Monday, October 20, 2008

Another One Sees The Light

Via TPM, here's part of an email from Ken Adelman to George Packer, explaining why he's going to vote for Obama:

Why so, since my views align a lot more with McCain’s than with Obama’s? And since I truly dread the notion of a Democratic president, Democratic House, and hugely Democratic Senate?

Primarily for two reasons, those of temperament and of judgment.

When the economic crisis broke, I found John McCain bouncing all over the place. In those first few crisis days, he was impetuous, inconsistent, and imprudent; ending up just plain weird. Having worked with Ronald Reagan for seven years, and been with him in his critical three summits with Gorbachev, I’ve concluded that that’s no way a president can act under pressure.

Second is judgment. The most important decision John McCain made in his long campaign was deciding on a running mate.

That decision showed appalling lack of judgment. Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office—I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency. But that selection contradicted McCain’s main two, and best two, themes for his campaign—Country First, and experience counts. Neither can he credibly claim, post-Palin pick.

If McCain's lost the confidence of a guy like Ken Adelman, he's well and truly doomed. As with Colin Powell, it's not about policy for any conservative with a brain anymore. No matter how much they might have agreed with John McCain in the past, in between his pick of Palin, his age, and his recent actions and words, they just plain don't trust him to be able to do the job.

(If you don't remember who Ken Adelman is, following the above links will remind you.)

[Added] Follow-up email from Adelman to Packer:

The Republican handling of the war made me value “experience” far less. If Cheney, Rumsfeld & Powell are the epitome of experience, I’ll take the alternative. They’ve given experience a bad name.

Further thought: McCain’s campaign soured me a lot. His hiring of the Bush attack squad, South Carolina 2000, made me view this honorable man as heading a dishonorable effort. And that’s still the case. It’s pretty disgusting, what he’s doing…

[Added] George Packer's (post-debate) reflections on the differences between Obama's and McCain's characters is also well worth a read.

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