January 10, 2007


McCain's Southern Road to Victory (JOHN BATCHELOR, January 10, 2007, NY Sun)

Mr. McCain has learned from his past experiences and now has chosen to take all the roads, to win every skirmish, war, and crusade; to win everything from faxes to finances, and to make his South Carolina primary victory in February 2008 into the Appomattox Court House for the opposition.

Republican politics is first about the magic of liberty and second about the muscle of Mammon. Now South Carolina's TheState.com reports that the McCain campaign already has the support of Senator Graham; the state's attorney general, Henry McMaster, and the president pro tem of the state Senate, Glenn McConnell. Mr. McCain also has gained the support of the finance committee chairmen from the winning campaigns of Senators Graham and DeMint as well as of South Carolina's recently re-elected governor, Mark Sanford. Moreover, the McCain campaign has recruited the critical Pioneer fund-raisers from the Bush campaigns of 2000 and 2004.

Especially potent former Bush supporters that are now McCain supporters are the chairman of the State Ports Authority, Bill Stern; a Bush fund-raiser and surgeon from Florence, Eddie Floyd; the venture capitalist and Bush fund-raiser, Larry Wilson, who is from the Midlands; and the Bush finance chairman of the 2000 Palmetto State campaign, the state's ducal excommerce secretary and retired National Bank of South Carolina chairman, Bob Royall. "That is what I would call the A-Team," the state's GOP chairwoman, Kate Dawson, said. Mr. Royall's firm verdict shows that Mr. McCain is now the orthodox choice: "I had to take three or four months to think about it. I weigh all the candidates in this stage of the game, and having been involved in the past and present administrations, I really think he's the best person for the job."

He's the best person for the job of party candidate anyway.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 10, 2007 9:20 AM

The Republican primary will be over on Feb 5, 2008, when the big batch of Southern and Western states, the Republican primary-deciding bloc, cast their ballots. McCain will sweep most of these states to lock up the nomination.

Posted by: sam at January 10, 2007 10:22 AM

SC's other senator, DeMint, who is more popular and has less baggage than Graham, is supporting Romney.

McCain's sweep of the south and southwest is far from assured. Don't you remember the recall effort against him in his own state in 2001 that generated a sizable number of signatures (but not enough for an actual recall)? And his "I'll build the wall if those stupid people force me to" isn't going over well in the Southwest.

Most of McCain's support comes from moderates who don't dominate the primaries.


Posted by: AWW at January 10, 2007 10:50 AM

Neither the South nor the West in the Republican Party is going to vote for a NorthEast liberal whose positions are mainstream in the Democratic Party, nor a some-time on-again-off-again "conservative" from Massachusetts.

Posted by: sam at January 10, 2007 11:58 AM

The fuss on the right over whether Mitt is "really" pro-life is asinine and self-destructive. The list of Democratic politicians who were originally pro-life but "evolved" to become pro-abortion is long (and a fact that parallels the loss of Democratic power in the South & all of rural America), and they don't get constantly attacked for it. Shutting off the possibility of a "come-to-Jesus" moment for politicians is absurd.

Mitt is running for 2nd place. In the GOP, that will ensure him the next available nomination.

McCain will be a terrible, terrible president, but it's pretty tough to see how he won't be president.

Posted by: b at January 10, 2007 1:56 PM

I still prefer Rudy but McCain will almost certainly be the nominee. His views are the closest politically to President Bush in nearly all areas.

He is also by far the most conservative of the mainstream candidates. The fact that fuming bloggers and "Minutemen" hate him does not change that fact.

Posted by: Bob at January 10, 2007 2:22 PM

One more thing. Romney's changes on social issues are 100% ambition driven in my opinion. I do not believe for one minute that he would not be still pro-gay and pro-abortion if he was running for anything but president.

Romney's current National Review driven "surge" is driven by irrational hatred of McCain, nothing more.

Posted by: Bob at January 10, 2007 2:28 PM

Bob: How does anything Romney's ever said about homosexual-related political issues differ one iota from the positions of Pres. Bush?

Posted by: b at January 10, 2007 3:29 PM

Mitt's a non-starter who back-stabbed the party.

Posted by: oj at January 10, 2007 3:39 PM

Graham will assuredly have a primary challenger in 2008 - if he/she is serious enough, McCain is going to be in a tight spot regarding his good friend Lindsay. Romney's pick-up of DeMint is a major step.

If Rudy decides not to run, Romney has 12 months to win the support of everyone who already hates McCain, plus try to persuade the fence-sitters. At this point, it looks like McCain will be playing defense the whole way. Not the best strategy.

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 10, 2007 3:50 PM

"He's the best person for the job of party candidate anyway"
Yeah -- all that executive experience.

Posted by: Palmcroft at January 10, 2007 5:01 PM

"He's the best person for the job of party candidate anyway"
Yeah -- all that executive experience.

Posted by: Palmcroft at January 10, 2007 5:03 PM

Why would a candidate need executive experience? A president needs it, not a candidate. He's awful for that job.

Posted by: oj at January 10, 2007 5:16 PM

OJ: Perhaps Romney has 'backstabbed the party' but your boy McCain has done the same thing over & over & over....

Posted by: tps at January 10, 2007 6:43 PM


Which Romney, the one in 1994 and 2002 or the one now?

Romney courted gay groups when it was to his advantage to do so. Now that it is to his advantage to campaign on an anti-gay marriage
platform, that is what he does.

Posted by: Bob at January 10, 2007 6:54 PM

McCain has always been a good party soldier. Romney just quit.

Posted by: oj at January 10, 2007 8:04 PM

CFR is being a good party soldier? Going against the Constitution is being a good party soldier? Then I don't want to belong to that party.

Posted by: Sandy P at January 11, 2007 2:39 AM

McCain has backstabbed conservatives. Romney never has.

I don't know where you got these McCainiac commentators, but Romney is more conservative than McCain has ever been, and more consistent too. Don't confuse Romney being from a liberal state with being a liberal.

Posted by: pj at January 11, 2007 8:07 AM

As long as he'd govern as a conservative it's fine for Mr. Romney to have had his come-to-Jesus moment. The problem is that he's screwed over the party by abandoning MA politics when he's our most viable statewide candidate. He's needed there, not nationally. Of course, Rudy both screwed us in NY and hasn't left Satan's side yet.

Posted by: oj at January 11, 2007 8:27 AM

Yes, CFR is good for the GOP, irrespective of the Constitution.

Posted by: oj at January 11, 2007 8:37 AM

Bob: The goalposts in the debates over homosexuality in society have been radically changed in the past decade. No mainstream politician who advocated "gay rights" and protections for homosexuals in 1994 would have been referring to anything having to do with marriage. Don't get snowed.

Recall the mini-brouhaha that lasted for about two hours in late '04 or so when there was a recording released from before 2000 where Pres. Bush said (I paraphrase) that he wouldn't let extremists goad him into attacking gays? The left & the media, who think that conservatives hate gays, thought this would be a big deal. But they don't, and it wasn't, so the matter was immediately dropped.

Again, don't get snowed. We're all for "gay rights" but radically redefining what marriage is just plain old Orwellian asininity.

Posted by: b at January 11, 2007 12:05 PM