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April 07, 2007


the WaPo version:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) will launch a high-profile effort next week to convince Americans that the Iraq war is winnable, embracing the unpopular conflict with renewed vigor as he attempts to reignite his stalling bid for the presidency.

Stalled? Dead in the water.

Okay, here's what the real McCain story might be, judging from admittedly anecdotal research in my conservative Republican family (all in North Carolina or Tennessee): How, other than them saying so, does the WSJ know Republicans applaud McCain for his stand on the war? My family,who listen to Rush and voted twice for BushCo are NOT fans of the war. In fact, some of them have told me they think it's stupid and expensive and hasn't done anything to protect them from terrorism. The Kool-Aid McCain is drinking (that Republicans overwhelmingly support Bush on Iraq) is being poured by his own party and their hack journalists and I suspect it's as bogus as everything else they do.

Call it suicide.

Fun times, this and Mitt "The Hunter" Romney.

I'm wondering what Fred Thompson, assuming he runs, is going to run on. Read somewhere yesterday he's going to "talk tough" about the "entitlements" problems. My guess is that he will be an anti govt technocrat (less gov fixes everything), running generally narrative-free Dole and Gore style, while Newt will just narcisstically bloviate offscript, shooting for the moon, but always missing real human connection. He'll be fun, hopefully he gets in, and he'll be a nightmare for his consultants.

What percentage of Mormon money is floating Mitt? Could he continue to have a huge small donor advantage over other R's? Was it small donors who powered him? But if he continues with this Varmint Killer stuff, he'll be a national laughingstock, not just in the wonkosphere.

So if you could "be" anybody in both parties in this race, I think right now you'd want to be Obama and Thompson.

When I was newspapering in the 70s, we all knew that there was the official version of the story, the other party's version of the story, and the truth.

The "official version" has never been considered to be the whole truth, and sometimes it is not even in the running to be the truth at all.

The game for reporters and editors used to be conveying the truth in the lead, such as "Despite WH insistantce yesterday that the sun rose in the west, local observers report that it continues to rise in the east."

Colbert, unfortunately, was too right in recognizing their reduced ambitions to serve as "stenographers."

McCain is going down hard. I know he doesn't want to repeat his mistakes in 2004 when he spoke his mind and went against party lines when necessary, but toting this party line is going to get him screwed. He's got to realize the political climate has shifted. If he were the McCain of 2004 (anti-Iraq, anti-Falwell, straight-talking) I think he'd be getting a lot more traction right about now...

I think that Norquist is right that the (non-neocon) Right doesn't like the war as such, they are just blindly following Bush, who they think will make them safe. If Bush said we need to get out of Iraq they would be ok with that. But of course he can't, because it would be admitting a mistake.

McCain tried to have it both ways and fell between the stools. He was going to outflank Bush on the right, but Bush "took his advice" and beefed up troops in an already unpopular war. He reaps no benefits because it isn't the war as such those people like but (inexplicable as it may seem), Bush himself. And his pandering to the right has alienated his moderate support without making him beloved of the right. Plus he's too old.

It just proves that politicians have to at least project some level of authenticity or consistency, better yet actually have some. At this point McCain has nothing except some media people who still like him.

The senator's war stand is a popular one with Republican voters, but polls show they are not rewarding him,

wall street journal = logic not used

if mccain's position on the war was "popular with repuglican voters", then mccain would be receiving popular support

and if the polls show that the voters are not rewarding his position with support, then a logical person can deduce that his position isn't so popular

it's only complicated when you remove the logic from your brain and try to believe the delusion of the author

and that isn't even trying to discuss the fact that there are a lot less repuglicans in 2007 than there were in 2004 and 2000

Thompson looks like the offspring of Ford and Nixon.

At some point, the GOP's establishment is going to realise that the Cult of Bush doesn't go beyond 2009. Jebby's not running, Jenna's not old enough, and the professions of support for Cheney to run ain't going to turn into anything.

The repudiation of McCain may serve as a surrogate for declaring the Bush Era over. Otherwise, you might actually find smarter GOPpers encouraging impeachment, just so they can create space between themselves and the incumbent.

I've been buying McCain contracts over at InTrade. I still think he's the most likely nominee.

He's running the Kerry rope-a-dope of this cycle.

"Otherwise, you might actually find smarter GOPpers encouraging impeachment, just so they can create space between themselves and the incumbent."

I could not agree more. This is best for the GOP and the nation. Impeaching and convicting Bush would do a lot for our standing in the world. I have to think a lot of GOPers are bringing this up to JB3 to bring up to GHWB.

Hey, Petey. It's the weakness of the rest of the R field that keeps McCain viable, but if you're betting on McCain, you're betting on Iraq. That's a sucker bet.

"if you're betting on McCain, you're betting on Iraq."

Like I said, he is John Kerry circa 2003.


Part of it is the way the market is underpricing him at the moment. I've been paying 18 cents on the dollar. You wanna sell me McCain contracts at 5 to 1 odds? I'm a heavy buyer.

When was the last time the Republican candidate with pole position didn't get the nomination? I count 44 years. McCain may be a weak pole position candidate, but he's a bargain at 36 cents on the dollar, let alone 18.

Even if you forced me to bet on McCain or Not McCain at even odds, I'd take McCain. He'll run as the "I'll go to Baghdad" candidate, have the bulk of the Bush people behind him, get a third of the vote in the early primaries, and likely muddle through.


And off topic: Johnny Edwards is officially king of the netroots. It's a nice fuzzy feeling of affirmation to have the crowd love your guy. Now I know what it was like for the Deanies.

NB. all prices for McCain nomination, not Presidency.

Bush tied McCain to the surge by nominally choosing exactly the number of troops that McCain had been whining for---20,000. That made McCain Bush's bitch, forever.
Bush hates McCain, so I think it's quite plausible he chose the 20,000 to destroy McCain's chances.

as long as they treat a Bush press conference reiteration of pap as breathless news

And as long as the press treats a Bush press conference as a "play date." Did you see the snickering Bush pc with reporters in a desert training area, asking one of the reporters to get in front of the bomb-disabling robot, and making that little sneer/snicker of his. A Frat Boy through & through.

And off topic: Johnny Edwards...

You were/are right about Edwards. I can see the logic of going with McCain, but he's going to be a historic flame-out.

When was the last time the Republican candidate with pole position didn't get the nomination? I count 44 years. McCain may be a weak pole position candidate, but he's a bargain at 36 cents on the dollar, let alone 18.

I agree, if McCain plays it smart and Fred Thompson stays out of the race. Rudy is going to flameout at some point, Romney is going nowhere, and no one else seems to be getting any traction.

The problem is that McCain isn't playing it smart. His dismal money numbers gave him the perfect opportunity to reposition himself as the "people's candidate" -- the guy who isn't spending all his time sucking up to big money donors. Instead, McCain appears to be panicking, trying to maintain "frontrunner" status well before the first primary is held.

I also think that Edwards is going to get the Dem nomination. With Hillary and Obama fighting each other, Edwards is going to wind up being everyone's second choice...

Read somewhere that Edwards and Obama supporters generally prefer HRC as a 2nd choice, not the other non-HRC. This needs to change, I think, unless HRC dramatically flames out, which I don't expect.

The polling volatility of the GOP field shows how dispririted their base is. If a non fundie is nominated, they will lose a critical small percentage of evangelical turnout - this won't show up in any polling, of course. Catch 22.

McCain has proven that he's nowhere near as smart as people thought. He bet everything on Iraq, and that was just stupid. I don't expect McCain to make smart choices politically - that should be factored in here. He'll make more gaffes, and so will Romney. Only rare, extremely smart politicians make a mistake, learn from it, and don't repeat it. (That's why after a couple of major gaffes on the trail, I mostly give up on a Prez candidate. You have to be ready for prime time. )

And Petey, you're right about 44 years, but it's not written in stone that that pattern has to continue indefinitely.

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