An Arizona Reader Says Goldwater Was Right About Concession Speeches

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11/06/08 - A California Journalism Student Explains The Consequences Of John McCain

From: Hap Collard (e-mail him)

John McCain is a "graceful" loser to President-elect Barack Obama. [John McCain Praises Barack Obama in Graceful Concession Speech, by Alex Spillius, The Telegraph, November 5, 2008]

And George W. Bush praised Obama calling him the "triumph of an American story" and promised his "complete cooperation."

Now, after calling him every name in the book, suddenly Sarah Palin loves Obama, too:

"This is an historic moment. Barack Obama has been elected president. Let us, let us—let him be able to kind of savor this moment, one, and not let the pettiness of maybe internal workings of the campaign erode any of the recognition of this historic moment that we're in. And God bless Obama and his beautiful family and the new administration coming in."

It's all so bipartisan, touchy-feely, politically correct garbage.

Worst of all, it's boring!

Give me Barry Goldwater, any day.

In a little known footnote to his 1964 campaign against Lyndon Johnson, Goldwater—who got swamped much worse than McCain—refused to give his concession address until mid-morning the next day.

Years later when asked why, the irascible Goldwater said that there was no way he would give Johnson the satisfaction.

And Goldwater, who hated Johnson for his liberal politics and for having ordered the FBI to bug his campaign plane, said that he also refused to give the New York Times the opportunity to print his picture and the text of concession speech on the Wednesday morning following the election.

Goldwater further reasoned that by Thursday's edition, anything he might have to say would be old news and printed below the fold.

In the end, Goldwater was vindicated. In 1968, he was re-elected to the U.S. Senate as he would be again in 1974 and 1980.

Johnson's policies, on the other hand, failed so miserably that he did not dare seek office in 1968.

Collard is a historian from Tucson.