Thursday, December 20, 2007

As the race narrows...

It is interesting to note that, as Tom Tancredo has withdrawn his candidacy, Dick Morris (on tonight’s O’Reilly Factor) suggested that the GOP race is boiling down to a contest between Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. Morris added that Mike is the candidate of the social conservatives, while Romney is the candidate of the “blue blood” GOP establishment.

I wholeheartedly agree with Morris’ assessment. It sure is hard to doubt that the candidate who has outspent Mike by 20-to-one is the establishment candidate. And I think voters on both sides of the aisle are rejecting the well financed, slick establishment campaigns (not to mention all the often dishonest attack ads that issue forth from same).

And in case there was any doubt about the real candidate of social conservatives, it is also interesting that both Mike and pre-eminent conservative radio talk show hostess and author Laura Ingraham had virtually the same thing to say about Britney’s 16-year-old sister’s pregnancy: At least she’s doing the right thing in keeping the baby, rather than having an abortion. Killing an innocent person is never the right way out of a difficult, inconvenient or embarrassing situation. Leave it our man Mike to turn a seemingly trivial question about a wayward pop-culture icon into an opportunity to remind the public about the sanctity of human life. Now that’s how to use the bully pulpit!

And finally, in the mold of O’Reilly’s “most ridiculous item of the day” segment, how about my “most ridiculous question of the week”: Which is more ridiculous; Hillary attacking Obama for something he wrote in kindergarten, or everybody (or so it seems) attacking Mike Huckabee for wishing America a Merry Christmas?

God bless America!


Lee Strong said...

I wouldn't count out McCain.

Joel Brind said...

McCain might have a shot--who knows?
But I wouldn't trust him as a pro-lifer.
I count 3 strikes against him on that score:

1. McCain-Feingold campaign finance law
2.Gang of 14, preventing the "nuclear option" to confirm prolife appeals court justices;
3. support of destructive embryonic stem cell research.

Add to that his support of "comprehensive immigration reform" (amnesty)

although he's changed his tune on immigration, I am further troubled by his insistence that waterboarding is torture and that all GOP candidates must repudiate it. So, even with all his experience, there is something troubling about his stance on national security.

Finally, remember how in 2004 or 2000, there was speculation that he might join a "fusion" ticket with Gore? and how McCain took several days to put those rumors to rest? Now Joe Lieberman has endorsed him. I guess I don't trust him not to reach across the aisle with both feet. His liberal stance on lots of things makes him the darling of the mainstream media.

So I would love to count him out!
(PS: I think his strongest issue is government reform/cutting of wasteful spending. But that's not enough for me.)

Lee Strong said...

I think the strongest ticket would be Huckabee/McCain - and I would be shocked at with one of the other at the top of the ticket (though you can guess which one I would want!).

I think that ticket (of the current candidates, anyway) might have the best chance of beating whoever the Dems put up.

Joel Brind said...

As I note on today's post, beware repackaged old goods (be they polls or candidates) sold as new the day after Christmas.

John McCain is the media's darling and loved by liberals, because, outside of Giuliani, he is the most liberal. They're all talking about how he's the one with the greatest likelihood of beating Hillary, BUT, remember, that's only IF THE ELECTION WERE HELD TODAY!

Were John McCain to win the GOP nomination, the media would turn on him so fast he would be demonized worse than Pres. Bush and surely lose, because he would not have enthusiastic conservative support.

Now, about that number 2 spot under Mike. There are 2 issues here, of course, one being electability and the other being how he would serve in the office.

First: electibility. The same thing I said above about the media and McCain works with him in either spot on the ticket. He would, I think, help the ticket with Giuliani on top, helping to pull in votes from the right. I don't think he would do much plus or minus for a Romney or Thompson ticket, unless a military confrontation (such as with Iran) were to rear its ugly head. But remember, Mike is getting attacked mostly from the right, and to gain their enthusiastic support he would need a recognized "rock rib" conservative name on the 2nd spot, like a Fred Thompson, or someone not now in the running, like a Ken Blackwell (who is also from crucial Ohio). As noted above, the only way McCain could help the ticket would be in the context of a military confrontation. Otherwise, even national defense conservatives would mistrust such a ticket's intentions on the immigration issue, and the fiscal conservatives would mistrust them on taxes, since they (albeit mistakenly) see Mike as a tax raiser, and because of the fact that McCain actually voted against even the modest Bush tax cuts.

Second: Service once elected.

You might think that the VP has no official role other than what the President wants to give him, and taking over if the President dies, but he does have one crucial, independent role defined by the Constitution: He is the President of the US Senate and has the power to break a tie vote. I could just see McCain--GOP organizer of the Gang of 14--exert his independent personality and his independent authority and break a tie in favor of the left, spurred on by an adoring media to make history by breaking with the White House on a crucial confirmation vote.

My bottom line: The only McCain I'd like to see in the White House is Mrs. Janet McCain Huckabee!