If he had made it to the top job he would have brought with him a wealth of experience of hard knocks, difficult scrapes, wars not as long as the Afghan conflict but way more deadly.
Would he have steered a different path? On Afghanistan he would have surged earlier and given no beginning-of-the-end date for the combat mission. He would, like President Obama, have owned the war – but unlike Obama his heart would have been in it.
McCain can be as ill-tempered and scrappy as Obama is even-keeled and cool. Would he have frightened the Taliban more than Obama? He would certainly have made more trips to the conflict and done more to whip up support for the war.