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HISTORICAL QUOTE OF THE WEEK - "Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." ABRAHAM LINCOLN

Sunday, February 03, 2008

WHAT CAUSED THE MCCAIN MOMENTUM - THE SUNDAY COMMENTARY

Super Tuesday is just around the corner and whether one likes him or not John McCain is the front runner for the GOP nomination and has the clear momentum going into the 22 State National Primary on February fifth.


Many within the GOP, especially Conservatives are asking how the Senator from Arizona gained such strong momentum so quickly and why did it happen ? After all this was the man that Republicans clearly did not want in 2000 and until recently nearly everyone gave him no chance of winning the nomination. Now with Super Tuesday upon us John McCain has risen from near nomination obscurity to an almost unstoppable run to the nomination.


Some equate his rise to a fundamental shift in the Republican Party away from Reaganism and Conservative ideology. While this may play a very small roll, if any, I beleive this evaluation of the McCain momentum is flawed for two reasons. The first is the fact that even though McCain nor Romney for that matter are true Conservatives both as well as Huckabee and Paul who still remanin in the race, and every GOP candidate have spent a considerable amount of speech, debate and commercial time trying to claim the mantle of Conservative.


If Conservativsm were an ideology of the past in the GOP then candidates would not try to court the Conservative vote or claim the title. As for Reaganism, that to is obviously extremely strong in the GOP for the very same reasons. Every candidate claims to be either part of or from the , "Reagan Coalition." Again a considerable amount of time is spent envoking President Reagan's name and ideology and without exception every debate has had a question concerning how each candidate might compare themselves to Ronald Reagan.


If a fundamental shift had taken place in the core of the Reapublican Party then neither Conservatism or Reagansim would be a factor in the race, and both have become key issues that the candidates are wrapping themselves around.


In actuality there are two lesser and one greater factor that have lead to the metioric rise of John McCain as the front runner and most likely the nominee for the GOP. The lesser has to do with blunders by two candidates who have already dropped out of the race and the other has to do with a candidate that is still in the 2008 Presidential race.


First the lesser factors:


1. The Thompson factor - Of all the candidates who have thrown their hat into the ring for the GOP in 2008 Fred Thompson had the best chance to gain the nomination AND truly claim the mantle of Conservative. Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo, though staunch Conservatives never gained any backing by the voters and as such had little chance for the nomination.


Thomspon had not only excellent Conservative credentials with a record to match but he also was well known because of his movie and television career and his recent spear head of the Roberts and Alito nomination to the Supreme Court. Thompson was accused of running a, "lazy, " campaign but that is not the case at all. He patterned his Presidential run after a very successful Grassroots campaign that worked magnificantly in his election to the Senate from his home State of Tennessee.


Thompson as such was not prepared to run the type of campaign that is necessary on a National level. While his Grassroots approach worked at the State level, the tools were not there to run a successful National campaign which was a major miscalculation by Thompson and as such he never caught on as he should. Had Thompson run the exhaustive style of campaign with a large advertising budget and massive fund raising capability which is necessary for a Presidential campaign today, I beleive that the front runner would now be Thompson and not McCain.


2. The Giuliani factor - When Giuliani announced his run for the Presidency in November of 2006 nearly every pundit in the political rhelm stated that the nomination was his to lose. Giuliani, because of 9/11 was the best known candidate in the field. He also has leadership qualifications that had been witnessed by the entire country during a major crises.


For nearly a year Giuliani ran a National campaign and until just before the hard hitting campaign season began last fall he had held the lead in every major poll from the beginning and during most of that time the lead was double digits. Then Giuliani made a major blunder. Just when he should have kicked his campaign into a higher gear, he did the opposite and literally dropped off the screen pulling all of his resources out of the early States to concentrate only on Florida.


This major miscalculation by Giuliani not only cost him the nomination but seriously put into question whether he actually wanted to run for President and was basically giving up because he was tired of the campaign. Some beleive that his move was to positon himself for the Vice Presidency looking toward the Presidency in 2012 since McCain has indicated that if elected he would only serve one term.


The major factor:


Hillary Clinton - While the Thompson and Giuliani factors played a lesser role in the rise of John McCain the major factor for his skyrocket to front runner is Hillary Clinton. After Iowa many beleived that her chances had dimmed to the point of no return. Then when the polling and the pundits competely missed New Hampshire, I beleive something happened with Republican voters. They came down with a bad case of Hillaryitis, the fear of a Hillary Rodham Clinton White House.


With the exception of only a few months last summer when Giuliani was still leading most GOP polls and was also polling higher than Hillary, John McCain has been the ONLY Republican candidate who has consistantly lead Clinton in every major poll in a one on one match up. The same holds true as we approach Super Tuesday.


Hillary is very beatable and polls indicate that McCain is the one to beat her. There is a growing fear in the GOP and with many Independants of a successful run for the White House by Hillary. This is combined with a large number of voters who do not like her as a person and are also just plain tired of the Clintons. Her disdain for the military, her massive entitlements proposed and her very Socialist agenda strike a fear and anger that takes a voter who would usually vote their conscience and the issues and transforms them into one who votes for the electability of the candidate who can beat Hillary and polls show that is John McCain.


This more than anything else, I beleive, attributes to Republicans who had previously rejected McCain because of his many partnerships with Democrats and his betrayals of the GOP voting for him which has resulted in the rise of John McCain. If the momantum holds true, which it should especially after the Giuliani endorsement which virtually gave him California, New York and New Jersey whose delegate totals add up to more than the rest of Super Tuesday States combined, John McCain will be the nominee.


Not so much because Republicans believe he is the best candidate to represent the GOP and will make the best President but because he can beat Hillary Rodham Clinton and prevent the Socialist from gaining the power of the White House and leading the dangerous decline of the nation that her Presidency would cause. Conservatives, for good reason do not like McCain but voters see him as the best option to keep a Socialist Hillary or a very liberal Obama out of the Oval Office.



Ken Taylor

22 Comments:

Blogger American Interests said...

An excellent breakdown Ken, I found myself frequently nodding in agreement as a carefully read your commentary… McCain is making headway with conservatives, albeit very slowly. Many however, remain unyielding, even indicating a preference for Hillary. Be interesting to see how the Arizona Senator attempts to mend the party rifts. For those that have not yet accepted his inevitability, this will be an indicator of his leadership potential and his capacity to crunch Clinton, which, in turn, will hopefully boost his support among conservatives, and Republicans alike.

4:42 AM, February 03, 2008  
Blogger The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

The only true test though will be if the in roads he is trying to make become reality if he becomes President. Or will the usual McCain show his face.

That I guess remains to be seen.

12:43 PM, February 03, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

Your logic seems completely backward. On one hand you argue that there is a true conservative ideology that people embrace and want to support, but then you go on to argue that only McCain (who you believe has left-leaning beliefs) can beat Hillary.

It appears that you now believe the country is liberal and that Republicans accept a shift to the left in order to win.

2:23 PM, February 03, 2008  
Blogger Gayle said...

Regarding Rob's comment, personally I believe the country is moderate, not liberal, and we need a moderate in order to win. Independents are not all liberals. I think there are more moderate conservatives than far right Republicans like myself. It won't be long before we find out.

I may be far right, but because I don't think McCain is quite as bad as Hillary, or as bad as the MSM is making out, I'll vote for him is he wins. He is fighting against the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" that would really hurt conservative talk radio. He won't pull us out of Vietnam like Hillary would do, leaving Iraqi Citizens to the mercy of terrorists and repeating the carnage we left behind in Vietnam. McCain is much preferable to Hillary or Obama.

I've run across conservative bloggers who are now saying they won't vote for McCain if he wins. This has upset me greatly. I don't understand that mindset because it's like saying "if I can't have my way then I just don't care!" What mystifies me is that I know these people and I know that they do care, and they care a lot. So why in the world would they let all of us down by doing such a thing, and even trying to promote it with their blogs? It's truly boggling my mind and causing some depression.

4:47 PM, February 03, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

McCain is an absolute abysmal imbosol!! He’s a RHINO republican and tried to shove amnesty down our throat 2 times with "HIS OWN BILL". HE IS FOR TAXING USA companies only to solve a so called GLOBAL warming problem. Well what about the rest of the WORLD? You people drink the kol-aid of the press and are completely UNINFORMED.

ROMNEY is this COUNTRYS BEST HOPE.

You want to know something else, STUPIDY BREADS ITSELF. You will believe anything someone tells you if you are uninformed and that is what the liberal media is counting on.

DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK, you lazy people!

John McCain should be renamed as JUAN McCain. Have you noticed who his heading up his HISPANIC outreach group for this race. If not, Google "McCain and Dr. Juan Hernandez.

I WILL NOT AND CAN NOT VOTE FOR JUAN McCain, I would rather the Republican Party dissolve, period!

5:56 PM, February 03, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

Gayle, it seems to me like the press loves him - the N.Y. Times has endorsed him to be the Republican nominee.

On a much more serious note, McCain is in bed with Jerry Perenchio who is the founder of Univision (the Spanish language network). In fact Perenchio is a billionaire who is McCain's national campaign finance co-chair. Perenchio wants to make it easier for illegals to come over the border and he is also a strong proponent of teaching Spanish in public schools. It should be obvious that that would help his network's ratings because it would increase the pool of viewers.

On a personal note, my son's preschool just implemented a major Spanish initiative where every pre-school classroom now has a Spanish speaking teacher. There was no real discussion with parents about the curriculum change, so my wife and I are taking him out of the school and he won't be attending next year. He was in what was supposed to be a 3-year Montessori program and because of the change we refuse to send him for his final year.

It is folks like Perenchio and his bought-for politicians like McCain who are responsible for pushing this nonsense.

Do whatever you like, but don't complain when McCain opens borders and pushes for bi-lingual education in America's public schools if he becomes President.

12:37 PM, February 04, 2008  
Blogger Gayle said...

I will complain if McCain wins and he does what you suggest, Rob. I will complain about anything any president does that I don't like and I will have every right to do so. I voted for President Bush and have complained about his neglect of our borders. Just because I vote for someone does not mean I have to agree with every choice he/she makes as President. I can respect the office of the President and still complain about decisions being made that I don't agree with.

I'm sorry to hear that your son's school has snuck such a thing into the school curriculum, and I commend you for removing your son from the school. I wish more parents would do the same. I know I would have!

12:49 PM, February 04, 2008  
Blogger Robert (Conservative Commentary) said...

I think that republicans see Mccain as the best chance to win. People want change, at least if you listen to the left and the moderate. Conservatives like myself want change, albeit McCain isn't the direction we want.

However, despite Thompson's coservatism, Rud's leadership, adn Romney's expertise in business matters, none of them represent change. McCain's ability ti sit well with moderates is what is driving this. Hillary is not a desireable President from anyone center or right.

And the polls show McCain beating anyone.

I actually have a though as to how a McCain Presidency benefits the GOP, but will be a huge benefit for true conservatives in the long run. I will make that post in a day or so.

12:55 PM, February 04, 2008  
Blogger Marie's Two Cents said...

Great Post Ken,

I have till tomorrow to decide but I think I am going with Romney.

McCain is just to Liberal.

2:10 PM, February 04, 2008  
Anonymous Seth said...

As American Interests said, great breakdown, Ken.

I am definitely going with Romney, but while I'd rather have my eyes pierced than vote for Hillary in the general election, I have a similar feeling about pulling any lever for McCain that doesn't control a trap door.

6:50 PM, February 04, 2008  
Anonymous brainbungee said...

Ken,

I agree with the majority of your analysis. McCain is seen as the best hope to beat Clinton and for that matter Obama as well. One group of Republican voters, evangelicals, are not all behind one candidate. Some evangelicals, let's call them Rich Warren evangelicals are very attracted to McCain's environmental positions. Die hard conservatives will have a tough time living under the same tent as these environmentally minded Republicans and the alliance will eventually fracture. If McCain is not the nominee, the Republican party stands a good chance loosing this growing block of voters. McCain is the one candidate, for better or worse who can keep them in the fold.

10:47 PM, February 04, 2008  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I love how Gayle's first comment is followed by anonymous's angry rant- the kind which she laments about. Anon's comment is embarrassingly laughable.

Gayle, it seems to me like the press loves him - the N.Y. Times has endorsed him to be the Republican nominee.

I don't see anything wrong with that. There are liberal papers and conservative papers that endorse from both sides of the aisle, and in general, I take it at face value, that they are merely picking who they deem to be the best candidate from the party.

3:04 AM, February 05, 2008  
Blogger Rob said...

Word, I have no problem with endorsements either. My comment that you quoted about the N.Y. Times endorsement was a direct response to Gayle's contention that the MSM dislikes McCain.

10:06 AM, February 05, 2008  
Anonymous Wavemaker said...

I have trouble with the fact that Fred Thompson's voting record in the Senate was quite similar to McCain's -- even in support for McCain-Feingold. So I am stumped by those who regarded Fred as the right's True Messiah while regarding McCain as Pontius Pilate. And I can't even fathom how Rudy -- with his pro-choice, pro-gay marriage New York liberalism could have been so popular with the conservative base.

There has to be some deeply imbedded distrust that goes beyond the issue positions. Is it that McCain has been uniquely bipartisan in an environment of hyper-partisanship? Is that what it is? That he is "buddies" with Ted Kennedy (euphemistically, anyway)? If that is so, then I point out that hyper-partisanship has a greater potential for destroying the Republican Party than McCain -- considering that we are likely to be the minority in both houses for the next decade, ten years of bickering and obstructionism is hardly the path to formidability.

And by the way, it seems to me that before this election cycle, conservatives were deeply suspicious of suitor who professed to be Born Again on the bedrock issues --but somehow Romney's highly dubious conversions to the True Faith are swallowed whole. Honestly, they make me choke.

12:49 PM, February 05, 2008  
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