January 24th, 2008
05:52 PM ET

“The Democrats’ worst nightmare?”

Sen. John McCain, campaigns at rally at Pensacola Junior College in Pensacola, Fla., Tuesday. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

John McCain is billing himself as "the Democrats' worst nightmare."

He has a new web ad that claims the Democratic candidates for president are afraid to face him in the general election.

During this week's Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards used McCain's name 15 times. McCain says this is because the Democrats are concerned that he is the only candidate who can rally the conservative Reagan Coalition while appealing to independent voters... ensuring a Republican victory in November. The ad will appear on the web sites of several Florida newspapers.

But, in a nation that's already so divided... it seems like McCain could be going out of his way to alienate a lot of people. After all, it was independents in the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries who helped him win.

Also, it's worth pointing out that Rudy Giuliani aired a radio ad in Iowa back in September calling himself the liberals' "worst nightmare." Not anymore.

Here’s my question to you: Is it a good strategy for any candidate to present himself as the other party's "worst nightmare" in an already divided country?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

John from Utah writes:
McCain isn't really sounding like someone who can cross the aisle. But then why would he? His party, in general, is more about sticking together than doing much of anything for the American people. There is only one Republican candidate that will represent the American public and the news media has pretty much put him on blackout status. And you all know who I'm talking about.

Luke writes:
I think that McCain is making a huge mistake here. I am a blue-bleeding Democrat, yet I have been more passionate and excited in seeing John McCain's rise from the ashes. Seeing him display himself as the "Democrats’ Worst Nightmare", however, makes me afraid that he just might be another soldier in a partisan battle, and not someone who can actually unite the country.

Carl writes:
The "worst nightmare" candidate, be it McCain or Clinton, is indeed the one that will divide us even more than we have become these past 15 years. This is exactly why we need a "post-partisan" new voice, willing to recognize that we can reach across party lines instead of digging in deeper. Enough already – GO OBAMA.

Wayne from Germany writes:
McCain, the Democrats' worst nightmare? Are you kidding? Our worst nightmare was George W. Bush. Getting an honorable, honest man like McCain after 8 years of Bush is a dream, not a nightmare.

T. from Texas writes:
I wonder if Mr. McCain is staying on Elm Street this week and taking advice from Freddie. Although it is my belief that if the person who is using her husband to play typical filthy politics gets the nomination, then McCain will win in the end as the American people will eventually wake up to reality.

Andy writes:
I think we've had enough of "nightmares" in this country, and even to use that language as a candidate is deliberately divisive. We simply can not afford to continue to drive a wedge down the middle of the country, because that's exactly where the greatest number of people live, metaphorically and politically speaking.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. Ralph

    No, Jack. I have heard too much boasting from both parties. As far as I am concerned, I will choose according to his/her deeds, not words.

    January 24, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  2. kevin

    the whole point of this primary i see is to improve the democrats so they can win which i hope to god they do

    January 24, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  3. Amnesty is Treason

    children will be children; why is it that politicians have to act like grade schooler's!

    January 24, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  4. Cole

    I'm not sure I understand what constitutes a 'good strategy' anymore in our country, Jack. Seeing John McCain win anti-war votes in South Carolina confused me. I'm wondering if we haven't begun using the "Eeny, meeny, miney, mo" strategy for selecting our next president. What are people thinking?

    January 24, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  5. Scott

    The worst nightmare is when the predicted nightmare never happens.

    January 24, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  6. Chris

    A nightmare is a strong emotional response from a sleeper. Is Sen. McCain considered a "sleeper". If he's the worst nightmare, then I need to wake up. If he's my parties nominee it will be my " worst nightmare' because I will for the first time ever have to vote "democrat" Here's too happier dreams.......

    January 24, 2008 at 2:45 pm |


    January 24, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  8. Jim Davis

    It is important for a Republican, preferably John McCain but any Republican will do, to win this year. It sends a vital message to the Al-Qaidas of the world that we will not tuck tail and run. "Worst nightmare," to me, means "the candidate who's most likely to beat the living daylights out of whatever Democrat gets the nomination, and take Congress back with the coattail effect."

    Americans are starting to realize that we have won the war in Iraq, that we've had one of the lowest casualty rates in our nation's military history, and that most of all, Al-Qaida made it their "make or break" battle and it broke them. Democrats have been wrong about this war from the word "go," they have been the ones seeking to polarize and divide this country ever since Clinton, Carville, Begala and Brazile went to Washington, and they richly deserve to have their worst nightmare.

    January 24, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  9. Karen

    OK, I get that he doesn't understand the economy, but could he really be that dumb about what has been going on in the White House the last 7 years?

    January 24, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  10. Michael Coogen, Lorton, Virginia

    Is it a good strategy for any candidate to present himself as the other party's "worst nightmare" in an already divided country?

    America is going though difficult times and the American voter needs a leader who presents himself/herself in a positve image. Americans have their own demons and nightmare to bare and they don't need any additional to add to the pool. They are looking for answers, not more confusion.....but then again, this is an election year, and everyone lies, even the honest.

    January 24, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  11. Nick Johnson

    Its a good move for the weak and the negative. It requires no original thought and allows for capitalization on past (old, irrelevant) issues

    January 24, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  12. Jim

    Jack, I don't think it matters one way or the other. There will never be cooperation in Washington as long as we have to choose between politicians instead of statesmen in both parties! Think about it. How long has it been since you've had the opportunity to vote for a true statesman?

    Prosperity SC

    January 24, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  13. Angie from Washington State

    Jack Its not a good idea we have to bring the two parties together to work on issues not have them divided trying to stop every idea the other party has. We need one UNITED states of America not divided states of america. Who do these people think they are fighting so much that nothing gets done and not caring for the people who elected them all they are doing is fighting and taking all their hostilities out on the American people. We need someone who will unite the two parties and make washington run like its suposed to not make it a civil war in the white house.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  14. Paula from Ohio

    Jack , you of all people should know that fear is the backbone of American Politics. Shoot, just hearing the name Dick Cheney makes me shudder. The current administration came to Cincinnati and delivered the now infamous weapons of mass destruction speech and these dumb panicky animals, bought it hook, line and sinker. Ohios Evangelicals are more afraid of the Democrats than Armegaddon.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  15. Jim Hoffman

    How can one party be the other party's nightmare when they are one and the same, Jack? They are financed by the same people.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  16. Alex Smith

    The country isnb't that divided and be honest you are not going to be able to bring everyone together. If the party gets a few dings and dents oh well, there have been greater disasters. You have to be strong to run America, party or not. You have to stand up after a punch and keep going. That is what experience does for you. There are a few candiates that have that experience. Be honest I am surprised that no-one has brought up the "Obama, I didnt know what I was voting on thing." But give it a few days and it will come out. Thats not dividing, thats facts and if facts divide, America is worse off then I thought.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  17. Terry

    I go all the way back to FDR, this is probably one of the worst presidential campaigns I have experienced. The country could not be in worse shape and instead of coming up with solutions to guide the country back to where it should be, these canidates are too concerned about where the other guy is and what he or she is saying, this approach doesnt get votes and does more harm than good.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  18. Steve in Idaho

    Only if it were true Jack, from phony wars to gay scandals, corporate corruption to trillions of dollars in national debt . Republican's are this country's worst nightmare.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  19. Mary Steele Yorktown VA

    Right now the Democrats and some Republicans are OUR worst nightmare. They want to give Illegals' rights they have not earned and SHOULD NOT be able to buy their way in through the back door.

    They should have to apply just like everybody else has, including the ones that are waiting their turn outside of this country.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  20. Kevin

    Ordinarily yes but this year both parties are playing last man standing. Political musical chairs. It is fitting that theyplay childrens games as they are all acting like spoiled little kids.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  21. Jeff K.

    I actually think if the media would leave the statement alone and let it die like the countless other statements that have been made in this election cycle that equally deserve ignoring, the population will follow suit . It's unfortunate that our government has been so divided for so long that this is just another day in D.C. "The Great Decider" yeah right.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  22. Alex

    If a candidate can present himself or herself as the "inevitable" candidate, then I think that they have a good shot because then the other party has to sort through which candidate would do best in a one on one match-up. Of course, this strategy only works when there's not that someone else preaching unity and change over experience and political games. But who's to say that inexperience is good? It also helps this "inevitable" candidate if he or she has a former president attacking that opponent's inexperience. This is all a hypothetical situation of course. I don't really think it could happen. By the way, can anyone tell me who these Clinton and Obama people are? And who's Bill Clinton? Is he like a former president or something? Gotta check on that....

    January 24, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  23. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    No! At this time the country needs a president who will lead. We need someone who will not only reach out to every faction in th U.S.,but who will also reach out to the world and say "I'm sorry for George W. Bush and what can I do do to heal our relations with you".

    January 24, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  24. Tina

    Jack the whole batch is my worst nightmare. I don't like none of the runners and wish a person who is like by all could swoop in and take the votes away from all of them and then would be standing back scratching their heads wondering what happened.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  25. Patricia

    Well Jack, I've been over to another blog where I've described why there isn't 1 candidate on the Republican side I could tolerate as President. Every Republican candidate has a reason why he should not be President, so all of them would be nightmare to me. However, if the Republicans are going to run a candidate that would be a nightmare to Sen. Clinton, it'd probably be John McCain.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  26. Ralph

    No. It's typical of McCain. Now we know why he graduated next to last in his class at the Naval Academy. He still thinks we could have won the Vietnam War? And thank god he admits he doesn't know anything about economics. I know those people in Michigan are happy to know he is going to retrain them to work at the Jack in the Box.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  27. Ryan Farrar

    It certainly hasn't been an effective strategy thus far, but perhaps it could be. I support John Edwards because every Neo-Con I know personally is terrified of him. I distrust Clinton because they all want her to run so bad, and to a lesser degree the same is true of Obama. Many rightists I've observed are very cogniscant of how how the lefties view their candidates. Perhaps the biggest blow Huckabee's campaign has taken are the accusations that he is "Democratic". I think some people actually get rather lost and out of touch with reality when not only analyzing candidates, but analyzing how other people analyze candidates. Sometimes you just need to trust your gut.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  28. James Martin

    No. I don't think any candidate can honestly cause other party to have nightmares but there are many who would qualify as america's "worst nightmare".

    January 24, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  29. bnthdntht

    It is just putting focus on the electability of a candidate. Does it work just look at John Edwards poll numbers. Edwards would be the hardeast democrat for republicans to run against,but he will never get that chance.


    January 24, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  30. Stephen

    No candidate is the opposing party's worst nightmare, I am. I wield the power of the vote.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  31. Joe in DE

    That is the kind of statement made by a canidate who has no other selling point.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  32. Brandon

    No. John McCain is not a very good candidate in any case. He's an illegal immigration advocate and appears to want us in Iraq until the end of time. Even if by some miracle he won the Republican nomination, he would not be elected President unless he is running against Hillary. If Barrack is his opponent, he will lose.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  33. Richard Sternagel

    It depends on the context of the remark.If your referring to Barack Obama getting the Democratic nomination then I suppose it would be Republicans worst nightmare.The attack adds both parties are using are disgusting! The candidates for both parties need to focus on the Issues of the average America person. Enough mudslinging!

    January 24, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  34. Jeff in Connecticut

    No Jack,
    It can only harm the Nation. We're already in a nightmare that will end in a year. John McCain seems to have lost his charm.....or maybe his mind these last few years and Hillary is everybody's nightmare although many don't see that yet. Obama & Edwards look like the only rational possibilities for uniting the U.S.A. under the Constitution, rather than trying to force unity under somebody's theology.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  35. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    If some one said to me they are going to be my worst nightmare when they get elected. I would immediately assume that we would have a hard time working together and getting things done. But in today's politics as in one's past, politicians like to use tough phrases like worst nightmare or go ahead and make my day. As Ronald Reagan did quoting Clint Eastwood in his Dirty Harry movies. Dirty Harry did not have any special interest groups telling him how to do his job in the movies. If he did, he would have pulled out that famous gun of his, and said, "You better get out of here punk and leave me do my job." And we all know there isn't a Dirty Harry in any of them.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  36. Wings

    He covertly informed all of us that "I did not have my name on that ballot"...but without a doubt it silently is. He is not only the worst nightmare for the two parties but for any American who votes for HIllary. Do you have one of new the truth-in-political-advertising bumper sticker...
    "Monica Lewinski's Ex boyfriend's wife for President"

    January 24, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  37. Jimerick.com

    I don't care if our next president is Giuliani, Obama, McCain or Clinton. Just as long as we get rid of America's Worst Nightmare – George W. Bush.

    January 24, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  38. nadia, seattle

    Not a good strategy. Because Republicans have already been labeled as the country's "Worst Nightmare."

    January 24, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  39. TLC

    I wonder if Mr. McCain is staying on Elm street this week and taking advice from Freddie for directions. Although it is my belief that if the person who is using her husband to play typical filthy politics gets the nomination then McCain will win in the end as the American people will eventually wake up to reality.

    TLC from Texas

    January 24, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  40. Jim from SC

    No, it's a nail in a political coffin. Fred Thompson took the SC Primary from Mike Huckabee and gave it to his friend John McCain. While the list of candidates is shrinking, it's important to realize that as a nation, we have not elected a President who held a seat in the Senate since JFK. I hope and pray that Florida gets it right!

    Mike Huckabee is the only candidate that has a realistic chance in the General Election which is why the Democratic candidates don't acknowledge him. Mike Huckabee inherited a fiscal nightmare in Arkansas; the infrastructure was on the verge of collapse and brought the states educational system from 49th to 8th during his tenure. He cut taxes and lowered the deficit while balancing the budget, how can anyone say that he's not a fiscal conservative? Being the former Governor of Arkansas, like Bill Clinton, could have ill effects for the former President and First Lady, Hillary.

    Let us not forget, "read my lips, no new taxes" after which was that largest tax increase in history which McCain supported. The American people have to realize that in order to recover from the last 7 years that sacrifice will be mandatory. The difference will be that Mike Huckabee will be honest and straight forward with the American people, which is what we expect from our President.

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb debating on what to have for lunch, Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.
    "Benjamin Franklin"

    January 24, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  41. Jon Sullivan Utah

    McCain isn't really sounding like someone that can cross the aisle. But then why would he? His party, in general, is more about sticking together than doing much of anything for the American people. There is only one Republican candidate that will represent the American public and the news media has pretty much put him on blackout status. And you all know who I'm talking about.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  42. W B in Las Vegas

    I don't know if John "Bomb-Bomb Iran" McCain is the Democrates worst nightmare but even the possibility of having him as President, with his finger on the nuclear trigger, is definately MY worst nightmare.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  43. John from CT

    Isn't he his own party's "worst nightmare"? I mean he has Democrat/ Independent/ Republican/??? Joe LIEberman at his side. Thank you my friend.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  44. Kathy H

    After the "nightmare" president we have had the last seven years, could anyone else really qualify for the title?

    January 24, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  45. David Harlow

    McCain is known as the great compromiser. He is able to work with both Democrats and Republicans to put together legislative compromises. This is why Conservative Republicans dislike McCain because they feel he has sold them out to the Democrats with various compromises that he's negotiated.

    On the other hand, as far left as Hillary and Obama both are. McCain has the best chance of getting the vote of the Independents and Moderates in the general election along with carrying the Republican vote.

    If the Republicans will McCain the nomination, he'll be the next President.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  46. Jeffrey

    I don't think it is a very good idea. That sort of thing turns voters off, in my opinion. It turns me off, because I don't want a Republican that speaks badly of Democrats, just like I don't want a Democrat that speaks badly of Republicans. Getting things done in this country always involves working with your colleagues. Our current Congress is filled with zealous politicians who refuse to work with the opposing party. When will the country receive some unity Jack?

    January 24, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  47. Lindsey

    In all honesty, that is a phrase that i would never want to say until i knew that i was the leading candidate who actually has influence with the democratic party voters. To say it this early in the game when you actually have someone who's ahead of you in delegates (Mitt Romney) can be a foolish mistake. In my mind, he is not even close to the democrats worst nightmare. The worst nightmare for democrats would probably be Ron Paul. He has the message that calls for a change in america, and his get out of Iraq message will provide some votes from some democrats who are sick of the war. Besides most of the Democratic leaders who are running for president wouldn't pull their troops out of iraq until 2013. I just don't want to see the United States of America fail the people like it has for the last 22 years.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  48. Mary Esther Salinas, Texas

    Why don't you mentioned the Spanish commercial Barack aired in Nevada to woo Hispanic votes stating that the Clinton's never helped the Hispanic like Obama. What a joker he is and am further insulted by assuming that Hispanic-Americans are illegal and spoken in Spanish like if we don't understand.

    Hector P. Garcia started the Civile rights movement in 1948 but of course it's never mentioned as usual and was the first Hispanic to speak to the united nations in a foriegn language for the first time in History and was giving a standing ovation and was a wwII hero and provided free medical services for those that could'nt afford it. I know because i was delivered by hhis sister Cleo Garcia. His known as the Texas Legend.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  49. Gigi

    Is it a good strategy for Sen. McCain to suggest that he is the Democratic Party's worst nightmare? . . . it might get him the Republican's nomination but it won't do him any good in November.
    The Democrats are going to wipe the floor with them in the General Election.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  50. Charles Liken

    John McCain is this Country's worst nightmare. With his position on Iraq, amnesty for illegal aliens and his voting record against the middle class, he is just more of George Bush. It is no wonder that the Democratic candidates are promoting him to be the opposition. If he is the Republican candidate I would think that his participation in the first Bush's Savings and Loan scandal would also be dusted off for all to see.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  51. Ron Margheim

    John McCain would be the easiest Republican to defeat! He is pro war, pro illegal immigration and doesn't have the religious right in his hip pocket! Top that off with his age, his belief that we could have won the Viet Nam war and he is just another beltway politician, been there so long that he forgets how he voted! He is the dream candidate!

    January 24, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  52. Robyn

    John McCain is a Democrat's prayer come true. He's an. extension of the
    Bush White House and we-the-people would be getting the same old rhetoric
    and spin, lies and corruption that we've gotten from the Bush reign for 7 years
    He acts like an angry old man who thinks his stay in Viet Nam will get him into
    the White House. He just doesn't have anything else to run on. He may be a
    Hero but is also part of the Congress who has gotten us into the messes that we are in. He was involved with Keating in the Savings and Loan Scandal He's
    not the maverick the news media would have us believe.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  53. Eric Blomberg

    Here's a theory. We haven't elected a balding President since Eisenhower (Ford wasn't elected). Aside from the fact that McCain is the biggest flip flopper since a fish out of water, I say a balding candidate has no chance against any of the Democratic hair-endowed offerrees. This may make about as much sense as most of the recent polls, but at least there is a track record to look to.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  54. Don Bezler

    Jack, If McCain spent SO MUCH time in a peison camp [some say 5 yrs] the war
    did'nt go no that long you don't become HERO in PEISON CAMP.
    McCain is running as phoney.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  55. Dottor Giorgio da Caltinisetta

    George W. Bush by far has been giving most Americans from all political parties and walks of life, the most nightmares among our entire population,since he started his personal war against Iraq,now going on about five years. Personally, I've experienced pavor nocturnus (sleep terror),you know the one where you awaken from sleep and give out a blood curdling scream! An I've regressed back to my bed wetting days(enuresis). When daydreaming and thinking of G.W.Bush,I start to have uncontrollable fecal incontinence .(smelly). Hands down G.W.Bush has been our nation's worst nightmare,unfortunately having come true! From on the Toilet, and Thinking of You in Terror G.W.B

    January 24, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  56. Bo Texas

    No strategy is completely off the table when it comes to the American voters. Not everyone will see every add and some will appeal where it won't to others. The democrats are too busy right now trying to decapitate one another to be worried about the Republicans. This will all change once the nomination is made by both parties. What we are seeing right now is just a hand full of the mud that will be slung. Get your raincoats and goulashes out and gather round the mud pit. The real fun is yet to come.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  57. Sterling

    No, that is pretty much the worst possible thing to say. This country needs a bipartisan leadership, or at least one that is open to the other party. We do not need another four years of intractable conflict between Congress and the White House, or between the two parties.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  58. Nick E

    In the short term, yes, it's a good strategy, because it's imperative to separate yourself from the rest of the pack. However it's a balancing act that requires skill, Mccain should be careful not to over play his hand. After all Tom Cruise is psychiatry's "worst nightmare," need I say more.

    Nick E, Manhattan, NY

    January 24, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  59. Joel

    The dividedness of the country is currently favoring the democrats politically.

    McCain is their worst nightmare not because he is an extremist but because he is, that horror of horrors, the acceptable republican.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  60. mary dalrymple

    No its not a good strategy to present as the worst nightmare for the other party. But John McCain is probably America's worst nightmare of all the candidates because he cannot move beyond war. He would just have more wars that we cannot afford now. He only knows wars. We need someone who will be diplomatic and friendly to both our allies and enemies.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  61. Alan Warner

    I will certainly agree that McCain is a nightmare, a Bush clone who will keep the insane conflict in Iraq going for many years. He is so entrenched in the Republican 'good ole boy', you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours mentality that we will all suffer the same results we have witnessed for the last two terms should he get elected. I would really prefer a more constructive approach and some new blood in Washington.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  62. Karl in SF

    The only thing nightmarish about McCain is the fact he will be 4 more years of Bush. Endless war, rotten economy and partisan politics going nowhere. We aren't looking for another nightmare, we have that already. What we need is someone who will stand in the middle of the political road and do what is good for the bulk of Americans and not just the "K" Street crowd.

    January 24, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  63. earl illingsworth

    Yes, it's a very good strategy. We are alittle long on the tooth, when it comes to "Super Tuesday", so why not stir the Pot. It gets the adrenalin flowing, and competitive emotions aroused. Which one of these clowns ,or let me rephrase it this way, which one could start tommorrow in Friday the 13th new sequel? As far as a divided country is concerned," Where Have You Been The Last 40 Years"?

    January 24, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  64. plainoljim

    Of course it's advantageous because at this stage of the campaign, the base is the only portion of the electorate that is paying attention. But if John McCain is the Democrats' worst nightmare, then Hillary Clinton is the Republicans' wildest dream-A Democrat with a history so negative it could draw headlines from here to election day, who can simultaneously draw Republican voters to the polls like white on rice.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  65. john

    Well they are half right. Considering the pool of candidates on both sides, they are everyones worst nightmare.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  66. Greg

    Senator McCain is attempting to single himself out as the only viable GOP candidate in order to secure the nomination. That much is obvious right? He thinks he alone can win over the Clintons, Edwards, or Obama. Although, he is dead wrong about that. Even if it were true, why would one desire to be the "worst nightmare" of any of your constituents? George W. is already every real American patriots' worst nightmare. Why would someone want that title?

    I'm looking for a hero, not a nightmare, to lead our country. His name is Ron Paul!

    January 24, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  67. annie

    Absolutely not. John McCain needs to get over himself. With his stand on amnesty and the war in Iraq, I certainly have.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  68. Thomas, FL

    McCain also loves to claim that he is best at reaching across the aisle. I think the age-induced dementia is setting in.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  69. Julia

    Jack, I've already decided that I don't care who the Democratic nominee is, I'll be voting for them over any Republican. Unless Bloomberg decides to run, then he's got the votes of both my mother and myself.
    My mother and I agreeing on something political? That, Jack, is truly a miracle.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  70. Austin

    I believe that ultimately, it is a poor strategy. Although he may gain some undecided voters who simply want to see a Republican in the White House, he may be offending the Independants and some Democrats who would have otherwise voted for him.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  71. Julia from NJ

    Apparently this is what McCain thinks he has to do to come off as 'tough' on the campaign trail, but the fact of the matter is that his greatest support is from Independents, not dyed-in-the-wool Republicans. McCain needs to stop the Here-Comes-Mr.-Trouble campaign message and get back to what he does best: uniting voters, not dividing them.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  72. Capt. Stephen Kosinski

    Today's politics shows that history does indeed repeat its self!

    The difference between a Republican and a Democrat is the Democrat is a cannibal, they live off each other, while the Republicans, why,......they live off the Democrats.
    Will Rogers

    January 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  73. Cheryl

    Ugh! Can't we get a decent question? How about comparing the ISSUES. The issues. The issues. What the heck does McCain stand for? I have no idea. I keep flipping channels on the TV and on line, but I can't find any of you guys talking about the darn issues. What the heck is going on!

    Well, if you continue to ask the stupid questions, I will continue to write the stupid answers.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  74. chris from california

    No – that would be George W Bush

    January 24, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  75. Kelli

    McCain is more war. Hillary will get us out and hopefully we can help the Iraquis rebuild the lives we took from them when we illegally invaded. McCain and all the Republicans will never admit they did anything wrong. The one million dead Iraquis should haunt them. We must turn this country completely around.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  76. D. Morris, Calgary, Alberta

    No it's not, Jack – not usually, so that means it might just fit, in this less-than-usual leadership adventure. McCain's mistake is that he now draws attention to the question... "Who is the Democratic Party's worst nightmare"? The answer is actually, Hillary Clinton! Now we'll banty this one about and the Dems will maybe wise-up and get behind Obama once and for all. Because the important question is... "Who's the Republican Party's worst nightmare"? The answer is – Barak Obama. The Reps would really much prefer to face Clinton.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  77. Bill O'Brien

    John McCain should be careful because he may just get what he's asking for. As the Republican candidate most aligned with the administration, he alone has the most to loose by presenting himself so divisively. Both sides should remember that it will take the bulk of the independent votes and a number of cross-over voters to win the general election in November. There is absolutely no way Democrats will vote for McCain regardless of who they nominate. Read my lips, no way!

    January 24, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  78. Ken KS

    I suggest McCain is every Americans nightmare, except the open borders lobbyists.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  79. Cher, North Port, FL

    A candidate as the "worst nightmare"? I thought that was the media's role.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  80. Karen P

    Oh, I think McCain's remarks are just like any others...blown out of proportion. Judging from the lineup of Republicans to pick from, I don't see that anything he says could hurt his candidacy. Lots of independents dislike Romney as much as they dislike Clinton...so what's the difference? McCain is the candidate of the Republicans who can work across party lines the same as Obama can for the Democrats. Bring it on... Obama v McCain!

    January 24, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  81. George

    No. Not when it's the truth. Any of the top Dem's would beat any Republican candidate handily, except McCain. If McCain gets the nomination it should be a close race. He'll get the some the independents, a good portion of the Reagan Democrats and of course the party faithful.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  82. Russ Cowgill

    This campaign is becoming a nightmare. Where's the beef? The candidates of both parties can't even talk about substantive issues...just sling mud. Its too early for any candidate to assume they are going to be the nomine. I seriously think its high time there was an independant. Wouldn't Lou Dobbs be proud?

    January 24, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  83. George Dengler

    McCain has alienated many conservatives who will not support him if nominated. And, like it or not, his age (nearly 73 at inauguration) will be a factor as people decide who to vote for in November. Therefore, his Vice President nominee will be a larger factor than usual in the election.

    I agree that it not very smart to use a slogan like "Democrats Worst Nightmare" in a divided country at election time. If, however, there is a nighmare candidate for the Democrats, it just might be Mitt Romney.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:40 pm |
  84. Doug

    As an independent voter, I find McCain's declaration of himself as the Democrats worst nightmare laughable. The fact is the Republicans don't have a viable candidate this time around. McCain loses everybody who wants to bring the troops home by declaring the Democrats want to surrender to Al Queda, when the fact is the Iraqis fighting among themselves are Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish. Saddam was the strongman who kept the opposing factions in line by whatever means necessary. Now Saddam is gone and there is no controlling authority in Iraq other than the US MIlitary. the Iraqis are involved in a civil war and it is the Iraqis who must resolve the civil war. McCain's support of the Bush war, speaking of winning an unwinnable war illustrates his incompetence. When the anit-war protesters of the Vietnam confilict called for troop withdrawal they were called unpatriotic, but they were right. Vietnam was an unwinnable war for the US because it was a civil war. When the US left, the government of South Vietnam that had been propped up by the United States since 1954 fell and North Vietnam prevailled and now we have normal relations with Vietnam. We lost 56,000 lives in Vietnam before we finally let the Vietnamese resolve their own issues. How may more must we lose in Iraq?

    January 24, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  85. Carol

    He has nothing else to run on. The Republican party has been a complete failure for the past 7 years, he can't run on their "success". There's nothing left.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  86. Doug

    I would like to add to my previous post that I am a Vietnam vet and am in favor of bringing the troops home tomorrow

    January 24, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  87. Dennis

    McCain demonstrated the typical self centered, ignorant american values that have gotten the rest of the world to hate their big brother. What kind of nightmare does McCain think he is: going to school naked or even worse waking up with no genitals. Realisticaly our whole government woke up without genitals a long time ago. Dare they do something for moral values as opposed to finacial gain. One would hope that our elected leaders would at least display the sense to realize that understanding of others is a preresiquit of leadership. Fear and intimidation are the values of terrorists, Mr. McCain.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  88. Angela

    I don't think it'll hurt McCain at all. He IS the Democrats worst nightmare. He's the one Republican currently running that could beat Hillary or Obama.
    But even more than that: McCain's the far right republican Bush lover's worst nightmare. Dingbats like Rush Limbaugh need to think long and hard about whether they'd prefer Hillary in the White House (the most likely Democratic nominee) or McCain because their candidate of choice -the phoney baloney so-called "businessman" Mitt Romney – won't pass muster with the general electorate. The influence of the far right conservative is dead. (Hallelujah! Thank you Dubya and Cheney. At least you fellas did ONE thing right) Rush and other uber conservative pundits need to get used to it and pick the lesser of those two "evils".

    January 24, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  89. Eugene in NorCal

    Jack, I believe Senator McCain was referring to the Clintons and that he would be their worst enemy, if they attacked him, with their trademark tactics, of cheap shots, innuendoes, misinformation and false information. Mad Dog McCain would have Bill reaching, for his cheap cigars and Hillary pining, for Travelgate.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  90. Claire

    He's gotta do something to attract atttention and that's a line that ought to do it. If he wins the election that will be MY worst nightmare! Continuous war – economy down the toilet even worse than Bush – ignoring our noble warriors with cuts to the VA – God help us all – we can't survive another Republican administration. Any hope that the American people will use the brains they were born with and elect a person with a brain who knows how to use it for the benefit of all Americans???

    January 24, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  91. James Brown

    Is it a good strategy for any candidate to present himself as the other party’s “worst nightmare” in an already divided country?

    Jack ,

    It just depends on who the Democratic nominee is. If it is Hillary Clinton..........McCain is speaking to the facts , because people will cross party lines , and go to McCain to keep Clinton out of the White House.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  92. James

    That sounds like the same kind of cowboy politics Bush ran on. Whats next, will he head the Dem's off at the pass or rescue the country from our own beliefs and ride off into the sunset with his?

    January 24, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  93. Bob

    Most Republicans are not happy with the path that our country is on, but what scares them even more is the thought of another President Clinton. If Senator McCain can assure the Republican base that he would be the strongest candidate against her, then he might just end up with enough delegates for the nomination.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  94. Brian

    Jack, McCain is everyones worst nightmare. Why haven't any of you talking heads asked this FISCAL CONSERVATIVE just how he plans to continue to fund this war that only the hawks wanted to begin with? I mean come on Jack, will someone at CNN please ask that question. Brian, Ohio

    January 24, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  95. Angela

    It's a better strategy than complimenting a former president that's loathed by most members of your party (Reagan) while simultaneously taking swipes at one of the few successful presidential candidates your party has had in the last 20 years (Clinton). You've got to win the nomination before spouting kumbaya nonsense.

    January 24, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  96. Dennis


    I'm not sure that it even matters at this point. McCain has made his intentions clear to the nation by stating that he will continue screwing over the middle class of the USA by making Bush's tax cuts for the rich a permanent policy. In retrospect...given the fact that McCain was for Bush / Cheney's personal private war against Iraq and the fact that he was originally for amnesty for all these illegal aliens from Mexico, he really is every US citizen's nightmare along with Hillary Clinton. They are simply variations of Bush.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  97. Dr. Belinda Noah

    It will hurt him, because it will give the opposing party ample opportunity to prepare to defeat him if he is the nominee, (which he will not be). It is always better to keep your opponents guessing as long as possible.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  98. Eben

    Of course it isn't a good idea, but do you think they care about that now? They'll do what they have to do to win the nomination, and then deal with their general election image when the time comes. If they thought running over a cat with a tractor would get them votes in the primary, they'd do it, and then find a way to spin it into an example of how they "reach across the aisle" to get bi-partisan support come general election time.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  99. Chris From NY

    McCain the democrats worst nightmare? I think Fidel Castro's successor will probably brag that HE will be Americas worst nightmare......maybe McCain should get on the boat now I hear there is some room at Guentanemo bay.....make it a big boat and let him take the rest of the big business patsies at the head of the race with him......then maybe our nightmare will be over.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  100. william

    McCain can't be a nightmare, they are saying he reaches across party lines. Who said what?

    January 24, 2008 at 6:10 pm |
  101. Slava Tavgen

    It is a great way for McCain to win Republican Primaries.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  102. Nestor in Miami

    I doubt he meant all democrats...only the ones running. I would assert he is and he could possibly retool that by saying "democrat candidates worst nightmare". The dems will definately use this against him.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  103. rex d savage


    January 24, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  104. Alan

    I don't know about "strategy", but it's probably the closest thing to "truth" that we'll hear out of ANY of them!

    January 24, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  105. Luke Bentley

    I think that McCain is making a huge mistake here. I am a blue-bleeding Democrat, yet I have been more passionate and excited in seeing John McCain's rise from the ashes. Seeing him display himself as the "Democrat's Worst Nightmare", however, makes me afraid that he just might be another soldier in a partisan battle, and not someone who can actually unite the country.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  106. Sue

    It does not surprise me to hear him use yet another confrontational phrase to describe his stance in this campaign – "worst nightmare" surely describes this arrogant war-monger!

    January 24, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  107. Steve Duran

    Did we not know that all candidates are uniters and not dividers? Well, untill they win the white house?
    All is fair in politics? It is mud everywhere and who cares if we throw some on each other.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  108. Chinedu Onyegbula

    Dear Jack:
    If anybody deserves the describtion more as "The Comeback Kid" it is John McCain. He has risen from obscucrity as a major challenger in the Republican Race. With a momentum like that and the constant feuding between the Democratic Contenders Obama and Clinton, He may as well win the race with his non-divisive method of campaigning and appeal to the common man.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  109. Brynda Lynn

    It scares me that McCain is the nations worst nightmare, don't limit it to the democrats! By the way are people on Disability going to benefit from Bushs latest gimic for ending recession?

    January 24, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  110. Andy Schreiber

    I think we've had enough of "nightmares" in this country, and even to use that language as a candidate is deliberately divisive. We simply can not afford to continue to drive a wedge down the middle of the country, because that's exactly where the greatest number of people live, metaphorically and politically speaking. My message to those engaging in this language is "knock it off already."

    January 24, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  111. kevin

    what doug said.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  112. Carl Miller

    The "worst nightmare" candidate, be it McCain or Clinton, is indeed the one that will divide us even more than we have become these past 15 years. This is exactly why we need a "post-partisan" new voice, willing to recognize that we can reach accross partylines instead of digging in deeper. Enough already – GO OBAMA

    January 24, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  113. John Groom

    No, McCain is not their worst nightmare. They are relying, by all accounts, on the "Reagan Coalition". Reagan is dead, and so is the coalition. While McCain has pulled some independnt voters from Romney, Huckabee and the others, he won't pull them away from Obama or Clinton. I don't think he'll do as well with the women's vote as any of the Dems would. I hope he is the nominee as he is vulnerable on the economy, the war and immigration.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  114. Dolma

    Tell John McCain not to forget Billary.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  115. Dan E

    SURE! Hes runing among Republicans. He can change his tack when it's expedient.
    For all the blather about how American voters just want " everyone to get along", just take a look at your blog site.
    These folk live in the same neighborhood and they'd need 24 hour security

    January 24, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  116. Scott

    You would think Jack that McCain would be the Democrats dream for the nominations. He is just a different version of George W.. His immigration idea was a flop and "his lets stay in Iraq" idea is hated by 70% of Americans. You've got think they would love McCain.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  117. Nate

    C'mon, Jack, of course it's not fair. My candidate doesn't want to be the other party's nightmare, or anyone's for that matter–he wants be America's president. Barack Obama is the only candidate who can transcend the bitter partisan bickering of today and build a working coalition. This country is not divided. Our small differences pale in comparison to our common values.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  118. Thom

    The worst nightmare for Democrats, Independents, and Republicans alike is already in the Whitehouse. George Bush! He's been a bad dream from day one. Anyone new, regardless of political affiliation, would be a better dream I think.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  119. TimJowerse

    I'm impressed I see most people have the same viewpoint no matter if I talk to them in person or read on the Internet: no candidate stands out as a nightmare. In fact, most of the Republicans and Democrats appear to be members of the same Socialist Party. Socialized Medicine? Tax Refunds from a Broke Country? Huge income taxes and almost no import taxes. Oh my goodness, the only nightmare is if we have to continue to suffer under these politicians' empty words.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  120. Dave

    This is a simple answer. No. Being a parties "Worst Nightmare" shows how pathetic these candidates can be. We are already divided, we (the american people) already know that. It looks terrible from my perspective and as a young person. It sends a hopeless message.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  121. John McCainBurger

    For some reason McCain is painted as an independent in the media and everyone is eating it up, so it might look that way. However, I believe if Ron Paul was the nominee the Dems would be twice as scared, because of the fact that he actually makes sense. A sound economy does scare the Democratic and Republican establishment.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  122. john, miami

    Hi Jack: Good question, I'll let you know after the election!

    January 24, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  123. Nate Mezmer

    This is exactly why both McCain and Clinton are my worst nightmares! As it is, people in this country severly lack political awareness and interest in the issues, divisive figures like John & Hillary will only serve to further divide us and dumb us down. Hasn't Bush done enough of this already?

    January 24, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  124. Ronald

    A candidate's decision to divide the electorate (economically, racially, based on sex) instead of uniting the country around a positive vision to solve the problems we ALL face is indiciative of how they will govern. Please, haven't we suffered through this enough already? Whichever candidate is best at bringing people together deserves despite their differences deserves our vote . . . and, by God, we deserve finally to have such a president!

    (oh, and Go Obama!)

    January 24, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  125. Jason of S.C.

    The nature of elections is to split the voters into groups. Democrats want Republicans to go Democrat, and vice versa. So that's just never gonna change. Everyone says that they're the other party's worst nightmare, but just in different words. That is, until they get nominated. Then they start talking about how moderate they are! lol

    January 24, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  126. Wayne Lempke

    McCain the Democrats' worst nightmare? Are you kidding? Our worst nightmare was George W. Bush. Getting an honorable, honest man like McCain after 8 years of Bush is a dream, not a nightmare. Of course, I would never vote for him, because he belongs to an evil, corrupt party, but he has been the only voice of conscience in the Republican Party these last years. If Republicans actually have the good sense to nominate him, and not one of their jerks like Giuliani or Romney, than maybe Republicans aren't as stupid as I thought.

    From Wayne in Germany

    January 24, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  127. Anthony G.

    Absolutley not. The Democrats should be afraid of McCain, hence them using his name 15 times.
    Anthony G.
    New Jersey

    January 24, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  128. Russell

    Yes, it is a good strategy. Remember that he is only campaigning to Republicans in the Florida Primary as Independents can not vote, which means he needs to appeal much more to conservatives.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  129. Aaron

    It is a complete mistake for the candidates to declare themselves anyone's worst nightmare. I don't see how anyone can claim to want to bring the country together with this message. All it does is increase the divide socially and politically and hinders any growth. The candidates need to grow up and focus on the issues, not who's better than who. When did everyone decide to stop trying to run positive campaigns?

    January 24, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  130. Darryl Mentro

    Jack, the singular worst nightmare in this election season is dreaming of Bill Clinton running amok in the White House again.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  131. Nick Las Vegas

    What A Shock!!! More fear mongering from a republican. Statements like Mc Cain's scare tactics are an obvious cry that Mc Cain himself is scared, and he should be. Very few people in this country want to dedicate another 4 years to a lying, cheating, thieving republican! Is it a good idea for any candidate to making statements like this "no" is it for Mc Cain "yes" let him dig his own grave.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  132. Seth Shotwell

    McCain ... and any other Republican ... would be America's worst nightmare, but Republicans are like the computer opponent on a video game. They are only there to add some sense of opposition ... not a real challenge. McCain is insignificant and obsolete.
    Bill Clinton HAS become the Democrats' worst nightmare as he attacks his wife's opponents and makes her appear more and more impotent. I was on the fence ... now I have ruled out Hillary Clinton as my choice specifically because of Bill's attacks. If Bill wants to be president again, then he should run .. not ride his wife's apron strings to the White House.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  133. Dr. Codini

    Johnny boy is desperately grasping at straws. What's he got? the miserable failure that is Iraq?
    The current Republican economy?
    Maybe he should trot out some hack B-movie actor that seems to work for Huckabee.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  134. constant

    You have got to be kidding me? He is an old version of Bush the cowboy, but he is "the maverick".
    If he was the only candidate left on either party left standing...can I just vote "present"????

    January 24, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  135. Keith Ullrich

    I don't think john Mcain is the Democrats worst nightmare. He is a Bush supporter, and with his willingness to keep our troops in Iraq, he is indeed our worst nightmare.
    Keith Ullrich
    Lake Lure, NC

    January 24, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  136. Kyle from Connecticut

    This country is calling for a Washington make-over which includes bipartisanship and as far as a strategy which includes calling yourself a "worst nightmare," not if he wants the White House he shouldn't. I would also throw out there that what America has right now is a nightmare, so maybe it's a reoccurring theme in the Republican Party. Doesn't look like it's working out for them so far.

    January 24, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  137. dariusz

    we dont need any candidates who scare everyone else we need peace and for that matter I only see one candidate that so far sticks to the piece message he is RON PAUL

    January 24, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  138. Roland

    Worst nightmare is already in the White House. No more Republicans please.

    Obama all the way to the inaguration.

    January 28, 2008 at 11:43 pm |
  139. chad

    John Mcain is a "bush" in bi-partisan clothing.

    January 29, 2008 at 2:19 am |