JP’s thoughts on McCain in 2008, the pros and the cons. He has done some analysis, and I am going to post them here for him. If you like them, I suggest you link to his site. He is a very good writer!
JP’s McCain 2008 PRO & CON Analysis
1. Has always been fiscally responsible, voting against pork, excessive spending, etc. He is currently working with Sen. Coburn to highlight each individual earmark.
2. Has consistently favored higher defense spending, favors a forward-leaning defense posture, and is one of the strongest defenders and communicators of our Long-War & War on Terror strategy in Afghanistan, Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. He agrees that advocating democracy and freedom can increase our peace and security over the long run. He understands the “neo-con” view of the world, of which I subscribe. This view holds that from 1945-2001, we supported dictators in the Middle East, which linked the US with those dictators, and caused the people to slowly turn against us because of the inherent corruption, poverty & joblessness that always results from dictatorships. This bad economic, political and social environment then fostered hatred & intolerance.
3. He has generally been pro-life, but much like my view, is not completely intolerant to the view that the woman should have control of her own person when there are mitigating circumstances. However, I believe strongly that states and the people within them should have the power to set their own laws when it comes to this issue and NOT judges, and he has recently said that he would sign the SD bill.
4. McCain has become much more of a party-supporter over the last 2 years. He campaigned vigorously for the President and many colleagues in 2004, and will do so again in 2006. I believe he has learned that bucking the party only gains him Dem friends, and he’ll never be President without 85% of the GOP votes. It seems as though he has mended fences with the Bush administration and is also gaining in key-politicos and donor personnel. This will take time, but must be a focus.
1. McCain voted against the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts in both the budget and separate votes. Although he supported the tax cuts in 2005, his view on this critical item is suspect and I demand more from a GOP Presidential candidate, especially when these cuts have been proven to both grow tax revenues and the economy over time. McCain may have some “evolving” to do on this issue, which it looks like he is trying to do, and this is critical for him to gain GOP votes. He has to get out in front of any potential tax reform efforts and lead to have any credibility, but CPR is possible here.
2. Freedom of speech issues are a problem as well. The campaign finance reform issue was a big one for McCain, and I am fully against limiting individual contributions. However, McCain Feingold was a boon for the GOP in that it did double the hard-dollar limits. My view is that both corporate and union money should be banned completely, and that individual limits should be doubled again, but this will never happen. This issue is a problem for McCain, and I don’t see him fixing GOP opinion much here.
3. Judges is the 3rd problem for McCain. He brokered the “gang of 14” which did help to confirm some of the blocked appeals court nominees, and ensured Alito and Roberts passage, but the agreement appeared to many GOP faithful to be another cave to the left. He needs to be a forceful advocate for “judicial restraint” and come out aggressively against any liberal judicial rulings over the next 2 years.
4. Because he has bucked GOP orthodoxy so many times over the past 5 years, there is little trust in McCain from the GOP grassroots. This can be overcome, but must be a long-term effort that is consistent and visible.
Rudy Giuliani has a shot, but McCain is much more socially conservative. Head to head, John would win 2-1.
George Allen is a popular, gregarious fellow, but I think he’s probably just a bit too much like President Bush in personality & communication style. Now matter how much I like GWB, I think the broader electorate will probably be looking for something a bit different.
Sam Brownback and Mike Huckabee are good conservatives but would need $1 Billion apiece just to get the Name Recognition that McCain already has. Both will lose to most DEMs.
Governor & former Olympics coordinator Mitt Romney is probably the most likely competitor down the stretch, although he is also a bit unknown. However, his strong showing at the SRLC in Tennessee opened a lot of eyes. He is socially conservative, balanced a huge budget deficit in Massachusetts without a tax hike, and has pretty good organization already set. He is running, and I think will be the conservative challenger to McCain.
Condi Rice or JEB Bush would be fantastic Presidents, both, but I believe neither are running. Both might be running for VEEP, and both would make fantastic running mates.
Pataki and the rest of the also-rans should drop their thoughts of running. They don’t have a shot at beating any one of the above names. Oh I forgot Bill Frist, sorry. That should give you some idea of what I think of his chancesssssszzzzzzzz
GOP Nomination Summary:
I think McCain has the best shot right now at winning the GOP nomination in 2008. Independents love him, and he gain win back most of the GOP, if he works consistently & patiently over the next 2.5 years to show that he has both learned that some of his prior positions were incorrect and that he is a more Conservative politician than the GOP grassroots think he is.
Hillary is most likely the nominee, but Mark Warner wil be her credible challenger from the “center-left”, Russ Feingold will be the competitor from the liberal quarter, and a DEM Latino governor from the southwest (New Mexico) named Bill Richardson gives me the willies, but it seems as though he is too disorganized and childish (read: Bill Clinton) to have a credible shot at anything but VEEP. Any one of these candidates will get 48% guaranteed in the General, and Hillary or Warner could get 49%. 2008
McCain will win if he runs a credible campaign, and could win by more than GWB in 2004. If Romney is the nominee, the race is closer, he has to run a perfect campaign, and any other GOP candidate could likely lose.
Editors Note: I hope not! 🙂
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