November 28, 2005


A Shift in Political Landscape Seems To Favor McCain in '08 (JOSH GERSTEIN, November 28, 2005, NY Sun)

Senator McCain of Arizona is emerging as an early favorite for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 as a result of a shift in the issues dominating the American political landscape, according to political analysts.

Intensifying public concern about the war in Iraq, the prospect of protracted corruption trials in Washington, and renewed qualms among Republicans about federal spending are all putting wind into Mr. McCain's sails while setting back most of the senator's rivals for the nomination.

"If Iraq and foreign policy and national security and deficit spending are important issues, that will benefit people like McCain," the publisher of a leading political newsletter, Stuart Rothenberg, said.

They won't even be the major issues in the midterm, nevermind in '08. But his continued ability to appear the heir presumptive is all it takes to win the GOP nomination. It's a hierarchical party where the presidency is concerned.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 28, 2005 9:57 AM

The "hierarchical" nature of the party is its worst attribute.

Posted by: Bruno at November 28, 2005 10:26 AM

While the GOP might be hierarchical OJ assumes that the GOP powers that be have figured that it is McCain's turn. Given disenchantment with McCain in the GOP base this assumption doesn't appear to be that solid.

Posted by: AWW at November 28, 2005 10:34 AM


It doesn't matter what anyone wants--it's a metaphysical phenomenon.

Who wanted Nixon, Ford, Bush or Dole?

Posted by: oj at November 28, 2005 10:38 AM

The same political analysts who said Cabana Boy was going to win?

Posted by: Sandy P at November 28, 2005 10:43 AM


He did and rather easily. MA politicians win NH.

Posted by: oj at November 28, 2005 10:50 AM


Yet it produces guys who are prepared to govern.

Posted by: oj at November 28, 2005 10:55 AM


You and I have few disagreements on what the issues are re: society.

In party mechanics, however, we probably diverge on a few things.

Picking sides in Spectre v. Toomey was a mistake. Toomey may have won, and even if not, there has to be SOME adherence to principle, does there not?

Here in IL, the same awful mistake is being made re: the Governor's race.

Your point may be correct re: prepared to govern, but some of these people "govern poorly." Bush1 was a prefect example.

I realize I can't change the herd mentality of the somnambulist republican rank'n'file, but I know that there is a benefit in not diverging too far from principle in the effort to 'win.'

I'm beginning to take the view that America needs a new party that actually stands for "republicanism."

God knows neither of the current parties do. It happened in 1854, why not now? No wonder they passed "McFein".

Posted by: Bruno at November 28, 2005 11:09 AM

I may have to shot myself.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at November 28, 2005 11:20 AM

The divine right of kings also produced men prepared to govern.

Posted by: pj at November 28, 2005 12:39 PM

i guess i missed GWB's rise in the hierarchy before he won the nomination in 2000. not sure how regan being out of office for 10 years led him to the top of the hierarchy, either. still, it's a good theory on paper.

Posted by: saddam's toe at November 28, 2005 1:01 PM

I agree with oj on the hierarchical nature of GOP presidential nomination. GOP does not nominate newcomers, someone emerges as the national leader for the party (does not mean that he has to be in an elected office at the time of nomination). Nixon as VP, Goldwater (because Nixon did not run in 1964), Nixon when he wanted it back in 1968, Ford over Reagan, Reagan after losing n 1976, Bush, Dole and Bush. The only two national leaders in the GOP currenty are McCain and Giuliani. It is a horse-race between the two. (Rice will be nominee only if she is appointed to VP in 2006-07). All others are lucky to break the Margin of Error in any GOP poll.

Posted by: sam at November 28, 2005 1:21 PM

Saddam's toe: Bush, based on his name recognition, was the only national leader in the GOP in 2000, after the leadership vaccuum created by 8 years of Clinton presidency. Reagan got "his turn" after his rejection in 1976. Being out of office does not equate with not being a national leader.

Posted by: sam at November 28, 2005 1:25 PM

Reagan nearly knocked off a sitting president in '76 and was the nominee in waiting after his convention speech that year.

Posted by: oj at November 28, 2005 1:48 PM


Which is why we should have retained a monarchy.

Posted by: oj at November 28, 2005 1:50 PM


You lost me after "may have"...

Posted by: oj at November 28, 2005 1:56 PM

FWIW, Hewitt ran an on-line poll over the weekend and McCain bombed. Rudy all the way, with Condi as the top "fantasy candidate".

Posted by: ghostcat at November 28, 2005 4:38 PM

The 1% of America that's libertarian is 100% of on-line poll results. The proof is that pro-abortion candidates tend to score well--Condi, Giuliani, etc.

Posted by: oj at November 28, 2005 4:44 PM

McCain probably does have the advantage now, but he's also on a very short leash in terms of the time-frame of what he can and can't say to burnish his media image at the expense of other Republicans.

Americans are a foregiving and/or foregetful lot, and a McCain who doesn't go out of his way to rub the rest of the party's face in the mud over the next 25 months wiil have a good shot at the nomination, because of the positions on social issues taken by Giuliani (who amazingly comes off as the less-abrasive canddiate here) are more liberal than those of the Arizona senator. But if McCain decides to play the media ingratiation game right up to 2008, and uses the GOP leadership as a whipping boy in hopes of playing up his moderate image for the general election, he will risk being outflanked by someone on the right, who may not have any charisma for the general election against the missus, but who'll gain votes by being the anti-McCain pick of the right side of the party's primary base.

Posted by: John at November 28, 2005 4:46 PM

Every successful Republican runs against Washington, even his own party there.

Posted by: oj at November 28, 2005 4:50 PM

We have a monarchy.

Posted by: Sandy P at November 28, 2005 4:53 PM

whether or not mc cain gets the nomination is unclear at the moment, what is crystal clear is that some people here have absolutely no idea what a hierarchy is. words have meaning:

Categorization of a group of people according to ability or status

Posted by: saddam's toe at November 28, 2005 7:02 PM

excellent, now please define the existing membership of the hierarchy.

Posted by: saddam's toe at November 29, 2005 12:36 AM

Well, I guess Jack Kemp never quite made it, nor Phil Gramm. Right now, McCain is about it (unless Gary Bauer runs again).

Posted by: ratbert at November 29, 2005 1:15 AM

McCain and Giuliani are pretty much in a class by themselves.

Posted by: oj at November 29, 2005 7:35 AM

i see, a one level hierarchy. nice try, be sure to collect a prize on your way out.

Posted by: saddam's toe at November 29, 2005 10:35 AM

Yes, McCain or Giuliani would easily win. everyone else is a longshot.

Posted by: oj at November 29, 2005 11:22 AM