August 24, 2006


Exclusive: Zoellick to Join McCain; Aides Eye Early '07 Campaign Launch (Mike Allen, 8/24/06, TIME)

Former Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick is planning to join the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain next year, overseeing development of domestic and foreign policy, Republican officials tell TIME. [...]

Although much attention has been given to the fund-raising and campaign machine McCain is assembling, his advisers also are deep into planning a large policy and issue apparatus. McCain sources said it's too early to describe the theme of his policy, but said it will be "bedrock conservatism, Main Street Republican, what we got used to in the Reagan administration and with former President Bush." Among his star recruits:

--Phil Handy of Florida, who handles Gov. Jeb Bush's financial trusts and was named by the governor to chair the Florida State Department of Education, will be an education adviser, political adviser and fund-raiser for McCain's campaign, the officials said. That strengthens McCain's growing ties with Gov. Bush.

--Phil Gramm, the former U.S. Senator from Texas, will have a broad economic-policy portfolio, from trade and budget policy to private property rights. Another leader of the economic team will be Gerald Parsky, President Bush's California chairman and a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. Also working on fiscal policy will be two former directors of the Congressional Budget Office: Dan Crippen, a budget and domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan who chaired a panel advising NASA on changes after the space shuttle Columbia disaster, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, who also was chief economist of President Bush's Council of Economic Advisers. Crippen will be staff director of issue development.

--Former Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) will help with defense policy, and is a key link to evangelical Christians.

Zoellick, a Harvard Law graduate who later was an executive vice president at Fannie Mae, has held senior positions under the last three Republican Presidents.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 24, 2006 4:46 PM

I cannot picture myself supporting McCain.

Posted by: abc123 at August 24, 2006 5:01 PM

"bedrock conservatism, Main Street Republican, what we got used to in the Reagan administration and with former President Bush."

Anyone else see the brilliance of this? For 6 years, the media & Democrats have been bemoaning that Bush isn't a *real* conservative, not like Reagan and Bush. So McCain picks that theme up and runs with it. The media has given him carte blanche to be conservative, as long as he packages it that way.

Posted by: Timothy at August 24, 2006 5:16 PM

". . . and with former President Bush"

Allow me to interpret.

McCain will be running away from W., and towards HW.


Posted by: Jim in Chicago at August 24, 2006 5:16 PM

But W will be running the campaign.

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2006 6:22 PM

Did Zoellick want Condi's job????

Maverick is too old, we shouldn't go backward.

He's not Ronnie.

Posted by: Sandy P at August 24, 2006 8:40 PM

He left because W didn't give him Treasury.

Actually, McCain's greatest weakness is that he might just be a Ronnie, content to leave the Welfare State unchanged.

Posted by: oj at August 24, 2006 9:56 PM

The Gramm connection is important, because his background (and the fact he's still in the Top 3 of Texas Republicans hated by Democrats) will assuage some GOP voters who fear that McCain's schmoozing of the media will result in a candidate who "grows" on the campagin trail and disavows more important positions than CFR.

Posted by: John at August 25, 2006 12:35 AM

McCain is far from being my preferred candidate. As Hugh Hewitt says, McCain is a great American but a poor senator.

I'm not sure what kind of a president he'll make. Only that he'll be better than Hillary, Gore, Kerry, Feingold, Biden, or any other Democrat you can think of.

He would be more likely to veto excessive spending -- there are a lot of GOP committee chairmen in the Senate who will hate having McCain in the White House.

As for his age (and health).... good reason to make sure he has a top-notch running mate.

Posted by: J Baustian at August 26, 2006 11:42 PM

He's the preferred candidate of Republican voters, not of talking heads.

Posted by: oj at August 27, 2006 12:37 AM