March 26, 2006


Leveraging McCain (Salena Zito, 3/26/06, Pittsburgh TRIBUNE-REVIEW)

The first thing that strikes you about John McCain is that he's comfortable in his own skin, a trait possessed by too few of his colleagues.

Capitol Hill is about being "on message." McCain is who he is. [...]

McCain, the Republicans' frontman for the midterm elections, says the GOP has benchmarks it should build upon, the economy being "the biggest success story ... and we are not doing an effective job communicating it."

He's equally candid about the failures -- namely Social Security -- and agitated by the behavior of Democrat colleagues.

"Did you see when the Democrats stood up and cheered at the president's remarks about (failing to reform) Social Security?" McCain asks, shaking his head. "Stood up and cheered? How can you do that? What is that all about?"

Getting a job done is the only option for McCain and he is adamant when it comes to fixing Social Security.

Senator McCain can run up big enough congressional majorities that the Democrats won't be able to stop him from finishing up the Bush agenda.

Meanwhile, the Democratic base will drag their 2008 candidate ever further from the mainstream and into the partisan fever swamps that Americans despise, Feingold's Standing Boosted Among Voters (FREDERIC J. FROMMER, 3/26/06, Associated Press)

While only two Democrats in the Senate have embraced Sen. Russ Feingold's call for censuring President Bush, the idea is increasing his standing among many Democratic voters as he ponders a bid for the party's presidential nomination in 2008.

Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat, insists his proposal has nothing to do with his political ambitions. But he does challenge Democrats who argue it will help energize Republicans.

"Those Democrats said that within two minutes of my announcing my idea," Feingold said in a telephone interview last week. "I don't see any serious evidence of that."

A Newsweek poll taken March 16-17 found that 50 percent of those surveyed opposed censuring Bush while 42 percent supported it, but among Democrats, 60 percent favored the effort.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 26, 2006 9:58 AM

Problem is, too many Republicans can't stand the two-faced McCain whose common name is "The Snake." He couldn't get the nomination the last time he tried his baloney, he's in worse shape now. You guys should get of of the SS Titanic (otherwise known as the McCain tub) before it sinks.

Posted by: Michael at March 26, 2006 11:41 AM

Michael: Why would we get rid of the next president?

Posted by: sam at March 26, 2006 11:49 AM

I guess we're going to have to rearrange the deck chairs.

Posted by: AllenS at March 26, 2006 11:56 AM

Given the fervor that the left is taking the possibility of censure/impeachment of Bush if they regain at least one half of Congress in 2007, if I were Feingold, I would be secretly hoping that it doesn't happen, based on how the nation reacted in 1998. A party with ousting Bush as their only goal and no plan for what to do next in the war on terror, other than go home, would kill their presidential hopeful's chance in 2008, where someone like Feingold (or Hillary) would now have to defend their party's actions as opposed to simply spouting rhetoric without the responsability of having to govern.

Having to defend itself against wild accusations wouldn't be the best thing for the final two years of Bush's term, but if I'm McCain, letting the American public watch Congressional Democrats go off their meds while running Capitol Hill for 22 months in the run-up to the '08 presidential vote would be a campaign gift money couldn't buy, even without his CFR bill in effect.

Posted by: John at March 26, 2006 12:04 PM

I voted for President Bush twice and I am pretty satisfied with what he has done as President. I consider myself a social conservative. I have no problems whatsoever with McCain. The only thing I don't like from McCain is McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform; however, in the grand scheme of things, that isn't a hill worth dying for. I will vote for McCain, if he runs in 2008. Another benefit would be seeing the leftists (including the media folks) who absolutely love McCain go absolutely crazy when they figure out McCain is actually a pretty conservative guy.

Another minor thing about McCain which really isn't his fault, is that lesser men like my own senator, Chuch Hagel, have sprung up in McCain's shadow.

Posted by: pchuck at March 26, 2006 12:39 PM

Another thing, this morning on C-Span they ran the interview of Kevin Phillips being interviewed by Grover Norquist. Phillips, who claims he was once a Republican, while he was pimping his new book, American Theocracy, said that he would vote for the "old McCain" if he didn't go over to the dark side. Phillips is a blinded by Bush Derangement Syndrome and he has spent too much time breathing the NPR and NYT's air.

Posted by: pchuck at March 26, 2006 12:44 PM

He couldn'ty get it last time because it wasn't his turn and the next in line was the conservative in the race. It's his turn now and he's the conservative.

Posted by: oj at March 26, 2006 12:56 PM

I agree that Republicans have in the past observed the old collegial style where there were turns, that's how we got Bob Dole, the only Republican that Clinton could beat and then he needed more help from Perot, but I digress ...

Okay, but how in the world did Bush get to the front of the line?

Posted by: erp at March 26, 2006 1:44 PM

Think of McCain as Jean Lafitte for the next year or so. After that, he's welcomed even by the Nativists.

Posted by: ghostcat at March 26, 2006 2:34 PM

McCain is one of the most disliked GOPers in the party and as the Southern get together a few weeks ago showed he isn't very popular with the base. A conservative wouldn't have voted against the tax cuts. A conservative wouldn't be pushing a Kyoto-like emissions control program. McCain may indeed get the GOP nomination and the presidency but a lot of his votes will be from people holding their nose/voting against the Dem rather than strong support for McCain.

Posted by: AWW at March 26, 2006 3:54 PM


And gets a 90% approval rating within the party. Only Rudy is as high.

Posted by: oj at March 26, 2006 4:52 PM


Whichever Bush won in '94 was the frontrunner for '00--social conservative son of a president and governor of one of the four biggest states--we all just thought it would be Jeb.

Posted by: oj at March 26, 2006 4:55 PM

McCain is a U.S. Senator. People who aspire to that position intend to win repeated six-year terms of inaction where they can be mini-celebs and criticize the few people who are accountable for things getting done in D.C. Senators run nothing. They are do-nothings. McCain is in no-way prepared for the Presidency. I want him in my POW-camp, but not in my White House.

The GOP should only allow governors to run in Repub primaries.

Posted by: Palmcroft at March 26, 2006 7:52 PM

OJ - evidence? Also what evidence do you have that McCain will continue the Bush agenda?

Posted by: AWW at March 26, 2006 7:52 PM

"Getting a job done is the only option for McCain and he is adamant when it comes to fixing Social Security."

Posted by: oj at March 26, 2006 9:05 PM

Conservatives need to remember the little ditty Hugh Hewitt posts as a reminder (I hope I am) -

Win the war.
Confirm the judges.
Fight the spending.
Lower the taxes.

McCain may be an ego waiting for a camera, but he is not like Schumer or Kerry. He may be nuts on campaign finance, but he's not Rangel, Conyers, or Leahy. And he may have chips on his shoulder towards the Christian right, but he is certainly not Jimmy Carter or Arlen Specter.

At this point, it looks like McCain can win CA, NY, will surely win PA, WI, MN, and maybe NJ. Presuming the other states stay the same, that gives him probably 340 electoral votes, and maybe more than 400. He should win 54% and could do better. If the GOP does better in Nov. than all the doomsayers are predicting, the Democratic nomination in 2008 won't be worth a bucket of warm spit.

A McCain Presidency will ensure us of one thing: more public fighting with Congress. And more brow-beating. I thought that is what many on the right want - to see a President thump Congress smack on the nose. Bush has always been dignified in his dealings with Congress, even when we didn't want him to be. Unless McCain has a dramatic change of heart, he won't be. He might just veto an entire budget over some silly earmark, and dare Congress to match him in a war of nerves. His "intemperateness" might serve him well.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 26, 2006 11:03 PM

The Eagle Forum, headed by Conservative Phyllis Schlafly, states their mission as:

"Eagle Forum's Mission is to enable conservative and pro-family men and women to participate in the process of self-government and public policy making so that America will continue to be a land of individual liberty, respect for family integrity, public and private virtue, and private enterprise.

They rate the Snake McCain on conservative issues at 73 out of a possible 100 points, while rating his other Arizona senator, John Kyl at 93 out of 100 points on the basis of the degree that each elected official supported the interests of the organization in that year.

The Christian Action Organization, headed by Martin Mawyer, states their mission as:

"Christian Action Network holds the Bible to be the infallible Word of God. With this conviction, CAN firmly believes the Bible has established the principles and truths that lead a nation to peace, prosperity, freedom and unalienable rights."

They rate backstabber McCain at 79 out of 100 points, while rating John Kyl at 100 points based on their voting records and how they line up with the interests of their organization. By contrast, they rate Barbara Boxer at 4 and Dianne Feinstein at 7.

The American Conservative Union describes themselves as:

The American Conservative Union is the nation's oldest and largest conservative lobbying organization. ACU's purpose is to effectively communicate and advance the goals and principles of conservatism through one multi-issue, umbrella organization.

They rate Manchurian Candidate McCain at 72 out of 100 points on conservative issues while rating John Kyl at 100 out of 100. Other politicians who got 72 were US Rep Tom Latham (R-IA), US Rep John Sweeney (R-NY), Senator John Warner (R-VA), and US Rep Shelley Capito (R-WV). Senators who also got 100 besides Kyle included Jim Bunning (R-KY). Conrad Burns (R-MT), John Sununu (R-NH), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Jim DeMint (R-SC), John Cornyn (R-TX), and Craig Thomas (R-WY). Many other senators outscored McCain as well as dozens of US Reps who scored 100.

Cast in that light, he's not all that conservative after all, it seems. You can do your own research at Project Vote Smart.

Thinking that McCain will stand a chance - even in the Republican primaries - is a joke. He lost the straw vote in Tennessee so bad he had to fake it and make up phony excuses. Even Mitt Romney stomped him. Add in the rumors about his drinking, womanizing, and foul personality and you have a genuine loser who has demonstrated that he is a legend in his own mind.

Posted by: Michael at March 27, 2006 1:12 PM

Yes, it's the voters in the GOP who rank him close to 90% approval. He's got a cakewalk.

Posted by: oj at March 27, 2006 1:16 PM

The nastiness from people like Michael is one of McCain's chief assets.

Posted by: Timothy at March 27, 2006 1:49 PM

Somebody should tell Michael that Jon Kyl isn't running for President.

So just who will Michael vote for in the GOP primary? George Allen? Newt? Rudy? Gary Bauer? Pat Robertson? Steve Forbes? Harold Stassen?

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 27, 2006 3:05 PM