Rather than appear before a crowd of his supporters inside his election night watch party at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, John McCain will instead speak before "a small group of reporters and guests" on the hotel lawn. Nobody who believes that McCain can still win could possibly think that he might win by more than the thinnest of margins: his path to victory requires that he win every single battleground state, most of which lean Obama, some by nearly double digits. So if he did win, he'd be facing a very divided nation, and giving his acceptance speech before a large crowd of his fiercest supporters would be mandatory (rather like what Obama is preparing for himself in Chicago) to cement his new position. There's no way that McCain will be giving anything other than perfunctory concession speech before a "a small press pool", so this has got to be the strongest indication yet that McCain realizes that the fat lady is well into her opening act.
I pretty much felt there was nothing that McCain could do to change the course of the election
after the second debate. He could still win, but it would take either an act of fate or some blunder on Obama's part to give him the victory. After the third and final debate, it was obvious that McCain was likely going to lose and that the RNC should redirect their resources into shoring up their shakier Congressional elections (to provide some hope of reacquiring a majority in 2010); and, John McCain would best serve his party in some Goldwateresque fashion that, while it wouldn't win him the election, might change its suicidal focus on the far-right Christian extremism of Palin towards the economic and social libertarianism that might give it some appeal to the future of the electorate (i.e. not old people). Now he is left with nothing, except to share his loss with a group of reporters that have lost most of their respect for him over the Ayers/media elite/pals-with-terrorists strategy, and probably end up bearing the (only partially deserved) blame for the loss as his party unites behind Palin for her 2012 run.
I firmly support Obama, and I am well-aware that McCain's "maverick" image is mostly smoke-&-mirrors. Still, I could've voted for John McCain* and there is a part of me that is saddened by how this turning out.
* It would've taken more than simply Clinton getting the nomination - a lot more - in fact, but I recognize the possibility.