There will never be another candidate from McCain's generation who will get to try to correct their world before they are gone forever. McCain was born in 1936, too early to be a "Baby Boomer," but too young to enter World War II. But no one from his generation will likely get to run for President again; the youngest would be 68 years old in 2012, and by then I think it certain that the younger generations, who will themselves be 67 years or younger, will have wondered what the world would have been like had they elected Barak Obama. Or they will know it and possibly approve.
I don't like the far liberalism and the socialism of Obama. But there are things about McCain I dislike equally as much. Both have their strengths; both have their weaknesses. Obama might actually be the better President if what America is worried about is its "world image." [See "The Libertarian Case for ObamaSeven potential upsides to a hope-monger presidency" http://freeassemblage.blogspot.com/2008/09/unusual-headlines-saturday-musings.html
I am not saying McCain ought to be given the chance to redeem the entrenched "old ways," to play the centralist-Maverick he has always been in spite of the left-wing verbiage against him. McCain even managed to frequently piss-off his mentor, President Ronald Reagan. Don't let the liberals tell you he isn't "maverick."
I might seriously vote for the far-liberal, socialistic Obama, myself. Perhaps it is time for America to gain a new "world image," while maintaining the sovereign protections that Obama promises he will uphold. If Obama didn't understand the worries the Right had about him on that subject of America's sovereignty, he does now, and has stated so.
I don't like socialism, but I don't like "old warriors" either who may actually have "old warrior ideas" that get in the way of constructive changes. The world operates at the speed of the Internet; citizens from all over the world talk and chat with each other in real-time. McCain has said he does not know how to operate a computer. How could he ever had a real-time conversation in a chat room with people from all over the world in one place at the same time? In a secure conference room McCain has all the experience he needs with diplomats from the world. In the world of a more youthful, internet-oriented youthful world which shares ideas in real-time between average people, I think he hasn't got a clue as to how the world perceives us.
The world wants to like us. It is American Exceptionalism, the concept that American ideals and ideas that have nothing to do with anything but our own self-interests ought to be the deciding factor in our relations with the world, that Obama might be able to dispell. "American Exceptionalism" does not include the protection of democracy, or helping to protect the sovereignty of our allies from aggression; it does not include the promotion of laissez faire capitalism, or at least the closest thing our mixed-economic system will allow.
"American Exceptionalism" does include the haughtiness that everything must be done to our standards, and policies that are more hand-off-the-other-guys oriented would do much to make us look like the true promoters of self-autonomy. I'm truly sorry if most Arab nations treat their women badly and wrap them from the ankles up so the "natural animalism" of the male will not be aroused by the sight of skin. America was once quite like that: it was a scandal when women in America began showing their ankles.
But righting such cultural wrongs in other nations is not the job of the American government. It is rightly the job of social activists. The proper job of the government of a free people ruled by the principle of "common sovereignty" is nothing more than the protection of the rights of its citizens.
Maybe someone like Obama can actually get North Korea to agree to the nuclear investigators, and get Iran to forget nukes and nuking Israel. Maybe he can actually get bin Laden under arrest or dead. Those kinds of things are within the scope of the American government's lawful powers.
Maybe McCain can get those things done as well. The failure of the Bush/McCain era in the current economic debacle is that they did not cry wolf loudly enough. It is a fact that Bush began crying wolf in 2002, and McCain shortly thereafter. It is also a fact that Barney Frank and 100% of his collegues voted two years ago against any interference in the events that were plaguing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Barney Frank said they were "sound."
It might be that they did not cry wolf loudly enough, or long enough, to over come the perception that they let it happen in spite of the override by the Democrats. This election campaign is so hard to judge, and the election itself so impossible to comprehend, that a majority of the House of Representatives may lose their seats.
That means, if it happens, that the Republicans may take back the House. Then, if Obama wins, he will have a very difficult time proving he can cross the isle. But it will be a trek he must make and he must make it with great diplomacy, or the Republican majority will not allow him any part of his socialistic agenda.