October 31, 2002
AND THE RACE IS ON...:
McCain Switching Parties?
(Heard on the Hill, October 31, 2002 , Roll Call)
The epilogue of a new biography of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) flat out predicts that if Republicans win the Senate by one seat, the maverick will switch parties to swing control of the chamber back to Democrats.
Author Paul Alexander, a political writer who hosts a popular radio show based in New York, writes in the epilogue that the Senator would then decide whether to launch a presidential campaign early next year.
Alexander writes in the book to be released Friday, "Man of the People: The Life of John McCain," that he floated the following scenario to an unnamed "McCain staffer" over lunch.
"If the control of the Senate returns to the Republicans by one seat, McCain could change parties and reclaim the power in the Senate for the Democrats,"Alexander told the McCain staffer. "That way, if he decides to run for president as a Democrat or as an Independent, he could also affect the control of the Senate at the same time."
The McCain staffer replied, "That's it exactly. Only here's the thing, McCain has no idea, really, what he's going to do."
The thing is, he'd have to decide quickly in order to beat Lincoln Chaffee to the door.
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 31, 2002 11:43 PM
NO WAY a pro-lifer is nominated for President by the DNC. Should Mccain change his abortion stance, he loses his biggest asset, 'straight talk'.
If he goes Indy, he doesn't win, thus losing the power he'd have (a chairmanship in the senate) as well as his goal of being Prez.
He either runs in '08 as a GOPer or accepts that he'll never be Prez.
Why is such a "dissatisfied/disloyal" Republican campaigning for Republicans he pobably does not know well -- Forrester -- an those he probably is not super close to -- Jeb Bush?
He'll just become pro-choice as both Gephardt and Gore did when they ran in '88.
He's keeping his name in the press and his organization in those states active. If Bush hits the skids he'll challenge him in the primaries.
I'm basically re-posting from last time we broached this.... but no way. Paul ALexander is nuts, and ignoring some huge factors. Like...
Independants cannot win. Period. That's the deal. I could take a paragraph and explain, but I won't. It just cannot happen, and never has... not once.
McCain, even this year, has said again and again and again that he will not leave the GOP. If he did now, he would likely get LESS votes than he would as a Republican. Who would believe him.... on anything?
Any hypothetical switch by McCain would NOT be about the Presidency, for the reasons above. It would have to be all about his role in the Senate. The Presidency would be out, for the above reasons, and like Wellstone Democrats are gonna rally to John McCain. Please. And McCain is no Jim Jeffords. (Hmmm, whatever happened to him? Haven't heard that name in a while. Hello)
Not gonna happen. Paul Alexander is insane.
(OK, contrary argument, for fun. The only, and I mean ONLY, one in a hundred possibility, is this. McCain decides the Left is dying or dead, and makes a bold move to join the Dems and lead them radically to the right. Still left of the southern christian GOPers, but attempting to forge a coalition of conservative Dems and liberal GOP, while casting the far Left out to the Greens. Maybe, tiny tiny tiny odds, but maybe. And that's about it. And that would leave the whole country farther to the right than even now, so it's not entirely bad. But I wouldn't bet dime one on it.
No matter what Paul Alexander says about McCain, he can't win the presidency either as a Republican, Democrat or Independent.
What he can, and I think will do, is play the spoiler for Hillary just as Perot did for bubba.
Siphoning off Republican votes is the only way a Democrat can win the White House.
If Republicans allow this election to become a poor imitation of a third world country, we are finished.
It's now or never guys. Vote for Republicans on every level. Let sane, honest people on the left get hold of their party again and then a dialogue on policy can resume.
Otherwise there will be no policy issues to discuss, there will be a dictatorship and it won't be too long in coming.
Why couldn't a pro-choice John McCain win the Democrat nomination? On what serious issues does he disagree, not with Iowans, but with Democrats in NH and the South, where the primaries head first?
A pro-choice Mccain loses any and all appeal to any Donk voter.
Yes, they'll accept untrustworthy liars, but what they won't accept is someone who has a record of voting for pro-life judges, issues and decades of pro-life rhetoric.
He'd be destroyed in his first debate with Hillary and almost *every* feminist voter would be wary of his intentions.
Add in his proud declaration for social security partial privatization and school vouchers and it's more likely that Chuck Shumer will have a sex change and become one of the second amendment sisters.
I can't see McCain switching. The press will lionize him as a fickle Republican, but ignore him as a conservative Democrat. He will lose influence as well as credibility by switching.
The press will ignore him? As he challenges W in a grudge match? in favor of who, John Kerry?
McCain has flipped on numerous issues since 2000. Why couldn't he, as Orrin said a few weeks ago, "clarify" his abortion position?Gore did.
And Gephardt. And Daschle, who is also bandied about for the nomination, is putatively pro-life.
Gore blatantly lied & said he had always been pro choice (check out the transcripts of his debates with Bradley) and he had no VOTES against abortion that could be used.
Gephardt & Daschle tow the NOW line, whereas Mccain has gone against it for *decades*.
Again, should he 'tweak' his position, he'd be pummmeled in debates against folks like Gore/Hillary/Daschle who have a voting record they can point to & who will garner the pro-choice vote.
To win the donk nomination, he'd have to do a 180 on:
D-SS savings accounts
F-Despising anti-war protesters (there goes California)
With his credibility shot for changing, *why* would a Donk vote for him when Hillary/Gore/Daschle would be another choice? CFR is already the law, so his #1 issue is gone.
No one to the left of Joe Lieberman would vote for him.
Ralph Reed heads GLAAD before Mccain is the donk nominee.
REgarding a "gurdge match with W", can anyone tell me the slightest bit of hostility that McCain has shown the President since election 2000? I don't get it. Primary 2000 was hard-fought and even bitter. Big deal. What is new here? Politicians have attacked each other harshly on the
primary trail for centuries. Mostly, they tend to publicly come together when the dust settles. many times they don't and the bitterness lasts, but when that happens, you tend to see a lot of evidence of it, even subtle. Can anyone give me any evidence of latent hostility by McCain toward Bush recently? At least more than normal? Enough that he will stand up to his opponents showing ten straight minutes of a hundred clips of him saying "I will not run for President, I will not leave the party, I support President Bush, etc?"
This just seems absurd to me.
The Democratic Party will never embrace McCain as its leader. It is a Stalinist-style coalition that can preserve its hold on power only by enforcing absolute conformity. It takes a long time to persuade Stalinists that you're reliable. That's one reason Mondale and Lautenberg, not younger Democrats, got chosen. They're reliable. McCain would need years to prove his reliability to the left, and by then he'd have lost all his appeal to moderates & Republicans. He'll never be a Demo Prez nominee.
Ideas never entered into those calculations. Democrats chose Lautenberg and Mondale because they can win. So can McCain running as a Democrat.
Mondale and Lautenberg had name recognition, that was the main reason . . . but Alan Page would have won easily in Minnesota, but he also might have helped lead blacks off the plantation, while Mondale, whose chances of winning are actually worse, would support the coalition.
McCain could win the general election as a Democrat but he can't win the nomination.
He'd definitelky win NH and that means he'd be the front runner.
McCain is not, and will never be a Democrat.
If he switches parties, he'll be just another conservative democrat.
His whole career is based on his reputation as a Republican spoiler, a Teddy Roosevelt-style Bull Moose.
(Teddy is his hero, if I recall correctly.)
The Senate switch would alienate the very McCainiacs that prop him up. His power base is disaffected Republicans.
The media loves him because he's a Republican who attacks other Republicans.
McCain would lose everything
in a party switch. A Democrat attacking Republicans isn't even news.
When Jim Jeffords, the very definition of bland, attacked Bush it was international news.