August 18, 2006


In South Carolina, A Major Endorsement For McCain (MARC AMBINDER, 8/17/06, Hotline)

For John McCain, the road to the '08 nomination has several byways. One of them is especially critical: identifying, and then mitigating, the roadblocks that kept McCain from winning the nomination last cycle. To these tasks, John Weaver, Mark Salter and other members of McCain's brain trust have dedicated their waking hours. Not enough money? McCain builds a broad and multi-layered donor base. Lack of Southern support? A methodical courtship of Southern politicians and donors (many in Texas). Lack of credibility with the activist elite in some of the early primary states? High profile opinion drivers are joining McCain's PAC. Opposition from social conservatives? McCain is going out of his way to be civil and accomodating (although not necessarily changing his views).

In South Carolina, one obstacle was particularly galling for McCain in '00. He basically split the veterans' vote with George W. Bush. One major reason was Maj. General Stan Spears, the chief of the state's National Guard forces and the man who almost single-handedly convinced thousands of veterans to vote for Bush. Tonight, that obstacle is unblocked. At a fundraiser in Columbia, SC, Spears said publicly he will support McCain if he runs in '08.

The timing was a surprise, even to McCain's aides.

The only obstacle that really matters is that in '08 he's got Bush/Rove on his side.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 18, 2006 11:55 PM

But them ball bearings is dry.

Posted by: ghostcat at August 19, 2006 12:11 AM