So Senator McCain was doing well in my early qualifying round. He opposed wasteful spending and earmarks, supported stem cell research, opposed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, opposed torture, and most importantly, he was convincing me that he was right on Iraq, and was the most qualified candidate to handle foreign policy issues. Yet I didn’t see much cause for me to pick a candidate prior to the election. Ironically, the moment I knew I was a McCain supporter was the moment his campaign almost tanked.
Don’t let the media fool you; Senator McCain’s support for the surge and the Iraq War was not what hurt his campaign, though the press’ obvious disdain for anyone willing to support the surge was not helpful. Immigration, mixed with financial problems, is what almost did in the campaign. While I have no insight into the financial problems, I did see what people were saying about his support of immigration reform, and they were livid (to put it mildly). If you read conservative websites, or even Senator McCain’s own website/blog at that point, there was no way that anyone would have thought he had a shot at winning the nomination. He received death threats; he was called a traitor (a particularly callus remark considering his personal history), and person after person said how they would never support him. In a town hall, one man was so angry that he stated that he used to support him, but now he felt betrayed by Senator McCain because of his support for immigration reform.
Supporting McCain Through Immigration Turmoil
An Independent Call by Katherine J. Morrison available at Amazon.
Independent Criteria for 2008 #7