August 24, 2005


McCain sounds like presidential hopeful (C.J. Karamargin, 8/24/05, ARIZONA DAILY STAR)

U.S. Sen. John McCain knows why he wants to be president.

He isn't running for the job - officially. That won't happen, if it happens at all, until after next year's midterm elections.

McCain, who turns 69 on Monday, said "there's no point" in formally announcing his candidacy until after the 2006 congressional elections.

But the Arizona Republican didn't skip a beat Tuesday when asked why he would want to run for the White House in 2008.

"Because we live in a time of great challenges," McCain said in an interview with Arizona Daily Star editors and reporters.

Chief among them is the war on terror, a "transcendent issue" likely to last for years, he said. But there is "a broad variety of domestic challenges" as well.

Sounding much like a candidate ticking off the priorities of his platform, McCain said they include immigration, Social Security, global warming, rising health-care costs and the "obscene" spending practices of Washington.

Pretty much all that's left to do is pick the Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 24, 2005 6:22 PM

Contrary to OJ's belief McCain (R-Media) will not get the GOP nomination.

Posted by: AWW at August 24, 2005 8:39 PM

He'd be president now but for the best politician of our lifetimes.

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 8:44 PM

Good God! oj. You must be kidding. You can't really prefer that McCain be president now?

Posted by: erp at August 24, 2005 9:00 PM

AWW: For a little evidence in support of your assertion, check out McCain's standing at Patrick Riffini's Straw Poll, where John boy is running a distant fourth. Of course, this is not a good statistical sample, but it does indicate McCain might not have the support of the base he needs for the nomination. His lack of support across the entire conservative blog spectrum is remarkable. (BTW, Condi Rice is the overwhelming fantasy candidate)

Posted by: jd watson at August 24, 2005 9:05 PM


No. He'd have beaten Gore by ten points though and Kerry by twenty.

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 9:08 PM


It's a poll of libertarians--no pro-life candidate can win it. McCain will easily carry NH again. Where's the conservative who can survive losing here like W could?

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2005 9:10 PM

The only relevant fact in this article is "McCain, who turns 69 on Monday." He's not running.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 24, 2005 10:03 PM

What OJ keeps failing to understand is that a good amount of McCains support is from the mushy middle which will dissapear when the NYT, WAPO, and others turn their guns on him (Keating Five, GOPer, too old, bad temper, campaign finance, poor health, etc.). And McCain isn't trusted by the GOP base so he has to work to shore them up which will alienate middle of the roaders as well.

Posted by: AWW at August 24, 2005 10:39 PM

One thing McCain should keep in mind is that with Hillary running, he won't be the media darling he was in 2000.

Posted by: Jamie at August 24, 2005 11:05 PM

The days of New Hampshire's relevance to the nomination process are over.

Posted by: Thom at August 24, 2005 11:19 PM

Actually, if McCain decides to run, his age will allow him to ease off his rate of appearances on cable TV. He'll probably get more sleep as a candidate than as Senator (R-MSNBC).

And he can keep the press in his corner if he appoints someone like David Gregory (or Norah O'Donnell) as his press aide. That's his style.

But he is not the physical specimen that Ronald Reagan was, and he might just decide not to run.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 24, 2005 11:39 PM

Norah O'Donnel? Wow.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 24, 2005 11:58 PM


The Right always overestimates the power of the press. If it had any there'd be no Republican party, instead of an entire government under GOP control.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 12:35 AM

I believe you are mistaken that this is just a "libertarian" poll, since you can sort the results by blog. McCain gets only 3.4% from Hugh Hewitt's readers, 5.6% from Ruffini's, 6.3% from Michelle Maulkin's, 15.6 % from Red State's, 13.4% from Blogs for Bush, 4.1% from Betsy's Page, etc., none of which I consider libertarian blogs. You can also sort by state, where McCain gets only 9.1% in New Hampshire, and 7.7% in his home state of Arizona.

If you are implying that the blogosphere is predominately libertarian, then I would point to the large traffic of leftist blogs like Daily Kos and DU and the not insignificant traffic of conservative blogs like Brothers Judd, etc.

Finally, I think even the social conservatives who are most concerned about abortion will vote for a pro-life Republican just to prevent a Hillary victory. Giuliani, who is pro-choice, is the overwhelming favorite, even on the conservative blogs, except the freepers, who prefer Tom Tancredo. I think the major issues in 2008 are going to be national security and immigration, and a Giuliani/Rice ticket would be ideal for the Republicans.

Posted by: jd watson at August 25, 2005 1:39 AM


I doubt that poll's representational of the wider voting public much like most Internet polls.

And would anyone seriously think that Allen and Newt Gingrich would poll more than McCain in a national election?

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at August 25, 2005 6:15 AM


Our traffic is insignificant. Leftwingers are libertarians.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 8:47 AM

McCain could always keep it in the family and make Ron Brownstein his press aide.

Seriously, McCain offers the possibility of winning CA, which means the campaign will be quite different than any since 1988. If the Democrats have to spend $60-80-100 million in CA, they won't have money to spend in NJ, PA, MI, MN, and WI. I doubt if even Rudy could win votes in CA the way McCain will.

Posted by: ratbert at August 25, 2005 9:19 AM

If McCain wins, we lose. Where's the sense in that?

Posted by: erp at August 25, 2005 10:02 AM


Who's we?

He's pro-war, pro-life, pro-trade and a deficit hawk.

He'd not just win the presidency easily and hold Congress but expand the majorities in both houses.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 10:12 AM

McCain is running. His age says he should not but his ego won't let him stay out.

Opposition from geeks who read blogs are not determinative of elections. Newt Gingrich or Tancredo, really? McCain does have opposition on the right but the field (absent Jeb) on the right is so weak it may not matter. In open primaries only Rudy matters. Can he beat McCain, we will see.

As I see it, assuming they all run, only McCain, Rudy and one conservative to be named (Allen maybe) matter. The rest are just Lamar Alexanders and Gary Bauers.

I do not personally care for McCain but if he is the nominee, he'll get my vote. Same with most I think.

Posted by: Bob at August 25, 2005 10:17 AM

Republicans - even in Arizona - are not about to choose political suicide, ala the Democrats.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at August 25, 2005 11:06 AM

I think Bob has it straight. It's between McCain and Rudy. Rudy will have the advantage in the Northeast, McCain will dominate in the South and West.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at August 25, 2005 11:38 AM

The reason why the libertarian-leaning blogosphere doesn't like McCain isn't abortion--it's Campaign Finance Reform.

If McCain is nominated, he wins. Easily. Expect Hillary to wait until she figures out if he can actually win the nomination before announcing her candidacy.

I'm skeptical that he can win the nomination, but then I don't like the guy and have no intention of voting for him. If he takes the lead in getting Roberts and all subsequent SC nominations through, that'll probably be good enough for enough of the base.

Posted by: b at August 25, 2005 11:47 AM

It's McCain's to lose at this point, if he runs.

A McCain presidency would be fun, if only to see him try and take on the wasteful spending he's always blasting in his media appearances.

Posted by: kevin whited at August 25, 2005 11:48 AM

oj. We, the people, of course.

Posted by: erp at August 25, 2005 12:16 PM


The people agree with him--that's why he's so popular.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 12:21 PM

McCain beats Rudy in NH and then they head South. How does Rudy stay in the race?

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 12:23 PM

By doing everything he can to pull McCain left and raise the profile of the other candidates, attempting to split the conservative vote between McCain and Allen and maybe even Gingrich.

I'm not saying it will work, but it's what I would do.

Posted by: Timothy at August 25, 2005 12:46 PM


How does that help Rudy or keep him in the race?

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 1:41 PM

If Guiliani can come up with a strategy that puts New Hampshire's importance in proper perspective (another Delaware to Boston's Philadelphia, but with hills and no Biden), he's got my vote.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 25, 2005 3:44 PM

The proper perspective is that a Northeastern liberal has to win here or he's got no shot at being taken seriously elsewhere.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 3:49 PM

I'll vote for any Republican nominee dada, dada etc.

However I don't like or respect McCain as a political leader. His only claim to fame as far as I'm concerned is that he was shot down by the Vietnamese (and that was probably because of his incompentence) He has a tendency to stab conservatives in the back at highly inopportune times. He pontificates on TV in a manner that cuts other Republicans down for no benefit other than to validate himself as "non partisan".

I do respect Rudy Guiliani, who has actually made tough and unpopular decisions as Mayor of New York. I think he would make a great President and would be able to show far greater salesmanship than George Bush for a great variety of conservative issues. There are negatives though, abortion, gun control for instance and we'll just have to see if he is willing to change (or grow as liberals say). Lastly he can win in the South without a doubt.

Posted by: h-man at August 25, 2005 5:30 PM

Rudy dogged his wife. It's not possible to respect him. It is possible to vote for him.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 5:57 PM

oj, you must be funning with us. The people agree with McCain? Which people agree with what?

He's only popular with the media.

I'm shocked and delighted that so many people see Giuliani as a viable candidate. I think he'd be great and paired with Condi, unbeatable.

Posted by: erp at August 25, 2005 6:11 PM

The American people--he's popular.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 6:29 PM

Excuse me OJ for not having Guiliani's cheating on his wife on my checklist, I guess you keep tabs on that better than I do. He'll have to grow out of that. Of course McCain dumped his wife also or did she dump him (he probably deserved that also). Has he grown out of that?

Geez apparently all of them are crap.

Posted by: h-man at August 25, 2005 7:10 PM


Not all, but more than a few.

Posted by: oj at August 25, 2005 7:25 PM