Sen. John McCain (R.-Ariz.) surely feels a sense of entitlement to the presidency he felt he had earned by 2000. He did his time in Vietnam, and then he did his time on the Hill--four years in the House, and now 22 in the U.S. Senate. So along comes this brainy Democrat from "back East," as Arizonans call anyplace east of the Mississippi. He makes a big splash with a kick-ass speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. He's easily elected to the Senate--he's now a colleague--and 24 years younger. He spends the next four years running for president, a goal McCain spent a career working toward. And now it looks like "that one" is going to win.
That must be harsh. Obama has no military experience and almost no experience on Capitol Hill. McCain, of course, is a Vietnam War hero and a Hill veteran--after 26 years of service, a creature of Washington. And losing to this neophyte? Who is black? It was bad enough that then-Gov. George W. Bush (R.-Tex.) beat him in the South Carolina primary eight years ago by intimating that his adopted daughter was his illegitimate black child. He has been the team player for these eight intervening years to reach this point. And now, with the economy in a tailspin (his admitted weak spot), his campaign falters and almost disappears. A sad denouement to what might have been.