August 23, 2006

Anybody but McCain '08

McCain faults Bush administration on Iraq: Americans led to believe war would be a ‘day at the beach,’ senator says.

After 5 seconds of googling, here's Bush talking about our upcoming beach day, on the eve of the Iraq war, March 19, 2003:

I want Americans and all the world to know that coalition forces will make every effort to spare innocent civilians from harm. A campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California could be longer and more difficult than some predict. And helping Iraqis achieve a united, stable and free country will require our sustained commitment.

If anything, Bush has said so much to dispel the idea that this war would be easy. Many of his early speeches centered around the idea of a long and difficult war, not only in Iraq but in general when we fight global terrorism.

So many people that I respect (hi W.O!) like McCain and if he is the Republican candidate in '08, I pledge right now to support him. But I will fight against him in the primary. I don't want someone that watches polls and "mavericks" his way into constantly offending his fellow Republicans. Anybody but McCain for the Republican nomination in '08, anybody.

UPDATE: Allah has video and thinks that distancing oneself from the war will become a fact of life for anyone running for president in '08. I'm not convinced and will try to write more on that in the next day.

Posted by Karol at August 23, 2006 03:16 PM | TrackBack
Technorati Tags:


Posted by: Not Dawn Summers at August 23, 2006 04:20 PM

Anybody? Fine. Rick Santorum or Trent Lott. You pick.

Posted by: Ari at August 23, 2006 04:24 PM

I'll take either Rick Santorum or Trent Lott over McCain, there I said it. At least I know where they stand. I would not, however, take Lieberman because he's a Democrat.

Posted by: Karol at August 23, 2006 04:26 PM

I agree. Anybody but McCain.

Posted by: toby at August 23, 2006 04:26 PM

I voted McCain in the 2000 primaries. Six years later, I'll see your "anyone but him in the primaries" and go one better: If he's nominated, I'm voting independent.

He's got all the problems of John Kerry, except he has this treacherously false reputation as a stalwart principles-type-guy. Not to say he's an unprincipled louse, but c'mon, really -- do I genuinely know where he's going to stand on the issues over the next five years? Is anybody, even those among his fans who talk about how principled he is, even saying I can predict such a thing, or come close to doing so?

That's the trouble with media constructs like McCain. "The Thing" becomes opposing war in Iraq, or Iran, or North Korea...or "The Thing" becomes supporting such actions...and that's the way a McCain administration would go. Whatever the mobs in the streets decide from one day to the next. It's a betrayal of all the things I think "conservative" thinking is supposed to embody.

I want a cowboy in that office. Someone who will stick Saddam Hussein's head on a wall, and put the "I'm-a-dinner-jacket" guy's head next to it, Kim-Jong's head next to dinner-jacket's, and bin Laden's next to Jong's. And then go out looking for a fifth one. That's what's needed. It isn't machismo, it's common sense.

Posted by: Morgan K Freeberg at August 23, 2006 04:37 PM

Jim Jeffords in '08!

Posted by: Mark at August 23, 2006 05:00 PM

Or, if you want a (still) Republican:

Lincoln Chafee in '08!

Posted by: Mark at August 23, 2006 05:01 PM

Trent Lott has done, is doing and will do a lot for Mississippi. For that he has my eternal gratitude. President? No. I prefer him to stay where he is. He'll do more good there.

Posted by: ccs178 (Chris) at August 23, 2006 05:26 PM

It seems that everytime McCain gets a phone call from Pelosi telling him to play solitaire, and deals the Queen of Hearts, he goes and says something like this.

Posted by: Dino at August 23, 2006 06:03 PM

You will one day admit that Iraq was a mistake.

In hindsight of course.

Mccain's comments were aimed at the administration and if you look at Cheaney and Rummy's comments like "last Throes" there has been plenty of misleading. Let's not forget the bogus WMD intel. It's the cabinet not Bush, he was used just like Powell.

Posted by: dan the Democrat at August 23, 2006 06:54 PM

Any chance Powell runs for office with a real "Plan" for Iraq??

Specifically getting our troops home without Iraq becoming like Iran.

Posted by: dan the Democrat at August 23, 2006 06:56 PM

I don't think it's misleading if you think that the insurgency actually is in its last throes. And at the time, it certainly appeared to be. There had just been a successful election, and they had turned their attacks away from military targets and started attacking civilians. These are certainly indicative of troubles on their end. And let's not forget, we had intercepted letters where they express fears that they are on the verge of losing.

Just because accusing the Bush admin of misleading people about this or that is the popular thing to do doesn't make it true.

Posted by: DaveS at August 23, 2006 10:51 PM
Good points dan.
Please just read the list of quotes on the left of the page. The first one is my favorite: • Feb. 7, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy: "It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."

Posted by: Sam L. at August 23, 2006 11:23 PM

It's funny that you and I feel the same way about McCain though, Karol. Maybe you'd prefer a Chafee-Snowe ticket to him? Because I know I would.

Posted by: Sam L. at August 23, 2006 11:43 PM

Thing is, there's no shot of either of those people coming anywhere near the nomination. So while I prefer McCain to, say, you, I'm not too concerned about being in a position where I have to vote for Sam L. However, I'm very concerned that I will be faced with McCain on election day '08.

Posted by: Karol at August 24, 2006 01:17 AM

Had McCain been president for the past six years instead of Bush, we'd all be a hell of a lot better off. I don't believe that about Gore (or Kerry), but I do about McCain. Tell me where I'm wrong.

Posted by: Steve at August 24, 2006 01:35 AM

The problem with McCain is that you cannot trust him. About the time you get comfortable with him .. he turns on you.

I guess that if he can't be with the one he loves .. he loves the one he's with.

Posted by: CometBaby at August 24, 2006 01:36 AM

McCain -- Don't trust him.

Posted by: sam at August 24, 2006 09:41 AM

I'm sure everyone's going to hate this one, but I'll say it anyway (he's got a billion times more Presidential material than Keating Five McCain):

Chuck Hagel in 08!

Posted by: New York Hotlist at August 24, 2006 10:20 AM

Fair enough Karol, I sort of thought you were saying any Republican. You'd prefer Guiliani though?
And despite the fact that I hate McCain, I think you're right Steve, he'd have done a (little) better job the GWB.

Posted by: Sam L. at August 24, 2006 10:31 AM


Posted by: Mark Poling at August 24, 2006 10:33 AM


I think things would be a lot different. Hard to say better off. Mccain probably does more of his own thinking where as Bush is more of a Cheaney/Rummy machine.

So people who blindly support Republican dogma no matter what would probably rather have Bush over Mccain.

I say McCain or Powell would be the best options, but they both have been screwed by the Republican party so I doubt they run.

Posted by: dan the Democrat at August 24, 2006 10:54 AM

"A campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California could be longer and more difficult than some predict."

Heheheh... But it wasn't really that hard and didn't take very long because seven months later, "Mission Accomplished!"

McCain is light years better than anyone else the Repubs can offer because he's NOT a principles-first guy. He's a do-things-that actually-have-an-effect guy.

Posted by: David at August 24, 2006 10:58 AM

Sam, I would prefer Giuliani by a mile, I just think he has no shot of getting out of a Republican primary. As I've written before, I really hope I'm wrong but I don't think I am.

New York Hotlist, My ABM movement is actually second to my Anybody But Hagel feeling. But, as with Snowe, etc, I don't think he has a chance in hell.

David, sorry, I'd like my candidate to have principles, call me crazy.

Posted by: Karol at August 24, 2006 11:10 AM


The war, along with this administration, is becoming increasingly unpopular. McCain is simply trying to distance himself from that. It is probably a smart move if he wants to become president. What else is his alternative? Stick by Bush as Bush sinks in the polls? That will likely only drag down McCain along with Bush. As a political campaign consultant, would you be telling McCain to act differently?

Posted by: Dan at August 24, 2006 11:19 AM

Well, I think you're right about Rudy. He won't win a primary, and if he did I think he'd basically get whipped by just about anyone the Dems have to offer.

Posted by: Sam L. at August 24, 2006 11:20 AM


I agree. Unfortunately, we live in a system where anyone that overtly strays from the party line has no chance on the national stage (see Lieberman, Joe for a better example).

I thought Allen had a great chance in '08 but his Macaca comments seem to have had a greater effect than I initially predicted. Do you see this being a long term problem or something that will be shrugged off and forgotten relatively soon?

I have begun to lean towards a long term problem, mostly because the entire episode is easily viewable in several media, and he appears to be laughing and enjoying the entire thing, making all the apologies in the world useless.

Posted by: New York Hotlist at August 24, 2006 11:53 AM

Actually anyone but Chuck Hagel or John McCain in '08

Posted by: Grasshopper at August 24, 2006 12:03 PM

Can somebody please explain to me exactly why Rudy can't win in the primarys? I mean, he's far-and-away the favorite among Hugh Hugh's audience, and I don't think you get more "middle of the base" than that.

This seems like an instance where the conventional wisdom is flat-out wrong.

Posted by: Mark Poling at August 24, 2006 12:15 PM

He's not very conservative. He's pro-choice. He's pretty good (that's bad to you Republicans) on gay rights. He has a funny last name. His one moment in the national spotlight since 9/11 produced Bernard Kerick. He has basically no qualifications.

Posted by: Sam L. at August 24, 2006 12:21 PM

He doesn't have much support outside of New York.

Southerners, the bread and butter Republicans, rule the party and don't vote for Yankees.

Plus he's Catholic that won't win over the South.

I'm sure the lisp won't help on the West coast either (hahaha).

Posted by: dan the Democrat at August 24, 2006 12:21 PM

Hmm, I don't see anyone mentioning Romney, anywhere. GREAT!

The nomination is McCain's to lose. And he might lose it indeed if he implodes.

Posted by: toby at August 24, 2006 03:09 PM

You're crazy Karol.

Posted by: David at August 24, 2006 03:56 PM

In other words, Sam and Dan, primary-voting Republicans are just narrow-minded bible-thumping bigots. Got it.

Now, less snarkily, here's the numbers from Quinnipiac earlier this year:

Giulian 47% / McCain 29%

From the summary page:

Distinctive about the numbers for Giuliani and McCain was how little difference there was in the way Americans in the red, blue and purple states felt about them. There were greater regional differences for President Bush and to a lesser degree for Sen. Clinton.

Oh, and about the qualifications? Arkansas has a population of 2.6 million. NYC: 8 million. And New York got better with Rudy in the mayor's office.

Posted by: Mark Poling at August 24, 2006 04:18 PM

Mark, am I mistaken or was that just a poll of Florida voters.

anyhoot I found this interesting from your link..

"Not only do Mayor Giuliani and Sen. McCain get the best ratings, but their numbers are uniform across the country. There is less than a 1 percent difference in their ratings between the red, blue and purple states."

"Interestingly, Giuliani gets a higher rating from self-identified white evangelical voters who either don't know or don't care that he favors abortion and gay rights."

I think the mud flinging during the primary would change some "white evangelical voters" minds. I don't think it's ignorant to note that all Republican Presidential candidates are Protestant. Most people "in the know" see those 2 issues as Rudy's downfall. Besides the fact that the Republican powerbase is the south, if you like to admit it or not.

Although Karol's has done a swell job in New York winning over the hearts and minds to the Republican side.

Posted by: dan the Democrat at August 24, 2006 05:53 PM

My feeling as well. He has a lot of 9/11 related appeal right now, but in a tough primary or a tough election fight it would fade. Not only that, but I think the Kerick thing shows that he would just implode over something or other.

Posted by: Sam L. at August 24, 2006 10:27 PM

The poll was national, and explicitly made the point that Rudy's numbers carried across Red, Blue, and Purple (closely contested) states.

I'm sure the mud will be flung; what keeps getting lost is that mud is always flung. W was an alcoholic cokehead. Reagan was a Hollywood phony who was too old and stupid and insufficiently Christian (divorced, doncha know.) On the D side Clinton was a philandering crook. Etc.

The most electable candidate who had to go through a primary in the last elections years was Kerry. Pardon me if I don't think the Republicans are likely to fall into a similar trap.

Posted by: Mark Poling at August 25, 2006 09:24 AM

The 47% to 29% lead is just Florida unless I misunderstood. I wouldn't use that state to gauge the south.....The other quote regarding state color differences is from a different survey about how they're names are recognized not about who to vote for. This discussion has a Yellowcake faulty intel feel to it.

"New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani top the list of 2008 presidential candidates, Florida voters say in a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Giuliani, who some have speculated might not run well among the socially conservative southern GOP, is the 2008 presidential choice of 47 percent of Florida Republicans, followed by Arizona Sen. John McCain with 29 percent. No other GOP contender tops 10 percent in this survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN uh-pe-ack) University poll. "

Posted by: dan the Democrat at August 25, 2006 10:26 AM

We have not yet begun to see the parade of people who formerly supported the President, but are now willing to stab him in the back as the election season approaches.

Posted by: Barry at August 25, 2006 02:43 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?