November 18th, 2008
09:47 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain may face bumpy shift from White House run

Sen. John McCain is looking forward to returning to the Senate full time, aides say.
Sen. John McCain is looking forward to returning to the Senate full time, aides say.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Two weeks after losing his bid for the presidency in an electoral landslide, Sen. John McCain is beginning the thorny transition back to life out of the spotlight as he weighs his future role in the Senate.

Aides say McCain is looking forward to returning to the chamber full-time after a nearly two-year hiatus.

But the road from Republican Party standard-bearer to merely one of a hundred senators can be a bumpy one, political observers say, especially since the Arizona senator is without a leadership position as his party faces its slimmest minority in the chamber in nearly three decades.

McCain's return to a lower profile is made more precarious by the fact that he has to grapple with a stinging public rejection and ongoing criticism from some Republicans who say his campaign was mismanaged. Other Republicans have said it was downright incompetent.

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Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Sara from Arizona

    John, AF vet, It is truly frightening how many Americans voted for Obama.

    November 19, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
  2. Jack 64 year old

    It was not just a mismanaged campaign that cost John McCain the election, it was a rejection of his and the republican message.

    Now, John McCain can either go back to the Senate with the same old failed GOP policies or he can help this country recover from those failures.

    The question: Is John McCain the real patriot that he proclaimed during the campaign or just another minor party obstructionists? The first 6 months of the Obama presidency will bring out the real John McCain, I can't wait to see who the "real John McCain" really is.

    November 19, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  3. Anonymous

    Every one keeps saying this guy is too old! Crap on that, I'm in my thirtys and this man has been more stewardship and had common manners and fair game in the political race, showed good sportsmanship, when he lost,..i'ts to bad people are writing him off.
    I hope he contiues the senate, AMERICA needs a few good men like him! Keep him in!.

    November 19, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  4. Pat, NJ

    The Palin pick was idiotic. I wish Barrack all the best, and he will need it with this mess left by Bush.

    A Republican that voted for Obama.

    November 19, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  5. Democrats No Matter What!!

    Report the story about Cindy McCain cheating on him and stop censoring my comments!

    November 19, 2008 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Now the old man can go to bed with some warm milk and crackers, oh hows cindy and the 80's rocker the one she was caught kissing?

    November 19, 2008 01:07 am at 1:07 am |
  7. Phil Newton in Murphy, Oregon

    Good man. Bad campaign.

    We need you, John!

    Unity in 09!

    November 19, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  8. Marrow

    John McCain lost the election because he did not stay true to himself. Instead of going with his own pick for VP (Lieberman or Romney) he listened to his advisers and chose Palin. From that point onward, he was saddled with an inexperienced, ill informed running mate, and was forced to run his campaign according to the strategy his advisers had created built around Palin as VP. We saw occasional glimpses of the real McCain, but most of the time he was hidden behind the tired, outdated image that so many GOP candidates have run on in the past.

    I have a lot of respect for John McCain, but I believe the better candidate won this election. Obama is intelligent, much more moderate than the right-wingers have made him out to be, and is proving that he meant what he said about bringing bi-partisanship and change to Washington.

    November 19, 2008 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  9. deinse

    I'm sure the transition will be bumpy for Sen. McCain, but he deserves to eat a little crow after such a horrible campaign.

    November 19, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  10. Watermann

    The world has changed, the communication has changed, the politics have changed, the economy has changed, the environment has changed, the view on religion has changed, the age of the voters has changed and, last but not least, the dreams and the feelings of the people, not only in the US, have changed.

    It is time that politicians and media are going to recognize these facts. It will be a long and demanding process but there is no other way to deal with the future challenges.

    Al the bits and pieces known in the past are not longer valid. A broader view, not left, centre or right will be our future.

    November 19, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  11. Yes we did!

    McCain ran a dirty campaign and the people are sick and tired of that kind of politics. Learn your lesson the hard way. The best MAN won!

    McCain should not serve in President Obama's cabinet. He has proved that he will lie at any cost. Not a trait we want in our administration.

    Move on, McCain!

    November 19, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  12. Linda32

    It is so funny to me to hear the pundits say it was close until the financial crisis. Truth is each party always gets a bump in the polls then it levels off. So in truth, Palin and the polls were temporary.

    November 19, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  13. Bill,ca

    Re: Peter

    You Republicans have brought this country down, with Obama it only can turn to the better.

    Remember what we predicted all along:

    " Landslide Victory "

    Now you can scream USA

    November 19, 2008 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  14. db

    go take some Boniva...

    November 19, 2008 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  15. Dan

    I hear in Louisiana (i know in Lafayette)....kids have been warned not to discuss their new President Elect or risk disciplinary action.
    All i want to know is....Is this legal? Would it have been same if McCain won? Are our children's teachers trying to drag us back to the 50s.

    CNN SHINE UR LIGHT ON THIS MATTER....Would be good investigative journalism for Soledad or Cooper!

    November 19, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  16. Rave

    From War Hero to Total Zero
    He brought it to himself with all the negative attacks
    There are thousands more war heros in this country who continue to live with dignity and respect.

    November 19, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  17. Beverly in NC

    McCain is now a lame duck Senator. He compromised his character, his integrity, and his honor to run the nastiest, most hate-filled, and racist campaign in history. He alienated everyone and he has shown he has no common sense or judgment by having chosen the nutjob ignorant Palin. No one will ever take McCain seriously again. He should just retire. He is too old and his career is over. He has no credibility. I am ready for him to disappear just as Palin finally has.

    November 19, 2008 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  18. Jae (Maryland)

    You know, as a Democrat that voted for President-Elect Obama, some of the comments here made by my fellow Democrats are just rude and mean. Let us not forget the great amount of service that Senator McCain gave to his country. For crying out loud, the man endured years of torture from the NVA for his COUNTRY! How many of us would have had the guts to do that? Give credit where credit is due. I may not have wanted him as PODUS, but I sure as heck respect the man.

    Also, consider this, John McCain ran as clean of a campaign as he could get away with. As a person who wrestles with my conscious a lot, I can see that the erratic behavior of his campaign was not a sign of age, but rather a conflict between his sense of personal honor and the requirements of a politician to win a presidential election. Were mistakes made? Yes. But remember this, John McCain stuck to his word and did not make use of the Jeremiah Wright issue. He defended then Senator Obama at some of his campaign events and he publicly corrected people's misunderstandings of Senator Obama. How many politicians would have gone that far to stick with their sense of honor? I doubt many of us could stand the high level of conduct that we demand from our politicians. God Bless John McCain and God Bless the United States of America. We are going to need it to get this country out of this financial crisis.

    November 19, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  19. Richard Larson

    Senator McCain will adapt to his new status probably as easily as John Kerry did. Both men are able legislators and McCain will have more than a few of his former colleagues with which he can interact and begin to adjust. About the only thing that will change will be his office location and the number of personnel in his staff. He's been through it before and nothing new will occur now. To say that he is Lieberman light is probably true. Those who disagreed with him in the campaign will be forced to work with him if they want to get anything concrete done in this congress. If the republicans become too radical, I see McCain following Lieberman's lead in becomming an independant. Both men will eventually end up in the nexus of power in the senate when super-majority votes are cast. Pres. Elect Obama did well to smooth over relations with both men. They both may end up being vital contributors to his presidency.

    November 19, 2008 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  20. Allan

    And the best is yet to come.

    He's up for reelection in 2010. If he's still alive by then and hasn't been institutionalized for senility, polls taken on Election Day show that the voters of Arizona prefer their Democratic Governor Napolitano over Grandpa Simpson.

    If he has the chutzpah to run again he will lose. Again.

    LOOOOOOOOOOOSER.

    November 19, 2008 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  21. Thomas [ Lindsay, CA.]

    I am a democrat. I also agree with WAW. he does deserves some respect for serving our country. Its time to fogive and forget and move on.
    Dont bring yourself down to the Republican level. Its a new day to think
    positve.

    November 19, 2008 02:52 am at 2:52 am |
  22. JUNIOR

    McCAIN´S PROBLEMS WERE PARTLY HIS OWN. HIS IGNORANCE IN MANY WAYS. HE CHOSE A CAMPAIGN SLOGAN OPPOSITE TO HIS ACTIONS, DECLARING SOME PART OF CITIES AS PRO AND SOME AS CONTRA AMERICAN, HIS POOR WISDOME IN VP PICK THAT COULD ONLY SERVE REPUBLICAN BASE AND EXTREMISM. HIS CAMPAIGN THAT INSIGHTED EXTREMIST KKK AND SOME RACIST PRIEST PLAYING AROUND WITH HOLY CROSS IN DISGUISE. PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA OUTSMARTED HIM IN MANY WAYS, BOTH FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC POLICIES . HE FACED A VERY INTELLIGENT CANDIDATE THAT AT THE END IS GOOD FOR AMERICA AFTER LONG YEARS OF REPUBLICAN INCOMPETENCE THAT HAS SPELLT OUR DOOM ! McCAIN IS ERRATIC AND IMPATIENT, GOING BACK TO RANCH MAY SERVE HIM BEST!

    November 19, 2008 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
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