John McCain presents himself to the public as a straight-talker who's always open with the public and the media. He considers that an asset. While it's an asset to be a straight-talker, it doesn't help when you're so stupid as to concede the primaries by admitting that the Iraq War will be your undoing. The New York Times reports,
Senator John McCain said Monday that he needed to convince the American people that the troop escalation in Iraq was working and that American casualties there would continue to decline. If he did not, he said, “I lose” the election.Now, John McCain is trying to straighten out his "straigh-talk" by claiming that the Iraq War will 'be over soon,' (see video), but he also says the insurgency will continue unabated. This sure is some incredible double-talk from the "straight talker"!
“Is there any doubt?” Mr. McCain said to reporters on his campaign bus.
But then he pulled back from his blunt assessment. “Let me not put it that stark,” he said, explaining that he believed people would judge his candidacy on his ability to handle the economy, which has emerged as a pre-eminent voter concern, as well as on national security.
Nevertheless, Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, made clear that he believed his prospects in November would rest in large measure on the way the situation in Iraq played out.
“If I may, I’d like to retract ‘I’ll lose,’ ” he said. “But I don’t think there’s any doubt that how they judge Iraq will have a direct relation to their judgment of me.” NYT, February 26, 2008
"...the war for all intents and purposes, although the insurgency will go on for years and years and years, but it will be handled by the Iraqis, not by us, and then we decide what kind of security arrangement we want to have with the Iraqis. ... " TheAtlantic.ComIt's one thing to shoot from the hip, but John McCain also shoots himself in the foot. You disqualify yourself as a straight-talker when you take back what you said once you've had a minute to think about it.
Who will make the better international leader? Barack Obama, who considers his words carefully and speaks eloquently, or John McCain who makes self-destructive statements and then tries to take them back when the damage has already been done?
What John McCain calls a "straight-talk express" is really a double-talk, "what I said versus what I meant express."