I believe it’s only been done once before, but if they had just bitten the bullet and admitted that Bush is a nutjob, they could have won tomorrow in a landslide. All they had to do was run somebody besides the incumbent.
As a registered and ideological independent-centrist-thinks about things, I would have voted for McCain in about three nanoseconds over Kerry, or anybody else on the Dem ticket represented at the DNC.
I think this reflects one of the major problems of the current presidency, in that it seems to be more concerned with proving that it has never done wrong, than with winning.
And Carter ran for re-election but was challenged by Ted Kennedy.
A challenge against the incumbent is generally seen as a good way for the party to lose the election. You could argue that someone should have challenged Bush, but who? McCain would make a great candidate, but he’s not conservative enough for the base. I would argue that his independence would make him too much of a loose cannon to manage, but he’s done his job for Bush in this election like a trooper. If you lose the base to another candidate or they stay home, you lose the White House. McCain could have attracted a lot of Dems, but is that a bet you’re willing to make at a convention?
You’re absolutely right, that didn’t occur to me. It would have wrapped up the independent/undecideds, but at what cost? Of course, those who would be upset at the changing of candidates are probably the same people who would vote their party’s ticket if a lemur were presented as the chosen candidate.
I heard it when the conventions were going on, but had to Google for it again. It was Millard Fillmore:
Taylor lasted just over a year before he died in office. His successor was Millard Fillmore, who did not even gain his own partyâ€™s nomination in 1852 (though he did run as a third party candidate on the â€œKnow Nothingâ€ party ticket in 1856).