debacle last night. It was not very close and it had not been for two months.
In fact, all the public opinion polls were very consistent. There was only one day after the conventions when a single poll indicated John McCain was ahead in the 2008 Presidential campaign .
The excuses for the McCain defeat are many. He was outspent by Barack Obama four to one and he had the unpopular Geoge Bush to run away from. As a result, there never was a blue state from the last election in play and his attempt to defend every red state in a Democratic year was not going to win the day.
Certainly, the timing of the current economic mess did not help his cause. In addition, a recent Pew Research study reported negative media coverage of McCain's campaign outpaced his opponent nearly three to one.
So, it can be argued that these obstacles were the reason for his lopsided defeat. There is no doubt they were a contributing factor but the loss in this election is really due to the candidate and his dubious campaign.
Remember that John McCain won his Party's nomination months before Barack Obama did. However, despite a Republican advantage of months of political time, the Obama campaign was better financed, better organized, and had more paid staff in all the battleground states on Election day.
Consider that McCain's response to the economic crisis in September was incoherent. He first said that the fundamentals of the economy were sound. Next, he suspended his campaign for several days to return to Washington because of the economic crisis. He would participate in the first debate after restarting his campaign, without any explanation behind these actions. It made him look erratic and indecisive in the economic crisis.
McCain's advanced age was always an issue for voters. His energy and campaign schedule were very light especially early in the campaign. Meanwhile, the inexperience of Sarah Palin did not provide comfort for voters, since in a McCain Presidency, she would be only a heartbeat away from becoming Commander and Chief.
Overall, the McCain campaign message was muted and subject to change. A campaign of experience would become a campaign of change. Until Joe The Plumber, McCain could not even explain how his tax policy was different from that of the Obama campaign.
Indeed, it was striking how Barack Obama stayed true to his message while John McCain's campaign was unfocused. A thirty year insider and Senator, running as a maverick, on a theme of change, would prove to be to difficult to sell to many 2008 voters.
In his gracious speech last night, John McCain said that the "failure is mine." His lasting legacy will be as a war hero, Senator and as a losing Presidential candidate that in his concession speech did not lie.