From David Kuo:
But when it comes to specific policies and solutions [McCain] is intellectually, philosophically, and politically vacuous. In that he is a perfect reflection of conservatism in America today. Today’s conservatism is lost. It is so lost it doesn’t actually know if it lost at sea, lost in space, or lost in a desert. It lacks moral courage, a philosophical core, and intellectual certitude. McCain’s defeat will help change all of that because his defeat will lead to a debate within conservatism unlike anything in several decades.
From Peter Suderman:
One thing that’s clear from this debate is how little there is to John McCain and his campaign. He’s running on a few, vague issues – tax cuts, an aggressive response to Russia in specific and terrorism in general, something about energy – and a whole lot of non-policy fluff: America’s inherent strength and goodness, Obama’s inexperience, scorn for Washington insiders.
From Conor Friedersdorf:
The most devastating moment for John McCain was the
exchange where he criticized Barack Obama for talking irresponsibly
about attacking Pakistan. Obama responded by saying that he’d attack if
he had Bin Laden in his sights — a position most Americans probably
agree with, for better or worse — and pointed out that McCain is the
one who sang a frivolous song about bombing a foreign country.
From James Poulos:
Not only is McCain an outrage-driven political
personality, whose boldness rises sharply in proportion to his
perception of crisis; he is also a detail-fudger. When it comes to
running a sleek, efficient, and deadly-effective political campaign,
McCain’s disposition has led several times to near catastrophe and
waves of staff turnover. He heads into October with a schizoid, perhaps
even bipolar campaign that he cannot be said to fully control. To a
great extent, McCain has spent this year a prisoner of events. But he
has also been a maker of events — of campaign suspensions and surprise
veep selections. This tension has kept his bid for the presidency from
plunging into the depths. But it has proven that McCain is a steady
hand only when in control.