How to Spot a Losing Presidential Campaign

Barack won. I like to think we all did on Tuesday night.

It wasn’t even that close. But along the way, there were lots of people who firmly believed McCain might pull it off (including no small number of paranoid liberals).

Next time, wouldn’t it be nice not to have to get all worked up about it? Wouldn’t it be nice to sort of know who’ll win by looking at the telltale signs? The McCain campaign gave us lots of signs it was headed for disaster. In order that we may better spot the loser in advance next time (and not feel so anxious), let’s review:

How to Spot a Losing Presidential Campaign

-the candidate is of the same party as the worst President anyone can remember

-the candidate is not liked by his own party; and struggles to beat even the almost preternaturally unlikeable Mitt Romney in the primary

-the candidate resurrects a dying campaign by hiring people who destroyed his earlier campaign by attacking him with vicious lies

-the candidate behaves in a much less likeable manner as soon as these people are hired

-the candidate selects a beauty-pageant nincompoop as Vice President having met that person exactly twice

-the candidate permits speakers at his party’s convention to insult the achievements of the other candidate

-the candidate claims that “the fundamentals” of a certain important pillar of national prosperity are “sound” when they are very obviously crumbling like the pillars of a Pompeiian villa during the eruption of Vesuvius; then claims that he meant something else than what everyone knows those words to mean; and further, that to claim to have seen through his silly insistence on this lie is to have attacked hard-working Americans

-the candidate suspends his campaign for no very good reason; then acts as if it never happened

-the candidate looks sickly and angry and is often barely coherent while debating his calm, cool opponent

-the nincompoop VP fails to give coherent answers to even simple interview questions, providing the best comedic fodder anyone has ever seen

-the nincompoop VP attacks an obviously patriotic opponent as a terrorist, but does not call for his arrest

-the nincompoop VP loots the campaign treasury for fancy duds; then is punked on the radio

-the candidate has no money for advertising

-the campaign trots out a new, silly message each and every day

-the campaign selects a random, not-very-bright no-tax bigot who practices his profession without a license as a putative everyman, then cannot find him at key public events where he is expected

-the candidate draws crowds roughly one-tenth the size of his opponent’s

-the candidate has trouble keeping the lights turned on during a live event in the same week his opponent launches a flawless and beautifully produced half-hour campaign commercial that ends with a flawless and beautifully produced transition to a live event with thousands of cheering supporters

-the campaign anonymously attacks its nincompoop VP in the final days, calling her a “hillbilly”, a “diva” and a “whack job”

-very, very long lines of what appear to be the campaign’s opponent’s voters form in any state that allows them to vote before election day

-the candidate appears on a nationally televised comedy show alongside a comedian who is openly mocking his nincompoop VP

-on election day, the nincompoop VP does not reveal whom she voted for

-did we mention the part about the candidate voting 90 percent of the time with the worst President anyone can remember?

So next time you see a campaign exhibiting the above characteristics, you don’t have to wonder much about whether or not it will win. It will lose.