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John McCain’s Classy Concession Speech

I had not expected to go emotional tonight.  While I had hoped John McCain would win, I knew he could lose.  And I, as did many other McCain supporters, prepared for just that possibility.

But, when Sarah Palin and John McCain walked on stage in Arizona, I choked up. I had grown to admire both these people in the course of the campaign, feeling almost as if I knew them both, he the wise uncle, she the beloved sister.

Of the two presidential candidates, the loser gave the better speech tonight, one which shows us how to concede with grace.  It made me proud to have supported him and sad that he lost.  There were no platitudes or cliches.  He thanked his family, took responsibility for his loss and noted his good fortune.

But, more than that, he acknowledged his opponent and the meaning of his achievement:

In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.

This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.

I’ve always believed that America offers opportunities to all who have the industry and will to seize it. Senator Obama believes that, too.

But we both recognize that, though we have come a long way from the old injustices that once stained our nation’s reputation and denied some Americans the full blessings of American citizenship, the memory of them still had the power to wound.

I agree.

In conceding the presidency, John McCain showed that he is hewn from presidential timber. Would it that he could serve as a president. But, the American people have chosen otherwise.

All his supporters should thus join him in wishing “Godspeed to the man who was [his] former opponent and will be [our] president.”

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23 Comments

  1. […] John McCain’s Classy Concession Speech But, when Sarah Palin and John McCain walked on stage in Arizona, I choked up. I had grown to admire both these people in the course of the… […]

    Pingback by Sarah Palin On Best Political Blogs » Blog Archive » John McCain’s Classy Concession Speech — November 5, 2008 @ 6:14 am - November 5, 2008

  2. McCain Concession Speech: “The Failure Is Mine” (FULL VIDEO 32 min)
    http://cnn-election.com/2008/index.php?q=McCain-Concession-Speech

    Comment by senk — November 5, 2008 @ 6:21 am - November 5, 2008

  3. woulda been better if his supporters hadn’t been booing so loudly when he mentioned Obama – unlike the cheers you heard in Chicago when Obama mentioned McCain.

    Comment by Kevin — November 5, 2008 @ 6:50 am - November 5, 2008

  4. Sorry, but I cannot choke on those words “my president”. obama will never be my president. I am an American. His political agenda clearly says he’s not.

    Comment by LesbianNeoCon — November 5, 2008 @ 7:23 am - November 5, 2008

  5. Dan, I agree. That was one of the most gracious concession speeches I have ever heard.

    Kevin, I don’t think the boos were so much against Obama as it was disappointment that their candidate lost. I also recall that when Kerry and Gore lost, people booed when either mentioned Bush in their concession speeches.

    If I’m wrong, and people were really booing at the opposing candidates, keep in mind that it’s not always easy when opposing candidates are demonized up to election day, and then just turn it off and all of a sudden be polite when the election is over. Too bad the same civility that is heard during concession speeches doesn’t happen during the campaigns.

    Comment by Pat — November 5, 2008 @ 7:29 am - November 5, 2008

  6. While I agree with Pat on the boos from the McCain crowd, I know what Kevin is saying. I too wish the crowd wouldn’t have let their emotions get to them like that. It detracted from the graciousness of McCain.

    McCain’s speech should be remembered as one of the classiest concession speeches ever. It wasn’t just a “congratulations to the other guy…thanks for supporting me” speech; it paid special honor to Obama and his supporters and was uniquely eloquent. I hope that our Republican senators and representatives in Congress show how to fight while being significantly in the minority. But for the time being, McCain is providing Republicans the sort of leadership we need—showing how to be gracious in defeat.

    Comment by cme — November 5, 2008 @ 8:08 am - November 5, 2008

  7. […] stayed up long enough to watch McCain’s concession. Certainly it was a “class act,” though I hate that phrase. It also revealed that his heart was never in the contest. He felt uneasy […]

    Pingback by Fresh Bilge » McCain for DoD — November 5, 2008 @ 8:18 am - November 5, 2008

  8. Unfortunately “boo-ing” has become socially acceptable. We will not see civility increase over the next four years as the Bill Maher, Michael Moore and Keith Oblerman ilk continue their push for far left ideals.

    Obama never condemned this behavior during the campaign and you should not expect him to speak out against this type of poisonous expression of ideas in the future.

    Uh, unless its unleashed upon himself!

    jeb

    Comment by Jeb — November 5, 2008 @ 9:50 am - November 5, 2008

  9. Jeb, you may be right. But I don’t think we gain anything by being rude in return. During the time between the election and when Obama takes office, I see no point in being anything other than classy.

    Comment by cme — November 5, 2008 @ 9:54 am - November 5, 2008

  10. I don’t see much graciousness in the nasty comments posted by leftards to this story about Sarah the Governor returning to Alaska.

    Comment by V the K — November 5, 2008 @ 10:21 am - November 5, 2008

  11. Jeb writes:
    Unfortunately “boo-ing” has become socially acceptable. We will not see civility increase over the next four years as the Bill Maher, Michael Moore and Keith Oblerman ilk continue their push for far left ideals.

    Obama never condemned this behavior during the campaign and you should not expect him to speak out against this type of poisonous expression of ideas in the future.

    Uh, unless its unleashed upon himself!

    I hate when people lash out comment backed by ignorance and non-reserch.
    Obama condemned booing during his campagn. I remember once he told the crowd, ”Don’t boo.. only vote”

    Comment by Felix Jimoh — November 5, 2008 @ 11:26 am - November 5, 2008

  12. How graciuos indeed his speech would have been if the ”STRAIGHT TALK man hadn’t run character killing attack on his river.

    Comment by Felix Jimoh — November 5, 2008 @ 11:36 am - November 5, 2008

  13. LNC,

    I feel your frustration at this electoral decision. But he is our President, even if he’s Dhimmy Carter with less experience. What we can do is vent our frustration constructively, trying to thwart his agenda every step of the way.

    I keep hope. We survived Carter. We can survive this.

    Comment by The Livewire — November 5, 2008 @ 11:38 am - November 5, 2008

  14. #10: “How graciuos indeed his speech would have been if the ”STRAIGHT TALK man hadn’t run character killing attack on his river.”

    Ummmmmmm…….what?!

    Comment by Sean A — November 5, 2008 @ 12:03 pm - November 5, 2008

  15. I think “Character Killing Attack” is a move in Mortal Kombat. I remain baffled as to why McCain should choose to assault his river in such a manner.

    Comment by V the K — November 5, 2008 @ 12:15 pm - November 5, 2008

  16. ‘river’?

    Maybe that’s scooby doo speak for ‘liver’ and he thinks Sen. McCain drank too much?

    Comment by The Livewire — November 5, 2008 @ 3:10 pm - November 5, 2008

  17. river??

    Maybe he meant rival…

    Comment by Andrew — November 5, 2008 @ 4:40 pm - November 5, 2008

  18. I’ll admit, I winced at boo-ing that took place during McCain’s speech. I hope that his speech has set what will be the tone of ‘our side’ in moving forward. I remember all the awful holidays spent with my family during the last eight years hearing “He’s not MY president” and a list of other gripes and complaints against the Bush Administration. I have committed to myself to give Senator Obama the respect his position commands when he is President. (It’s my private little F**k You to all of those who gave me a hard time for the last 8 damn years)

    Comment by Andrew — November 5, 2008 @ 4:48 pm - November 5, 2008

  19. Ah, ok, away from work and censors…

    What character assassination? The accusations that he couldn’t use e-mail? Or that his rival voted the party line 90% of the time, while he voted 96%? Or that he was Kato to the President’s Green Lantern?

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 5, 2008 @ 6:46 pm - November 5, 2008

  20. I had a discussion with Gay Patriot West about how Palin was a losing person for the McCain ticket. GPW tried to argue that she was great and just misunderstood. Now Fox of all places is coming out with information about her inability to deal with knowledgable issues and how she was mucking up the campaign. I don’t blame her–she was in a situation beyond her control, but I blame McCain. The stories were held back until now, and they are nasty. Palin would throw fits because she felt she was not being handled fairly. Untimately I was right in this discussion but GPW seemed to want to believe so badly that she was great based on ideology. Sometimes ideology blinds us.

    Comment by Boobie — November 6, 2008 @ 3:59 am - November 6, 2008

  21. Um, Boobie, did you actually talk to me? I defended Palin not on her ideology but on her record, her accomplishments as heard of the Alaska Oil and Gas Commission and as Governor.

    I’ll have to check the Fox report before weighing in on that points.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — November 6, 2008 @ 11:05 am - November 6, 2008

  22. The stories were held back until now, and they are nasty. Palin would throw fits because she felt she was not being handled fairly.

    And of course, not a single person is willing to speak on the record.

    Gossip by sore losers and McCain staffers who aren’t willing to admit how royally they fucked up, being eaten up by misogynist bigots like Boobie. Notice the use of demeaning terms like “throw fits” to try to denigrate Palin. It just shows how terrified he is of her.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — November 6, 2008 @ 12:09 pm - November 6, 2008

  23. […] The other thing that makes me sad is that, in the course of the campaign, I really grew to respect John McCain the man.  I watched his classy performance at the Al Smith dinner, delighted in his self-deprecating humor on Saturday Night Live, revisited the story of his integrity and courage when captured by the North Vietnamese, and really, **REALLY** appreciated the love he felt for our country, a love that was made particularly manifest in that most gracious of concession speeches. […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » On my Sadness at John McCain’s Loss — November 10, 2008 @ 9:30 am - November 10, 2008

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