Tales from the Trail

McCain says he’s the underdog against Obama

June 5, 2008

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – It’s June. The U.S. presidential¬† election is in November. So does it pay to be the front-runner now — or the underdog?mccain7.jpg

Republican John McCain has gone with underdog, declaring himself just that in an interview with ABC News’ Charles Gibson on Thursday, two days after Illinois Sen. Barack Obama became the presumptive Democratic nominee.

“Are you the underdog?” Gibson asked, according to a transcript of the interview.
“Oh, yes, I think so. I think so,” McCain replied.

“I think — I’m surprised, frankly, to see the polls as close as they are, given our brand problems in the Republican Party. I’m pleased where we are.”

Sometimes you don’t want to be the favorite.

Hillary Clinton, who is set to end her campaign for the Democratic nomination this week, was the clear front-runner last year before she lost to Obama in January in Iowa, the first state to hold a nominating contest.

McCain does have some obstacles. He has to compete with the historic nature of his opponent’s bid — Obama would be the first black U.S. president — and the unpopular Republican president, George W. Bush, whom both hope to succeed.

McCain played down the role of race at an event in Florida and is already working to gather some of the attention that has been showered on his Democratic rivals — and to find a style that suits him.

After his speech on Tuesday night was panned for poor delivery, the Arizona senator ditched his teleprompter on Thursday and spoke from the cuff, looking more natural and more comfortable.

He’ll have several more months to perfect his style if he wants to give up the underdog mantle.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young. McCain points to the audience as he arrives to speak before the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington on June, 2008.

Comments
10 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

I’d say its more than a brand problem. We’re not buying what the republicans are selling, a re-branding isn’t going to help. Lipstick on a pig.
Funny- McCain was posing in front of the new slogan, “Leadership we can trust”. That would be a welcome change from the current administration. Did Karl Rove approve that slogan?

Posted by Tom G | Report as abusive
 

Correction, the McCain slogan was “Leadership We Can Believe In”.

Posted by Tom G | Report as abusive
 

McCain is a grandfather figure: not at all a realistic hope in hell for another term for the Republicans.

I predict an Obama landslide, brought on by the sheer desperation of the US people for a total change.

People are now willing to give Obama a chance.

They now see an honest, upstanding guy ready to serve his country dilligently.

Obama is the antithesis of Bush: he represents hope, change, political vitality and above all, trust.

America is about to start healing itself via the steady hand of a great politician.

Here is a man the US can be rightly proud of!

Posted by The Truth Is... | Report as abusive
 

sorry – ‘shear’ should read ‘sheer’

Posted by The Truth Is... | Report as abusive
 

Matters not a damn what the Republican slogan is this “go round,” for it won’t help McCain one damn bit.

For when the great orator, Barack Obama, descends upon McCain like an archangel, with those upcoming oratory wars that the Repissians like to refer to as “debates,” McCain is going to wish he had gone ahead and opted for that bed in Room 204-B (East Wing/3rd Floor) in the White Hall Nursing Home after all to, at least, offset and care for his oncoming and further health conditions, not to mention his significant lack of stamina.

By the way…does anyone believe this guy, in his current physical and mental condition (i.e., appearing “out of it” when being called in a crowd), or lack thereof, can actually last long enough to get through the general election, let alone deal with the stress and pressures of a presidency should he win due to the stars being out of alignment to the point that they damn near form a half circle?

Come on…let’s get real here…in fact, let’s get *really* real here.

As the “Highlander” television series narrator would always state in his voiceover…

“There can be only one.” And, that “one” is Barack Obama.

 

Say what you will, McCain WILL BE the next president. It’s sad to see so many buying in to Obama’s hype. great speaker, no substance.

Posted by John | Report as abusive
 

I am a 69 year old Grandmother, so therefore I will be considered an old lady who is about dead – - – not, Only one thing I ask of all you who are going to vote for Obama, check him out. I hear what he says he is going to do BUT, there are a few questions you should be asking him. How is he going to do this?? Where is he going to get the money?? Check out how many of these promises he can keep without the approval of Congress. One real interesting question is — exactly how many days has he actually sit in his Senator’s Office and worked for the people since he went into office. In all the debates when he was ask a question how many times did he answer, Well, I agree with what Hillery just said. Hello, wise up, one of the first questions he was ask after accepting the nomination was, well I do agree with John McCain on that issue. I am a retired VP of a Bank and I would love to ask him some questions on National TV. but of course that would never happen. Again all I ask is don’t listen to the News Reports check him out. “God Bless America” who ever our next President is.

Posted by Jean | Report as abusive
 

69 year old grandmother, To be blunt, you seem not to think too much for your grandkids welfare, or your own for that matter. You say you are an old lady who could be considered ‘about dead’?! If you can still type (please use spell check next time Ms. X VP of some bank.), remember your kids names and realize that you are YOUNGER than the Republican nominee than please do some research yourself. Senator Obama has addressed the issues you question, you seem to be set in your ways, remember you were a lamb before you became that sheep…

Posted by Rob | Report as abusive
 

Another great orator was Hitler (He too mesmerized the crowd) and He promised change….and change there was!!!

Posted by O-NO | Report as abusive
 

Respectfully, to the Grandmother of 69 years & the gentleman who rudely corrected her: Thank you for raising excellent questions & not answering others. I will raise another point. If change is something that involves more social programs, paid for or not, then we would all be foolish to vote for it. I would rather struggle to make ends meet than let someone else provide me or others a free ride at someone else’s expense. It is hard work that makes you appreciate what you have. It hard work that builds character. Whatever candidate you choose, choose the one who will strengthen your resolve to do for yourself and not take hand outs from the government programs designed to create helpless masses dependent on those more powerful than themselves.

Posted by Brandy | Report as abusive
 

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