March 4, 2008


McCain declared GOP nominee (NBC First Read, 3/04/08)

NBC News declares John McCain the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States. The Arizona senator currently has 1,205 delegates, including delegates allocated to him by NBC News and other delegates who have told the AP that they will vote for him. He now has more than the 1,191 delegates required for the Republican nomination.

Bush to endorse McCain (David Gregory, 3/04/08, NBC First Read)
Republican sources say the president will endorse McCain tomorrow at the White House.

John McCain didn't just win this thing, but had the easiest nomination season of any Republican in primary era. As a result, he heads into the general with his reputation as an independent intact and without having had to tack Right in the fashion that cost W the vote in 2000. With his ability to appeal to Latinos and Rust Belt Catholics he is unquestionably the best the GOP could have hoped for from their field of candidates and, once Jeb decided not to run, their best shot at retaining the White House.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 4, 2008 9:25 PM

Bush was looking at close but unquestionable win in 2000 (52-48) before the DWI story the last weekend of the campaign.

With Jeb out McCain probably is the best the GOP could do. Whether that is enough in the fall is up for debate.

Posted by: AWW at March 4, 2008 10:17 PM

Yup. I'm not too optimistic for the general due to the economy and media bias, but if McC is healthy and we are not in full blown recession, I see him winning. Very well reasoned, OJ. You called this way before any of the 'strategist' clowns we see on TV.

Posted by: JAB at March 4, 2008 11:05 PM

The DUI story was a mistake of epic proportions in the Bush Camp. When given the opportunity to expose your weakness on Oprah, only a band of idiots would advise to some one to keep silent.

The DUI incident is a textbook case of consultant idiocy, and the person responsible (Rove?) should have been taken out back and shot.

The 2000 debacle cost Bush the opportunity to govern as a consensus builder, as he had to rely on brass knuckled partisanship and lawyering to gain the presidency.

The result was McFein, Farm bills, Highway bills, etc.

Though possibly stretching the issue, failure to front the DUI cost America 1 or 2 R senators, SSec reform, if not more important possibilities.

I'm listening to Hillary tout her Ohio win. At this moment, I predict she'll win the nomination. The idea that McCain will lose to Hillary is nearly impossible.

Sleep well. The Republic is safe.

Posted by: Bruno at March 4, 2008 11:31 PM

I doubt if SS reform would have moved any further had Bush won 49+% in 2000 (52% was out of the question). But it might have kept Slade Gorton in the Senate. Had Bush won 750,000 more votes, he might have vetoed CFR. But the other stuff would have gone through anyway - Bush is not a flinty conservative, and did not campaign that way. He would have nominated the same judges, and he would have taken the same positions on stem cells, education, foreign policy, and tax cuts. And also on prescription drugs.

Sure, it was an unforced error. But the campaign was already coasting. Had they kept the petal to the metal, they could have addressed the issue forcefully, even on the last weekend. Because they were complacent, going back out to talk about it made them look clumsy.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 5, 2008 12:01 AM