Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 30, 2008
POLITICS: McCain to Win


It comes to this: John McCain and Mitt Romney. Rudy's out, and Huckabee is finished but will likely stay in the race as long as there is a race to stay in. More on them at another time, for we Republicans have a decision to make, and an important one: fall in behind the newly cemented frontrunner, John McCain, or stage a last-chance, rearguard action behind Mitt Romney. I'm sure I will not surprise anyone who has been reading my writings on this race these last few months when I say that I am supporting McCain, and hoping that the Party gets behind him quickly when and if, as seems likely, he sweeps a number of large states on Super-Duper Tuesday six days from now.

As I previously explained at some length, I am, like Martin Knight, under no illusions about the nature of a McCain presidency, which would undoubtedly lead to a lot of bad consequences for conservatives on a whole range of issues and would almost certainly lead a divided and demoralized party to a bloody and potentially disastrous schism by 2012. I'm not going to sell you on McCain's specific policies other than to point out the obvious, which is that he would be far better on the war, the courts, taxes, spending and entitlements than Hillary or, should the improbable happen, Obama. (I may return another day to what I think McCain could accomplish in office, specifically the hope I had in supporting him 8 years ago that he may yet be the man who can actually do something about the entitlements crisis; I would also remind McCain's critics that the man cast tough votes to put Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court, and to oppose Bush's expansion of Medicare to cover prescription drugs). But as Ben Domenech has set out brilliantly, this election is so important at such a critical juncture that I am willing to make that deal to win it - and I believe with all my heart that McCain can win this race and Mitt Romney cannot.

I will address below three main points:

1. Why I think McCain can win, and specifically why I think analogies to John Kerry and Bob Dole are misguided.

2. Why I think Romney can't win and would be a bad candidate to lose with.

3. Why we need the primaries wrapped up quickly now that we are down to a more traditional two-man race.

I. McCain Can Win.

As Adam C has noted, McCain has now vaulted ahead of Hillary and Obama in head-to-head polls. I don't pay a ton of attention to such polls this early before a nominee has been settled on, and that undoubtedly reflects the wave of good press for McCain as he gathers momentum, as well as the wave of bad press emanating from the nasty, racially divisive Hillary-Obama race. Still, it's a reminder that McCain can reach people in the general electorate at a time when the GOP is at something of a low ebb, and that's worth keeping in mind when discussing how.

A. The Silver Lining In McCain's Moderation

I have emphasized for a reason that ideas don't run for president, people do. Sure, some voters vote on issues, and candidates' handling of the issues also tells us things about their personality and philosophy and values that form a more general impression for the voters. (E.g., "I voted for it before I voted against it."). But the majority of voters are to be reached fundamentally by a sense of whether or not they like and trust the candidate and the general impression they have of what the candidate stands for.

McCain's defining feature is still his sense of personal honor, duty and patriotic service, and those are not characteristics to sneeze at; they will play well on the trail. He is still the man who could say with seriousness and dignity, as he did when casting an unpopular vote to remove Hillary's husband from office:

All of my life, I have been instructed never to swear an oath to my country in vain. In my former profession, those who violated their sworn oath were punished severely and considered outcasts from our society. I do not hold the President to the same standard that I hold military officers to. I hold him to a higher standard. Although I may admit to failures in my private life, I have at all times, and to the best of my ability, kept faith with every oath I have ever sworn to this country. I have known some men who kept that faith at the cost of their lives.

I cannot--not in deference to public opinion, or for political considerations, or for the sake of comity and friendship--I cannot agree to expect less from the President.

Step back from the many detailed disputes we conservatives have with McCain, and you can see why a lot of Republicans are fine voting for McCain, but also why a lot of independents and moderate Democrats are too. From a distance, the public image of McCain is indeed a guy who is conservative on core issues: a foreign policy hawk who made supporting the Iraq War his signature issue, a fighter against wasteful government spending, a man who opposes tax hikes and abortion, supported conservative judges and even fought against President Bush on expanding Medicare. Yet, it's also an image that sands down what a lot of moderates see as the rough edges of conservatism on the environment, "torture," immigration, and a variety of Beltway-scandal type issues. Fairly or not, that picture is an appealing one to the general public, especially when combined with McCain's own war-hero status. Spend some time talking to non-political people and non-Republicans about McCain and Romney and I guarantee you they will have a much greater openness to McCain than to Romney. That matters a lot.

Recalling that President Bush's approval ratings remain terrible (though not as bad as those of the wimpy, defeatist Congressional Democrats, from whom McCain is also easily distinguishable), consider Jay Cost's analysis of the Florida exit polls:

McCain once again won those who are disenchanted by the Bush presidency. Most Florida Republicans (68%) approve of the Bush administration. Romney won them, 35% to 31%. McCain, however, scored an overwhelming, 22-point victory among the 32% of voters who disapprove. I think this is one of the evolving stories of the Republican contest. If you like Bush, you are inclined to Romney (or one of the other candidates, all of whom but Ron Paul do better among Bush supporters than Bush opponents). If you dislike Bush, you are inclined to McCain.

-From a certain perspective, this is an ironic feature of this campaign. McCain has been campaigning, in part, on the surge - the hallmark of the Bush presidency for the last year. Romney has been campaigning on fixing Washington. But the results do not follow these pitches. Why? I think one reason has to do with the long memories of voters. McCain's reputation as an anti-Bush maverick is still quite ingrained in their minds. So, those who disapprove of Bush are "naturally" inclined to McCain, despite Romney's anti-Washington pitch. Meanwhile, voters supportive of Bush recall how many times McCain has been a thorn in the president's side, and so are inclined to Romney.

-There is a lesson in all of this about the limitations of political campaigns. They only do so much to shape the thinking of the American voter. Those who have held opinions about political figures for a long time are not going to be easily disabused of them, despite how many political ads are run or adjustments in messaging are made. I think this hints at a mistake the Romney campaign made - it pivoted too late to a message about fixing Washington.

Add in McCain's personality (more on this later), and you can see why he presents a particularly formidable general-election candidate, especially when matched against Hillary, who I regard now once again as almost certain to win her party's nomination by whatever means necessary.

B. He's Not Kerry or Dole


Critics of the "electability" argument often point to the Democrats' 2004 nomination of John Kerry, a nomination of a Senator and putative war hero made with both eyes on electability, as a cautionary tale. Critics of McCain often point to Bob Dole, another Senator and war hero, as a parallel for why McCain would be a weak candidate. There are indeed some similarities - all three Senators were "settled on" without being really the top choice of almost anyone in their party, and McCain like Kerry went from frontrunner to dead and buried in the summer and fall to suddenly revived at the last minute - but like Kerry's beloved Vietnam-Iraq parallels, the differences are just as important.

1. McCain's actually a good candidate.

Kerry was in a bunch of obvious ways (see here and here) a crummy candidate, and had Democrats listened to us Republicans who had watched the man at any length, they would have realized that. The fact that Democrats thought he was electable just proved how blinkered they were, for example overlooking a huge vulnerability (the longstanding animosity of Vietnam vets towards Kerry's behavior after returning from Vietnam in the early 70s) and mistaking Kerry's war record for actual credibility on national security. (An added bonus is that Kerry's war record failed to impress many of his fellow veterans, which is plainly not true of McCain. A number of the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" knew McCain from being POWs and support him now).

Dole, burned by the coverage of his acid tongue in 1976 and his temper in 1988, was overly cautious on the trail, and struck people as too old compared to the vigorous, glamorous Bill Clinton. By contrast, McCain, despite his age, is fast on his feet and charming in his own brusque, short-fused way, and is unafraid to basically be himself. In Hillary, moreover, he is likely to face an adversary who is herself not the picture of youth and is about as un-charismatic as you could be.

McCain's age worried me a lot more a year ago before watching him on the trail. Obama, who could easily be McCain's son age-wise, has seemed exhausted and grouchy more often than McCain.

2. McCain's not running against an incumbent.

This ought to be an obvious point, but it gets missed a lot. Kerry, for all his problems, did not do so badly at the end of the day for a candidate running against an incumbent in wartime with a strong economy and a united party at his back. Despite the palpable lack of enthusiasm for Kerry in his own party, you could not argue (as with Al Gore) that the man lost because he failed to get his own supporters to show up and vote. He lost because the incumbent had a great turnout of his own and won over many people who didn't vote for him four years earlier. The same is true to a lesser extent of the Clinton-Dole race - Clinton was a popular incumbent, there was never any doubt that Democrats would be united behind him (he was able to start pounding Dole with TV ads in mid-1995, whereas Hillary is still tied up with Obama). The fact that Kerry and Dole lost to incumbents says little enough about McCain.

3. McCain is just fine with moderates.

This is related to the points I made above: Kerry was the very caricature of a Massachusetts liberal, so it should not have surprised anyone that the general electorate would view him as less electable than the Democratic primary electorate. McCain's problem is with conservative Republicans, not 'swing' voters. And conservatives by and large will come out to vote against Hillary for the same reasons the lefties came out against Bush in 2004. The contrast between McCain's "bipartisan maverick" cred and Hillary's deep, bitter divisiveness is a perfect recipe for a McCain victory.

4. There's a war on.

Dole's war-hero status, long experience in Washington and general foreign policy credibility didn't count for much in 1996 because national security wasn't a major issue in that campaign. In 2008, it's unavoidable.

II. What's The Point of Losing With Romney?


I have explained at enormous length previously (see here and go back to the prior 4 installments, as well as here, here and here for more recent, specific issues) why I think Romney - unlike McCain - is a weak and ultimately unelectable general election candidate, as well as less reliable as a Commander-in-Chief than McCain (RedState's gamecock, no McCain fan, summarizes the latter point here). And let's not forget priceless moments on the trail like this one, as well as Ben's analysis. Let's just review a couple of items here to sum up.

A. No Hablo Espanol

First, check the exit polls: McCain beat Romney 51-15 among Latino voters, with Mitt trailing Rudy by 10 points in that demographic as well. Even recognizing that Florida's Latinos are dominated by Cuban-Americans who may have their own reasons for preferring McCain, this is a very important demographic group and a growing one in critical states. GOP support among Latinos grew under Bush and has plummeted in the past two years, undoubtedly due at least in part to the number of Latinos who view hardline rhetoric on immigration with distaste or even fear.

Like it or not, the GOP cannot be competitive in the short or the long term if Latino voters become as solidly Democratic as African-Americans are. McCain's record on immigration is too far to the left for my taste, but it's bound to burn fewer bridges than Romney's approach. It's not just that Romney's an immigration hardliner, but that he really plays into every negative stereotype of the immigration hardline politician: an opportunist and panderer who only jumped on this issue when he ran for president, a man born to wealth who wants to crack down on the very people who mow his lawn. True, Romney would appeal to the tiny though growing slice of the population that is both Latino and Mormon. And true, much of that is unfair, but political realities are no less real for being unfair.

I know some immigration hawks will be upset at all this, and are the one group within the party that really might bolt over a McCain nomination. Look, I think he's been bad on illegal immigration too, and I think McCain's promise to do more on the border is likely to hold only for about two years, but at the end of the day there's just no evidence that there are or ever have been enough single-issue immigration hawk voters to be a factor in a national election. Whereas there is substantial evidence that there's a whole lot of Latinos, and an increasing number, and evidence as well that as a group they are likely to react poorly to a candidate who seems to be demagogic on this issue.

B. No Hablo Ingles, Either

Second, I've covered this issue at length before, but consider this frank discussion by Ana Marie Cox of the mood of the press covering Romney in Michigan, as evidenced by his clash with a whiny, gotcha-minded reporter over the roles of lobbyists in the Romney campaign:

One of the hallmarks of the Romney campaign is the way reporters, barred from access to the actual candidate, spend the journey from event to event talking about the candidate's latest distortions/exaggerations/evasions. So no wonder Johnson boiled over.

It had been a long time coming. In Michigan, the frustration over Romney's complete disingeniousness about "bringing your jobs back" conjured a rare degree of camaraderie, and we caucused together and came up with a list of questions that we agreed to ask no matter who got called on at the next press conference. For instance: "If Bain Capital was going to invest in the auto industry, what segment would it invest in, and how would that help Michigan?" Salon's Mike Madden actually got that in, but it elicited a non-answer: "I've been out of the private sector too long to advise people on that kind of thing." In other words, his experience in the private sector is relevant, until he's called upon to use it.

The specific issue is the danger created by Romney's lack of candor. Now, I'd like to be precise here. Candor isn't the same thing as honesty; basically all politicians can get caught at times bending the truth until it begs for mercy, whether deliberately or not. And it isn't the same thing as sincerity; all politicians at times pander to voters, donors, the media, etc. Neither McCain nor any of the other major Republican candidates in this race are immune to these.

But Romney has stuck out in this field because McCain, Huck, Rudy and Fred are all remarkably candid candidates, prone to one extent or another to going off-message, shooting the breeze with reporters, telling spontaneous and sometimes ill-advised jokes and uncomfortable truths, chewing out hecklers. McCain is a master of all these, and is beloved by the reporters who cover him for this at least as much as for his willingness to rip his own party. You can see this in the coverage even by lefty pundits like Cox who think McCain is a lunatic warmonger.

A highly disciplined, never-off-message corporate-communications style campaign, as run previously by MBA George W. Bush and as being conducted by former corporate lawyer Hillary Clinton, has its benefits: fewer opportunities for gaffes, fewer leaks. But the downside is this: reporters need something to write about. Most reporters are perfectly happy filling otherwise-vacant column-inches (and their TV/radio/cyberspace equivalents) from time to time by regurgitating press releases and talking points; it's easy work. But it's not what they got into reporting to do on a daily basis, and they crave authenticity and unscripted moments that give them a chance to flex their poetic-insight chops. A candidate who never gives the reporters anything but the canned message of the day to talk about creates a news vacuum, and as the Bush years vividly illustrate, that vacuum will often be filled by people who hate the candidate with an incandescant passion.

C. Going Down With A Picture of A Ship

Third, Romney's efforts to appeal to core conservative values should not be confused with credible advocacy of conservative principles. The recency of Romney's convsersion to the conservative cause doesn't just make him an untrustworthy leader but also a less than credible spokesman, since it's hard to convince people of ideas you yourself didn't believe in not so very long ago and seem to have embraced for purely opportunistic reasons. Some say that Romney appeals more to the "three legs" of the GOP "stool". But if national security, economic and social conservatism are the three legs, principled leadership is the seat. And if, like Romney, you try to sit on a stool with three hasily assembled legs and no seat, all you get is three poles up your butt. While Romney has had more success of late running as himself, a Mr. Fixit from the business world, his technocratic appeals to managerial omniscience divorced from principle rightly went out of style after Herbert Hoover.

As I have argued in the context of judicial nominations, sometimes the fights you are best positioned to win are the ones that are worth losing. But other than the fact that he can self-finance and avoid wasting other people's money, and perhaps the cementing of the Mormon vote (which is already a GOP stronghold), I don't see what could possibly be accomplished for conservatives long-term by losing with Romney. His transparent lack of principle makes his campaign the polar opposite of the conservative-activist-spawning runs of Goldwater in '64 and Reagan in '76. As noted above, he could turn off Latino voters, and if there really are a lot of anti-Mormon evangelicals, they could stay home and cost us races down-ticket. His record as a party-builder is non-existent. Unlike a McCain loss, a Romney loss would not be easily blamed by conservatives on an excess of moderation. Not only is he likely to lose with a lot less dignity than McCain might, he's highly unlikely to accomplish anything along the way.

III. Time To Pick A Nominee

Romney now trails in the delegate count 93-59, and faces a four-pronged problem on Super Tuesday: (1) McCain just got a big momentum boost, (2) McCain was already leading in a number of the states on the 2/5 schedule, (3) McCain seems likely to gain a lot of moderate Republicans who would have supported Rudy in big states like NY, NJ, IL and CA, and (4) with only a few days to go, Romney has only limited ability to turn that around by spending more of his own money, which he now seems gunshy about doing.

That could leave him trailing heavily after Tuesday even if he does win a handful of states. And if he does so, it's time for Mitt's remaining supporters to close ranks behind McCain.

Historically, the party that unites first behind a nominee wins. It's especially important for Republicans to do that this year, given the massive war chests held by the two Democrat contenders and the bruises left within the party by what has already been a long and contentious process. But just when the rest of us are heaving a sigh of relief that McCain, whatever his flaws, might yet lock this up before the bitter race war is over on the Democratic side, however, Hugh Hewitt wants to don the Mao cap and start the Long March:

Huck's voters are conservative or very conservative, and if they stay with Huck because they like him better than Romney, they hand the nomination to McCain.

If an ABM Treaty emerges --anybody but McCain-- the smoke will clear a week from now on a delegate hunt that will continue through the Pennsylvania primary in late April, seven contests in May, and the June 3rd elections in New Mexico and South Dakota. McCain could conceivably seal the deal next week by running the table, but if Romney can rally enough of the conservatives, he can force the race into the final innings.

This way lies madness, to say nothing of madness for the sake of ... Mitt Romney? Compare Romney to Reagan '76 all you like (and remember that the cost of losing in '76 was the Carter Administration), but to paraphrase Bill James, Romney is no more the embodiment of the Reagan coalition than a bearskin rug stuffed with hamburger is a bear. If McCain wins the handful of big states and his home state on 2/5, it should be over, for the good of the party, and for all of our sanity, so we can go back to beating the Democrats like a drum.


As I have said before, I think McCain's age, combined with his breaks with conservatives, make him an unlikely candidate to serve two terms, and a likely one to face a primary challenge in 2012. That may end up being for the best. But for now, he's the best of the two remaining choices in terms of giving us a chance to accomplish the most important things we as conservatives hope to do in the next four years. Let's get behind John McCain all the way to the White House.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 8:33 PM | Politics 2008 | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

As I have stated before, I would not vote for McCain for dog catcher. He has not supported our President on critical issues, especially tax cuts, so how can you fall in and support him. It would be different if his issues with the President were on truly Conservative issues, but that is not the case. He also will do nothing to secure our borders. These two issues alone should be a deal breaker for any Conservative. Frankly, I would vote for Ron Paul before I voted for McCain.

Posted by: maddirishman at January 30, 2008 9:47 PM

Crank's analysis is flawed IMO. (Romney supporter, who would most likely unhappily vote for Mc in the general.)

1. McCain's leads now are similar to his failings a year ago. They are not in the general election context. Once the media turns on McCain, which they undoubtedly will, the gap is closed.

2. There are a variety of personal issues that Romney just won't go to: McCain's first wife, he's age and temper, his physical and mental fitness - which the DEMS will via 527.

3. McCain is not the man of principle and the first two points will cause this to be displayed. McCain is the inverse of Romney, he was a Regan foot soldier, but now that he's a leader he's internally less conservative. Do a bill James linear rating of his conservative voting record (3*last 6 years + 2 * 6-12 years before + 12-18 years before) / 6 and you will see the likely conservativeness of McCain.

4. He can't raise money.

5. He seeds the biggest issues of the general to Hillary and Obama as a push - on the economy. Most Americans don't like Iraq or care for GWOT so that won't be as big of a win - and most will see things as tied off.

6. He's much, much, much, much, much weaker as CIC then people realize. Look at his strength and its supporting the surge.
a) Okay - look at what Bush did to get the surge to be successful politically (weekly standard) - could McCain, even knowing the right thing, ever do that? No. He'd piss on everyone and say I'm in charge. The political ramifications would ruin the policy before the military had a chance to succeed.
b) He's too pro-bureaucracy and too connected to make an reasonable changes at State and CIA, we'll end up with shallow promises (like Condi) and the same diplomats and "analysts" failing us in those institutions.
c) His love fest with international law, freeing Guantanamo, and anti "torture" positions will all significantly weaken our frail humint capabilities and signifigantly help the terrorists "here you go Johnny Mohammed, we'll put you in a prison full of disgruntled Americans who hate their government and will leave in perfect position to become an insurgency."
d) His clairvoyance on the surge as a strategy was a one time deal. Go back through the rest of his history where was this vision, it doesn't exist. It's likely his instinct to oppose Bush and his need for a big CIC-esque win to save his campaign were factors in his position as far as I can tell.
e) His immigration stance is a huge security risk. The market works, amnesty decreases the cost of illegal immigration, illegal immigration creates pipelines for bad things, and various black markets to hide and support bad people.

7) economically he seems to view things as a zero sum game, in other words he's much more of an economic populist and less of a free market guy (hello regulation) then we need. kick butt economy = requirement for kicking butt of bad guys

So in the end I'll vote against the Dims, because they are the dims. But as long as their is hope for ABM - then I will keep pushing and fighting. If Romney had won FL as was pulling ahead, he'd still support McCain, and those who feel as strongly pro-Romney or anti-McCain as Crank is the other way, will do the same.

(Plus the dems are likely to have a long race, so we can afford to have a long one too.)

Posted by: Brendan at January 31, 2008 12:59 AM

I see this as an election for John McCain to lose, and he won't. He is too conservative for me in general, but since the law doesn't say a president, or anyone else has to agree with me on everything, he takes the all important middle, plus some moderate Democrats, and much of the GOP. Not the far right conservatives, who are as stupid as the far left liberals, all of whom think that someone must agree with them on everything or the candidate is a failure.

I assume Hillary will win the nomination as well, and then she will lose, and badly. If Obama wins, fine, then he deserves it and I think we would see a new, and interesting type of campaign, one where the candidates both want to win badly, but actually have some principles about how they go about it. Hillary's one principal is "Just win Baby," and maybe she should buy the Raiders.

However, I think McCain would be a one term president. Like someone such as Polk (and he is a lot like JKP in a lot of ways), the job will age him big time. And Obama will either have lost to McCain, but well (I don't think he will get the nomination though--Hillary will stay a senator, and probably win a couple more terms to boot). But he will build his national profile and base, and win in 2012. By then, the country will simply want a change in parties at the top, and he will present himself as a good choice. Well and good. Say no to dynasties.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at January 31, 2008 9:53 AM

FWIW, Anna Quindlen is playing the age card.

What I still don't get is how someone with an 82 rating from the American Conservative Union can have his conservative credentials denied. I guess it's because the 18 points he departs from the orthodoxy are the highest profile issues.

Posted by: soccer dad at January 31, 2008 10:42 AM

I am with maddirishman, in that I would vote for Ron Paul in my primary rather then vote for McCain (or Romney, actually). Come election time, whether it is McCain or Romney, my vote would primarily be anti-Hillary.

My question is, win or lose, 4 years from now, what can "the party" do to get a better candidate, or a better overall field of candidates to choose from? Or is there no such thing?

Posted by: CT Ron at January 31, 2008 11:50 AM

soccer dad,

His rating is lifetime. In the last ten years that rating are available for, his acu rating has never been higher than 81. Chew on that for a second - in his last ten years he has been below his lifetime average EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

Additionally the article below points out that his divergence from acu was on critical issues, and that a lot of the times he voted against the acu's position it was in a close vote. And that an 83 rating actually only puts him 39th in the senate.

His average over the last ten years of 74.3 is more reflective of where he is now. And his voting record has the pattern of someone who is unwilling to cast tough conservative votes, but willing to vote conservative on issues where it doesn't matter. Is McCain conservative? Sure, if you leave out issues such as regulation, taxes, judges, and immigration: not like those matter though.

Posted by: Brendan at January 31, 2008 12:59 PM

Look at it another way:

Lifetime: 83
Last ten years: 74
Last year: 65

Let me know if you see a trend? You can expect a very liberal president if McCain wins the primary. He is also going liberal on issues that directly effect the GWOT: judges, gitmo, taxes (via economy), immigration.

Posted by: Brendan at January 31, 2008 1:05 PM

i've been suckered by "this election is so important at such a critical juncture ," to care any longer. In 8 presidential elections only the speed, not the direction, has changed....

Posted by: anon in tx at January 31, 2008 3:13 PM

I find it interesting that McCain has been able to gain celebrity and political endorsements, while Romney has pretty much been left out of that loop. Romney is right, he is not a washington insider, but in this case it is hurting him a little bit.

Posted by: John at January 31, 2008 4:10 PM

Did anyone else think McC was embarassing last night in the debate? He didn't answer the questions. He talked about nothing but Iraq. A lot of his criticisms of Romney were trivial and on ligistics.

Here are some questions I have.
Is there any basis for thinking McC will move right after he shores up the nomination? I think he has to move a little so he doesn't splinter the party. But if he does that, he loses his number one trait, his electability with moderates and democrats.

Is there any basis for thinking that if McC is elected he will move right in an effort to appease the Republican base? Probably not.

I find it hard to believe McC will be able to serve 8 years. What does the GOP do in 2012 when McC is 75, and hopefully, the war on terrorism has subsided a bit? Does McC have Huckabee as his VP. Does Huckabee run in 2012?

I don't know. These are just rambling thoughts. And they all point to the fact that I will be very uneasy with McC campaign and presidency. It is better than Hillary.

But would there be any silver lining in a Hillary win? Look, Bill winning in 1992 was, in my opinion, a good thing for the GOP. Is it possible that 4 years of Hillary would damage the Democratic party so much that the GOP could create a new era of dominance.

I suppose that McC would be the best choice simply because the war on terrorism easily trumps all else at this point in our nation's history. And I trust McC to handle that better than anyone else.

I really wish Thompson had started his campaign a year earlier. I think he could have won and he was a true conservative. If only.

Posted by: Alex at January 31, 2008 5:12 PM

linguistics, not ligistics. I've been working too long today.

Posted by: alex at January 31, 2008 5:13 PM

If McCain goes by the playbook, then he will tack left(excuse me 'centrist') once he secures the nomination. Conservatives will be told to "suck it up" because this is, once again, the most important election in the history of America and the Universe.

I'm a conservative who will support worthy Republicans. McCain is not worthy - he's an oily, egotistical politician. I look forward to his crushing defeat at Hillery's hands.

By the way, there's an article of interest in 'The Hill' newspaper "Democrats say McCain nearly abandoned GOP". Grain of salt? Maybe.

Posted by: Barbula at February 1, 2008 9:40 AM

Great job, Crank. Time to back Mac and begin carving up Clinton and Obama.

Posted by: John Salmon at February 1, 2008 2:04 PM

McCain abandoned the GOP long ago. Even Huckabee is a better choice for the country. I have not been a big Romney supporter, but at this point he is the most COnservative candidate and therefore the best choice.

Posted by: maddirishman at February 2, 2008 10:45 AM

Huckabee sickens me, pathetic and despicable, Clinton gets my vote if that trash is on the ticket.

Posted by: abe at February 2, 2008 1:33 PM
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