John McCain invokes Churchill and Roosevelt

John McCain, in his latest TV ad, Man in the Arena, paints himself as the emerging leader to lead a nation at war, in line with the leadership showed by Winston Churchill and Theodore Roosvelt in the First and Second World Wars. The text for the ad: “The Time Has Come For A Man in the Arena. More Than Aspiration … Leadership”. Images of Churchill and Roosvelt speaking are interspersed with shots of McCain in orator, soldier and prisoner modes, the White House and the Statue of Freedom, and flights through the clouds of Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. The ad finishes with images of young girls with an American flag, picking flowers and running through a field – a reference to the Daisy ad of 1964?

McCain in the Arena

Winston Churchill: “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”

May 1940, during the Battle of France.

John McCain: “Keep that faith. Keep your courage. Stick together. Stay strong. Do not yield. Do not flinch. Stand up. Stand up with our President and fight. We’re Americans. We’re Americans, and we’ll never surrender. They will.”

2004 Republican National Convention, August 2004

Theodore Roosevelt: “With all my heart and soul … I pledge you my word to do everything I can to put every particle of courage, of common sense, and of strength that I have at your disposal. … Surely there never was a fight better worth making than the one in which we are in.”

Progressive Party National Convention, Chicago, IL, August 1912

John McCain: “I know who I am and what I want to do. I don’t seek the office out of a sense of entitlement. I owe America more than she has ever owed me.”

Remarks on Wisconsin Primary Victory, Columbus, OH, February 19, 2008

Winston Churchill: “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Harrow School, London, October 1941

John McCain: “I have been an imperfect servant of my country for many years. I have never lived a day, in good times or bad, that I haven’t been proud of the privilege. Don’t tell me what we can’t do. Don’t tell me we can’t make our country stronger and the world safer. We can. We must. And when I’m President we will. Thank you and God bless you.”

Columbus, OH, February 2008