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McCain On Plane

DISMAL FUNDRAISING, POLL SLIPPAGE HAVE MANY SAYING STRAIGHT TALKER IS DONE

FITSNews – July 2, 2007 – All of a sudden, people are starting to remember why they didn’t like John McCain to begin with. The recollections have little to do with how they’re actually feeling about the candidate at the moment, mind you, and a lot more to do with the inevitable frustration accompanying the flagging fortunes of his once high-rolling candidacy. Even before today’s dismal fundraising showing, McCain’s campaign was already fast approaching its 2008 nadir – a freefall that is now creating a bandwagon effect among many rank-and-file Republicans who previously shunned the Arizona Senator during his 2000 campaign.

Experts are attributing McCain’s apparent collapse to three main forces – social conservatives who were never really comfortable with him to begin with, moderate Republicans alienated by his support of the War in Iraq and of course the fire-eating segment of the GOP base looking to draw and quarter McCain and S.C. Sen. Lindsey Graham over their support of a controversial – and now dead – immigration bill. With so many people looking for a reason not to go with him, it’s almost amazing McCain ever managed to become the GOP frontrunner to begin with.

Personally, we have a lot of respect for McCain. Instead of flip-flopping like other candidates he takes positions and sticks with them. Unfortunately, we don’t agree with a lot of those positions – most notably his support for a campaign finance law that basically amounted to a shielding of incumbents from legitimate political criticism.

During the poll plummeting that occurred during the immigration debate, McCain’s supporters kept telling us his campaign was “built for the long-haul.” Of course now that FEC reports indicate he has only $2 million cash on hand, however, we’re not sure exactly how much longer that haul is going to be.

So … can McCain recover?

Well, barring a fundraising miracle he will likely have to accept federal matching funds for his campaign – a move that will keep him afloat but also subject him to spending limits down the road, not to mention fresh avenues of criticism from his GOP rivals.

McCain’s best bet is to start defining his candidacy by the positions he’s taken, instead of allowing those positions to continue defining him. Somehow, he needs to let the voters know that the presidency isn’t about sticking a finger in the wind and determining the popular breeze.

Of course even then, it might not be enough.

We’re not prepared to officially stick a fork in McCain just yet, but there’s no question it’s hanging like the Sword of Damocles just above the “sizzle.”