April 17, 2021

What If McCain Took a One-Term Pledge?


I was reading Peggy Noonan’s article (They’re Paying Attention Now) this morning, when I stumbled on an interesting passage:

I still think a one-term pledge could win it for him, because it would allow America to punt. It would make the 2008 choice seem less fateful. People don’t mind the chance to defer a choice when they’re not at all sure about the product. …  it would allow Mr. McCain to say he means to face the tough problems ahead with a uniquely bipartisan attitude and without having to care a fig for re-election. That itself would give him a new power, one that would make up for the lost juice of lame duckdom. It would also serve to separate him from the hyperpolitical operating styles of the Clinton-Bush years, from the constant campaign.

And Mr. McCain would still have what he always wanted, the presidency, perhaps a serious and respectable one that accrued special respect because it involved some sacrifice on his part.

To me, this is a radical idea that might or might not work.

On the one hand, it could play as she thinks it might—he may be able to say that he’s bipartisan, and that he can be a bridge builder and a person to calm the rhetoric.  The question here is, would we believe him?

The other hand is not so rosy—besides the doubts that people would have on this pledge (remember “no. new. taxes.”) and whether it was just a gimmick that would be thrown away in four years, if they did believe him would they think that he really didn’t want it because he wasn’t willing to fight for it again?

I’m not sure how it would play, but in an election season that’s seen a lot of firsts, this would certainly make it all the more interesting.

What do you think?

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3 thoughts on “What If McCain Took a One-Term Pledge?

  1. I have heard a little about the “one-term pledge” and I don’t think it is right.

    Since when did age become such a huge factor for the presidency? People are living longer, healhier lives.

    I just think it is another ridiculous ploy from the left to deter voters from voting for McCain.

    Leticias last blog post..I just can’t shake this….

  2. I don’t think it’s right to ask anyone to commit to a one-term presidency. (Well, unless Hillary had won the nomination….heh. heh.) 🙂

    Seriously…how can a person possibly know what will arise during a four year term? A war, a conflict that needs consistency or resolution…who knows? I’m not sure how we expect a leader to turn such a big ship around in four years, anyway. The rule of thumb for a pastor to settle in and be trusted enough to make needed changes is 4 years! I know that the presidency is not the pastorate…but I think some of the time frames would still apply.

    Age is not an issue. In fact – I think we need older and more experienced people taking more active roles. We like the energy of the young person, but often he or she does not have the experience needed for the job.

    Hollys last blog post..Comment policy changed

  3. @Leticia: This was a Republican making the suggestion to build some unity. Not sure if it would actually accomplish the goal, though.

    @Holly: You’re right. There’s not much that can be done in four years. However, our congressmen are only in there for two years before they are up for election.

    As far as age goes– there is wisdom in age, and passion in youth. Both need to be balanced because without wisdom you can make wrong choices, but without passion you may not tackle the hard tasks.

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