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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Take It To the Bank: McCain's the GOP Nominee

(Editor's note: This post was written on May 1 of last year. With McCain's recent boom in national polls, it seemed appropriate to re-run it. There are many accurate prognostications, but notice the dismissal of Mike Huckabee! Whoops!)


You think the Democratic debate was rough around the edges? At least they had only eight candidates. This Thursday night, the first Republican debate of the year will have ten candidates, and this is before guys like Chuck Hagel, Fred Thompson, and Newt Gingrich decide to enter the race. Thursday's Republican debate had the same amount of pie as the Democratic parallel, but two more fat guys are at the table.

Well, as always, I aim to help all the readers who stumble upon PPFA. I hate to ruin it for you, but I already know who's going to win the nomination. So by all means, watch the debate, but don't think for a second it's going to matter.

The no-Senator-in-the-White-House streak is about to end. All it took was the most invasive attack on mainland America since 1815. At a time when foreign policy and national security trump every other issue, January 20th, 2009 will see the first U.S. Senator sworn in since John Kennedy in 1961. Make no mistake about that.

With two incumbent Senators and one former Senator duking it out on the Democrats' side, this logic does not help narrow down the clusterfield on the Democratic side.

The Grand Old Party, on the other hand, is all but locked up for John McCain. It's why, on this very blog, Senator McCain has remained the top Republican on The Line, despite poll after poll showing Giuliani with double digit leads and conservatives still not trusting McCain, and possibly turning to Mitt Romney, or the conservatives' new heartthrob, Fred Thompson.

The process by which I decided on John McCain was not an intricate or arduous one.

Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thomson, and Tommy Thompson won't have the funds.

Mitt Romney has the funds but he won't succeed in what will ultimately be a terrorism and national security election. The former Massachusetts governor won't make Republicans feel safe, especially while having to go against two heavyweights who make national security the paramount plank in their platform. Even if Romney makes national security his central issue, he'd be playing right into the hands of McCain and Giuliani. Giuliani has 9/11 to fall back on, while John McCain has, between serving in the military in the U.S. Senate, roughly six hundred years of foreign policy experience.

Now here's what I don't get:

How in the hell did Giuliani inherit all that was good about President Bush's foreign policy, while McCain inherited everything that was bad? (Rhetorical question.)

Think about it. Until social issues and his inflated Tough Guy personae catch up to him (and they will), Giuliani has come across as the guy who can keep us safe, the guy who won't let the terrorists touch his citizens ever again. In essence, Giuliani has inherited all the good parts of George W. Bush. It's the reason the county re-elected the President and it's the reason his approval rating stayed as high as it did for as long as it did. Americans, or at least the majority of them, felt safe with him in power. To this point, that has been Giuliani's inheritance.

Contrarily, John McCain has inherited everything else about national security - the bad parts of national security. He's inherited Iraq. You think John McCain, you think war, troop surge, Baghdad, and troops dying.

It's like the movie Twins, and McCain is Danny DeVito.

But here's the thing. When it comes to national security, foreign policy, support of the President, and the war on terror...these guys have practically the same stance. The only reason that McCain get saddled with all the undesirables is because he actually has to cast votes in the Senate while Giuliani can freely bound around the country talking about how he'd stand up to terrorists.

Let's delve deeper into the quandary. Looking into their Tough Guy and Courageousness past, there is a stark contrast between the two men.

Rudy Giuliani has no foreign policy experience. He received a student deferment and stayed out of Vietnam. He became a national political player because his city was attacked.

John McCain has been in the Senate for 20 years. During Vietnam, he was a prisoner of war for over five years, where he was beaten regularly for refusal to divulge information or accept special treatment. He knows what it's like to be in an unpopular war in a far away land. He has loads of foreign policy experience and is currently the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

And Giuliani's the one with leads in the polls because of what he brings to national security when on that issue he and McCain practically agree on everything? It doesn't add up. In due time, the polls will reflect this.

Eventually, Giuliani won't be able to stand toe-to-toe with McCain on Giuliani’s greatest strength. Moreover, Giuliani's incongruence with the conservative mainstream will be another enormous strike against him in the Republican Primary.

Therefore, one of two huge national security candidates will be eliminated in a national security election.

So, enjoy the debate (Thursday, 8:00, MSNBC), and keep your eye on the winner, John McCain, the next Republican nominee for President of the United States.

2 comments:

Judy Aron said...

I saw McCain in New Hampshire (he was staying in my hotel) and he was unimpressive at best. If he is the Republican nominee then we have really lost our way - get ready to see him choose Lieberman as his running mate and Republicans will have a true Democrat ticket. Nauseating.

IC said...

Judy, a few times on this blog I've predicted Lieberman as his #2. Frankly, it might be the only way the GOP can compete with Obama'a appeal to the Independents in the general election.

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