Honestly, as I watch this campaign, it looks more and more like a tragedy. I was a huge John McCain fan in 2000. I read his autobiography, I followed his career, I knew people who knew him. I did not agree with him on some issues, I knew he'd messed up royally in the S&L crisis, but I liked him anyway. He was real.
Then GWB used some of the dirtiest most dishonest tactics in history to beat McCain in South Carolina, and McCain, the straight talker, conceeded. Instead of calling W on his b.s., and punching him in the face, he bent over for the guy. He sold out when the GOP told him to hang up his Maverick ways, and they'd let him be the next president. So he gave up the one thing he always had- his independence- for the payoff of the presidency.
Now some of the same people who screwed him in South Carolina (and/or their proteges) are running his campaign. He's doing the same dirty tricks. And, unfortunately, in the last eight years McCain has aged badly. Really badly. He, on tv, has often confused the Shiites and Sunnis, and Afganistan and Iraq. Not once, but several times.
So the sad thing about this campaign is, the man who should have been president in 2000, has diminished, both by age and by choice, to someone unrecognizable in 2008. The sad fact is that the McCain of 2000 would not vote for the McCain of 2008. Honestly, if you told the McCain of 2000 he'd turn out like this in 2008, he would cry.