by John Hawkins | June 22, 2005 1:51 pm
Ok, before I get started, I just want to allay your fears, I’m not going to be doing a post a day bashing MSM darling John McCain — well, until the 2008 nomination gets going, then I’m probably going to beat on John McCain the way I did Kerry last year.
That being said, I just had to comment on this laughable AP column by Ron Fournier, where he talks about how unstoppable the New York Times’ favorite Republican is (snicker, snicker):
“If you want to be the next president, it’s time to start running — unless your name is Hillary Rodham Clinton or John McCain. They can wait. And wait, as front-runners tend to do.
“They’re 800-pound gorillas,” says Democratic consultant Jeff Link of Iowa. “They’re well-known, well-liked and will be heavy favorites in their respective parties.”
…Bush’s brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has said he won’t run for president in 2008. Still, some Republicans, including a few close to the White House, say McCain-Bush is their dream ticket.
…Polls suggest that Clinton is the overwhelming favorite of Democrats, while a slim majority of all voters say they are likely to back her in the general election. A Clinton candidacy would galvanize conservatives who railed against her husband, former President Clinton.
McCain has the opposite problem. He is favored by a majority of Democrats and independents who would vote in a general election, but his support among Republicans is less than ideal.
If he seeks the presidency, McCain’s challenge would be maintain his appeal to moderates while highlighting in the GOP nomination fight his support of Bush on Iraq and the war on terrorism.”
Hey, it’s another appearance by the McCain/Bush liberal media dream ticket that I mentioned yesterday! Have I ever pointed out how incredibly unlikely that pairing actually would be in real life, even setting aside the fact that George W. Bush and John McCain are thought not to like each other very much?
It would make no sense for Jeb Bush to run as the veep to a guy he could easily beat in the Republican primaries….and, yeah, I don’t know if Jeb would win (Republicans would prefer someone other than another Bush in 2008), but he’d certainly clobber McCain. Come on, a fiscally conservative governor who can raise money, does well with Hispanics, can guarantee Florida, and would have all the Bush loyalists behind him vs. a 72 year-old Republican Senator who’s more despised by the base than any other Republican in Washington? Give me a break! That would be like Hillary running as Joe Biden’s #2 guy.
Secondly, as the 2004 Democratic primary proved, the rules of the game have changed. Dark horse candidates who could have never gotten their message out before can now get press from the new media and raise enormous amounts of cash via the net. It’s well known that Howard Dean raised beaucoups of cash online, but did you know what happened to really launch his campaign? Winning the MoveOn Primary way back in July of 2003.
That just goes to show you how things have changed. Maybe there was a time when a Republican candidate could move to the right during the primaries, get a few endorsements, grab a few headlines, and snag the nomination without most voters giving a really hard look to anyone else, but those days are over.
Now every flaw and detail of the candidate will be available to voters via the new media and those primary moves to the right and left? Forget about it! Every speech, every quote is catalogued, and there are going to be radio talk show hosts, bloggers, mags to remind the voters of every detail of a candidate’s voting record and public appearances. No matter what sort of “loyal Republican” mask McCain puts on, he will be continuously pounded from every angle by the new media until he drops out of the race.
Furthermore, the voters in a Republican primary — the sort of people who could not care less what the editorial board of the WAPO or LA Times thinks about anything — you know what they’ll be doing as they decide who to vote for?
They’ll sit down and read a blog bad mouthing McCain, while they listen to a conservative talk show slamming him, until they get up and go to the mailbox to get their new copy of National Review that’ll be talking about what a disaster he’d be as a President. You think McCain’s candidacy can survive that kind of hostility from the sort of people who should be his biggest supporters? No way!
I don’t care how much money McCain raises, what talent he brings on board, how many endorsements he gets, if Jeb is his veep: it just doesn’t matter. McCain has no chance whatsoever to win the Republican nomination because he has permanently burned his bridges with conservatives in the party, particularly conservatives in the new media, and there’s nothing he can do to fix it at this point.
So, I don’t know who the nominee will be, but John McCain isn’t going to be the one grabbing the brass ring.
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