Okay, think about this: The former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum, thinks that John McCain is too abrasive to be president. Now Santorum was regarded by progressives as a right-wing whack job. He relished in belittling Democrats, yet he regards McCain's personality as too unstable for the demands of the Oval Office.
His, and other assessments of McCain's personality by Republican Senators, can be found in a Washington Post article dated February 4, 2008. Apparently, McCain's treatment of his fellow Republican Senators, as well as Democratic Senators, over the years makes his Republican colleagues very, very nervous about him assuming the White House.
There is also a article out from AlterNet that makes the argument that McCain may be very vulnerable against either Obama or Clinton. The article points out that McCain is not aging well and has appeared confused during the primary campaign. It also points out that most voters in the United States have not yet seen McCain in debates or in speeches. Once they do, their assessment of McCain might change.
Of course, the reason why progressives and Democrats fear McCain is that the media loves him. A lot of white,middle-aged male reporters, like Chris Matthews get "the vapors" when they get around McCain, to use a phrase coined by Maureen Dowd. They totally lose their objectivity and go into a state of idol worship. Whether that hero-worship will continue remains to be seen.
Another area where McCain is vulnerable is on how he has constantly shifted positions since he decided to court the religious right. When he decided to run for president in 2008 the famed "Straight Talk" Express apparently jumped off the track.
A aging McCain matched up against a vigorous Obama would be a problem for the GOP, especially since Obama doesn't seem to arouse the ire of the Republican base like Clinton does. Alternatively, a Clinton who comes across as cool, intellectual and focused on policy would be a problem for McCain during debates if McCain appeared unfocused and abrasive.
Then there is the whole issue of McCain's personal life which hasn't gotten the attention from the media that it might if he is the actual nominee. McCain came back from being a prisoner of war, shortly thereafter divorced his wife who was the mother of his sons and had stood faithfully by while he was a prisoner for seven years, and married a 25 year old heirness and used her family's fortune to run for Senator. Now, that's certainly an inspiring story.
What also must be kept in mind is that the reason why some Democrats like McCain, his willingness to occasionally challenge his fellow Republicans, isn't an endearing character trait inside the GOP. The GOP is a party that loves uniformity of ideas, and challenging orthodoxy doesn't cut it for most Republicans.
All in all, John McCain may not be the best GOP candidate to face the Democrats.