August 21, 2006


McCain Mines Elite of G.O.P. for 2008 Team (JOHN M. BRODER, 8/21/06, NY Times)

Senator John McCain is locking up a cast of top-shelf Republican strategists, policy experts, fund-raisers and donors, in a methodical effort to build a 2008 presidential campaign machine, drawing supporters of President Bush despite the sometimes rocky history between the two men.

Mr. McCain’s effort to woo a diverse lineup of backers and scare off rivals has augmented his travel schedule on behalf of Republicans — which this week and next includes trips to Iowa, Louisiana, Virginia, South Carolina, Ohio and Florida.

The effort is fueling a fund-raising operation that has helped him build loyalty throughout the party by doling out more than $800,000 to candidates since the start of last year through his political action committee.

Other Republican presidential hopefuls are doing likewise, but Mr. McCain is widely judged to be farther along in assembling the kind of national network necessary to sustain a long, expensive campaign for his party’s nomination to succeed President Bush.

Folk are failing to understand that in a hierarchical party, it's just his turn.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 21, 2006 9:19 AM

...and though you disagree, it is exactly that feature which not only needs to be purged from the GOP, but the entire culture as well.

If it's 'their turn," it is nearly always evidence that they aren't the best choice.

Posted by: Bruno at August 21, 2006 10:33 AM

Bruno, hierarchical structures work better then free form ones, in my opinion. Industry and the Military have been better for the country in WWII and other times then the political side(think Jimmy Carter, a man who didn't get in line). What are you thinking of, that you hold structure in contempt?

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at August 21, 2006 11:05 AM

Robert, I have one word for you, Dole.

Posted by: erp at August 21, 2006 11:24 AM

Which is why the GOP has been so successful in the primary era.

Posted by: oj at August 21, 2006 11:24 AM

Bob Dole ran the best race any GOP candidate could have and would have won had Perot not been nuts.

Posted by: oj at August 21, 2006 11:29 AM

Maybe, but the fact that Perot was nuts had been known for five years. Seems like that should have been part of the equation.

Posted by: Brandon at August 21, 2006 12:01 PM

Dole was not going to win under almost any circumstances. He was as 'out of touch' with voters as Thomas Dewey was. Plus, he really believed everything Sheila Burke told him about his skill as a legislator.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 21, 2006 12:05 PM

If Perot had withdrawn and strongly endorsed Dole, as he was about to before a synapse misfired, it would have been a coin toss.

Posted by: oj at August 21, 2006 12:31 PM

You couldn't make him not run and two competing conservative candidates elected Clinton twice.

Posted by: oj at August 21, 2006 12:32 PM

After the election, some wag said that all the Republicans needed to win was to put up a candidate who didn't drool. 'Nuf said.

A non-drooling candidate who wasn't too dainty to pound on Clinton's scandals might have overcome Perot the second time around.

At the time the media drumbeat was that it would be bad for the country to bring up the laundry list of Clinton's misdeeds and Dole, gentleman that he was, bought it. The media had him dancing on their string after decades of going along to get along.

Dole was a disaster. Making those Viagra commercials rights after he lost the election didn't cause a lot of people to be sorry they voted for Perot either.

Posted by: erp at August 21, 2006 12:49 PM

Of course, since Clinton basically used the GOP's Contract for America as his governing policy (liberal lip service aside), from a domestic policy standpoint there's not a great deal to harp on.

Obviously, the man's character and his foreign policy are another matter.

Posted by: Dreadnought at August 21, 2006 1:22 PM

Robert, re: hierarchical structures...

I may be inclined to agree where hierarchies are open to challenges, where they incorporate aspects of what you call "free form" structures, or where competition from "free form" structures keeps hierarchical structures "honest."

I don't see that being the case any longer (if indeed, it ever was the case).

As a philosophical aside, I can't say I can compete with Toyota in building a car or Accenture in wasting a Corporation's money, but I can confidently bet that my entrepreneurial 'free form' lifestyle affords me a more mentally rewarding life than an American Corporate benefit slave.

It all depends on how one measures success.

Though I find the Republican Party closer to my beliefs, and will support their candidates over most Democrat candidates, I won't pretend that McCain, Hastert, Topinka, Rove, etc. etc. aren't minions of a fundementally corrupt structure (the current 2-party system) that is becoming increasingly dysfunctional.

There are times we need hierarchies, and there are times to smash them. I would hope that in a nation that in danger of going Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton-Bush, and is on course to see a McCain-Hillary presidential election, it would be obvious that smashing the hierarchy is appropriate.

Posted by: Bruno at August 22, 2006 9:21 AM

It doesn't depend on success or any other rational measure. Conservastism incorporates a faith in hierarchy. It's what separates us from the egalitarians. It's McCain's turn so he'll win.

Posted by: oj at August 22, 2006 9:27 AM

Why not be meritorians?

Posted by: erp at August 23, 2006 8:15 AM