January 21, 2008


Rallying to McCain (Robert Novak, 1/20/08, Real Clear Politics)

Sen. John McCain's win over Mike Huckabee in South Carolina was no landslide, but it stands as by far the most important win in his quest for the presidency. It means that McCain by any measurement is the front-runner for the Republican nomination. He leads in Florida's Jan. 29 primary, and a victory there would send him into what is virtually a national primary on Feb. 5 threatening to wipe out his competition. [...]

[M]cCain has not entirely abandoned "straight talk" in seeking Republican anointment. I asked him Saturday whether he knew of any instance of an economic stimulus such as Bush's proposed $800-per-taxpayer handout actually averting a recession. He said that he did not and that the proposal bothered him.

That kind of answer by McCain has annoyed Republican grandees for years, but it also is what sets him apart from other politicians. It brought to South Carolina last week such endorsers as Sen. Tom Coburn, who maddens his Republican colleagues with his campaign against pork, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, who defied the Democratic Party's orthodoxy on Iraq. Even the GOP elders seem ready to grit their teeth and go along with McCain.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 21, 2008 12:03 AM
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