Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wait, you do know McCain's the nominee, right?

Weekly Presidential Politics - 4/25/07

First, that is the last time I post nine straight flippin' days.

Second, though I'll be sure to remind you at the end of this post, I will be doing a LIVE BLOG tomorrow night during the Democratic debate on NBC. I have no idea how it will go, so at least
check it out to see how badly I fall on my face.

On with the show...

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 that clusterfield.

The Grand Old Party, on the other hand, is all but locked up for John McCain. It's why, on my website, Senator McCain has remained the top Republican on The Line: Presidential Odds, 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 Thomson.

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

Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thomson, and Tommy Thomson 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. McCain has six hundred years in the Senate and Giuliani has 9/11 and its aftermath.

That leaves the two poll leaders. 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, as a whole, 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.

Giuliani: “If any Republican is elected president —- and I think obviously I would be the best at this —- we will remain on offense and will anticipate what [the terrorists] will do and try to stop them before they do it."

Really? He'd "obviously" be best at this? 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. 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 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. That leaves John McCain...your next Republican nominee for President of the United States.

PS. LIVE BLOG over at Presidential Politics for America tomorrow night!


df said...

I think you forget about how Rudy has never voted for an unpopular war and an even more unpopular surge. He can rely on the fact that he was popular after he lead his city through the aftermath of an attack whereas McCain championed Bush's reign of error in Iraq. Rudy can use 'hindsight' to say what he would do instead of what McCain did.

IC said...

Rudy can't say such things, because they'd be followed up with, "Would you have voted for those things," and his answer would be yes. He's in full support of the President on the Iraq situation. The only reason he didn't readily cast yes votes is because he wasn't allowed to.

df said...

Rudy can lie and say he wouldn't have voted for a bad war. McCain has such a huge burden on his shoulders to prove to the Republican primary voters that he can be trusted to make good decisions based on his voting record. Guiliani can rely on his performance in the 9/11 aftermath. I also think your discounting Romney too easily. He might be trailing in the polls, but look at the first three primary states IA, NH, and SC. Big time evangelical support could shift the race in his favor while McCain and Giuliani are fighting each other.

Courtney said...

Your analysis has one big flaw. Conservatives have another option. Stay home!

Unfortunately, Giuliani will be ground up by the Clinton machine. The social issues will keep me and many others from the polls. Two thousand was close because a lot of conservatives stayed home on the eve of the election. Bush should have won easily.

McCain is looking very tired and frankly worn out. In addition, elephants have a long memory and John McCain’s consideration of jumping parties fundamentally disqualifies him in my eyes.

Gallup polls show 65% of the GOP want someone other than Rudy, Mitt or John. The GOP establishment better wake up or this will be another '06 election!

IC said...

DF - Thanks a lot for your well thought out input. While I agree that McCain has a tall order ahead of him, what will ultimately get him the nomination is that the other candidates will all fall away. Giuliani will NOT lie about not supporting the war. He came out in FAVOR of it. He is still in FAVOR of it. He still ardently SUPPORTS President Bush. This isn't speculation, it's been his public speaking record. And I don't sell Romney short. In fact, I wrote a blog dedicated to people who do sell him short.
It's just that the Republican Primary will be a national security election, with social issues, though important, being secondary. If I still haven't convinced you, fine, but while it's easy to take The Field when predicting a race, I'm actually picking one guy. I'm telling you McCain is going to win and he will and I'll be right.

Courtney, you raise an interesting point. The issue with 65% of Republicans wanting someone else to win is that the 65% is split up into a dozen candidates. I agree that conservatives are unsatisfied with their current big timers. I never argued otherwise. Without resources, though, small timers can't possibly compete with the Republican Big Three. No one more legitimately conservative than Sam Brownback will avail themselves and Senator Brownback is light years behind McCain, Giuliani, and Romney in polls and funding. If Brownback can't make a run, no one can, and Brownback's not making a run? Who are Republicans waiting for? Reagan's corpse?

It's going to be McCain.

Kindel said...

It's weird and kind of unnerving to read one of your posts and agree with it...nice entry.