Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Fantasy

John McCain really doesn't look that well, does he?

I know, the doctors gave him a clean bill of health and everything -- but he looks wan and confused, and I know he avoids looking stage right to keep us from looking at one of his melanoma scars... and I am not saying I wish this, I do not wish this, not on anyone, but after all, the man is 71 years old, and who knows what unspeakable and aging horrors were visited upon him in the Hanoi Hilton all those years back?

Let's just say he starts to age, seriously, in the next few months; and that his episodes of confusion and misplaced anger become more and more frequent; and that the rigors of the campaign start to get to him; and that having a less-than-totally glowing press pack following him brings out the truly grumpy old man in him; and that, you know, in late July he basically has a stroke which leaves him paralyzed on one side of his face but he insists on carrying on, dribbling and salivating his way through a few August appearances before the convention?

I'm just saying, is all....

Do the Republicans at that point throw him, as they say, under the autobus? Do they say, oh, hell, let's just go with Romney? Or Rudy? Or -- you know, Jindhal, or Pawlenty, or whoever old Mac had lined up for Veep? Or do they just say, well, screw it, we can't win this one anyway, let's just run the old man anyway?

Obama would obviously be in a somewhat tricky position -- you can't really run that hard against a man who can't take a sip of water without making us all clench in worry -- but for all kinds of reasons, this kind of scenario is pretty easy to envision, especially as the campaign heats up and we start to see Big Mac slip and slide all over the place.

And if the Republicans do jettison him - or, forgive me, quietly persuade him to step aside - then Obama gets to run a totally different campaign - either against a guy who lost the nomination like Huckabee or Romney - or against a relative newcomer who didn't run for the nomination? It would be like a sparring match for Obama, kind of just to keep him in shape. And he'd win, I would guess, at least 45 states.

Either scenario, I think, would underscore what some people have said about Obama -- that he is one lucky candidate, never had to fight a really tough battle. (They said that before he beat the Clinton machine, anyway...) But it also might spare us a really ugly campaign, and give us a President Obama who is able to send best wishes to his once formidable opponent as they wheel the old guy around on a patio overlooking a golf course in Scottsdale listening to the Inaugural.

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