Sunday, March 12, 2006

McCain Tests New Road to Nomination

WaPo reported No one stole the show at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference here this weekend, but Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) demonstrated why every other prospective 2008 presidential candidate must figure out how to get around him.

More than any of his potential rivals, McCain found a way to balance embracing a weakened President Bush
McCain was brilliant by telling all of his supporters to vote for GWB instead of him. Bill Frist was guaranteed to be the top vote getter, since it was in his state, and McCain was definitely not going to be one of the top vote getters, but this way he had an excuse for his 5th place level, and he should have guaranteed that Bush will campaign for him anytime he asks during the 2008 election race (I suspect Bush will not endorse anyone in the Primary)
-- at a time when many Republicans are running away from the president -- while appealing to those in and out of his party who believe Bush and other Washington Republicans have lost their way. No other candidate could claim to offer continuity and change almost simultaneously. The Arizona senator was full-throated in his support for Bush on Iraq, Iran and even the now-defunct Dubai seaports deal.
All of which I agree on.
In doing so, he continued to establish his bona fides as the Republican most likely to defend and extend the president's controversial foreign policy record. At the same time, McCain delivered a stern condemnation of fiscal profligacy and corruption in Washington that was rooted in his reputation as an advocate of change and an antagonist of pork-barrel spending.
I agree with him on that as well

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