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PupnTaco's avatar

Wasn't McCain's concession speech gracious?

Asked by PupnTaco (13830points) November 4th, 2008 from iPhone

I was truly impressed by McCain’s speech tonight. (Can’t say as much for his crowd). He sounded like the old McCain from before the election.

I hope his tone helps begin the bridge the gulf carved over the last eight years by Bush & Cheney.

Can we start to come together?

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41 Answers

Bluefreedom's avatar

I was very pleased with the articulate and thoughtful way that McCain conceded to president-elect Obama. So much so that I don’t even want to loop McCain in with a lot of the other Republican stooges that are currently in politics today. I hope this is a bright example of a new and prosperous beginning for America and all her citizens.

asmonet's avatar

I thought it seems a bit…not to parrot CNN but somber. I think he did a good job considering what he’s done during the election. But it could have been better. I was hoping he would align himself more with Obama to bridge the gap, and speak more of hope.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Pup, I thought the exact same thing – that he sounded like the old Mccain I had so much respect for back in the day.

finkelitis's avatar

It was an important and graceful performance. I thought that he had made something of a Faustian bargain with the racist elements of the country in order to have a shot at the election. Tonight his old character showed through, and hopefully tamped down on those negative forces, if only a little bit.

dalepetrie's avatar

I’m very glad he did what he did. If he hadn’t been gracious, if he’d left any impression that he harbored any resentment of any kind whatsoever, I think it would have fed the anger of those who would, oh I don’t know, boo and shout out rude comments during one’s concession speech. McCain spent the last month building up the hate and fear against Obama, if he’d left that resentment out there without reaching out graciously as he did, it could have been the catalyst for violence (on some scale).

Two thoughts…one is if he’d conducted himself this way in the campaign, he might have had a better shot at winning…I suspect with the shifting of the electorate to a younger, more liberal mindset, that kind of negativity that has won elections in the past was just a turnoff. In fact, negative campaigning is ALWAYS a turnoff, that’s why it was invented…to suppress voter turnout (if you have fewer people voting, you have fewer people to convince). And in most elections it’s a tit for tat, and most people can only choose either to reject both candidates, or to pick the lesser of two evils. This time, McCain made the big mistake of not realizing that he was running against someone who had vowed to rise above it (and meant it).

Second observation, a lot of people are going to talk about how this was more like the “old” McCain, which is true, but, and not to kick a man when he’s down, it seems from this article he may have never really been all that sincere in his “maverickiness”.

finkelitis's avatar

Well—the old McCain, not necessarily as a maverick, but by someone who holds his own values rather than suppressing them to win over right wingers. Gore also gave a great concession speech (of a different variety), and part of was that he was free from his strategy (and strategists). Similarly for McCain—all he had to think about at that moment was what he really believed was best for the country, and not what means he was willing to employ to pursue the ends.

cak's avatar

I truly thought it was a wonderful speech. He was very gracious and very clear in the fact that now we have to move forward, together. Class act.

SoapChef's avatar

Yep, it sure was. I was impressed. I told my husband the same thing Dale said. If he’d conducted himself this way in the campaign, he might have had a better chance at winning.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Yeah, it was. I was impressed, very much so.. especially by the sincerity and class he exuded. I really enjoyed it and I’m so glad he decided to end on that note. I was far less impressed with his audience, though.. sheesh. :\

augustlan's avatar

It was a good speech, I cried during it. It was very interesting to contrast the two crowds while Obama gave his speech. McCain’s audience booed when he mentioned Obama/Biden – even when he tried to get them to stop it, Obama’s applauded when he mentioned McCain/Palin.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

augustlan, is it really a fair comparison though?...i mean obama won…and all…

marinelife's avatar

It was an excellent speech—statesmanlike. It was a shame it was too little too late. His campaign had had such a hate-filled, hectoring tone, he has a lot to make up for.

Exit polling showed that negative did hurt him.

tabbycat's avatar

I thought it was a very nice, gracious speech. His message of unity and support of President Elect Obama was an important one, and I respect him for making it.

In an Obama administration, where bi-partisan solutions are encouraged, perhaps McCain’s input can be very helpful. I agree that if he had talked more like this during the election, he might have won a few more votes.

augustlan's avatar

@La Chica…you have a point, they could afford to be gracious. Maybe I’m mis-remembering, but I just don’t remember concession crowds booing in the past.

MacBean's avatar

It was really nice to see the old McCain back; the one I respected even though I still wasn’t a fan. I hope he really meant it.

dalepetrie's avatar

La Chica Gomela – I get your point that it might not be fair to compare the crowd at a victory speech to the crowd at a concession speech. But, if you’ve listened to the soundbytes coming off the campaign trail over the last couple months, you’d have heard something really telling. At Obama rallies, when Obama would make a negative comment about how McCain was more of the same, Obama’s crowd would cheer. When McCain made a speech about how Obama was “measuring the drapes” or how he wanted to “spread the wealth”, or whatever attack he was using that day, his crowd would boo. Apples to apples comparison says that the McCain campaign actively and openly engendered hostility towards their opponent, and the Obama campaign conducted itself with grace and optimism.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

augustlan, i don’t either, but you’re right, his crowds have been booing obama throughout the campaign trail, and i don’t even remember obama mentioning mccain when i saw him speak here, so there was nothing to boo at, not that people would have.

edit: lol, dale, you beat me to the punch.

TaoSan's avatar

Not only that, has anyone noticed that in the camera flyovers the Obama crowd was overwhelmingly good-looking, modestly to fashiony dressed people, whilst most of the Phoenix flyover shots showed gruffy skinheads? LOL

Maybe it was an unhappy coincidence, I’ve been to Phoenix, and it never struck me as hillbilly if somewhat temperature-influenced.

…and yes, McCain was very graceful. He had horrible campaign managers, the man is after all an American hero. They should have emphasized more how much he stood up against torture and maltreatment of PoWs in Afghanistan and GTMO.

Be that as it may, the Obama crowd “visually” appeared that much more sophisticated.

Trustinglife's avatar

I watched the speech with my mouth hanging open.
I could not believe that this is the same man who had been campaigning.

It gave me hope. Maybe our government isn’t shot to hell. Maybe there is hope for unity and productivity. Especially with President Obama at the helm.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I think what we saw in that speech was in part McCain’s farewell to politics and public life. It was a gracious and sincere speech.

SuperMouse's avatar

It was a very gracious speech. I remember liking McCain at one point, and I agree with those who said we caught a glimpse of that guy. The crowd? Not so impressive.

TheNakedHippie's avatar

I was so so touched by both his and Palin’s reactions. I’ve said from the beginning that I had a tremendous amount of respect for McCain and his speech lived up to my expectations.

purephase's avatar

it was definitly respectful.

nayeight's avatar

I think McCain did a great job with that speech. I felt really bad for him but I was proud he did the right thing. He just looked so old and sad like his life was over and Palin looked like she was gonna just burst into tears. I think it’s great that he acknowledged that yesterday was a historical moment for our country and I hope that McCain supporters can embrace that.

Bri_L's avatar

I thought it was very much so.

I felt a bit bad for him when the crowd boo’d. I think that made it hard on him. I didn’t want their reaction to taint his graciousness.

I did notice that I didn’t see one minority in McCain’s crowd.

basp's avatar

The speech was respectful, but I still have a bad taste from the lack of dignity displayed during the campaign.

dalepetrie's avatar

Anyone able to isolate or find a link to what people in the crowd were shouting?

MissAnthrope's avatar

I do wish we’d seen more of that McCain on the campaign trail. I was really so impressed and I felt like I saw him for the first time. As Marina said, it’s kind of a shame that it came so late in the game. At the very least, I do look at him in a different, more positive light.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

dale, i was looking for a video, but i actually found the the text of the speech on the foxnews website (boo), and they seemed to to transcribe quite a few of the audience comments, not all of them though. they transcribed the chanting at the end as “usa” but heard some very distinct “we want john“s toward the beginning of the chant when i saw it on tv.

dalepetrie's avatar

Curious if we’ll ever know all of it, from what Faux News transcribed it sounds pretty harmless, I’m just concerned if there were any “terrorist” or “off with his heads” coming from that audience. I’m looking for signs that the right can be gracious in defeat.

Think I’ll listen to Rush Limbaugh over lunch, that should be a laugh a minute.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

i was trying to say ”I heard some very distinct…” somehow the “I” got lost.

elchoopanebre's avatar

Great Question, Pupn Taco

Yes I think it’s time to come together. We need to become a unified nation now and stop bickering.

Even Bush called the election outcome an awesome thing. And yes, McCain’s speech was very gracious.

I certainly hope we can start to come together :-)

TaoSan's avatar


Limbaugh over lunch???? How do you keep the food down???

dalepetrie's avatar

Well, never tried it before, but I’m in a good enough mood that I may just attempt it.

Nimis's avatar

Dale: I think the crowd was confused and chanting several things at once.
My friends and I found it hilarious. One almost spit up his food.
It sounded a bit like the adults on Charlie Brown.

augustlan's avatar

I distinctly heard the crowd booing a few times, and chanting “We want John” a couple of times. One really loud guy yelled, “Palin, twenty-twelve” while McCain was speaking. I found that incredibly disrespectful to McCain.

asmonet's avatar

@Aug: Glad I’m not the only one who heard that, I was with a friend and she swore up and down she didn’t hear anything. :-/

cdwccrn's avatar

@basp- that bad taste? I have it, too! But seems I always have it after a long campaign. The viciousness seems to get worse each time.

Maverick's avatar

McCain was great… It’s too bad his campaign didn’t maintain the same level of respect for his opponent. It’s too bad, because I think the concession speech was the real McCain – and he really is very deserving of our respect. Unfortunately, over the last two years of the campaign for the Presidency, I think he really lost sight of who he was personally. The crowd, on the other hand, was absolutely horrible, disrespectful (of both McCain and Obama) and a horrible embarrassment for America and the Republican party. It’s really beyond words how bad their reaction was.

Judi's avatar

That speech helped to maintain a positive legacy for the McCain brand. How awful it would have been after 3 generations of McCains who dedicated their lives to the service of their country if he would have tarnished the family name like it appears George W. Bush has done to his family.

Bri_L's avatar

@ Maverick – Almost word for word what I told my brother in an email to him about the speech!

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