Strong opinions, weakly held

Channeling Nixon

In the 1968 Presidential campaign, Richard Nixon promised to end the war, with what a reporter described as a secret plan to end the war. This promise was effective because it neutralized arguments that he would perpetuate the war. Of course it turned out to be a total lie.

What fascinates me is that having watched John McCain in both debates and in many other forums, I’ve seen him claim that he has secret plans to address all of the problems America faces. He asserts that he knows how to win the war in Iraq, how to win in Afghanistan, how to find Osama bin Laden, how to fix the economy, and that he will take care of veterans. But he refuses to explain how he will accomplish any of these things.

If he has these solutions to these monumental problems, shouldn’t he be broadcasting them in every forum available? These problems are bigger than any one man’s ambitions.

Update: Fred Kaplan makes the same point.


  1. Yeah, I was thinking about Tricky Dick’s “secret plan” too. IIRC, the plan was to withdraw after the election under the same terms he rejected before the election. What would that mean in this case? McCain would, if elected adopt Obama’s plan?

    I’m surprised that Kaplan said:

    except that McCain belongs to the same party as the current president.

    again IIRC, Nixon got away with that claim when running for re-election (’72)!

  2. …and Palin’s Troopergate is reminding everyone of Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre


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