Posted by: nastylittletruths | November 10, 2008

An Ode To McCain

It’s a week now since John lost the election, but his concession speech will stay with me forever. I mean, I live in the same country as Basdeo Panday and if I felt bad the night of November 5th 2007, I felt even worse on November 4th 2008. Here was John McCain, a man who firmly believed that he was destined to be President of the US (he will go down in history as the man who lost to the first African-American) and he showed his grace at the darkest hour of his career.

Compare this to the Bas who was fighting to lead a Third World country with 1.3 million souls and you get an idea of how vastly different the stakes were. When, oh when will we ever see the level of statesmanship our leaders speak of but cannot emulate? (Hot in the news these days, of course, is Patricks’ storming of 94.1FM a few weeks ago, but that’s another post).

Below are excerpts from the speech: (Emphasis is mine)

“In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance.

Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain. These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.

I urge all Americans … I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that. It’s natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again. We fought — we fought as hard as we could. And though we feel short, the failure is mine, not yours.

I don’t know what more we could have done to try to win this election. I’ll leave that to others to determine. Every candidate makes mistakes and I’m sure I made my share of them. But I won’t spend a moment of the future regretting what might have been. This campaign was and will remain the greatest honour of my life and my heart is filled with nothing but gratitude for the experience and to the American people for giving me a fair hearing before deciding that Senator Obama and my old friend Senator Joe Biden should have the honour of leading us for the next four years.

Today I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much. And tonight I remain her servant. That is a blessing enough for anyone and I thank the people of Arizona for it. Tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama. I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my President.”

 Wow… Whether he was lying to his teeth or not doesn’t matter. What matters is what he said and how he controlled the crowd when they booed and jeered at Obama’s name. Yes, Bas… John probably has the same age as you, but he was a better man than you could ever hope to be.

The Express, I believe, re-printed this some time in the last week, but you can read the entire text at CNN –

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/04/mccain.transcript/index.html

I would like to conclude by saying that John McCain should have been President instead of Bush for the last eight years. It was supposed to be his time in 2000, but his maverick ways bit him in the behind. He could not compete with the Bush connections and money. One can never know what his presidency would have been like in the aftermath of 9/11, but I would like to think that he would have made a good if not great President. The US population agrees with me as Bush will leave office as the least liked President in history…

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