February 14, 2007

Don't misunderestimate John McCain

Mark Harris writes:

I just voted in the GOP bloggers poll and was shocked to find Newt (26%) running a solid second behind Giuliani (34.4%), with McCain pulling a measly 2.6%. I am always shocked by how much the hatred for McCain runs in the blogosphere and in Republican inner circles. So if both hate him, how can he win? I am starting to think he is a very big paper tiger.

Much as I am ABM (Anybody But McCain) for 2008, I disagree. McCain has something that none of the other candidates, except for maybe John Edwards, have: he makes sense on paper.


Hillary: A woman?!
Obama: A black guy?!
Rudy: A former mayor who has been married 3 times and has an ideology that isn't in sync with the people who would elect him.
Mitt: A Mormon?!

I guess it's a testament to Rudy's candidacy that I required more than 3 words with which to shoot down his effort.

But McCain, well, he came close to winning the nomination in 2000, he's currently in office (as opposed to the two frontrunners on the GOP side), he is conservative enough for the base, he has a great biography and, since he's run for office aplenty before, all his skeletons have essentially been exposed. He doesn't have any glaring problems like the rest of the field. Oh, and don't get me started on Newt. I mean, really people, really. When push comes to shove, McCain might just make sense in a way the rest of the field just does not. I'm not sure what I'll do when that happens. Perhaps I will return to my third-party-voting ways. Or perhaps I will pray that a Giuliani as VP on the ticket will be enough for me.

Posted by Karol at February 14, 2007 07:54 PM | TrackBack
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McCain has the same problem that Gore or Kerry will have.

He'll seem like a has-been.

Plus, he can't compete with people who have charisma like Rudy. That's why he lost in 2000.

Posted by: Pokerwolf at February 14, 2007 09:07 PM

Yaron had a great post on the diversity of candidates. I guess McCain is the most "mainstream: of the bunch in terms race/ethnicity.

Posted by: Petitedov at February 15, 2007 12:14 AM

It's not just race and ethnicity. It's also stature, biography, experience. He just fits the presidential profile.

Posted by: Karol at February 15, 2007 12:22 AM

A McCain candidacy is one that won't get many volunteers off their arses after McCain-Feingold.

I appreciate that McCain is one of the only big time backers of the President on the war, still. That he not only hasn't abandoned the effort, but still gets out in front and takes heat for his principles, gives me a little more faith in him.

Unfortunately, he's tying himself to this politically suicidal war, Bush's war.

Rudy won't have that monkey on his back. Folks are gonna want anything but Bush, and McCain is too closely tied to Bush and the Iraq war.

Posted by: Sean at February 15, 2007 02:04 AM

Hillary isn't a woman. Come on, now.

Posted by: E. E. Grimshaw at February 15, 2007 09:35 AM

"he is conservative enough for the base"

He has opposed the War on Terror a few times and is pro-amnesty. Two very not good things for the GOP.

He also just doesn't have the charisma and political savvy. While we may want "just an average guy" on domestic policy, that won't work on international policy. Remember, even Reagan had been an actor.

Posted by: AmerPun at February 15, 2007 09:42 AM

"He has opposed the War on Terror."

Has he ? If so, I think that would help him with the American people if you mean Iraq. But McCain was for the surge before almost anyone else and more boots on the ground. There was a reason the neoconmen were for him in 2k. Look at the old Weekly Standards.

Posted by: Von Bek at February 15, 2007 10:47 AM

War on Terror out...
Long War Against Violent Extremism (LWAVE) in.

Newt is teh funny. The thing is, though, he's going to have some broader appeal, because he's running on real issues, not vacuous ideologies, or double-talk just to get power for power's sake (not that he doesn't have an element of that). I don't frequently don't agree with the record holder for being Prick of the Week, but he's a student of the founders, and he's dedicated to the principles of governance that define the US.

I might vote for him.

Posted by: David at February 15, 2007 12:55 PM


Lots of ideas make sense on paper but then don't work out in real life. McCain's biggest problem is going to be his long history of opportunism. Republicans, and especially conservatives, will never trust the guy since they know he'll throw them under the bus if it makes political sense.

Clinton did the same thing with gays and welfare recipients, but the difference is McCain's not some obscure governor from a chicken-processing state. People know him.

Posted by: Eric at February 15, 2007 01:00 PM

Too old.

Also what Eric said.

Also Rudy is defending Bush when no one else is.

Posted by: Yehudit at February 16, 2007 03:26 AM

Three words, huh?

Gang of fourteen.
Keating five.
BCRA (not a big primary issue, granted.)
Amnesty for illegals.

I'll grant that on paper he makes a certain amount of sense, but he has vulnerabilities too.

As far as Rudy!, yes, the 3 wives thing is troubling. But as far as ex-mayor? He was the ex-mayor of the most important city of the world, with a population (guesstimating) larger than that of arkansas, home of ol' billy jeff.

And he cleaned it up.

I would venture to say that Rudy did more for his eight million consitutents than 95% of governors did for their states in the same period..

there are problems of ideology, but perhaps they can be finessed. not that i think his chances are great, but he's the only one of 'em that gives me any hope.

Posted by: jdubious at February 16, 2007 09:05 AM
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